Check All Outdoor Lighting!
It’s important to ensure all outdoor lighting is working properly. In addition to making it easier to maneuver around the outside of your home, it helps to prevent crime. It enables seeing how to get from one location to another. Creates a warm welcome when family and guests enter the front door. Highlights and adds drama to interesting landscape or architectural features.
If you don’t have outdoor lighting or maybe not enough below are some things to consider as you start to plan out your lighting:
Aim for a Balance of Security and Aesthetics
A good beginning is to simply walk around your home at night with a flashlight. Take note of dark areas that should be lit for safety and landscape, or garden areas that could be lit for additional interest or beauty. Just like indoor lighting, think about the types of light–ambient (general lighting), task (helps you perform specific tasks, such as preparing and cooking food), and accent (to highlight and add drama to architectural or landscape features).
Don’t forget specific areas that could benefit from lighting, such as the front door, a pool, steps, driveways, garage doors, pathways, decks or patios, address plates, landscaping, flagpoles, and outdoor cooking areas. While you’re assessing where you need light, also assess beam angles. Direct lighting isn’t always the best, as you don’t want it where it can glare in people’s eyes; you may find diffused or ambient light is the better route.
Decide What Fixtures Will Work Best for Your Outdoor Space
There are many categories of available exterior lighting fixtures that can be used in a variety of ways. In addition to the lamp post, pendant, ceiling fixture and outdoor wall sconce categories of outdoor lighting are becoming more popular, such as bollard lights (which are vertical posts, typically between 40” and 44” high and are used to increase visibility along architectural paths, steps or long driveways), path lights (which have a similar function to bollards, but they’re smaller in stature), and up lights (for highlighting greenery, water features or flagpoles).
Figure Out Your Outdoor Lighting Style
Do you want your outdoor lights to mimic the style of your indoor lighting to connect the two? Do you have a completely different architectural home exterior and want to accentuate that instead? Or do you want to take the minimalist approach, so the fixtures almost disappear? Lighting styles, just like furniture and modern outdoor decor, from Modern and Art Deco to Cape Cod and French Provincial—and many more. The greatest exterior lighting development during recent years is that technology has advanced it to be just as decorative and varied as lighting fixtures indoors. You will find something to achieve your desired outdoor lighting style.
Keep an Eye on Outdoor Lighting Ratings
It’s very important to make sure all the outdoor lighting you buy is wet-rated (which indicates the product can be used in areas directly exposed to rain) or damp-rated (for use in sheltered, but potentially damp environments). Also, be aware of what local code requirements may apply, such as Dark Sky compliance, which requires your outdoor lighting to be directed downward to reduce light pollution into the night sky.
Increase the Value of Your Home with a Well-Lit, Outdoor Room
The number of people who believe their outdoor space is an important extension of their home is growing. In fact, according to realtor magazine, the creation of an outdoor room is one of the biggest trends in home ownership. No longer made up of only a picnic table and small grill, an outdoor room is now defined as a multi-functional space that can handle food prep and cooking, is large enough for lounging and dining, and has a hearth product to extend the season. Creating these areas and designing enhanced light schemes around them can greatly increase the value of your home and give your family years of pleasure to come.