There are more reasons than just ambiance to consider landscape lighting. There is nothing more welcoming than a home highlighted with classy outdoor lighting. You know the places I'm talking about,with warm lights shining up on beautiful trees or outlining a path to the front door. Don't you just sense "welcome" when you drive by these abodes? It is clear that the owners have taken the time to add this touch of style, most likely using a combination of low-voltage landscape lighting fixtures or even solar lighting.
Adding lights around our homes is also a smart way to achieve extra security. One of the great things about outdoor lighting is that it does not have to scream Las Vegas to be an effective security measure. The key to success when employing your lights for security duty, lies in the placement and style of the fixtures. In fact, statistics indicate that placing lights around the perimeter of a home is one of the best ways to keep unwelcome visitors at bay.
If your yard is particularly dark or your home borders woods, consider using floodlights or spotlights to spread light on a particular area. Patio lighting not only creates an atmosphere for those late night dinner parties, but also sheds light on areas that are most likely close to your back door. Having the space around our back door well-lit will definitely send an unwelcome signal to anyone who is "late" for the party. No one wants to pick a lock or break a window with a spotlight on them. Lights can be affixed to deck rails, outdoor structures or even to the side of your home.
The front door area should also be well lit as should any outbuildings on your property, including garages, sheds, barns, etc. These areas are sometimes best lit using motion sensitive lights that only shine when movement is detected.
Well-placed landscape lights also keep your family and guests safe by illuminating dark places, steps, pathways, swimming pool and patios. Installing outdoor lighting allows you to enjoy your yard after dark, thus making an extension of your living space.
Most landscape lighting plans are easy enough to install yourself. Determining the type of lighting and the location is the hardest part. I found that the best way to determine what lights would satisfy my need for ambiance, safety and security was to go outside at night with a couple of flashlights, one that was high-powered and one that had a softer light. I made note of the locations where I needed some security lighting and others where safety was an issue, such as a path leading to a shed at the back of my property. Angling the flashlight in different ways helped me to determine which type of light fixture would work best. I chose a few special trees to highlight, and added in small solar lights around some garden beds at the front of the house to create that "welcoming feel."
Once I determined the areas where I needed lights and their particular function I chose the appropriate wattage for each fixture, added up the voltage and purchased a transformer that could handle the load. In the end, a combination of solar lights, low voltage landscape lights including spotlights, floodlights and uplights, along with a few motion lights worked best for my property.
When I look outside my window at night, the soft glow of the solar lights combined with the higher powered spotlights and floodlights makes my home not only safe and secure but also beautiful.