What is a Barn Light?
Barn lights utilize an RLM (Reflector Luminaire Manufacturer) lighting style, which uses a reflective surface inside of the barn light shade to help significantly increase the brightness of the light and the radius illuminated below the fixture. Traditional Barn Lights often feature a classic metal shade and either attach to a wall with an extruding gooseneck arm or can be a pendant style lighting fixture hanging down inside of a room. Barn Light is a vintage style of lighting fixtures used in rural locations such as barns and homes in the early 20th century.
Barn Lights are commonly used in modern day homes to match the vintage aesthetics, while utilizing modern technology. Many lights today are integrated with LED arrays (bulb), cutting the cost of operation by more than half, removing the need to ever have to replace a light bulb, and known for not generating unnecessary heat or other harmful UV output. Also, the use of motion sensors and photo sensors have become very common ensuring the light turns on either when someone is in range, making it a good security light, or when the sun goes down, making it perfect for lighting up walkways and large areas due to the brightness provided by the shades.
What are the advantages of LED Barn Lights?
There is no question that there are huge benefits when comparing LED’s to any other type of bulb. Today we are seeing LED’s being used in all new lighting fixtures, cars, signal lights, and literally everything else being manufactured that has a light, making bulbs a thing of the past, but why?
First is the money it puts back into your pockets. Not only are LED’s more efficient and cost much less to operate than traditional bulbs, but most LED’s have an average lifespan of about 50,000 hours. With an average use of 12 hours per day, you wont need to replace a bulb for 12 years.
Also, LED’s generate very little to no heat, and do not pose a fire danger as seen in other types of bulbs. The LED array looks like a small circuit board with several yellow dots evenly spaced. The LED does not contain any glass or harmful gases making them shatterproof and safe for living areas.
Types of Barn Light Shades
Traditional Barn Light shades were a variation of a bowl or bell shape which allowed the shade to utilize the RLM benefits of getting the light brighter and a wider range of illumination. The contoured shape also works to focus the light in a downward direction, making them perfect for task lighting, area lighting and allowing them to qualify for the dark sky certification.
While traditional barn lights have a very specific look to them, more modern lights follow the same bell shape while adding more curves and design aspects to the shade or gooseneck arm.
Another common design and location for barn lights is inside of large warehouses due to their industrial look, brightness, and focused lighting. The barn lights can be fitted with a steel cage to help protect the light bulb from breaking in areas with ladders and other tall equipment being moved around, however with an LED array the cage is for aesthetics only as the array does not have a glass bulb that can be broken.
What is RLM Lighting?
RLM Lighting, also known as ‘Reflector Light Microscopy’ or ‘Reflector Luminaire Manufacturer’ is a process used by a barn light to use either a light bulb or a diffuser to grab the light and a reflective surface inside the shade to increase the intensity of the light making it not only brighter, but also increase the radius of light put out by the fixture.
Types of BarnLights
Gooseneck Barn Lights use a curved arm known as a gooseneck, due to the similarities of the curve a real goose's neck may have. The arm extends the shade from the wall to illuminate surfaces below making this the preferred choice for larger areas, such as entryways, warehouses, commercial and residential building exteriors and over garage doors. The further the gooseneck arm pulls the light away from the wall and the higher the light is installed the more surface area will be lit up below.
Barn Light Sconces, similar to Gooseneck barn lights, feature a shade with a much shorter gooseneck arm. Due to the reduced length of the arm a smaller shade is required to avoid hitting the wall when being installed. Sconces are perfect for lighting up smaller areas and rooms, and providing a more ambient light making it suitable for areas such as bathroom vanities, doorways, post and columns, and common areas.
Sign Lights include a unique swivel joint, which allows the shade to rotate in a 180° arch, and are paired with a gooseneck arm allowing the shade to rotate towards, or away from, a wall. Sign Lights are perfect for lighting up a storefront, sign, or billboard.
Pendant Barn Lights offer a unique way to light up large interior rooms and other focused areas such as over tables and kitchen islands. Pendants usually hang on a braided cord restricting them to interior locations only unless paired with a downrod, securing them from high winds and making them water tight for wet locations. It is recommended to check with the manufacturer of the light before installing an exterior pendant to ensure it is suitable for the location. When used outside, pendants are great for lighting up areas such as patios, outdoor grill and BBQ, bars, and seating areas.
Barn Light Post Lamps allow you to provide a cohesive and polished look throughout the property by bringing a variety of shade styles and colors to a 8 foot or 11 foot tall post to provide sufficient light in parking lots, decks, landscaping, outdoor seating, gardens, docks, walkways and paths, and many other locations.
Which Gooseneck Arm to Choose for a Barn Light?
When choosing a Gooseneck arm for your barn light the first thing to keep in mind is the location it is being installed and ensuring it will fit. Some gooseneck arms extend the light out further than others and some drop it straight down, where others have an upward curve before angling downward. Keep in mind that the further away the barn light is from a wall the more surface area you will light up below, and less of the wall will get lit up. With that being said a longer arm would be recommended if you are trying to light up a larger area or a driveway for example. If you are going for more ambient lighting try sticking to a shorter arm or sconce where it does light up more of the wall and the perimeter of the area, such as a doorway or patio.
Types of Materials and Finishes Used:
With quality and longevity in mind, Cocoweb Barn Lights are hand crafted out of premium steel and aluminum. Each item is painted in a powder-coated paint and sealed to provide a beautiful, weatherproof, and life-long finish that won’t crack or fade in extreme weather conditions.
Sizing and Add-ons:
The most common sizes for barn lighting are between 8 inch to 22 inch diameter shades. The larger the diameter is on the shade will result in a larger diameter of illumination on the ground. The style of the shade also plays a part in how much light is given off. Usually when the bowl of the shade is deeper you will get a decrease in the radius but a brighter output due to the RLM surface. The same goes for a shallow bowl, which will give more of a radius of light below, but a slight decrease in brightness.
The second key factor to keep in mind when choosing the perfect barn light is the gooseneck arm style used. A longer arm causing the shade to sit further from the wall will cast a larger radius of light below due to the fact that less of the portion of the light given off by the shade will be illuminating the wall where it is mounted. The same goes for a shorter arm, which will cause the light given off by the shade to reflect more on the wall where the light is mounted, making it a better area light and less of a spot light.
When installing a pendant light outdoors, it is highly recommended to install the barn light onto a down rod. The down rod will prevent the shade from swaying in the wind and preventing damage either to the light itself or the surrounding area. Also, down rods are highly recommended for outdoor installations as they help seal the barn light making it water tight and reduces the chance of water getting into the shade.
Cocoweb barn lights are compatible to work with most in-line motion sensors, photo sensors, timers, and dimmers. Each sensor is a great option for your light, and can increase the longevity of the fixture as well as save you some of the running costs. Motion sensors are preferred when you want to have the light function as a security light, only turning on when motion is detected. If you are looking to light up an area when it gets dark we would recommend purchasing the photo sensor. The photo sensor will automatically turn on the light when no other light is detected in the area, or when it gets dark, and turn the light off automatically when the sun comes up. The use of a timer is also recommended as you can set the line to be active during certain hours of the day, and you can have the light turned off at any desired time. Keep in mind that the timer most likely will not take daylight savings time into consideration so adjustments will be necessary.
Where can you use your Barn Lights?
Barn lights can be used in many locations where you want to add that designers touch. Despite their name, barn lights are not limited to only being used in barns. They are great for lighting up homes and businesses everywhere. They can be commonly found in many commercial places such as restaurants, bars, diners, hotels, casinos, farms, shipping centers, and many other locations and they are a perfect choice for these locations due to their durability and indoor and outdoor capabilities. They are also commonly found in many residential home designs, especially those who are aiming for the rustic farm home look. They are a great addition to any room and perfect for lighting up a driveway from over a garage, on a post, at entry ways and paths, over a kitchen island or dining table, over bathroom vanities and more.