Whether you’re hosting a party or just enjoying a quiet night at home, proper outdoor lighting can have a huge impact on your home’s appearance and ambiance.
If you haven’t installed outdoor lighting to highlight your yard and the exterior of your home yet, you’re missing out on an opportunity to create a beautiful look and show off your property.
Here are a handful of unique outdoor lighting ideas that can really enhance your home and highlight its best features without looking too predictable or standardized.
Are you ready to turn your yard into a true spectacle? Exterior lighting can do just that and even more! Let’s explore how strategic outdoor lighting can add unique flavor to your home.
What is the most efficient exterior lighting?
The most efficient exterior lighting is energy-saving LED lightbulbs. In fact, at 10 times the efficiency of incandescent lights, LEDs are a great outdoor lighting option. You can illuminate quite large areas with bulbs that come with up to 180 individual LEDs encased in a diffuser lens to spread the light in a wide beam.
They’re safer for the environment, last longer, and use less electricity than incandescent bulbs. Plus, they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so you can really get creative with your light fixtures!
What should you look for in unique outdoor lighting?
When choosing outdoor lights, look for features that stand out from the rest. Refined details like intricate door frames or elegant garden fixtures become even more dramatic when illuminated at night. With a combination of spotlights and up-lighting, you can easily draw attention to your yard’s most coveted features.
And don’t forget some practical details! First and foremost, any outdoor lighting must be rated for outdoor use. This safety measure ensures that the lighting is waterproof and dust and rain won’t interfere with the bulb or circuitry. Additionally, look for durability. Most lighting intended for outdoor use is designed to stand up to the elements, but don’t just assume all items are created equally.
Use Lighting To Shape And Contour Your Yard
Rope lights, string lights, and stake lights can be used to outline the edges of your deck, driveway, and fences or to separate different parts of your yard.
Instead of looking outside and seeing an indistinct dark mass, you’ll see the order and symmetry of lines of lights tracing spaces.
You have plenty of choices as far as brightness, spacing, and the type of light – you can create a formal effect with stake lighting, a softer and more natural effect with rope lights, or something between the two. Highlighting sidewalks or paths also gives your yard a structured but inviting appearance.
Lighting can also be used to create shadows, shapes, and textures in your outdoor space. This is a great way to add definition and dimension without actually changing the layout of your garden. Think outside the box when it comes to how you use light – from patterned wall lights to dimly lit pathways that meander through trees, you have plenty of options for making your home stand out from the rest.
Highlight Standout Features
Got a unique sculpture or water feature? Highlighting these standout features with strategic lighting will make them all the more impressive at night. Spotlights are an excellent choice if you want to bring attention to a certain feature. If you’re looking for something more subtle, try using up-lighting or down-lighting to gently illuminate your special pieces.
This is truly one of the easiest ways to make your yard lighting unique. The best outdoor lighting companies in Atlanta will offer lights that illuminate statues, fountains, pools, ponds, gazeboes, and more.
Small but intense spotlights will draw attention to structures like these, creating focal points and emphasizing the aspects that make your yard unique.
You can also focus spotlights on unusual trees or other plants. Remember that features of your yard that may look plain during the day will take on a completely different character at night, and highlighting unusual features of your yard will make your overall lighting scheme that much more interesting.
Create variety by mixing types of lights
When it comes to outdoor lighting, mixing and matching is key. A combination of spotlights, floodlights, wall sconces, and other light fixtures can help create an interesting visual effect as well as ensure that all areas of your yard are illuminated properly. You can easily control the intensity and type of lighting in each area by switching out bulbs or adjusting the wattage.
Some lighting options to incorporate into your design could include:
- Accent lighting
- Recessed garage lights
- Small, diffused lights
- Step lights
- Solar lamps
- Driveway ground lights
- Path lights
- Gazebo lights or light curtains
- Patio string lights
- Light bales hanging from trees
- Underwater lighting
- Landscape lighting
Leave a little mystery
Don’t forget about creating some mystery with your outdoor lighting! By adding dimly lit pathways that lead to hidden corners of the yard, you can encourage your guests to explore and discover what’s hidden in the shadows. A few well-placed outdoor lanterns or string lights can also help create a romantic, moonlit atmosphere.
Bold lighting isn’t the best fit for every yard or every part of a yard. Subtle lighting that gives off a soft glow and just offers a hint of what you’re seeing can make your yard look much more natural and intriguing.
Muted lighting that is low to the ground, especially near shrubs, flowers, and paths, is understated but comforting. If your yard is a little on the plain or bare side, restrained lighting is a great option because it creates the illusion of eye-catching features.
Don’t forget about your home
Finally, don’t forget to take lighting into account when looking at your home’s exterior. It should be just as inviting and beautiful as your garden. Whether it’s accentuating a bold door frame with spotlights or adding some wall sconces to illuminate cobbled pathways – the possibilities are endless!
Facade lighting is often overlooked when people consider outdoor lighting ideas. But if you’re making an effort to make your yard look lively and inviting, you don’t want your home to look dull or menacing by contrast.
You can use subtle lighting around most of your home, while using stronger, clearer facade lighting where you want to highlight unusual or especially well-built features, like arches, large windows, and unconventional lines or angles.
Providing warm and inviting lighting around your front entrance is also crucial – it creates a finished look and welcomes your guests.
Of course, the key to having a creative outdoor lighting scheme is to really customize it to your home and yard. You should consider what kind of building, landscaping, and space you have to work with, as well as what kind of mood you want to create.
Different homes lend themselves to different atmospheres, from more classical and elegant to natural and outdoorsy to eclectic and whimsical.
Some creative exterior lighting do’s and don’ts
Do: think ahead when planning out your lighting design – anticipate where people will be walking and how they will be interacting with the space
Do: bring in professional help if you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed
Do: experiment and have fun! It’s your home – make it unique, inviting, and exciting.
Don’t: forget to turn off the lights when you’re done – save energy and keep those electricity bills low!
Don’t: forget about safety – check that outdoor light fixtures are securely attached and away from moisture sources.
What to expect when working with a professional outdoor lighting company
According to the experts at HGTV, adding outdoor lighting is a good investment in this economy. Listed as a “Maximum Home Value Outdoor Living Project,” outdoor lighting and landscape lighting designs are more than well worth it! So don’t let the price tag stress you out.
When hiring an outdoor lighting company, you should be getting the best LED landscape lighting fixtures on the market with some of the best warranties. Not only will they perform well, but they will also last! DIY lighting and fixtures from home improvement stores don’t have the same longevity.
When it comes to unique installations and designs, creative approaches to technique and fixtures ensure a gorgeous result. That’s the most important benefit of working with a professional landscape lighting company.
The next most important benefit? Service and maintenance. One of the biggest differences in working with an outdoor lighting company versus someone who just installs lighting is continuous service and maintenance. Since NightVision Outdoor Lighting is solely focused on lighting, we treat our clients with great value and respect.
How to budget for an outdoor lighting project
Outdoor lighting is not a small project. Of course, as with any major home project, many variables can come into play when assessing costs. This is why it’s always important to start with a budget in mind. When it comes to a landscape lighting project, having a budget in mind will help you make decisions.
For example, having a budget will help you make decisions about which aspects of your darkened landscape the project should focus on illuminating and capturing. Just as landscapes can differ, individual tastes and priorities when it comes to lighting effects and enhancements will also differ.
This is why it’s important to establish priorities for the project early in the planning process. You can find simple solar-powered lights that will be much less expensive than high-end LED lights. The average cost of landscape lighting is somewhere in the middle of the two. Just make sure you understand upfront cost versus long-term value, as well. Overall, basic exterior lighting projects may begin at $3,000 to $5,000 for a modest-sized property and go up from there based on customization and the number of fixtures.
Creating a budget for your exterior lighting project
Coming up with a budget can be intimidating. There are three basic steps to creating an outdoor lighting budget.
Determine your budget
Think about how much you are prepared to spend on your outdoor lighting system. Like any home improvement project, you will likely end up needing to spend a bit more than you originally intended. So it’s important to have a realistic budget in mind and build in some contingency cushioning.
Decide on the most important design elements
Ask yourself what you want to accomplish. Is security the biggest priority? Is it most important to have functional lighting for your outdoor living space? Deciding on lighting priorities early will help you when you are looking at your budget.
While having every element of your outdoor space illuminated with differing levels of ambient light would be spectacular, most people don’t have a limitless budget. So if you do have a budget, a good rule for determining value is to consider where you spend your outdoor time in the evenings.
Meet with a professional lighting designer
Landscape lighting can be intimidating when you don’t know where to start. This is where working with a professional lighting designer can make all the difference. It’s easy to design a lighting system when there aren’t any budget restraints, but this is not always the case. Don’t be afraid to let your lighting designer know that you have a budget and what that budget looks like.
Trust the professionals at NightVision to step up your design
For an even more stunning outdoor experience, hire a lighting designer. We can help create a custom lighting plan tailored specifically to your space and needs. Professional designers also know how to maximize energy efficiency as well as what types of bulbs and fixtures work best in certain conditions. It’s a great way to take your outdoor lighting design to the next level!
Our lighting designers can work within a budget to still create a lighting system that has a special wow factor. We can also help you revise and reconsider what is most important in the design and give you ideas about staying within your budget while still being happy with the final look.
So don’t be afraid to get creative with your exterior lighting – it’s an easy way to make your home look more inviting and beautiful. With just a few strategic light fixtures, you can create an atmosphere that is both comfortable and magical! Have fun, and let your imagination run wild. After all, you never know what ideas will sparkle the most. Every yard and home is unique, so coming up with innovative decorating ideas for outdoor lighting should be not only possible but also fairly easy. When you’re ready to install creative outdoor lighting fixtures around your home, contact NightVision Outdoor Lighting!