Outdoor lighting is an excellent way to improve the aesthetic appearance of your home and provide an inviting ambiance for the outside of your home. Having outdoor lighting can also make your home more secure by giving the appearance of occupancy even while you’re away. Selecting the best light fixtures for your garden is an important decision that involves considering a few details. From the aesthetics of the fixture to the more practical concerns is positioning a light and saving energy, here are some things to consider when choosing outdoor light fixtures.
Colour and Style
These are honestly the first things that you need to consider when looking at outdoor light fixtures. Depending on where you intend to place them, you may have a varying assessment of the colour and style of lights. Try to match the fixtures with your house as much as possible. This involves considering the exterior colour and style of your house as well as positioning along the house. Choose colours that compliment the brick, siding, or paint and look for fixtures that express your personal taste.
There are a lot of different ways to light the exterior of your home. Traditional electric fixtures are the most common, but they are by no means the only option. LED lighting along gardens and pools, or recessed lighting is a popular way to give the outside of your home a warm glow. Candles, oil lamps, and lanterns with live flames are also a great way to illuminate the outdoors. This should, of course, only be used with people outside to monitor the live flames. Also, fibre optic and solar powered lighting is growing in popularity. This lighting looks great on pathways, patios, walls, and water features.
Next, you’ll need to consider the size of the fixtures. Lights that are going along the front door should be proportional to the height of the door. This may mean anything from eighteen to twenty four inches relative to the door’s height. From a distance your light fixtures will look smaller, so often it is better to go with larger fixtures for front display. In general, size depends largely on personal taste, style, and location, so assess your needs accordingly. Outdoor wall lights, outdoor post lights, ceiling lights, and hanging lights will all look different based on size, so knowing what kind of light you want will ease this decision.
Choosing the right finish in outdoor fixtures is important to preserve the life of the fixtures and keep them looking good year round. Most fixtures are designed and finished to withstand normal wear from the elements, but consider your geographic location when looking at materials. Brass and steel will rust and aluminum can corrode under certain weather conditions such as harsh coastal weather. Waxing your fixtures yearly should help reduce wear and preserve their finish.
Outdoor lighting doesn’t have to be a drain on your energy consumption. In fact, outdoor lighting is a perfect opportunity to utilize energy efficient bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are a good choice. Also, look for Energy Star approved fixtures and take advantage of any fixtures that come with a high energy efficiency rating. Of course, using energy saving bulbs is the best way to maximize the efficiency of your outdoor lights. Also consider motion lights or lights with timers in case you forget to turn them off.
In addition to their decorative purposes, outdoor light fixtures also have the added effect of home and garden security. A well lit home is less likely to be a target of a ‘would be’ intruder than a pitch black house that has the appearance of vacancy. Placing a couple dedicated security lights above the garage or on the side and back doors can be a good idea when setting up your other outdoor fixtures. In this case, motion sensor or timed lights are best. You can also add a timer or motion detector to decorative lights if the idea of harsh security spotlights doesn’t appeal to you.
Factoring in time and expenses involved in light fixture installation is an important part of the selecting process as well. Considering the wiring, lighting system, applications, and accessories should be a part of your decision. Make sure you examine the designated use of the lighting and understand proper installation procedures like local codes, presence of underground lines, and placing the fixtures in an optimal location before finalizing the decision and starting.
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