Do’s And Don’ts Of Outdoor Lighting Planning & Installation

One of the goals of adding outdoor lighting to your home landscape is to create a feeling of continuity between your home and your yard. It bridges the gap between the two important spaces in your home, where many celebrations and memories are experienced!

Of course, there are other purposes for installing an outdoor lighting system. Some of these reasons can include:

  • Increasing the safety of people in your yard and the security of your home
  • Lengthening the amount of time you can spend in your yard
  • Highlighting special architectural and design features on your property
  • Increasing the property value of your home

To achieve these goals, follow some tips from the outdoor lighting experts at NightVision Outdoor Lighting.

The Do’s Of Outdoor Lighting Planning

We always love to start with the positive! Let’s look at some great tips and “do’s” for creating your beautifully-lit outdoor space.

Do focus on outdoor safety lighting

Installing an outdoor lighting system can offer a great deal of increased safety. Well-lit yards deter people who want to harm your property, animal intruders, and package snatchers. It also adds to the physical safety of the people you are welcoming into your home. It allows people to see where they are walking and what the surroundings look like. An outdoor lighting system is an easy way to enhance the security of your home, and it gives you some peace of mind for your family’s safety.

There are many ways to increase the lighting in your outdoor spaces. Here are some of our favorites!

  • Installing brick lights in your steps makes it much easier for grandma to walk down the front porch to her car after you hosted her for dinner! It makes it easy to see any little critters that may have snuck their way up your yard.
  • Walkway lights along the paths allow for easier walking to and from darker spaces in the yard.
  • Overhead motion-detecting lights will deter criminals from acting on your property. It is much easier to carry out a crime when it is dark and harder to identify the faces of the intruders. Installing an outdoor lighting system makes it much easier to scare off unwanted visitors on your property.
  • Adding a porch light or using deck lights around a pool or play area, you can make your yard a safer place for your family and everyone who comes to visit.

Do spend more time in your yard

We know that you spent a lot of time and invested a lot of money into your landscaping and outdoor furniture. You want to spend time enjoying your investment, especially in the warmer weather when you can fully appreciate the outdoors.

If it is dark in your outdoor spaces, it is much harder to cherish your time in your yard. Installing an outdoor lighting system makes it much easier to treasure the gorgeous spring or summer nights. Whether your ideal night is enjoying a beer with the boys, taking a dip in the pool, a wine night with the girls, playing board games with the kids, or having the neighbors over to show off your new landscaping, you have to have a lighting system!

To read more about the best exterior techniques to entertain in your outdoor spaces, click here.

Do consider creative planning to highlight special features

It can be simple to line the driveway with lights or to place a spotlight under every tree. However, by adding a spark of creativity to your planning, you can add a great deal of aesthetic value.

Many architectural features make your home unique! The professionals at NightVision Outdoor Lighting will create a plan to accentuate all of the distinctive characteristics of your property. Look at our gallery from previous pleased customers to see what we can do to your home!

Another way to infuse creativity and intentionality into the yard is by installing an outdoor lighting system around areas you want to highlight. This can be your grill area or even certain plants that you want to see after the sunset.

If you plan on hosting outdoor barbecues, you definitely need to make sure you can use the grill while your guests are relaxing. If the majority of the nighttime use will come from children playing in the yard, then lights placed lower might be the more appropriate use.

You should also consider the effect of lights on plant life. Sometimes landscape lighting can disrupt the growth patterns of the plants. When this is the case, you’ll want to plan your lighting system to have the smallest impact possible on the plant life. If all of this sounds like too much time and work, leave it up to the professionals to carefully plan out how installing an outdoor lighting system makes the most sense in your spaces.

The Don’ts Of Outdoor Lighting Planning

While we’ve shared plenty of great tips and “do’s” for installing an outdoor lighting system, what about the things to avoid? We’ve got you covered there, too!

Don’t start with landscape lighting

First things first. That means tending to things like safety as the priority before considering landscape lighting and enhancements. Create a priority list to help you determine your design plan and budget. That way you can focus on the most important aspects of your lighting plan and add to it as needed.

Don’t overdo it with the design

Less is more when it comes to lighting! While tasteful layering can be achieved by the pros, we often see folks fall into the trap of too much lighting creating a bright mess. Understated lighting can achieve the effect you want – and save you on your energy bill!

To avoid this trap, start by prioritizing your lighting needs. Safety should always come first. You also want to tend to small spaces to ensure you maximize your yard. Do you have a specific vibe or theme for your space? For example, if you like the more rustic look of lanterns, you want to select other fixtures that will complement and not compete with them.

Don’t choose the wrong bulbs for the space

A lot goes into choosing your bulbs. For example, energy efficiency. Incandescent bulbs suck up energy and burn out quickly. Not a great choice! Focus on bulbs with 40-75 watts for outdoor spaces to avoid using too much energy or causing a glare.

Additionally, consider the colors of the light. There’s a big difference between warm and cool lights. If you light your yard with lots of bright, cold bulbs, it will feel more like a sporting event than a place to relax and enjoy the company of loved ones.

Increasing Property Value

Carefully thought-out lighting systems can also increase the value of your property. You may want to consider adding upgraded light fixtures to spruce up your space or using lights in unconventional ways. Installing an outdoor lighting system can add dimension and different dynamics to your outdoor spaces. It can really bring a lot of life to dark or dull areas. Again, once your yard is pleasantly lit up, you can enjoy it more!

Designing A Flexible Outdoor Lighting System

Installing an outdoor lighting system is complex; it’s actually made up of several smaller systems. The separate types of lights and the different areas of your yard will have their own needs.

As you recognize how those different areas will interact with and affect other areas, you can also be aware that this separateness will allow you more control over when and where lights are set to turn on and off. You can set the lights to a timer when you are out of town or don’t want to have to deal with remembering to turn different sections on each night. It allows for a lot of flexibility on how you want to use your gorgeous lighting systems day in and day out!

Consulting A Professional For Electricity Needs

Different light fixtures will have separate voltage requirements, so you may end up installing multiple transformers. You also want to be sure that your system is being set up with high-quality wiring, connections, and fixtures. This is a lot of technical information that must be put together correctly for everything to operate right. Here at NightVision Outdoor Lighting, we are TrustDALE Certified! We are professionals, and you can trust us to get the job done right!