Written by April Reinhardt (last updated August 21, 2020)
One of the most dramatic, yet affordable, visual improvements you can make to your home is that of exterior lighting. Not only does exterior lighting provide depth and aesthetic value, it provides a security and safety measure to your property. Exterior lighting can softly light a walking path in your garden, as well as brightly light a dark alley, discouraging would-be intruders.
Since exterior lighting has become so affordable and easy to install, many homeowners can install outdoor lighting without the need of a contractor. The first thing that you should do, however, is to plan where to add lighting, based on your needs and your desired outcome. There are many different types of exterior lighting. Based on whether you want functional versus aesthetic lighting—or a combination of both—you can choose from area and pathway lighting, wall washing, bench and step lighting, down lighting, or shadowing and silhouette lighting. Specific types of exterior lights and lamps include:
If you simply want to light the edge of a pathway, patio, or deck, use globe lighting. Low voltage lighting fixtures are great for installing underneath handrails or seating and creates sift, diffused lighting, yet provides enough lighting to see to walk. Floodlights and spotlights can showcase a tree or shrub, or any part of your landscape that you wish to show off. Keep in mind that floodlights cast a wide beam of light, where spotlights provide more focused, narrow beam of light.
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