Outdoor lighting serves many purposes. It’s a great way to improve your home’s curb appeal during the evening, it’s also essential for protecting you, your family, and your home from predators and intruders who may have designs on targeting your belongings for theft. Your lighting should also be able to keep friends and family safe at night as you utilize your outdoor living spaces such as the backyard, the deck or patio, even a pool area if you have such an addition on the property.
In order to get from the home to these outdoor areas everyone will be walking and running back and forth from one place to the next. That means shining a light on the main thoroughfares that are being used to get from point A to point B. Attempting to move around outdoors after dark poses some real challenges if you simply can’t see where you’re going.
That’s why it’s so crucial that your outdoor lighting is carefully considered, planned, and installed. If you and your family spend a lot of time outside after the sun goes down, your lighting is a critical component of the home. Slip and fall accidents are more likely to occur in the evening, when visibility is at a minimum. This can be a bad situation on a number of levels. A fall could injure someone rather seriously. If that injury is significant enough, you could be facing a lawsuit in which you are being sued for damages as a result of that fall.
So let’s avoid all of that shall we and shine a light on some of the most important outdoor lighting tips that you should be aware of to help brighten paths and gardens around your home. If you design a reliable and attractive lighting scheme for your property, you won’t just beautify your home with increased curb appeal but also help to increase your home’s resale value should you decide to resell at some point in the future. Prospective buyers like to know they’re purchasing a home that is safe and secure.
You can design and install your own lights or work with a landscape lighting company Arlington VA to assist you with planning and placement of your fixtures for the most effective lighting scheme to best illuminate your pathways, gardens, and other exterior living spaces.
Audit the exterior
Before you sit down to start figuring out where you want to place your lights, be sure you know what areas of your outdoors really need good illumination. Sure, your walkways could use some lighting but you may also realize there are additional areas that could use some lighting for dramatic effect.
Maybe you want to spotlight certain aspects of your landscaping like a special tree or you have some architectural features of the home itself that you are particularly proud of and would like accentuated by your lights. Just be sure that you are pointing sufficient lighting at the places that need it most.
You have the areas where you want illumination around your home. Now you need to make your plans as to where the best placement of your lighting can have the most effect for providing that illumination. This will require some careful observations and measurements so you can start to decide on the types of fixtures you want, how you want them installed, and even the type of lighting that will have the most impact.
Remember you want to place your greatest emphasis first on your walkways and gardens for both aesthetics and functionality in your lighting scheme. To make things easier in accomplishing your task, you might want to sketch out a schematic of the exterior of the house. Don’t worry about your artistry, just make it basic. As long as you and your installer have a clear picture of what you want for your outdoor lighting and where you want to put it.
Selecting your fixtures
The plan for brightening your pathways and assorted exterior areas must include choosing the right fixtures. Not only do you need to know where you want to place them, you need to choose the actual fixtures with an eye towards creating the type of lighting you want. Whether you’re taking a subtle approach to the task or you plan on bathing these areas in pure floodlight, you need the proper fixtures to get the job done. Otherwise your plan won’t be as effective as it could be.
The first thing to consider when you choose your fixtures is to make sure they have received an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) seal of approval. Only then can you rest assured that you are choosing fixtures that are weatherproof and won’t short out or even catch fire when they get wet or damp.
Now that we have that covered, you can go about picking the right fixtures for the type of lighting you want. You have plenty of choices at your disposal, including floodlights, surface-mounted fixtures, landscape path fixtures, recessed lighting fixtures, and so on.
The mechanics as to how those lights are illuminated should also be considered. Do you want to be responsible for switching them on and off at all times or perhaps you want to incorporate some type of automatic mechanism in the form of motion sensors, so your lighting is always ready to go when need be.
Motion-sensing technology is particularly useful for major walkways and paths around the home because it not only ensures that your lighting is always on when you need it, but you can conserve energy by illuminating the lights only when they are necessary. It’s also extremely helpful for security reasons, you will always know when someone has stepped onto your property during the night.
Your fixtures are the key to brightening your paths and gardens and the type you select will make all the difference in your outdoor lighting scheme. So, think long and hard about what you envision your lighting to look like, this is a task you want to do only once.