OUTDOOR LIGHTING FOR YOUR PATIO, DECK, AND GARDEN: SECURITY AND BEAUTY EASILY INSTALLED IN YOUR YARD
You work hard to maintain a beautiful yard. But as shorter days set in, with fewer daylight hours, it’s harder and harder to enjoy it. So you think about installing outdoor lighting. But you don’t want to just put a light bulb on a pole – your lighting should be integrated in the design of the space, and add to its beauty without interrupting the look.
Often the first kind of lighting that a homeowner is concerned about is security lighting, especially in unsafe neighborhoods or in rural areas. These lights are often set up with motion sensor technology, to deter potential burglars and to frighten intruding animals. These lights serve a very important purpose, but they don’t have to be ugly and utilitarian. The casing of these lights is available in different colors to blend in with or complement your house’s color. While the bulbs are often large, the housing is getting smaller and smaller, and easier to camouflage under the eaves or perhaps in the branches of a tree. This kind of lighting is usually not difficult to install, either wired directly into your power source or with a single cord run to an exterior power outlet.
Living Space Lighting
It has been very popular in recent years to add an outdoor living space to a home. This increases the useable space of your home, and brings you closer to nature. A custom patio or deck is great for entertaining and relaxing, but if it’s dark, it’s not useable. There are many options to consider for lighting the space. For the most part, you can choose just as you would for an indoor space, in terms of size, color, and style. There are many more outdoor-specific options on the market now, and more arriving constantly. If none of the outdoor options suit you, an indoor fixture may also be able to be used.
The fixture will need to be weatherproofed to make sure that it doesn’t suffer any physical damage from the elements, as well as making sure that the electrical connections are secure. Most of these kinds of fixtures will come with a regular standard plug that will go right into your exterior outlets (an electrician can install one or more if you need them). You may also consider ones that feature built-in solar panels, especially if your outdoor space is sunny during the day.
Consider installing multiple light sources in your living space that deliver light in different directions, to create a less shadowy area. You may also want to choose “warm” light bulbs, instead of the “cool” bulbs that often come with outdoor fixtures – people feel more comfortable in warmer lit spaces.
Another use for outdoor lighting is for simple decorative illumination. If you have a flagpole or some other central object that you wish to light up, choose some simple spotlights. These will generally be mounted on the ground and aimed upward to highlight your featured item. Spotlights are small and easy to conceal behind a small plant, and are unobtrusive if they are unconcealed. The electrical cords for these lights will be run underground (can’t have them getting cut by a mower blade!) – contact your electrician for help with underground cables. If digging isn’t in your budget, consider solar-powered lights, which last for years and power themselves. They are often no more expensive than traditional options, and cost nothing to use.
Flood lighting is an option if you want to light up a large portion of your yard or home. If you have a beautiful façade or an immaculate garden, this is the choice to make. Flood lights can be mounted low or high depending on what you’re lighting and what you have available to conceal it. These lights are also small and uninvasive, and in some cases the cords can be concealed with no need to dig.
Don’t let the dark cut you off from your outdoor spaces. Enjoy them all year and all night with the right lighting!