Curb appeal is your home’s first impression, the way your home looks from the curb before you even enter. Like any first impression, you only get the chance for curb appeal once, and that first impression is hard to shake. If you’re selling your home, curb appeal can help or hurt your sale. Homes with excellent curb appeal sell faster and at higher prices. Even if you don’t plan to sell, curb appeal is how people will view your home. Installing outdoor lighting for your home can work wonders to maximize your home’s curb appeal. Even if you don’t plan to sell, there are definite benefits to outdoor landscape lighting. It can quickly and easily make your home into a house you can be proud of when entertaining. The options of where to install outdoor landscape lighting are almost unlimited. Here are several of the most popular places our customers choose to install exterior lighting.
Lighting Windows to Maximize Your Home’s Curb Appeal
One of the best used of outdoor lighting is to accent architectural features. If you really want that resort feel, you need to highlight the more exciting parts of your home. It may not seem like it, but lighting the area above or around your windows can often have a dramatic effect. Accent lighting installed underneath or above windows adds a flair that showcases the beauty of your home at night.
Additionally, the lighting can make you feel more safe and secure in your space. Keeping windows well-lit makes it much harder for a would-be criminal to sneak in.
However, when lighting windows, a little experience goes a long way. The main pitfall is lighting windows in a way that shines light into the window. That’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to sleep or just keep a room dark at night. Fixtures for highlighting windows are available in a wide range of styles and options. Night Vision will help you choose the right fixture. You’ll have fun exploring all the different ways you can brighten up your home.
Trees, Bushes, and Hedges
Trees are usually the largest objects in your outdoor landscape. So they deserve special attention when you build your outdoor lighting system. You can add lights near the base of one or more trees. You’ll be amazed on the first night after the installation as you watch your trees take on an almost magical quality. Trees can be lit from beneath to create unique shapes of light and dark. You can also hide downlighting in a tree’s canopy to illuminate the area below. Putting lights behind or in front of a tree is another excellent way to create interesting and unique shapes that help define your landscape. Lighting trees, bushes, and hedges creates an environment that is uniquely yours.
Retaining Walls and Other Garden Hardscaping
Retaining walls and garden hardscaping provide a unique opportunity. One of our favorite lighting techniques to use on walls in grazing. To graze a wall, lights are placed near the top or base of the wall very close to the wall. The light shines almost parallel to the wall. This technique highlights any texture on the wall by accenting even small bumps with sharply contrasting light and shadow.
Very often, a retaining wall is used to help define a walking path. When you add lighting to a retaining wall near a path, you both showcase the beauty of the wall itself and provide a well-lit pathway for your guests. Lighting pathways is an essential part of creating a safe space at night, as we will see.
Path lighting is often one of the first types of lighting we install. While we love accent lighting, path lighting is crucial for the safety of you and your guests. You can Light up your yard and your walkway by installing safe, sturdy lighting along your outdoor path. Whether it leads to a fire pit or a pool, adding lighting will add safety to your path. However, don’t overdo it. Path lighting is intended to be subtle.
One of the most common path lighting mistakes is the so-called landing strip effect. Parallel rows of lights lined up on both sides of a path can make your home look like more like a runway than a garden. Pathway lights are generally close to the ground and should point downward. The goal is to provide enough light to lead the way without lighting up your whole garden or yard.
Adding lighting around fountains, ponds, waterfalls, streams, or other outdoor water features really makes them come alive. There’s something other-worldly about watching a lighted fountain or waterfall at night. It can take the enjoyment and relaxation of your water feature to a whole new level. While we usually discourage colored lighting as too over-the-top, we make an exception for water features. A little colored light can make the water glow, creating an amazing pool of light.
Adding outdoor lighting to your fountain, pond, waterfall, or other water feature will also help improve safety in your yard. You won’t need to worry about someone tripping into the pond or fountain in the dark. Water feature lighting also enables you to keep an eye on your smallest guests as they enjoy your yard on those warm summer nights.
More Options to Maximize Your Home’s Curb Appeal
To learn more about the many options available for your outdoor lighting projects, check out our portfolio of exterior lighting projects, and then contact Night Vision today. Our outdoor lighting experts will work with you to design landscape and outdoor lighting that meets both your dreams for your yard and your budget.