Landscape and exterior lighting tips

Categories:
outdoor lighting

As the outdoor living trend continues to rise and homeowners work to make their yard an extension of their home, lighting is an important factor. Here, we’ve compiled our favorite tips and trends for lighting your property.

Rules of thumb

Three rules of thumb for lighting your home’s exterior are:
1.     Light what you paid for. Whether it is architecture, the home itself, statues or landscaping, you probably invested more into it because of curb appeal. When you light, you are simply extending the enjoyment of those things that you 
paid for.

2.     More light is not necessarily better. Using varying levels of light is important—to throw bright light on the entire property does not create any elegance.

3.     Invest more in your components and maintenance. No matter what you install, Mother Nature will take her toll. You can get inexpensive fixtures and transformers at any home-improvement store, but, as the old adage goes, “you get what you paid for.” Seek top-quality fixtures with extended warranties and professional installers that offer ongoing maintenance.

Unique ideas

• 
    While driveway path lighting and sensor-controlled security spotlights are obvious choices, a more modern idea is to embed LED brick lights into brick-paver areas, like the driveway, walkway or patio.

• 
    Set low-voltage landscape lights on a dimmable transformer that can be controlled (through an astronomical timeclock) to come on at low intensity and gradually grow brighter as natural sunlight subsides.

• 
    Outfit your deck with small lights that fit under handrails or steps, or lights that mount to posts or pillars, adding visual drama and an element of safety. These can be installed in as little as 2 hours for 10 lights—a quick project with lasting effects. Choose solar LED lights to avoid wiring issues and save energy.

• 
    Showcase gardens with area lights or well lights around shrubs to create artistic flair and add dimension.

•    
Capture the beauty of waterscapes with underwater lights that will keep you mesmerized long into the night.

 


 

look for the UL
As with any piece of electrical equipment, safety is an issue with exterior lighting. When purchasing a fixture, look for the UL (Underwriter Laboratories) certification to ensure that the product you’re purchasing has been tested for safety measures. Learn more about the UL safety certification program at www.ul.com.

entry light equations
Want to make sure your front-entry fixture provides the right amount of light? Use these equations:
For 1 Lantern: Front Door Height (in inches) / 3 = Height of Front Entry Lantern
For 2 Lanterns: Front Door Height (in inches) / 4 = Height of Each Front Entry Lantern

feature the flame
“There’s no cooler lighting element than a roaring fire,” says Brian Powell, founder of Yardshare.com, a social-networking site for gardening and DIY outdoor enthusiasts. “Flames are as dramatic and as eye-catching as it gets.” Powell recommends a fire pit centerpiece or cauldrons of fire along the perimeter of an outdoor-living area.


 

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