Just as you use interior lighting techniques to highlight and enhance furniture and objects inside your home, and in some cases to disguise or camouflage imperfections, you can add exterior lighting to show off your landscaping and the architectural details of your home.
The Practical Aspects of Exterior Lighting
Aesthetics are important, but using lights to enhance your home and family’s safety and security should take priority. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to install bright, garish floodlights, but it does mean you should identify the areas that are prone to accidents or prowlers. All walkways and stairs should be lit so that family, friends and delivery people don’t trip and fall, especially if some walkways have uneven stones. Solar lights can be placed two or three feet apart the length of your walkways and still provide adequate illumination. The entranceways to your home, garage, shed or other outbuildings should be well-lit motion lights are perfect for this purpose and using them will save money on electricity. Nowadays, you can get solar powered motion lights.
The security drawback is that your solar lights may not receive a full charge on a cloudy or rainy day, and therefore won’t operate properly at night. This isn’t a big deal for other landscaping lights, but for safety and security purposes, you may want your entryway lights hard wired. Discreet zone lighting throughout your property also makes a statement that you are protecting your property people are less likely to trespass in a well-lit yard. Static lights and motion lights will also discourage wildlife from roaming through your vegetable garden and flower beds at night.
Emphasizing Key Landscape Features
Your yard is an extension of your indoor living space, so why not highlight your favourite entertainment areas? Strategic uplighting will show off your deck or patio, a pool or any other entertainment zone. The lighting can be soft so that the outdoor features are enhanced and still provide enough light to cook and dine by. In some cases, good exterior lighting can double the living footprint of your home.
Double Your Viewing Pleasure
By using exterior lighting, you can enjoy your landscape during the evening as well as the day. All the hard work you put into the exterior of your home can be enjoyed from inside the house as well if you illuminate the landscape. And there is nothing more welcoming than a house with outdoor lighting.
Cost Doesn’t Have to be Prohibitive
The cost of additional electricity needed to power outdoor lighting used to be a deal breaker. But not anymore all of your outdoor lightings can be wind or solar-powered, including floodlights and flag pole lights. As long as your solar device receives UV rays from the sun, it can store energy during the day and illuminate after dark. Most solar devices require a small battery that provides power to the light, but this is a relatively minor expense.
The safety, affordability and aesthetic benefits of exterior lighting are a given. The only thing left to consider is the lighting features and the installation. First and foremost, if you don’t elect to use wind or solar power, be sure to hire a licensed electrician to correctly wire your outdoor lighting. You must also make sure that the lighting fixtures you choose can withstand the elements.