Outdoor Lighting Tips for Your Home and Garden

| November 2, 2012

In addition to showcasing your home in its best possible light, outdoor lighting extends the time you can spend on the patio or enjoy your landscape. Consider these tips for effective outdoor lighting for your home and garden that are sure to catch the eye.

Light up the pathwaysexterior lights on house

Make navigating the outside easy and safe by lighting up well-traveled paths such as driveways, walkways, sidewalks and stairs. Such pathway lighting usually consists of low-voltage or solar fixtures that are low to the ground and cast light over the pathway. When placing these lights, put them a short distance away from the pathways when possible because this protects them from damage caused by cleaning equipment and foot traffic.

Step-lighting generally consists of recessed fixtures that can be installed in the stairs themselves. Place such lights at the foot and top of the stairs, and space the rest out at even intervals.

Enhance safety

Proper lighting is an excellent home security and safety feature. Light up the front and sides of your house. Motion sensor lighting is especially helpful for key outdoor areas such as the path from the garage to the front door.

Use spotlights sparingly

Spotlights do a good job of illuminating a well-used area such as a patio, but avoid placing too many throughout the property because they create a lot of glare. Make sure those spotlights you do use don’t shine into your or your neighbors’ windows or directly into the eyes. Some spotlights can be purchased that feature longer shrouds and filters that direct the light where you want it to go, as well as minimize light spill-over into other areas of the yard.

Add drama

Use lighting to add pizzazz to your outdoors. Light up your favorite tree to create a majestic shadow on a nearby white wall, string lights around the deck railing or cast filtered light onto white flowers and silver foliage, which will respond by glowing.

Install underwater lighting

If you have a water feature such as a pond or large fountain, submerge eye-catching underwater lights, which come in a variety of colors. Such lights illuminate water inhabitants such as fish and give the water a sparkling, magical quality.

Bring indoor lighting outside

Manufacturers make a variety of outdoor lighting fixtures commonly found indoors, such as chandeliers and ceiling fans, which are ideal for making outdoor living space areas comfortable and appealing.

Use these outdoor lighting tips for illuminating your home and garden, and you can create an outdoor haven where everyone is sure to gather.

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Category: Gardening & Landscaping, Home & Garden, Lighting

About the Author ()

Julie Bawden-Davis is a Southern-California-based writer specializing in home and garden, real estate, small business and personal finance. Since 1985, her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Entrepreneur and The Los Angeles Times. Julie is a University of California Certified Master Gardener and has written five gardening books, including Reader’s Digest Flower Gardening.