Home Tip Tuesday: Tips on Outdoor Lighting

Walk around your yard to determine where lighting is needed.

Getting outdoor lighting right is no walk in the garden. But it does take a walk in the garden to get your outdoor lighting done right! Taking a stroll around your property at night is the first step in planning where and what type of lighting is actually needed. Taking a walk around your home at night and looking out each window is the second step and one people often fail to do. By also looking from the inside out, you’ll notice the dark corners that need more security lighting and the beautiful evening views into your yard that could be made more even more beautiful with ambient lighting.  After getting a better understanding about your outdoor lighting needs, consider the following tips to ensure your landscaping is light years ahead of everyone else on the block.

Layer It
Indoors or out, the function of lighting can be divided into three categories, overall illumination (such as a porch light), task lighting (such as safety lighting on stairs) and accent lighting (such as a dramatic uplight in a tree).  Your plan should include all three types to create layers of light in the landscape.

Power Up
Ever-improving technology in solar lighting has made it easier to forgo traditional electric lights which may require outdoor outlets—aka: the services of a professional electrician. Near the home and other outbuildings, landscape lights that use electricity are typically easy to integrate. For more remote areas, the easiest and most economical option may be solar. Before finalizing your plans, confirm if the type and size of lights you need can be found in a solar option. If not, your first job may be to consult an electrician.

Via DIY Network

Pick a Place
Every yard has its own special requirements, but there are some basic places that need or deserve a little light:
  • Entries need overhead lighting for safety and function. No one wants to fumble for keys in the dark!
  • Driveways are often forgotten in the lighting plan, but they shouldn’t be. A few low-voltage lights along one or both sides of a driveway add ambiance and practicality for backing out.
  • Steps that are used even infrequently at night need lights either on the treads or the risers for safety.
  • Pathways are more welcoming and safer with a few low-wattage lights showing the way.
  • Gazebos, trellises or other interesting architectural features in your yard look beautiful at night when highlighted with a wash of light from a wide beam.
After placing your lights, make frequent checks and adjustments to make sure they’re functioning the way you need them to. Also be sure that spot lights and higher-wattage lights aren't shining into your neighbor’s house or causing unwanted light pollution in their yard.

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