No matter how well you planned your indoors and outdoors, the whole landscape design can completely fall apart if you didn’t include lighting in the planning process. When night falls and it’s time to turn on the lights, displeasure may set in when you find out that the fixtures you had placed are not highlighting the best features of your house and garden. From a soft glow of light along a pathway to a warmly lit patio, we all want our property to look mesmerizing to any passersby. Indeed, attention to even the smallest details can help create a sense of welcome and make your property stand out from the crowd.
Outdoor lightings are also commonly used for decorative purposes during the holiday season, such as for Halloween and Christmas. Regardless of when they are used, you have to make sure that your house, family, pets, and guests are safe from any electrical hazard. From the lights, the power cords and the controls, everything has to be done with safety as a priority. And this means no skimping on equipment and installation. Whether temporary or permanent, everything has to be up to code, including your contractor. The contractor has to be adequately qualified and respect all necessary guidelines.
Doing Outdoor Lighting the Safe Way
1. Use the right type of light bulbs
For longer-lasting light bulbs and ease of replacement, it would be advisable to use only outdoor-rated light bulbs. Even if you want to use LEDs, they should be outdoor rated.
2. Be careful when using decorative lights
Whether you are hanging some lighted pumpkins or icicles on your eaves, make sure that they are labeled for outdoor use. Ensure that nothing damages the wires of the temporary lighting strings and ornaments. You might want to avoid any ornament made with metal since metal is a conductor of electricity.
3. Weather-resistant receptacles are the way to go
Despite the special outdoors covers, the outdoor receptacles you have installed must be weather-resistant. They need to be able impervious to dampness, freezing, and heat for them to be truly safe.
4. Consider getting covers for damp and wet locations
Whether the outdoor receptacle is on your porch or your screened-in patio or in the open, you want to make sure it’s protected. If it’s covered by a roof you can choose to get a “trap door” cover that is suitable for damp locations, and if it isn’t under a roof get an “in-use” cover that will keep the receptacle and the plug dry.
Things to Take into Consideration When Planning
Outdoor spot or accent lighting fixtures are most commonly used to highlight the landscape design of homes. Whether you want to accent gorgeous towering trees, classical statuary or other striking elements in your garden, the perfect fixture, and bulb placed in just the right place can create the perfect effect. In addition to considering in-ground or well lights for trees, you can also take the following into account:
1. Creating safer walkways
Using outdoor lighting, you can not only make the walkways safer but can also make your guests feel very welcome. As with everything else associated with interior and exterior décor, there is a wide range of pathway lighting you can choose from. Whatever you choose, you want to make sure that they fit the style of your house and that they are not placed too close to each other.
2. Saving energy
In addition to protecting the environment, you may want to lower your energy bills. And what better way than to get solar lights? Solar path lights installed into the ground alongside a walkway or solar string lights hung over an outdoor area can gently illuminate the path or provide a warm ambient glow without heavily impacting your monthly bills.
3. Concealing unsightly fixtures
Although outdoor lights are meant to amp the look of your house, unattractive fixtures can easily mar the whole style. You can try using landscaping rocks to hide the fixtures so the lighting blends seamlessly with your outdoor environment.
Designs You Might Want to Consider
There are a lot of designs you can choose from:
Floodlights are perfect for large areas. Versatile, they can illuminate an entire area with just a flick of a button.
2. Star Floors
These are essentially lighting that run inconspicuously through the wooden floors of decks and patios. The flexible cables can be installed in the floor and will create a unique floor that has subdued, but mesmerizing, light.
3. String Lights
String lights are an easy, affordable way of enhancing the ambiance of your patio or courtyard. Draped from the ceiling or to the railings, string lights can easily complement your garden furniture and turn it into an enchanting oasis.
4. Twinkling Lighting
Twinkling lights can add mystery to an area or create a playful mystery. You can also get them installed around your pool if you have one.