After spending more time at home during the pandemic and tackling repairs after two hurricanes, many people are choosing this time to focus on creating and/or improving living space outside their homes.
“For some, these types of landscape and outdoor living projects are something they’ve been putting off for years and they’ve decided now is the time to tackle it, while they are already working on home repairs. Others have realized they need more living space as they continue to spend more time at home due to COVID restrictions,” says Richie Everage, landscape design consultant with Landscape Management.
While you’re making these improvements or additions, don’t forget the lighting. “Landscape lighting can add the perfect finishing touch to your landscape and outdoor living areas” Everage says. “With the flick of a switch and some strategically placed outdoor lights, you can roll back the darkness to add both aesthetic and functional benefits to your home.”
According to Everage, today’s landscape lighting is low voltage, which makes it safer to work with and less costly, while still delivering a wide variety of effects. “There’s an artistry that can be incorporated to landscape lighting that goes beyond functionality to showcase architectural and landscape features. For example, an ethereal moonlight beamed down from a tree canopy to a subtle glow that washes up over a low deck wall.
Everage provides some advantages of properly installed landscape lighting:
Landscape lighting design can highlight the best aspects of your home’s exterior and landscape. This will make your home more inviting and expand your use of the outdoor space. A well thought out lighting plan can transform the shadows and darkness of your home into an illuminated showplace.
Thieves thrive in darkness, making landscape lighting a great deterrent to home burglary. Lighting draws attention to a house, increasing visibility of entry points. Landscape lighting also gives homeowners increased visibility when arriving home at night. Another benefit from the security aspect is an insurance credit/discount offered by many insurance companies.
The increased visibility provided by landscape lighting helps minimize the risk of trips and falls outside your home. Properly place outdoor lighting can illuminate uneven paths, steps, cracks in sidewalks, tree roots and more.
Regardless of your home’s size or design, landscape lighting can enhance positive features and add both style and dimension. In addition to the visual curb appeal, landscape lighting increases the value of a home. A well-lit home is a more attractive to potential buyers, making the addition of lighting both practical and a wise investment.
While outdoor lighting can be placed virtually anywhere, Everage says some exterior features would need it more than others. “There are multiple types of exterior lighting features to consider depending on the location and purpose,” he explains. “When we work with a homeowner, our goal is to help them choose a lighting plan that will enhance their home and allow them to enjoy their outside space as much as possible, as well as add additional security and safety features for their families and guests.”
While a landscape lighting plan should be customized to each homeowner’ needs, Everage says there are some exterior areas every homeowner should consider for landscape lighting:
Paths: A well-lit path provides a safe, welcoming walkway. High illumination isn’t necessary, and downlights will prevent glare.
Entries: The best choice is lights placed on each side of a door or overhead at all entry doors. This is a critical safety feature to deter thieves, as well as a great way to showcase your home’s entrance.
Driveway: Low-voltage landscape lighting, which uses less energy than other systems, is a good option along a driveway.
Steps: Exterior steps should be lit for safety and there are options for risers or treads.
Decks or Patios: Lighting in these areas can be used to illuminate specific areas, such as a pool, outdoor kitchen or seating area. Railings and steps in these outdoor living areas should have some type of light as well.
Gazebos, Pergolas, Walls, Fountains or Trees: Landscape lighting is an excellent way to accentuate an interesting outdoor feature or landscape element.