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Enhance Your Home With Outdoor Lighting

Updated on January 26, 2009
Exterior Uplights
Exterior Uplights
Low voltage submersible Spotlight
Low voltage submersible Spotlight
Solar lighting
Solar lighting

After the sun goes down, there are still ways to keep the warmth and glow centered on your home. That way is beautiful outdoor lighting that promotes a welcoming atmosphere for family, friends and neighbors. Keep in mind also that having lights outside your home will be a added safety feature to keep possible intruders away.

The key to selecting lighting is to highlight the best features of your homes exterior and at the same time conceal flaws, and create a overall beautiful effect that only nightime can bring.

One type of lighting is ornamental, normally considered "accent lighting", that can be used many ways. Uplights and spotlights can be used near landscaping where you want to show off some of your beautiful plants or even a water fountain. For a more detailed yard with abundant detailed landscaping, shadow lights and backlights produce silhouettes and outlines to make for a very appealing look.

When planning and designing a lighting plan for your yard, (front or back) be practical and smart when adding decorative lights. Overdoing it with to many lights can become a bit unflattering and can make your yard begin to look like a parking lot for a convenience store. A good rule of thumb is to have some shadow areas in your yard for a more dramatic look. Plan what features in your yard you want to highlight and choose appropriate lighting to do just that. Remember it is not necessary to flood your whole yard with lights to have curb appeal or a backyard beauty.

It's good to know in these budget challenging times that outdoor lighting systems use low voltage; 12 volts in the United States. Lighting systems are equipped with a transformer, electrical cables which are low voltage and the light fixtures. As in many electrical appliances, the transformer job is to step-down the 120 volt house current to a current of 12 volts. The transformer must be plugged into an outdoor outlet that has a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) which comes fitted with a plastic cover. Try to get a transformer that can handle at least 25 percent more than the total number of watts needed to handle all the fixtures you plan on installing.

Overall, compared to a home remodel, outdoor lighting is very inexpensive. Generally a 300-watt transformer costs about $150.00 plus, if you add timers and additonal extras.

In the overall design of outdoor lighting, think simple and select features that are low to the ground and fade or blend into the general landscape. If you. want a more dynamic look, go for larger ornate lamps and fixtures with nice finishes in black to verdigris copper. Be a good designer by choosing fixtures that match your homes architectural design. An example would be a Colonial style home complemented with formal fixtures.

For those of you are do-it-yourselfers, installing a lightning design for your home shouldn't be hard to do unless extensive electrical work is required. I do suggest a landscape designer and an eletrician for those who basically are not cut out for the job, especially an extensive job. Although somewhat limited with choices, solar lighting is also an option and requires no wiring.

In any event, curb appeal in beautiful lighting for your home will make your home a star.



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    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Robin Marie, we added some lights a few years but plan to update and change some out as sonn as the weather gets nicer.

    • Robin Marie profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      We added outdoor lights to our landscape last summer and we them. Great information here!

    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Hi anjalichugh, lights do look pretty aorund houses, and you don't have to live in a mansion either. Thanks for your comments.

    • anjalichugh profile image


      9 years ago from New York

      The whole thing lighted looks so pretty. Thx for sharing.

    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Hello again C.C., sounds like you have a dog like mine. Thanks again for reading my Hubs. Have a great day!

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 

      9 years ago

      Great hub dear. My dogs ate mine. Have to redo most of them and puppy proof them. Come see the City I wrote for you.

    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Hi Dottie, I am too encouraged by my own Hub (lol). My husband and I have to redo and update some lights and add a flood light. I can't wait for spring to come.

    • Dottie1 profile image


      9 years ago from MA, USA

      I've been wanting lights around the walkway but haven't as of yet but I do have some solar powered ornamental rocks in the flower garden in front of my house. At night the flowers cast their shadow on my house and this looks so cool and I think makes it stand out. Maybe this will be the year I get the lights for the walkway. You've now put it on my mind. Loved your hub, laringo. Take care.

    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      I agree with you 100% G-Ma. When a house has even just the simplest lighting design, it makes it stand out from the rest. My house doen't have a long walkway, but I love when lights follow a walkway. So lovely.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Great ideas and I love outdoor lighting...I have some solar ones that require a battery though...but is powered by the 'em too...and is just enough to see in the dark...G-Ma :o) Hugs & Peace


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