It’s Saturday night and you’re arriving home after dinner and a movie. You forgot to turn on the outside light and you suddenly notice how dark everything looks. It’s clear that nobody is home. How safe are your house and possessions when you’re not there?
Lighting the exterior of your house and/or garden is a great way to enhance both the safety and beauty of your home environment. If you’re intimidated by the idea of landscape lighting, don’t be. Just grab a piece of paper, go outside to take a look around, and jot down a few notes.
1. Decide what areas or features could – or should – be illuminated. Your front doorstep or porch probably already has an exterior fixture, but what about the path to the door? How about the driveway? Are there multiple entrances? Lighting the most frequently-used entry path is a good place to start.
If you have a garden, step back and assess some basic features. Is there a stand of trees that would benefit from uplighting? Do you have a dramatic feature such as a fountain or pond languishing in the dark? Uplighting a tree or water feature adjoining the entry path is a great way to add functional ambient light and spotlight a beautiful garden feature at the same time. A trellis or archway looks spectacular at night with some simple uplights. Be cautious not to over-do it – in most cases, more landscape lighting is not necessarily better.