Exterior Lighting: Enhancing Architectural Detail and Providing Safety
Proper Exterior Lighting is not only important for providing security against intrusions and even such things like falls, but also for enhancing the architectural details of your home and the beauty of your property. Outdoor lighting allows you to take advantage of your outdoor spaces after dark. Outdoor lighting can also add value to you home.
Important Places to put Lighting:
1. Front Entrance
Lighting the front entrance enables you to greet guests and identify visitors. You can use such fixtures as sconces on either side of the door way, or if you have a porch, recessed can lights or chandeliers/pendants.
2. Outside of Garage
Lighting the garage is important for safety. Often times, motion censored lights are used in this application. Other types of light used include, uplights, barn lights, and sconces.
3. Steps, Paths and Driveways
You want to illuminate your pathways so that you and your guest can easily and safely move around your house after dark. These lights should be low-level and can be installed directly along the paths or in adjacent beds.
4. Decks, Porches and Patios
Our decks, porches and patios are our relaxing and/or romantic evening retreats. Here you can conceal lights in steps, benches, and railings. To make it more romantic, you can use more decorative lighting, like string lights, lanterns, or chandeliers.
5. Pools and Fountains
Illuminating your pool is important for safety. Underwater lighting provides both beauty and safety. “Low-voltage and LED lighting are popular sources for ambient pool lighting, or install fiber-optic lighting to create a starry background in your pool’s floor and around its edges. Floating and solar-powered lights are also available.” (American Lighting Association)
6. Grills and Serving Areas
Here you need task lighting to accomplish your activities. Such lights can include , recessed cans, pendants and wall sconces.
Best Lighting Techniques:
1. Have a Focus
Most always your front entrance will act as the main focus of your home. This makes your house seem welcome and inviting.
2. Highlight Trees
Give presence to your trees by illuminating them, either with uplighting or with a light mounted in the tree itself.
3. Use Uplights
Uplights are a great way to highlight important architectural features of you home. Shine them up the walls of your house or along fence lines for dramatic effect.
4. Combine Beauty and Function
Adding lighting to plants along a pathway will serve as both a way to light the pathway and to call out featured plants. This also allows the pathway lighting to be more subtle than say a run of lights down the walkway.
5. Vary the Fixtures
Layering the types of lighting used is more aesthetically pleasing than just using your average spots and floods.
6. Stick to Warm Light
Warm light is more subtle and, well, WARM. Good for setting mood and ambiance.
“A timer, with confirmation from a photocell, brings the display to life as the sun sets. At midnight it shuts shut down everything but security lighting. Some homeowners even set the timer to light things up an hour or so before dawn.” En