Proper outdoor lighting adds safety and security to your home

directional lights

Using outdoor lighting as a means of security is often something overlooked by most homeowners. While directional lights, path lights, step-deck lights and other well-lit garden lights often supply enough power to brighten up your outside space, they also provide your home with enough safety and security to deter any unwanted visitors — both human and animal — all while enhancing your outdoor living space. But just how do they keep your property safe?

Outdoor lighting adds safety to your home

A dark, dim lit property poses a number of risks to you and your visitors. Putting acts of crime aside, when walkways and stairs are not lit properly, it’s hard for people to see those obstacles, which could result in a bad fall.

The best way to avoid this hazard is to install lights along your walkways and steps to improve the visibility of the surroundings once the sun goes down. Path lights are always a good source of illumination along your walkways and often come in a variety of designs to suit almost any kind of outdoor decor. Garden lighting is another handy option as it outlines the proximity of the area all while accenting the beauty of your yard.

Outdoor lighting adds security to your home

It seems like a no brainer that when the lights aren’t on, nobody’s home. Criminals feed off of this notion assuming that the homeowner left for a night out, but forgot to turn on any interior or exterior lighting. Needless to say, outdoor lighting has been known to deter some crime once darkness rolls around.

Flood lights, or directional lighting, is a good choice for added outdoor illumination. It targets certain areas of your property, shedding light on all the corners of your front yard, backyard, porch and driveway. To save money on energy, and to avoid your home looking like Alcatraz, some directional lights offer the option to be installed with a motion sensor. If a motion is detected, whether it’s a guest or an intruder, the light will turn on. Now that’s security at its finest!

Outdoor lighting adds functionality to your home

If you don’t believe that you need any added security or safety features for your home, then at least use outdoor lighting to provide an extra element of functionality. Exterior lighting allows you to enjoy your backyard deck or patio even after the sun has set for the evening.

Deck lights or stringed twinkly bulbs can also be integrated around your outdoor entertainment space to provide an enhanced, ambient look to your space. Overall, illuminating the area will allow you to sit back, relax and enjoy the visibility of your backyard whatever the time of day it is.

Do you use any form of outdoor for the safety, security or functionality features they offer your home? Tell us in the comments section below.

When to downlight or light up your landscape

directional lighting

Light has the ability to evoke emotion and add a tasteful element of beauty when it is placed in the right spot. Needless to say, It can be very challenging, but also fun, to mount your outdoor lighting either above or below features in your garden, depending on what you are hoping to illuminate. In the end, it is all about direction. Whether you delicately place lights in your trees our strategically mount lights along a pathway, there are so many possibilities when it comes to directional lighting.

When should you light up your landscape?

Up lighting provides your backyard with alluring effects that embellish your landscape. When outdoor lights are mounted below a tree or shrub and are shined upwards, they have the ability to show off added elements of the plant or structure that is not as visible during the day.

For instance, directional lighting that is placed upwards shows the intricate details and bumps of the tree bark, the curvy structure of the branches and the gentle venation pattern of each individual leaf. When it comes to architectural structures, lighting up columns has the ability to add a dramatic effect by casting shadows against the pillars.

It is important to note that you can also up light your garden using well lights — fixtures that sit even with the level of the ground shining directional lighting onto lower sitting shrubbery. These lights are ideal for flower beds because they shine straight up highlighting the beauty of the petals.

When should you downlight your landscape?

Although it may seem like the more light you have to display your garden features at night the better, sometimes less is actually more when it comes to lighting. Outdoor seating is a perfect feature to consider downlighting. Usually benches and chairs are not as pleasing to the eye so when you cast a subtle shadow, usually underneath the objects, they are highlighted enough to see in order to navigate around them, but not highlighted as something that needs to be put on display.

Use faux lighting to resemble natural lighting

One of the best and most effective form of downlighting is the beautiful hued glow of the moonlight beating down upon your garden. If the moon doesn’t always grace you with its presence, perhaps placing a light fixture high up inside your tree could offer the same aesthetic appeal that feels natural to the eye.

Patios, driveways and ponds are two ideal places that always look amazing cascaded under moonlight, while also helpful to guide you in the pitch darkness. Entertain your guests with your own moonlit sky and light up your garden the way mother nature does with some awesome directional lighting.

What are some ways that you light up or downlight your garden? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Questions to ask yourself when selecting the right outdoor lighting

outdoor lighting

People install outdoor lighting for a variety of different reasons — style, security and safety — but before you invest the time and money into exterior home lighting, it is important to ask yourself the right questions. Answering these questions will allow you to make a plan to achieve the best lighting effects for your home or garden.

What is the style of your home?

Whether you have a small townhome porch or a vast outdoor garden, your lighting needs to match surroundings.

The first step to achieving the right outdoor ambience is to consider the style, colors and proportions of your home. Is your living space modern or traditional? Does it have any colored siding or roofing? What are the tonal colors of the finishes? How tall is your architecture? Once you address all these questions, purchasing outdoor lighting will be much easier.  

Where should you add some light?

One of the keys to using lighting to your advantage is to know where it should be placed throughout your exterior space. Well your home probably already possesses a porch light, adding some directional lighting can really help to illuminate your surroundings. Do you have a nice pond or flower garden as well? No problem. Invest in some underwater pond lights or some path lighting to guide your guests along your beautiful backyard walkways.  

How much lighting is too much lighting?

When it comes to lighting, more light does not necessarily mean better light. Exterior lighting choices are essential to creating the right backyard ambience. More light can typically cause a harsh glare making your outdoor space uninviting. When you choose your outdoor lighting fixtures, consider placing some low voltage bulbs. Not only are they more energy efficient, eco-friendly choices, but they also provide your home or garden with a softer flow that can deliver the perfect amount of illumination.

How important is it to have energy efficiency lighting?

While you have many choices for energy-efficient lighting, it is important to find the bulbs for your lighting needs.

Your outdoor lighting shines and glows far longer than any indoor lighting throughout the day, especially in the darker, winter months of the year. In the long run, saving energy by using better light bulbs will put money back into your pocket. While LEDs are more expensive to purchase, they last far longer than other traditional light bulbs on the market and they work far better for individuals that live in cooler climates.

Are there any other questions that you need answered before selecting the right outdoor lighting for home? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.