Outdoor lighting is a great way to add beauty, safety and security to your home. In fact, low-voltage outdoor lighting systems provide many benefits for homeowners. They are inexpensive to operate, easy to install, safe and non-permanent.
What does that mean for you? A weekend project, of course! Some ideas to consider before installing your landscape lighting:
If you don’t have an outdoor power source, call a professional. A qualified electrician should be able to install a GFCI outlet for your outdoor lighting. An electrician can also install an indoor switch, which will allow you to operate your landscape lights from inside your home.
If you don’t want the bother of turning on and off your landscaping lighting every night, you can install photo cells onto the lights so that they automatically turn on every night at dusk. You can also purchase a programmable timer which will give you even more flexibility regarding the overall time you would like your lights to be on during the night.
Consider safety. Use your outdoor lighting system to properly illuminate key areas of your home, such as the front walkway, the steps, the front porch and your address sign. Lighting dark spots where visitors could trip and fall is beneficial, as is lighting your address sign which will make it easier for emergency personnel to find your home.
Consider security. You’ve heard it before. Well-lit homes are less likely to be burglarized and vandalized than dark homes. Use outdoor lighting to properly illuminate your front entry and any dark spots around the home. Dark spots can be easily identified by taking a walk around your home during the darkest part of the night.
Consider beauty. Use outdoor lighting to add interest and detail to your home and surrounding landscape. Use backlights behind shrubbery to cast beautiful shadows on the house; use uplights to highlight a large tree; use downlights to border a walkway; and use spotlights to showcase a nicely landscaped area or your favorite ornamental tree.
Outdoor lighting is available in many styles and materials, including plastic, copper and metal. Take a drive around your neighborhood during the night to get ideas from your neighbors’ homes and visit your local home improvement center to learn about the many different types of available landscape lights.
Don’t forget about the backyard! Consider lighting the perimeter of your patio with soft accent lights, or lighting the barbecue or bar area to accommodate a nighttime cookout or outdoor party.
Light up your water feature. A beautiful, backyard water garden becomes the focal point of your landscape when you illuminate it. Ponds, fountains, waterfalls, container gardens and bird baths can all be lit up to produce a lovely focal point.
Consider solar-powered outdoor lighting if you live in an area that receives adequate sunshine throughout the year; otherwise, opt for electric-powered lights, as they tend to be more reliable.Even if your garden is stunning during the day, without lighting, all that beauty goes to sleep in the evening. Instead, extend the enjoyment of your beautiful yard with the right lighting, which also adds tremendous entertaining and curb appeal.