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5 basic rules for effective outdoor lighting

You recognize decent outdoor lighting when you see it. The sun goes down, it is slowly getting dark. The house looks welcoming with nice soft warm lighting tints. No dark shadows and the paths, entrances and driveway are well-lit. It looks secure and beautiful. You can create this with a good outdoor lighting plan. Start to write down what you want to achieve and what your goals are for outdoor lighting. In this article I compiled a list with 5 basic rules for effective outdoor lighting.

1. Safety

You know safety comes first. Make sure the paths and entrances in your garden are well-lit and shadow-free. When you have some kind of stair in your garden, make sure this is included in your outdoor lighting plan. You don’t want family or friends fall at night. Outdoor stairs are a primary cause of injury. Make sure you use good lighting for them. There are different ways to light an outdoor stairs:

  • Step lights mounted on a post or railing
  • Flexible LED strip lighting
  • Under-tread lighting
  • Standalone post lights
  • 2. Security

    Outdoor lighting also helps a lot with security. It might look like the same as safety but it’s not. I am talking for example about motion sensors in your outdoor lighting. When someone uninvited walks in your garden and lights flash on, it might scare them away. This includes animals, you don’t want animals come to your house or anywhere else in your garden causing harm. Lights that turn on when someone enters your garden is a great way to prevent uninvited visits.

    You can also use a timer at night to switch lights on and off. This is good for security when you are not at home. You can even time them at different hours to make it look natural. There are smart lighting apps that allow you to control the outdoor lighting when you are not at home.

    3. Accent garden features

    With a good lighting plan you can really accent the garden features you want. Walk through your garden and look what trees or plants might do good with a light on them. Test it at night and see what you like. Outdoor sculptures or terraced gardens are also beautiful at night with the right lighting. If you have water in your garden it might be a good idea to do something with that as well. Water gives you a special opportunity for lighting. Waterproof LED lighting is perfect to add light to your swimming pool, fountain or outdoor pond.

    4. Lifestyle

    With warm weather it is likely that you and your family and friends spend more time in your garden. The garden is a great way to relax and connect with your loved ones. Once it is getting dark it is important to have a good outdoor lighting plan. This way you can stay outdoors and enjoy the moment. A patio is great for this. Make sure there is enough light so you can still interact to each other. A nice string of lights in your patio is always doing well.

    5. Energy costs

    Getting great outdoor lighting, increasing security around the house. It sounds great, but keep in mind you probably get a higher electric bill. Choosing for LED bulbs or fixtures can be incredibly energy efficient. LED is around five times cheaper in electric costs compared with traditional incandescent bulbs. This can save you a lot of money on the long run.

    Before you start with buying outdoor lighting, make sure you have a plan. Go outside and see what you want to accent at night. Test different spots with easy movable lights. If you are not sure it is good to hire some professional help. Ask a lighting professional to advice you and make a good product selection.

    Featured photo source: Houzz

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