August 9, 2022

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Professional Tips for Effectively Lighting Your Home’s Exterior

Looking to give your home a stunning upgrade that you’ll appreciate for years to come? Let there be light! Outdoor lighting can transform the entire look of your landscape by illuminating pathways, highlighting architectural features and drawing attention to beautiful plants. Outdoor lights also make it easier to navigate and enjoy your property after dark.

That said, finding the right outdoor lighting scheme for your landscape can be difficult. There are so many options! To help spark your creativity, here are a few straight-from-the-professional tips for how to maximize exterior lighting and get the most from an investment in illumination.

Explore different light warmth, intensity

Photo by laura adai on Unsplash

With modern lighting systems, homeowners can easily adjust the warmth and intensity of their exterior lights. Embrace different warmth and intensity levels based on light placement.

For example, when lighting a garden or tree, use a low-intensity light to draw attention to your plants without washing them out. Likewise, warm hues can do wonders to accent leafy foliage, while softer, whiter light makes colourful blooms pop after dark.

In other areas, brighter is better. Higher-intensity lights can provide a welcoming atmosphere to the front of your home. Place stylish wall lights or lanterns on your porch to help guests find your front door, or cast a spotlight on your driveway to bathe your concrete in brightness.

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Don’t be afraid to play with different levels of warmth and intensities across your landscape.

Consider safety after dark

In addition to making your landscape look great, exterior lighting provides practical, everyday benefits—especially when it comes to safety.

For instance, you can avoid bad trips and falls in areas with different terrain by installing low-intensity path lights. Available in a variety of styles, path lights make it easy to navigate around a property while also adding unique decorative elements to the landscape. Their soft glow is just enough to provide sure footing, without washing out your property’s features.

Have waterfront property? Walking on a dock or pier after dark is extremely dangerous without the right illumination. However, good lighting makes it possible to enjoy the water late into the night. Simple recessed lighting or waterproof fixtures at the waterline do wonders to improve the safety and aesthetic of water access.

Light for your outdoor lifestyle

Fairy lights can transform an outdoor space at night
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Don’t stop enjoying your yard because the sun’s gone down. Lighting for outdoor living makes it possible to enjoy all your favourite outdoor activities after dark, including barbecues and other gatherings. That said, it’s important to choose the right kind of lighting to keep the activities going.

Floodlighting, for example, will wash out the mood. Instead, choose lights that create a natural ambiance, like string lights. Don’t have space for overhead string lighting? Post and cap lighting is great for subtle illumination on decks. Or, if you have a patio, decking or an outdoor kitchen, you can explore everything from recessed hardscape lighting to mounted sconces that create a delicate, ambient glow.

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Illuminate your curb appeal

Exterior of a terraced home with welcoming lights in a tree
Credit: Alexey Fedorenko / Shutterstock

Adding lighting to your landscape is an easy and inexpensive way to improve your home’s curb appeal—and its future resale value. Not only do outdoor lights look great on their own, they help highlight some of your home’s best features, which may include chimneys, eaves, columns and arches. Don’t let those beautiful features go unnoticed! Passers by and potential buyers will surely take notice of a home with well-lit features.

For effective feature lighting, look to cast illumination in areas that might go unnoticed in the dark, such as high eaves. Uplighting is also great for columns and pillars, while downlighting bathes natural stone accents for stunning appeal. Every home is unique, so don’t be afraid to experiment with architectural lighting accents.

Light to deter as much as to welcome

With good outdoor lighting, you won’t have to worry as much about intruders. Wrongdoers and bad actors typically like to shroud themselves in darkness. Upon seeing, the lights in your yard, they’ll instantly deem your home a bad target. Bright lights can keep your home safe without flushing the landscape. A few well-placed lights near the entrance of your home and sprinkled throughout your backyard will deter intruders while adding to the landscape aesthetic.

Lights make this outdoor social space more appealing
Photo by Jonathan Cooper on Unsplash

When in doubt, seek the help of a professional

Struggling to envision the ideal lighting scheme for your property? It’s never a bad idea to consult with a professional. Someone with low-voltage outdoor lighting experience will be able to advise on best practices and general strategies that culminate in a unique lighting aesthetic for your property—and the benefits that accompany a well-lit exterior.

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Deciding on the right lighting strategy for your landscape might seem difficult, but it’s worth it in the end. Outdoor lights improve the look of your home, while making your property safer and more inviting.