Figuring out how much lighting you need outside your house and where to place light fixtures can be tricky. Too little lighting can create a safety hazard and can make your home a target for burglars, but too much lighting can make your yard so bright that it annoys the neighbors and makes your electricity bills sky-high.
Why Outdoor Lighting is Important
Adequate lighting can prevent accidents that could injure you, your family, or your guests. A well-lit yard can also deter burglars. Exterior lights can allow you to enjoy your outdoor spaces after dark and improve your home’s curb appeal by drawing attention to focal points that you want to emphasize. If you plan to sell your house, the aesthetics and safety can help attract a buyer.
Types of Lights to Use and Where to Put Them
A lantern near the mailbox or two lights on either side of the driveway entrance can help people find your house. If you have a relatively short driveway, there is no need to light up its entire length since car headlights can do that. If your house has a long driveway, you can position lights on the grass on either side or install lights with motion detectors.
Accidents frequently happen when someone is approaching a house via a walkway or climbing the front steps. You can prevent accidents, like slips, by installing a series of low-voltage lights along the path leading to the front door. Light fixtures that are flush with the ground can make it easy to mow the lawn without having to maneuver around them.
The front door should be well lit so that people approaching it can see the keyhole or doorbell. Lights should be positioned so that someone inside the house can look outside and see who is at the door. Two lights on either side of the door can provide plenty of light and minimize glare.
If your house has a deck or patio, position lights along the steps to prevent accidents. You can use one or more floodlights to illuminate the main area and smaller lights to make seating areas comfortable.
You can illuminate the yard or garden with several lights positioned to highlight focal points. If your garden has statues or flower beds, use lights set close to the ground to draw attention to those features.
Choose Outdoor Lighting Carefully
Make sure that areas that get the most traffic, such as the front steps or walkway and a deck or patio, have plenty of light. If you want to keep your home secure but don’t want to pay to keep lights on all night and deal with light shining through the windows, you can install lights that are activated by motion detectors. If a light turns on unexpectedly, it can alert you to the presence of a person or an animal approaching your house. Energy-efficient light fixtures can keep your electricity bills in check while keeping your family and guests safe.
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