It’s going to be a long night… That’s because tonight marks the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice, which means it will officially be the longest night of the year.
The lack of sunlight during the winter can have a depressing effect on some people, but in the lighting business, we’re not afraid of the dark. We know that adding landscape and façade lighting to your property will brighten even the darkest of nights!
That’s why the winter solstice is the perfect time to consider adding outdoor lights to your home. During the winter months, we can see up to 16 hours of darkness, so you’ll get the most use out of your outdoor lights during this time of year. Considering these long stretches of the night, it’s also important to invest in energy-efficient lightings, such as LEDs (light-emitting diodes).
Lights are not only a way to make your property safer, but they also add cheer and sparkle to an otherwise gloomy scene. Outdoor lights can truly brighten your winter nightscape. At Enlightened Lighting, we offer a variety of different lighting styles, all of which highlight the beautiful features of your home, while adding a welcoming glow. Despite the barren landscape and brisk temperatures, you’ll be surprised how much a home improvement project can bring out the beauty of your property with landscape lights during winter.
In the winter, lights that shine upwards onto the façade of your home or into the treetops are very popular because they add a festive feel to your home, and they complement Christmas light displays. Path lights and stair lights are also a good way to illuminate the pathway to your home to welcome holiday visitors or carolers.
In honor of the longest night of the year, here are a few fun facts about the winter solstice:
1. Ancient peoples tracked the sun’s path across the sky and the respective length of daylight.
They built monuments to match the sun’s patterns during various times of the year. One of the most well-known examples of this is Stonehenge in England. The stones on the site were arranged to align with the position of the sun during the winter and summer solstices. Each year, thousands of people travel to Stonehenge to celebrate the solstices. These are the only times that visitors are allowed to walk in and amongst the stones – for the rest of the year, a rope prevents anyone from entering the henge.
2. Shadows are longest during the winter solstice.
This is because the sun is at its lowest arc across the sky. If you check out your shadow on the solstice, it will look like you’re standing in front of a funhouse mirror!
3. We should really say “once in a solstice moon” instead of “once in a blue moon.”
Full moons on the solstice are actually rarer than blue moons (an extra full moon during a month or season). The last solstice moon was in 2010, and the next won’t be until 2094.
4. There’s an overlap between solstice and Christmas celebrations.
Solstice festivities such as the Romans’ feast of Saturnalia and pagan yuletide celebrations have been going on for centuries, and some of these traditions were adopted into the Christian faith. Even Christmas trees can be traced back to solstice celebrations.
5. The word ‘solstice’ is a reminder of humanity’s scientific progress.
It comes from the Latin solstitium, which means “standing still of the sun.” This is because before Nicolaus Copernicus discovered that everything revolves around the sun, humans believed that everything revolved around the earth!
So on this solstice night, don’t let the winter darkness get you down – now is the time to invest in outdoor lighting that will add some festive sparkle and cheer to your home. And then you can enjoy it all year round!