After moving into a new residence whether it’s a new home or used, people eventually get around to evaluating their outdoor lighting needs. Every house is designed differently and therefore each needs an assessment for security, safety and aesthetics. Exterior lighting can be used to provide more security by lighting up the dim areas that may be weak spots in the yard.
More deck lighting may be required to address safety concerns and provide additional security at the same time. With today’s innovative technology it’s entirely possible that a combination of standard electric lighting and outdoor solar lights may be a good combination for all lighting needs. Solar lights provide the necessary lighting in many areas and save money at the same time.
Before spending a lot of money on lights it is best to evaluate all the lighting needs in the yard; front, back and sides. Without some sort of overall plan it’s easy to get off track and not spot the most important areas that really need addressing first.
If the home is located in a suburb there may already be quite a bit of lighting provided by street lights in the neighborhood and minimal spot lighting for extra security and safety may be the main requirements. Lighting used for safety purposes is generally mounted on the house with electric current. This type of lighting should be available with the flip of a switch for emergency situations at all times.
Safety lighting should be installed around entrances and corners of the home and in and about swimming pools as well. Exterior door entrances such as basements, laundry rooms or pool houses need their own security/safety lighting too. Garden areas and pathways should also be considered for some sort of safety lighting depending upon the design of the property.
Maybe aesthetic lighting is part of the plan after security and safety issues have been addressed. One of my favorite outdoor lighting applications is one that highlights our water feature. I would imagine that some low light pathway lighting would be an option for a backyard pond also. One of the easiest ways to get started is to do a rough draft sketch of the house, walkways, gardens, pools, patios and existing pathways and driveways. There are many options available in outdoor sconces also so don’t forget to highlight walls where some beautiful climbing plants may be growing.
Pencil in any existing lighting that may already cover safety and security issues. Once there is a drawing of all existing lighting it makes it easier to see the areas that are deficient and need to be improved with proper lighting.
Determine what types of lighting will be used and exact positions. Post lights are very effective for lighting driveways from a safety standpoint. Solar powered lights along a drive may be all that are required to provide the minimal light to steer by. These types of lights used through out the yard can provide cost saving measures and do the job satisfactorily without using expensive electric power.
It’s nice to use short solar garden lights to highlight the walkways and storage tool sheds by garden areas. Specific areas of a yard may require strong spot lights or flood lights using electric power to provide the necessary security. Using motion-detector lights in some areas may be a great way to be notified of potential intruders.
Purchasing and Installing
There are several ways to go about purchasing lights whether at brick and mortar stores or checking out online websites. Both methods have their advantages in the respect that local stores provide the opportunity to see demonstration models up close and get more of a feel for the size and height of a particular unit.
Shopping online offers more selections and cost comparison shopping is worthwhile. Ideally use local home improvement centers and DIY stores to get the base costs for purchasing. Finding the exact same brand online may work out cheaper especially if there is a free shipping offer and no taxes for the area where it’s being purchased.
Take into account any additional hardware requirements for electric lights such as mounting clips, screws etc. Solar power units are generally complete as purchased and do not require shopping for additional materials for installation. Once all the lighting as been purchased or received plan a weekend dedicated for installing all the outdoor lighting. Often it’s helpful to have a buddy working alongside when stringing electric cable and testing lighting.
Using solar outdoor lighting that require no trenching or cords is a great advantage for highlighting gardens and walkways. They come in a variety of heights, sizes, colors and designs for just about any purpose. Cute solar powered lights for gardens come in whimsical fun shapes including turtles, frogs, rocks and garden gnomes in addition to traditional styles. Long term lighting solutions using solar garden lights can illuminate the garden beautifully and save a lot of money in the process.
With a good sketch of lighting requirements it’s easy to select and install the most efficient and beneficial light sources to effectively and securely light a home and yard.