Outdoor lighting on your home can serve two purposes – improving safety and enhancing curb appeal. Your house is literally in the dark for about half of the day, so why not light it up in those dark times? If outdoor lights are executed correctly, your home can look just as great, if not better, at night as it does in the day time. Installing lights can also keep away intruders and cut back on potential falls.
One way to use exterior lights is to think about the moonlight. You don’t want the house to be too bright. So imagine natural, soft lighting that mimics the moon. You want to stick with warm, white light. The purpose of exterior lighting isn’t to put on a show for the neighbors.
Using up lights to highlight unique architectural features and even trees can enhance the home. We expect lights to shine downward, so the aesthetics of an up light can be stunning.
You can also do this with beautiful gardens and other shrubbery. Don’t put the lights too close together, though. You don’t want to drown them in light.
Make sure the focus of the light is at the entrance(s) to the house. They should be warm, welcoming, and well-lit to guide guests into the home.
Other focus points can be fountains, arbors, backyard swings, or garden walls. These aesthetically-pleasing elements of your home deserve to be featured at night.
Stairs and paths should be well-lit. The last thing you want is a guest or potential home-buyer tripping and falling on their way into your home. This also goes for decks and patios in the backyard.
Use different types of lights. Don’t think you have to stick with one type of exterior light, like the popular flood light. You can choose different fixtures on the outside, just like you can on the inside of your home.
Many people set up timers for outdoor lighting, scheduling them to come on at dusk and turn off at dawn. This way, you won’t have to worry about manually turning everything off and on. Or you could invest in lights that are synced with motion detectors. Guests will be well-lit when visiting the house and intruders may be deterred if a light comes on automatically.
Upkeep is important with exterior lighting. Leaves and other debris should be cleared away to prevent overheating. Burned-out bulbs need to be replaced immediately, not only to make sure your exterior lighting keeps its curb appeal, but one burned-out bulb can place unnecessary pressure on other bulbs. Consider using LEDs. They’re much more efficient and last longer than regular bulbs.
Exterior lighting isn’t as easy of a task as you may think. You have to make sure it’s safe to dig in some areas, you’ll need to check that you have the proper receptacles and transformers, and that the wiring is installed correctly. Calling an electrician or a professional exterior lighting designer is best.