The days are slowly getting shorter which means your house is in need of some great exterior lighting. Exterior lighting is important for both design aesthetic as well as safety. A well lit house looks marvelous from the street and deters those looking for an easy target.
Here are some tips for making your house look great at night.
Driveways and Pathways
Your driveway lighting can be dramatic or simple. The main use of lighting in these areas is for safety. Be sure you define your boundaries but keep the lights staggered so that you avoid the "runway" look. Your path should be illuminated but try to avoid glare by using shielded lights. Place low voltage lights about 1' from the driveway and should be 30-36" off the ground. A few tall posts at the end of your driveway can provide a beautiful and dramatic entrance to your home as well.
Pathway lighting is a great way to illuminate the path as well as your landscaping. A few extra lights can highlight a specific area of your landscaping, providing an extra bit of beauty on the way to your front door. But be sure not to over-illuminate your landscaping, pick only a few selected areas to highlight and a few secondary areas. Recessed lighting, short stalked lights and swivel spot lights are great for landscaping.
Around the Garage
The garage lighting is important for safety and security. This is a great place to put a motion sensor light or a photocell light. You should place lights on each side of the garage and one above the garages is a great addition as well. The side lanterns can add some beauty to the front of your house so make sure you choose lights that work with the rest of your home's style.
At the Door
We already discussed how important the front door is for making a great first impression. Now it's time to highlight that beauty with great lighting. The door should be well lit with two fixtures with low wattage bulbs or one higher wattage light. Wall lanterns are great fixtures for around your door, but drama can be added with a great hanging light as well. If you have a porch, you can add recessed lighting for a bit more light. This is great on large porches for both safety and beauty.
Decks, Porches and Patios
This is a great place to be more creative with your lighting choices. Just be sure it still fits your home's style. Low voltage lights are great above as well as under railings or benches. Play it up with mini lights. Using task lighting around serving areas is a great addition. Making your outdoor lighting dimable allows for multiple uses and can create great drama.
Getting the right amount of light is difficult. One way to get a feel for what areas need lighting, as well as what type of lighting would work best, is to walk around your home with a flashlight. You can easily see dark, areas and experiment with different angles of lighting before you make your purchases.
All exterior lighting can add safety and usability to your home. When done well it adds amazing drama as well.