Residential Outdoor Lighting Guide

May 15 2012

Residential Outdoor Lighting Guide
Home interior lighting requires knowing the purpose of a room. Other factors involve matching the decor and selecting the best lighting. Unfortunately, some homeowners forget about the exterior lighting needs of a residence. The exterior lighting represents the first thing visitor’s notice at night. Outdoor lighting can provide visual appeal to a home’s landscape. The lighting brings focus to a swimming pool, water fountain, staircase, or a structure. Home security offers another benefit to outdoor lighting. Potential thieves are less likely to desire well-lit homes - ven low-level lighting can help reduce a burglary.

Types of Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting comes in different types based on the desired effect. Some homeowners want their outdoor lighting for decoration, while others prefer security. To save money and time, homeowners can choose solar-powered path lights, which require no installation or outdoor wiring (source: JacobsHomeLighting.com). Some homeowners prefer a more permanent type of lighting, such as up lighting. Up lighting employs an upward illumination and can showcase the second level of a home. Outdoor post lighting can beautify a gate’s entrance. Homeowners who have large front yards can invest in a normal-size post light. Meanwhile, homeowners with smaller backyards can opt for a mini post light.

Safety Tips for Outdoor Lighting
Homeowners can hire an electrician for their major outdoor lighting. These professionals keep up with a variety of safety codes. They know which lighting fixtures work outdoors and which ones do not. If homeowners plan to use simple solar lights, they do not need any installation. During the holidays, many people decide to use Christmas outdoor lights. Before making a purchase, homeowners must review the type of lighting and make sure the package confirms outdoor use. It is easy to overload a circuit breaker during the holidays. However, an overload can cause a fire. Unplugging the Christmas outdoor lights before bed is another safety tip.

Specialty Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor illumination does not need to focus solely on walkways, patios or the second floor of a home. Homeowners can invest in specialty outdoor lighting, which can be temporary or permanent. For instance, a pool can have underwater lights for evening swimmers. These swimmers enjoy their sport in a relaxing atmosphere. Plus, the swimmers gain safety from potential strangers entering the pool area unannounced. Deck lighting concentrates on adding charm when relaxing or eating meals. Garden lanterns offer light during backyard parties, late-evening outdoor dinners and other celebrations.

Fixture Selection for Outdoor Lighting
Homeowners must choose fixtures for their outdoor lighting. There are different options available based on taste. Some outdoor lighting comes as a lamp. An outdoor lamp needs a type with a mount because mounts keep the lamp fixture in place. Otherwise, there is a risk of the outdoor lighting fixtures becoming loose. This is important when harsh weather approaches, such as an ice storm.

Fixtures come in different designs and styles, including garden. When deciding on a lamp fixture, homeowners must calculate the fixture’s costs. Some small, plain designs run under $50.00. Large, elaborate designs can go as high as $200.00 or more.

Types of Bulbs for Outdoor Lighting
Most outdoor lights use a type of light bulb. The types of light bulbs used with outdoor lighting ranges in average energy use and illumination. Quartz halogen light bulbs provide an average life of 1,500 hours. These bulbs work best in easy to reach areas of a home. Some areas include the front porch, back porch, garages, and outside a walk-in shed. The illumination has a warm, egg white look. Meanwhile, compact fluorescent light bulbs offer 10,000 hours of illumination. These lights can go in entryways, pathways and near pool areas. But, you must know that fluorescent light bulbs can give off mercury in case they brake. Therefore, these bulbs require proper disposal to minimize harm.

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