Things To Consider When Choosing Outdoor Lighting For Your Home

Posted On Saturday, 22 August 2020 21:33

Outdoor lighting is as equally essential as, if not more important than, indoor lighting. Illuminating your property with the correct lighting fixtures can prevent blind or dark spots. Failure to resolve these issues may leave your home vulnerable to burglary.

Moreover, choosing the right landscape lights can add beautiful accents to your abode, especially at night. But, you can’t just install random fixtures and hope that these devices will provide the appropriate aesthetic and functional appeal you’ve been envisioning for your property. Instead, check out the following six things to consider while you’re shopping for appropriate outdoor lighting fixtures for your home to ensure that you’ll be making the right choice.

1. Choose Between Damp-, Dry-, Or Wet-Rated Lights

Landscape lighting is a concept that may look relatively straightforward through the eyes of the uninitiated. But, this subject matter is more than just picking the correct style for your home.

Thus, don’t forget to consider the dry or wet rating of your preferred fixtures. This indicator will help you choose which lighting devices you need to install to the property. For example, wet-rated outdoor lights tend to be sturdier than their dry-rated counterparts. Still, some dry-rated fixtures are relatively durable to stand up to indirect weathering and specific moisture levels.

You should know that damp-rated outdoor lighting fixtures are ideal for locations with no direct exposure to rain, snow, or water. Some of these areas include the carport, outdoor kitchen, and outside the bathroom window.

As for dry-rated lights, these devices are ideal for places far from any dampness as these variants tend to get damaged or broken from moisture exposure. Although dry-rated fixtures work best indoors, you can place them in locations like covered patios and dining areas.

Conversely, landscape lighting fixtures with wet ratings may withstand harsh breezes, heavy rains, and stormy conditions. Consider installing these models on exposed decks, gazebos, verandas, and pergolas.

Moreover, consider the climate in your general location. Perhaps, your city or state experiences sunny weather for most of the months of the year. If so, installing dry-rated lights on slightly-exposed locations might not be a bad idea. Otherwise, consider making the extra investment of purchasing wet-rated outdoor lights.

2. Choose The Type Based On The Location

Several choices are available depending on the installation location of your outdoor lighting.

For instance, porches, patios, and garages can acquire illumination from wall lights. You can mount these lights on relatively any vertical surface.

Another example is if you want to add additional brightness to covered patios. If so, consider adding ceiling or hanging lights. These units are ideal for outdoor spaces that may not have room for wall lights. Also, you can install post lights near driveways and walkways. These variants tend to have wet ratings, which means they can withstand direct exposure to moisture and rain.

Note that other outdoor lighting variants exist, such as flood, porch, and security lights. But, these models work well if you mount them on specific locations around a property.

Another idea is to sketch the property to see which lighting fixture to install at a specific area. Remember, you don’t have to be a natural Picasso or Rembrandt to be able to illustrate a sketch of your house. A rough outline should suffice, but ensure that you outline the correct dimensions of the property. You shouldn’t bunch different landscape lighting fixtures closely. Otherwise, it might cause complications and increase the risk of house fires as several lighting options generate heat.

As a rule of thumb, ensure that each fixture is at least 1.5 feet apart from the next light. Increase the distance if the model you choose has a high wattage. For example, one 150-watt lamp can illuminate a 100-square foot space. You can add additional fixtures in that specific area, but the other lights should have less power than your main or key light.

You can also check the following video to see how different lighting structures work on various areas of the home: 

3. Choose A Style That Complements Your Home

Adding value to your home means creating a cohesive and harmonious look. Therefore, installing random lights to your property’s exteriors without thinking about style can make the area look gaudy and unappealing.

Instead, ensure that the lights you choose match your abode's style. Perhaps, your home’s architecture exudes elegance and stateliness. Otherwise, your dwelling produces an angular and contemporary look. The fixtures you choose should create an aesthetic and harmonious blend that everyone in the neighborhood can stand in awe at the overall design.

If your home has a classic or traditional look, consider choosing landscape lights with ornate designs. These variants tend to have decorative accents, such as flourishes and curving hooks. Also, consider the specific theme of your household while you’re shopping for vintage lighting devices. For instance, some lights tend to fit a Colonial house more than a dwelling with a Craftsman design.

On the other hand, contemporary outdoor lights exude minimalist and straightforward appearances. Some variants will display geometric touches, such as spheres and rectangles.

Aside from classic and contemporary lighting styles, you can also find transitional lighting fixtures. These options fuse certain elements of vintage and modern aesthetics. Also, many homeowners consider these variants as safe options as they’re quite versatile for a broad range of home designs.

4. Choose The Correct Size

Perhaps, you live in a large house, but it doesn’t mean you should mount massive lighting fixtures outside your dwelling. In many cases, installing enormous outdoor lights will take attention away from the house.

You can go big for your landscape lighting options, but don’t install lights that may make your abode look like a dwarf. Determine the correct size, and your lights should blend well with the rest of the home's exterior elements.

For example, front door and garage wall lights should be about one-third or one-fourth the width of the door frame. Also, mount these fixtures at about six inches above the door. Otherwise, you can also install these models at the center of the doorway at about eye-level height.

Another example is patio dining chandelier. This particular outdoor lighting fixture can be the centerpiece to that location. But, ensure that the chandelier you choose should be approximately two-thirds or one-half of the width of your outdoor dining table. Furthermore, the placement should be centered above the outdoor table or living space to experience optimal illumination.

5. Choose Lights Based On Layering Practices

Light layers allow you to create an atmospheric ambience in the property's exteriors. Layer different fixtures correctly, and you should bring a seemingly boring design to life.

Layer outdoor lights by mixing and matching different models to transform various exterior spaces. However, understanding light layering requires knowing about the three main lighting types.

The first is ambient or general lighting. Landscape lights that fall under this category illuminate areas with comfortable brightness without temporarily blinding passersby. Some examples of ambient lights include wall and post fixtures.

The next outdoor light category is task lighting. Fixtures that fall in this class are functional pieces for illuminating paths, decks, and steps.

Last, the third lighting type is accent lighting, and options in this class help brighten places of interest in the property. For example, install accent lights behind bushes or around fountains.

Note that layering lights create appropriate moods for different outdoor locations. Hence, combine different accent, ambient, and task lighting arrangements for the best results.

Furthermore, consider investing in a control device to dial the intensity of each light in a specific area. For example, a remote can dim task lights to match the illumination of the accent lights in a patio. This peripheral adds an extra layer of convenience to help you and other household members experience appropriate lighting scenes at any time.

6. Choose Lights Based On Function

Outdoor lights can enhance the visual appeal of your home. But, proper exterior illumination is vital to improve the functionality of the property.

Hence, consider choosing appropriate outdoor lights based on your required functions. For example, choose floodlights to illuminate dark areas around the property to increase security. Mount these fixtures at the side of a garage door or outside your bedroom wall to deter thieves from entering the house.

Consequently, you may consider adding bright spotlights near a backyard stage. These options are excellent for homeowners who like to enjoy parties in their backyards.

Other outdoor locations you might consider adding extra lights include dining areas and patios. Don't forget about using the correct lighting option for specific locations to illuminate functional areas properly. For example, add a task light over an al fresco cooking area as you prepare food for a Sunday night get-together.

Boost Your Home’s Aesthetic And Functional Appeal

Outdoor lighting provides different properties with enhanced aesthetic and functional appeals. Your massive mansion or humble abode will benefit from appropriate landscape lighting fixtures spread across the property. Remember, installing appropriate illumination can provide unmatched ambience and functionality to different areas of your home. Use different lighting options wisely, and your seemingly dark, cold home will transform into a house worthy of turning heads.

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