Exterior Lighting | DC Complete

When you have taken extra care to improve the beauty and curb appeal of the exterior of your home, don’t let your efforts be visible during daylight hours only, just to fade when darkness falls. With strategically placed accent and landscape lighting, you can also showcase your home, your yard, and the landscaping around it at nighttime, and easily accentuate all the best your property has to offer.

The lighting scheme for your home’s exterior should be well planned and can even be designed by a professional to ensure you take full advantage of the aesthetic qualities of your property and also maximize the function lighting provides. Here we provide basic tips to follow when planning for, and designing, your home’s exterior lighting layout.

  • Note the elements of your home and yard that must have lighting
    Proper lighting of certain elements of your home and yard should be included in every exterior lighting design you come up with. Entryways, walkways, steps, and driveways should all receive proper illumination to ensure safe entry and exit.
  • Note the architectural or landscape elements you wish to highlight with lighting
    Perhaps your home is framed on either side by majestic maples. Or your backyard contains a water feature such as a pond stocked with goldfish or a gently flowing fountain. Or your front porch steps are adorned with planters filled with flowers or holiday décor such as pumpkins. Or your Victorian-style home features gingerbread trim. The idea here is that, without light shining on these landscape, design, and architectural elements, the best features of your home go unseen at nighttime when they could be beautifully highlighted.
  • Life and durability of light types
    LED lights are highly durable and versatile, which makes them a go-to choice for all types of landscape lighting schemes. And because LED lights can be made brighter or darker, the resulting design – depending on how and where lights are placed – can be more or less subtle. These lights have a long life and stand up well to every weather element Mother Nature dishes out. And don’t forget the timer. Put exterior lights on a timer so they come on and go off automatically, and so you don’t have to worry about being home in time to turn them on.
  • Lighting direction
    The direction lighting comes from – above, below, across – sets a unique look and feel to the element being illuminated, and draws the focus and attention accordingly.
  • Be neighborly
    Where lighting is concerned, there can be too much of a good thing. Don’t overdo lighting or shine it in the direction of your neighbors’ windows. Make sure light fixtures are not aimed in the direction of a person’s face or eyes, which could temporarily blind them. And use lower wattage bulbs for a softer effect that is more appropriate for nighttime. You don’t want to be known around the neighborhood as “that house with all the lights” but instead as “the house with the tasteful exterior lighting.”

Different types of lights – spotlights, floodlights, task lights, etc. – allow you to vary how the exterior of your home will appear at night. Get inspiration from what your neighbors have done or check options online. It is also wise to speak with a professional landscape lighting design expert who can best advise on what makes the most sense for your style and budget.ext