Outdoor lighting, properly planned and installed, will improve safety, increase security and enhance the beauty of your home.
Have you ever noticed a home that looks really beautiful at night? Have you ever passed by it in the daytime and thought it didn’t look so special then? What’s the difference between the two? Look closely and you will probably discover that outdoor lighting plays a big part in the property’s after dark appeal.
A well planned outdoor lighting installation is one of the most beneficial home improvement projects you can undertake, and for the most part you can probably do it yourself. In addition to making your home look beautiful after dark, outdoor lighting can decrease the risk of injuries from trips and falls and increase the security of your home.
Let’s take a more detailed look at some of the ways outdoor lighting can boost your home’s curb appeal.
When you light walkways, steps and entryways at your home, you greatly reduce the likelihood of trips and falls and the injuries that can accompany them. In addition, illuminating the entry helps you see the lock and open the door quicker so you aren’t standing out in the cold or rain fumbling with keys and locks.
When you think about your current outdoor lighting ask yourself, “Do I feel secure approaching my doorway?” and “Do I feel safe entering my home?” If the answer is “No,” consider changing your fixture to one that will provide brighter light and that also illuminates the approaches to your entry, like the porch steps.
Also consider areas that your guests use as they arrive at your home. Walkways at the street or any steps in a sidewalk certainly need to be lighted. Solar powered LED lights are perfect for these applications. They are inexpensive, take just a few minutes to install (no wiring required), shed just the right amount of light on the areas needing illumination and cost almost nothing to operate (just the cost of replacing the rechargeable batteries every so often).
How about the side and back yards? Do you have sufficient outdoor lighting to make these areas safe and usable after dark? Flood lights on a patio, deck or pool can add hours of enjoyable time to these areas. Of course, if you have a pool you will want lights either in or around the water for safer evening swimming. Tiki lights, tube lights or strings of white or colored mini lights can add a gentle glow to patios and decks for parties or intimate evening gatherings.
Proper outdoor lighting increases the security of your home by illuminating places where intruders might hide. In addition to adding lights to entryways and walkways, consider putting lights on shrubbery near the entrance and the corner of the house near the garage. Motion activated outdoor lighting can be an energy efficient solution in these areas and can be tied into security cameras if you so desire.
Outdoor lighting can totally transform the appearance of your home after dark. It is often used to highlight architectural details of your home such as archways, decorative brick or stonework, ironwork or decorative wood details. It can also highlight featured plantings in your landscape. Backlighting plants can be especially effective, while spotlighting specific areas can cast interesting shadows on walls.
Equipping outdoor lighting with motion detectors that turn lights on when activity is detected, and photosensors that turn lights on at dusk can help you be energy efficient and safe at the same time. A good motion detector will allow you to specify the amount of time you want the light to remain on after it is triggered. Many photosensors can be programmed to come on at dusk and stay on however long you wish, anywhere from a few hours until dawn.