When it comes to outdoor home lighting, there are various considerations which must be taken into account. The types of fixtures used is a main concern, but also where these fixtures are to be placed will make a great difference in how your home looks, safety for those visiting your home and security that keeps intruders at bay.
The strategy you use in fixture location is a big part of exterior lighting design. Before placing any lighting units, map out the best locations for them and then consider the best fixtures to use in each location when shopping around.
There are four general lighting categories which should be taken into consideration when decorating the outside of your home. Basically, this layering effect is the same used when decorating the interior of your home, only you have a different atmosphere to consider.
Ambient light creates an illumination which bathes the entire area in a warm glow, making the area look inviting and providing a comfortable feeling to those who pass by or visit. Although well placed lighting unites throughout the yard will provide a blanket of ambient light, there are a couple of nice techniques which can help to set your home apart from those around it.
Moonlighting is a technique whereby you place small floodlights in trees surrounding your house. Angle these lights downward, splashing various areas of the landscaping in a source of indirect light.
Task lighting specifically inundates an area with light where concentrated activity takes place. Such places where task lighting would be needed outdoors is around a grill and picnic table for nighttime dining, on external steps and stairways, and along sidewalks and pathways.
Take care in task lighting placement as the glare from a stronger source of light can blind those in its glow instead of helping to see.
Accent lighting is used to help beautiful and enhance outdoor areas. Various forms of lighting techniques will add a greater appeal, depth and dramatic effect to your home after dark.
Uplighting and downlighting are techniques whereby lights are placed either on the ground or overhead and angled towards the home or other specific landscaping features. Silouetting places a light source behind an object, such as a bush, tree, fence, wall, etc in such a way that it casts a shadow.
Security lighting is essential in order to keep your home well lit and safe from intruders. Normally, the most vulnerable areas around the exterior of the home are supplied with such lighting.
Since security lights are usually brighter than other outdoor lighting sources, direct them away from living areas, both your own and the neighbor’s. A good choice for security light fixtures is to place them on motion detectors so that they are only activated when needed. This can save on energy, bulb life and perhaps provide an added safety feature of startling anyone approaching.