Do you ever jump in the car and take a drive through the neighborhood just to see what landscaping changes your neighbors have made to their property? What do you notice first: the newly painted shutters or the budding rosebush? What time do you take these drives? Probably the mid-afternoon at the very latest. There’s no point driving after dark because you can’t see anything, making one house indistinguishable from the other.
But your home could be different. You could go bold. Show everyone your landscape design savvy with well-placed outdoor lighting. Why should the aesthetic of your home be lost to the night?
Shining a Light on Your Home
As a homeowner, you have taken great pride in the set-up of your home. The yard is exquisitely manicured: the cypress trees are cut to precision, the hydrangeas bloom with bursts of color and the Elfin Thyme has proven to be a wonderful grass substitute. Having just built a wrap-a-round front porch, you don’t want the beauty of your home to be compromised simply because of the time of day. Besides, installing landscape lighting isn’t just for vanity’s sake; it’s for safety too.
Here are three ways to shine a light on your home:
If you get home from work after dark or enjoy a having a nip of hard cider under the roof of your backyard gazebo, you’re going to need to be able to see clearly where you are and how to walk safely back into the house. Nothing can give you a near-heart attack sooner than raising your foot to where you think a stair should be only to have your foot come down through the air with a hard stomp on the ground.
Better Homes & Gardens recommends situating your outdoor lighting along pathways, at entryways and steps. In these areas “provides illumination that extends hospitality to visitors and makes walking more secure.” If someone trips going up the lit pathway, they can only blame themselves.
We put a lot of money into our homes, so it would only make sense to shine a light on the art of its façade. You can use landscape lighting to draw attention to the architectural design of the structure of the house, illuminating the detail of the portico or the dynamic shadows cast by the pillars. Lighting landscape designer Chris Mitchell said in an interview with the DIY Network that “you want people driving by to take a second look because what you’ve created is interesting.”
By using a mixture of well, bullet, flood and down lighting, you can play with shadow and light and make for a lively display of greenery and industry: landscape lighting can show how the natural world meets the built.
Taking an Environmentally Friendly Approach
Of course, we don’t want our vanity in our homes to come at the cost of the environment. To show off your home while being eco-friendly at the same time, invest in solar and LED lighting. Solar ground lights will absorb energy throughout the day and use they energy they collected to power up the walkway. LED lights emit light more efficiently than other types of lights because “LED lighting products use light emitting diodes…[An] electrical current passes through the semiconductor material, which illuminates the tiny light sources, LEDs.” LEDs expend less energy and still produce the same amount of quality light as an incandescent bulb. Unlike incandescent bulbs, however, LEDs are better for the environment.
Here’s the last question you should ask yourself: how often do you sit out on the deck in the evenings? You deserve to enjoy your space no matter the time of day, so light it up!