Minimizing Glare on Outdoor Lanterns
Our expert, Randall Whitehead, IALD, illuminates this tricky issue.
 
I love the way clear, beveled glass looks on an outdoor lantern during the day, with a candelabra cluster visible inside, but some styles have too much glare at night. Do you have any tips for cutting the glare factor?
Clear or beveled glass can be tricky. I tend to recommend an obscure glass — such as seedy, water or frosted — to help soften the light source, and cut down on the cleaning. With clear glass, if the bulbs are too bright, they just create a visual glare bomb at night. Guests then have to shield their eyes as they approach the front door and end up tripping on the stairs, breaking that lovely bottle of wine they brought. (Personally, I prefer my wine in a box; less chance of breakage.) Try using low-wattage lamps. If you are looking for energy-efficient and low-maintenance alternatives, I have had good luck with flame-tip CCFLs and flame-tip LEDs. Remember: Lanterns are only supposed to be decorative. It is best to use them in combination with shielded pathway lights or directional fixtures, installed in the trees, to help guide people safely up to the front door.
Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Lastest from ask randall

I am happy to help. I just redid the under-cabinet lighting in my own kitchen. The company that I used and recommend is Aion LED. I have also used... read full story
I like bright, but not scary bright. There is a big difference between brightness and glare. A bright light source that is too intense can make you... read full story
You have some flexibility with the distance off the mirror. It is the distance off the floor (5 feet 6 inches to the center of the luminous source)... read full story
This sounds like a lovely combination of finishes. We do have a bit of a challenge here. How do we keep these colors looking cool and crisp without... read full story

Webinars

Sponsored by Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and Spotlite-USA.   Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2-3 p.m. EST Register for this free CEU webinar by clicking here. Webinar Overview:... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group Inc., LTF and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting.   This webinar has already taken place, but you can... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Ferguson, GM Lighting and Maxim Lighting/ET2.   This webinar has already taken place, but you can view an... read full story