Do you keep tripping on that uneven paver on your path after dark? Are your guests always calling from a block away because they can’t find your home? Are your deck lights so obnoxious that your neighbours complain?
Let’s talk about outdoor lighting. It’s important for curb appeal, safety, security, and atmosphere. Getting it wrong can make being outside after dark hazardous – or just plain unappealing.
Here are our top 4 tips for lighting the exterior of your home:
1. Make the path easy to see
I think it’s fair to say that no one enjoys a broken ankle. Your driveway, paths, and stairs should be easy to navigate with the proper level of outdoor lighting – though beware of overdoing it and making your yard a glaring, unwelcoming place.
Lighting experts say that you should light the entry of your driveway, as well as any hazards along the edges – that big, decorative rock is a good candidate for some detail lighting. If you have a long or twisty driveway, place lights along the edge of the driveway at 10-15 foot intervals.
2. Secret doors are a lot more fun in mystery novels
Take a walk around your neighbourhood around dusk and notice how many homes have front doors that vanish after dark. Make your front door welcoming to guests with a pair of lights on either side of the door, or an overhead light. Added bonus: for most homeowners, this means that your house number is also well-lit and easy to read.
3. Size matters!
Not that we are pointing fingers, but often the existing lights on your house were chosen for cost efficiency by the builder, not for the scale or aesthetic of your home. Don’t assume that the size of your current outdoor lighting is the right choice! Look at the architectural details of your home and choose a style and size of outdoor light fixture that compliments it.
According to Hinkley Lighting, if you are hanging a single lantern, it should be approximately ⅓ of the height of your door. If you are hanging a pair of lanterns, they should be approximately ¼ of the height of your door.
4. Consider your local bylaws – and your neighbours
In response to growing light pollution problems, some areas have “dark sky” ordinances. In a nutshell, the rules encourage you to use lights that aim light down and to choose the lowest wattage bulbs possible to achieve your lighting goals. By lighting just what you need to and eliminating glare you save money AND help nocturnal wildlife.
Eliminating glare and light pointing in many directions may also save your relationship with your neighbours: make sure that enjoying your back deck at 11pm doesn’t light up your neighbour’s bedroom like an impending alien invasion!
Ready to get started with your outdoor lighting project?
Come to Lando Lighting this month to save 10% on all of our outdoor lighting fixtures.
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