Exterior lighting improves safety, appearance of a home

When drafting a to-do list for home improvements that can increase home value and appeal, several renovations may be atop homeowners’ lists. While kitchen or bathroom remodels may be popular renovations, homeowners also should consider outdoor lighting schemes that can make homes safer and more alluring. Outdoor lighting serves various purposes. Such lighting can draw attention to more impressive parts of a property. In addition, such lighting can improve security and deter criminals.

To get started, homeowners should first examine the exteriors of their homes and make note of existing lighting and where improvements can be made. If you’re not sure where to begin, speak with an electrician or a landscape designer, each of whom can offer suggestions on lighting and which options are the best fit for your particular property.

Next, you’ll want to consider efficiency and function. The United States Department of Energy suggests incorporating energy-efficient lighting, including energy-saving LED bulbs or fluorescent lights, into your plans. Timers and other automatic controls can prevent waste by turning lights on only when they are needed. Solar lights can be used as accent lights, saving even more energy.

Beauty

When addressing aesthetics, think about the appeal of an accented landscape. Include lights to frame the front door and call attention to certain elements, such as decorative trees or water features. Use lights to light up deck stairways or to accent planters. Speak with a lighting professional about how to position lights to cover the most territory in the most attractive way possible.

Safety

Safety is an important consideration when improving a home. Lighting can help illuminate potential hazards or draw attention to borders or property boundaries. Navigating in the dark can be treacherous, so put lights along pathways and near pools or spas. Be sure that lights will clearly mark other walkways around your home, such as those leading from doors to the yard or from the garage to where trash and recycling pails are kept. If a design element such as a bridge over a water feature or a particular ornamental tree or shrub is difficult to navigate in the dark, use lights to improve visibility.

Security

Added security is another reason to install more exterior lighting. Dark homes are attractive to burglars. Eliminate dark corners by lighting up areas where thieves may be able to gain access to your home. This includes areas near doorways and ground-level windows. Install motion-sensor lights in such areas so you are not wasting energy. Lighting may not only deter human intruders, but also it can scare away animals. A raccoon, skunk or opossum may think twice about hanging around your home when your property is bathed in a spotlight.

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