Lighting is essential to the long-term success and good reputation of an apartment complex. Poorly- lit grounds tend to have very low tenant retention rates. People will eventually leave a community with poor outdoor lighting, or no lighting at all, simply because they cannot see to move around at night and have no idea what they will run into in the dark. Property managers who are struggling with constant turnover may want to consider that this might be one of the reasons why so many tenants choose not to renew their leases. They simply do not feel safe when they go outside at night. Managers may also face potential liabilities if inadequate lighting in the apartment community contributes to a person being injured or attacked. While many managers believe they can save money by having their maintenance crews run down to the stores and buy outside tree lighting fixtures to install themselves, they are actually taking a great financial risk to neglect the opportunity of having a more professionally design lighting system developed by a firm who specializes in community lighting.
Managers must first and foremost protect their immediate business interests by making sure the lighting around the leasing office is the best it can possibly be. Believe it or not, the leasing office is often the preferred target of thieves. Burglars will break in and steal money orders and cash them on the black market for cents on the dollar. One burglary can literally result in an entire month’s rent for every unit in the building being stolen. Other burglars may try to use an unoccupied leasing office as an entry point to the interior of a gated community. By simply breaking a window or picking a lot, they can walk right out the back door into the courtyard beyond. If there is no architectural custom lighting behind the building, they can slip undetected into the complex and strike any unit at will.
The best way to deter such criminals is through a combination of building lights, perimeter flood lights and a up to date lighting maintenance contract. Electrical costs can be minimized by fitting the floodlights with motion sensors that activate the system only when the shape of a human body crosses their detection field. Meanwhile, energy efficient fluorescent wall packs and canopy lights installed around the front, sides, and back of the building, can keep the perimeter continuously lit with reduced electrical consumption. If commercial building lights are used instead of cheaper retail fixtures, the energy savings is even greater, and the field of light can be confined to the building proper without disturbing the rest of the community with unwanted spill light.
Many apartment managers are unaware that residential community outdoor lighting can be done so cost effectively and precisely, so they choose to leave large portions of the complex inadequately lit out of fear of disturbing residents with light pollution. Common areas around laundry rooms, swimming pools, pet areas, and passageways between buildings are particularly vulnerable places because they are usually covered by the shadows of nearby buildings. Attempting to light these areas with cheap fixtures usually only compounds the situation with excessive light that is too intense and too undirected. However, the opposite is true when managers hire ILD to do the job. We use only specification-grade fixtures that are engineered with special glare and light pollution control technology. When mounted by trained landscape lighting service professionals, these luminaires can be used to target specific areas throughout the community with lighting levels scientifically proven to be optimal for human safety and building security.
As important as it is to minimize light pollution, glare and spill light are not the only reason to have a professional firm design an apartment community’s lighting system. Aesthetics is a near equal to safety when it comes to the long-term viability of a high-end rental community. For luxury apartment complexes and lighting resorts that have invested heavily in professional landscaping, advanced landscape lighting design is an absolute must. Water features such as ponds, fountains, and waterfalls often require special underwater lights that only trained professionals can install. To properly light vegetation and outdoor sculpture, it is necessary to use selective lighting blended with shadow in order to maintain the three-dimensional forms of objects and plants. Otherwise, too much brightness distorts and flattens their appearance. Special uplights also are needed in garden areas and places ornamented with decorative foliage and shrubbery. Large trees must be lit with special tree-friendly outdoor lighting fixtures professionally installed in concealed places in their branches. At the same time, any walkways or pathways leading through such areas must be lit for security and safe visibility without compromising the aesthetic that may be only a few feet, or even a few inches, away.
Striking this delicate balance between aesthetics and the need to maintain a safe environment is something that our lighting professionals have been trained to do in apartment communities, corporate office parks, residential neighborhoods, and private residences. For 27 years now we have served the Houston area and Greater Texas with this blend of science and art, and can help any apartment community upgrade both its appearance and overall atmosphere with carefully selected and strategically installed lighting equipment of the highest level of quality and energy efficiency.
Every aprartment community lighting theme is unique and custom to the particular location and nature of both property and corporate brand. Illuminations will take as much time as necessary to patiently and systematically develop a architectural lighting system that is supportive of luxury and celebratory of the finest moments in life.
Contact us today at 1-800-863-1184 to schedule a complimentary consultation, learn about us or visit our lighting blog for more valuable lighting information. We are located in Houston Texas but provide lighting and design services in Austin TX, El Paso Texas, San Antonio TX, College Station Texas, Beaumont TX, Dallas Texas, Midland Tx and points beyond.