Outdoor Lighting 101
Outdoor Lighting Primer
Lighting your exterior spaces can seem daunting, but it's easy to do and allows you to take advantage of your property after dark. Outdoor lighting let’s you use your patio, deck and walkways later in the evening. Adding accent lighting to flower bushes, trees, gates or fountains you can create a warm, inviting atmosphere your family and friends will enjoy. You can also feel more secure at night knowing that your property is well lit. There are many different styles, shapes and sizes of outdoor lights, and if you take a bit of time to investigate your options, you'll soon be adding the right finishing touches to your home’s exterior.
Types of Outdoor Lighting
When you have limited access to outdoor electrical outlets, or wish to avoid the use of unsightly (and potentially dangerous) extension cords, solar lights are a great outdoor lighting option. They’re also an effective way to reduce your electrical bill. Solar lights charge up automatically during the day and turn on automatically at night. Your only job is to arrange them in your yard so that they beautify your home and create well-lit walkways.
Deck lights are a great way to extend the use of your deck long after sunset. They can also enhance your family’s safety as people are less likely to trip over unseen objects. These lights are typically low in voltage, which makes them easy on the eyes and lets you enjoy the night sky. Use deck lights to outline the perimeter of your patio or brighten your walkways. Solar deck lights are even better as you won’t have to lay and conceal electrical wire along your deck.
Work in darkness no more. Well-placed flood lights will illuminate your outdoor work stations, including food and drink prep areas. Brightening your grill and bar area ensures food and drinks are made just right at any time of night. Motion-sensitive flood lights are a great idea for home security and a handy way to light up your doorway for easier key access. They also save you money because they only use electricity when triggered to turn on.
Landscape lighting beautifies your home while also contributing to your safety. A well-lit area reduces the risk of stumbling, and will illuminate any unwanted critters or intruders. Place a hanger-style light in your backyard to accent your rose bushes, while also lighting your patio. Or install a pair of stately post lanterns on either side of your porch to illuminate your front doorway. Most landscape lights are solar powered, so you can put them anywhere without worrying about electrical outlets or cords. To create an exotic, festive ambiance on your patio, consider using tiki torches, which cast light from an open flame.
If you don’t have much outdoor space to play with, outdoor lanterns give a nice, bright light without the need for a stand. Wall lanterns placed on each side of your front door will give your home a warm, welcoming appearance. It’s also a safety feature because burglars or intruders tend to shy away from well lit areas. A rear or side entrance can be lit with a single wall lantern mounted on the keyhole side of the door. Outdoor lanterns come in many styles, so choose the one that best suits your needs.
String lights are a stylish lighting option for backyard receptions, parties and even everyday use. String lights come in various colours, shapes and sizes, so you can dress up your outdoor space to suit the evening. They’re also fairly inexpensive, letting you accentuate your backyard and stay on budget. Use traditional totem tiki lights on a string to give your back yard a festive island theme for special occasions. You can also use umbrella lights (lights that line the inside of the umbrella ribs) to light your patio table and keep the party going long after the sun sets.
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