Dark Sky - improving personal home lighting question

What reference would you suggest for the most basic/ simple modifications to existing, exterior light fixtures (short of fixture replacement)? (1) I’ve replaced the bulbs with lower lumen output, soft white, (2) today, I wrapped the exterior with electrical tape* (all faces not already angled down), and (3), I’ve just added the light switch to a (smart home) timer to ensure that it is not left on (and to minimize all intentional use.)

*If this makes a material difference, I will likely change to use a black paint for a more permanent solution.

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Maybe smart led bulbs that you can program and change color?


Tom, this is my front porch light (house built 1936). I blackened all the panes except the ones facing houseward and downward.

Tom, I’m now able to observe from my back yard at my new house. I’ve set up a few times now, and I just turn off the back porch light and ensure all the inside lights that shine towards the back are also off.

Is that not an option for your light(s)? If not, maybe put in a red light bulb?

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Congratulations on your new home!

During the times when I’m observing from my back yard at home, I do exactly what you’ve recommended (short of the red light - my neighborhood reputation is already suspect.)

These lighting fixture changes will be for the times when I’m not observing and simply trying to begin to lead by example before I start to educate and encourage my neighbors to do the same.


Nice home! I like your idea of also allowing the side facing the house to remain illuminated. Did you choose to darken the interior or exterior of the glass? Did you simply use a flat black spray paint (or something like a high heat paint?)

@Ben , Now that’s a great use for those types of bulbs!

It’s simply black construction paper. The glass panes are held in by little clips so I clipped the paper in just behind the glass. Has lasted many years.

Thanks, @Tom.Graham. Loving the new home!

I had a spot light in front of my old house, and every Christmas I’d swap out the white lamp for a green one. Didn’t put in my red lamp for the same reason…

Good thinking Tom, thanks for sharing the inspiration!

My solution has been to only turn on my outside lights when I need them for being outside, but then again I don’t have many guests. For the sake of security I have a couple of Wyze cameras that use infrared LEDs and have good night vision.

Ultimately a motion-sensor type light on the front porch sounds like a good fix if you do need the lights to turn on for kids or guests arriving after dark.

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