Landscaping isn’t all about plants and trees and water features. Incorporating exterior lighting into your landscape design provides a wide range of aesthetic and practical advantages. Exterior lighting options range from small pathway bulbs to mounted security floodlights. If you’re planning to transform your yard with a large landscaping project this summer, give some thought to how you can use exterior lighting to complement and accentuate the natural features.
If you got it, flaunt it
If you’re spending the big bucks to transform your lawn’s appearance, you might as well show it off. By working exterior lighting into the planning and design process for your new lawn, you can place lights strategically to accentuate certain features. A spotlight on a tree or a pond can add drama to any lawn, and an illuminated pathway can make your house stand out on an otherwise dark street. You can also use lights to accentuate architectural features of your house itself, showing it off to its best advantage no matter the time of day.
Not just about looks
Exterior lighting can also enhance the functionality of your outdoor space. If your backyard goes dark when the sun sets, your entertaining and playtime hours are cut short. If your backyard is outfitted with proper exterior lighting, however, the party can go on long after the sun goes down. Floodlights mounted above decks and patios create a perfect space to host summer barbecues, and fixtures attached to the deck itself can illuminate portions of the lawn to allow your kids to continue with games and activities well past bedtime (if you allow it).
Neutralize safety hazards
Many lawns are rife with potentially dangerous obstacles such as stairs, uneven cobbled pathways, and pools or small ponds. These kind of obstacles present tripping and falling hazards to guests unfamiliar with your home, or even to your own family should you be walking around your yard at night. Lights placed to illuminate these potentially hazardous areas will reduce the risk of injury to family or guests navigating your yard.
Illuminating your home’s exterior can help minimize your risk for home burglary or vandalism. Criminals will be less inclined to approach your house if their every move will be visible to passersby, and a well-lit lawn offers fewer opportunities to hide. When creating your exterior lighting design, consider which areas of your lawn are darkest and which entry-points to your house are least visible—making them more vulnerable to forced entry.