6 Tips For A Well-Designed Exterior Home Lighting System

March 14, 2022

Exterior lighting that’s well-designed can improve the overall curb appeal of your home, while also allowing you to enjoy the outdoors from your patio. Unfortunately, many homeowners are finding it difficult to create a beautiful and functional outdoor space without digging up their yard. Luckily, installing the latest lighting fixtures will not require extensive work.

A good first impression of your home is important, which is why it's crucial to carefully plan out the exterior lighting of your home. Aside from the security element that proper lighting provides, choosing the right one plays a significant role in ensuring your property looks its best at all times of the year. As a good starting point, consider working with reputable professionals such as Oregon Outdoor Lighting if you don't have time to handle the task or want to get the installation done efficiently.

A well-designed exterior lighting system for your home serves as both a security and an aesthetic element. If you're thinking about upgrading your property’s exterior lighting, now is the time to do so. Here are some insightful tips for designing functional yet inviting exterior lighting for your home:

1. Decide What You Want To Achieve With Outdoor Lighting

The best way to start your exterior lighting project is to figure out what you want to achieve by installing light fixtures in your outdoor space. For most homeowners, it can be for security reasons, while for others, it’s to make an outdoor area look more appealing.

It's best to take your time thinking about how to arrange the light fixtures and other important details, especially if you'll be doing the task yourself. Prioritize identifying the outdoor spaces on your property that you want to be attractive yet useful. This will assist you in determining a budget range, preventing you from buying too many or incorrect light fixtures.

Avoid overdoing the exterior lighting, as this will draw attention away from your home’s curb appeal.

It's crucial to carefully plan your outdoor lighting, making sure that the lights highlight the landscaping, doorways, and pathways. Remember that the right lighting can also draw attention to the aspects of your home that you find most attractive. Make sure to check from the inside how the outdoor elements you want to highlight appear, so you can decide on the number of light fixtures to purchase.

2. Know The Fundamentals Of Outdoor Lighting

The appearance of a light fixture during the day is different at night. Because of this, it's important to keep this distinction in mind if you plan to light pathways and other areas on your property. However, certain principles apply to both indoor and outdoor lighting.

If it's your first time working on lights, you need to be familiar with intensity and color. When buying a light bulb, you can find information about the color on the packaging. The color tones generally range from reddish to bluish-white.

There are three types of lighting for both indoor and outdoor use, depending on their purpose and function:

  • Overall lighting supplies illumination for an entire space or room.
  • Task lighting has a specific purpose, such as illuminating a pathway.
  • Accent lighting draws attention to a specific area or object, and is usually done with floodlights or spotlights.

For outdoor light fixtures, you can use incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

Halogen bulbs generate a higher intensity of light, and are whiter and brighter than fluorescent bulbs. The disadvantage of this light bulb is that it generates a lot of heat and consumes a lot of energy.

Fluorescent light bulbs produce cool, visible light with minimal heating. It's an affordable and more energy-efficient alternative to halogen bulbs, but it poses a potential health risk due to the presence of toxic mercury in it, which is exposed when damaged.

Among the types of light bulbs, LED is quickly gaining popularity among homeowners due to its performance. However, if you're on a tight budget, LED bulbs can be more expensive than halogen or fluorescent bulbs. Although LED light bulbs are more costly, they consume less energy and have a longer lifespan.

A professional can integrate outdoor lighting fixtures into your home's wiring system depending on the types of fixtures you'll add to the exterior of your property. If you want to take an environmentally friendly approach, consider lighting powered by a solar power system.

3. Make Task Lighting A Priority

If you want the best exterior lighting for your home, you should prioritize task lighting. In general, it entails lighting important areas of your home, such as entrances and pathways. Choose a wet-rated light fixture since outdoor lighting will be exposed to weather elements all year.

Damp-rated light fixtures are usually the best choice for a fully covered patio or porch.

Several light fixtures outdoors will ensure security since they discourage potential burglary attempts. To illuminate the exteriors and for convenience, consider using Wi-Fi-enabled LED light bulbs that you can control remotely.

Remember that it's all about the location when it comes to security lighting. Lighting the front of your house, driveway, and garage should be a top priority.

Today, it might be best to consider installing motion sensor lights. Make sure they're in a place where they won't bother you or your neighbors. You should install the lights during the day and make the necessary adjustments at night to ensure that you and your neighbors are not inconvenienced.

4. Establish Separate Outdoor Lighting Zones

Consider how you'll use the outdoor space if you want to get a head start on creating great exterior lighting for your home. Some homeowners prefer to highlight the entire garden, while others prefer to highlight specific outdoor areas, such as the patio, where they can relax and watch the sunset. The majority of homeowners don’t want their exteriors to be completely lit up.

Highlighting key elements is an effective way to light up the outdoors. Depending on your preferences, it could be a statue, a gorgeous shrub or tree, or even an interesting architectural feature. With this approach, you can create the ideal outdoor relaxation and entertainment space. If you're fond of having meals with family or friends while enjoying nature, you can create an outdoor dining space.

A combination of low-level step lighting and path lighting will serve as focal points while keeping your family and friends safe. Consider installing LED light strips underneath tables if you don't want to glare from the lighting. Remember that proper lighting ensures safety while also adding aesthetic value to your outdoor space.

5. Create A Consistent Atmosphere

Depending on the ambiance you want to achieve for your outdoor space, being consistent might be a factor in ensuring your home has well-designed exterior lighting all year. Most homeowners prefer a warm glow in their yard. The effect this has is typically appropriate for many outdoor spaces, even in areas with modern seating and rustic courtyards.

Generally, you can achieve a cozy, intimate ambiance by adding LEDs in warm white with a low color temperature since they produce a golden light. Remember that the higher the color temperature, the brighter the illumination.

As much as possible, avoid adding too much light. It's not advisable to flood your outdoor space with light unless it's for security purposes. Instead of installing wall lights above the benches, you can create an inviting atmosphere by placing subtle LED lights under them.

You can also use spike spotlights to highlight prominent trees or shrubs. These light fixtures define an area while not completely saturating it. If your property doesn't have security lighting, consider installing it on a separate circuit and switch so that you can create warm, inviting ambiance lighting without being blinded by lights.

6. Limit The Amount Of Outdoor Light Pollution

Glare is an issue if you don't properly distribute your outdoor lighting fixtures or install too many.

When there's too much light or the light fixtures aren't installed properly, they're more likely to cause unwanted light pollution, glare, and energy waste.

Regardless of how you plan to light your outdoor space, you should be aware of ways to reduce pollution caused by your lighting.

  • Make sure to aim the lights properly. It's best to position the lights at night and check on them frequently to make sure they're not directed at one of your rooms or your neighbor’s.
  • Choose outdoor light fixtures with built-in reflectors and shields to point the light to the desired location.
  • One way to avoid the glare is to opt for low-wattage light bulbs, which are often enough to illuminate an area. High-wattage light bulbs are more likely to produce harsh light.
  • Regulate the outdoor light fixtures on your property. You might want to invest in zoned lighting with controls, timers, motion sensors, or dimmers that allow you to turn on the lights when necessary or enable them to automatically turn on or off as needed.

Remember that the main objective of exterior lighting is for security and aesthetic purposes. Avoid overly lighting your outdoor space due to the glare it can cause, which can be bothersome not only to your neighbors but also to both people and vehicles passing by.

Final Thoughts

Planning out everything is the best way to achieve a well-designed exterior lighting system for your home. Among the various considerations, try to think about how you'll use your outdoor space and the effect you want to achieve. By considering these valuable insights into creating the ideal exterior lighting for your home, your property will have the right illumination, whether for security or aesthetic purposes.

Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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