The popularity of outdoor lighting has been growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s no wonder: A well-designed outdoor lighting plan can increase security, enhance the appearance of a property, and even expand the amount of time a property can be used and enjoyed. While outdoor lighting is frequently overlooked by homeowners making upgrades to their properties, those who do add it are typically amazed by the improvements even a few well-placed lights can make.
Just as indoor lighting comes in lots of shapes and sizes for different tasks, outdoor fixtures are available to suit a broad range of varying needs in just about every style and finish imaginable. And, just as using multiple types of lighting indoors can improve functionality and appearance, “mixing it up” outdoors can achieve the same advantages.
Types of Outdoor Lighting
When it comes to outdoor lighting, many people think of lighting the area around their entryways – and that’s it. However, by extending lighting to other areas of your yard, you can increase the “wow” factor substantially.
One of the most effective uses of outdoor lighting is garden enhancement. Face it: You spend a lot of money keeping your plants, shrubs and trees looking great, yet they’re only really visible during daylight hours. Adding lighting puts the focus on your plants and adds considerable drama to your landscape. Garden lighting can include floodlights or “up lights” for trees and taller shrubs, a focal spot on a water feature or ambient lighting around the edges of flower beds. Lighting can also play an important role in nighttime gardens that feature all-white plants or night-blooming varieties that attract colorful pollinating moths. And of course, they’re ideal for providing soft light for a bench or arbor that provides an ideal perch for enjoying your garden long after the sun has set.
Patios and Pools
Lighting up hardscape areas like patios and pools has become especially popular in recent years as more and more homeowners have embraced the concept of the “outdoor living room.” By creating functional spaces for living outside your home, you essentially multiply your home’s square footage, in addition to multiplying your enjoyment of your yard. Plus, a few lights around a pool, patio or other outdoor living space helps provide the perfect spot for entertaining family or friends. If you enjoy using a grill, adding task lighting in addition to ambient lighting transforms a small, darkened patio to an open-air dining room that can quickly become the focal point for any gathering.
In addition to beauty, there are practical considerations when it comes to outdoor lighting. Lining a pathway with subtle down-facing fixtures prevents trips and falls, and makes an evening stroll much more pleasant. And lighting of just about any type can help deter would-be burglars who prefer to lurk under the cover of total darkness.
This season when you plan your yard and garden updates, consider outdoor lighting. If you’re not sure how much lighting you want to add, it’s okay to start small and add on over time. And most importantly, get some advice in planning your lighting project from experienced experts who can help you make the best selection!