Tips for Buying Outdoor Lights
You don’t have to stop the fun at sundown just because your outdoor lighting is poor or absent. When you go outdoor light shopping, never forget that the market is flooded with different products that are not created equal. It’s important to make a few essential considerations before you actually make a purchase.
Three Types of Lighting
First off, know the three main types of lighting: ambient, task and accent. You can achieve ambient lighting with post lights, wall lights and hanging lights. For task lighting, two popular options are deck lights and security lights. Accent lighting can come with spotlights and landscape kits.
Calculating Your Needs
Multiply your outdoor area’s square footage by 1.5 and you have a rough estimate of the total wattage it requires. For example, if this area is 100 square feet, it would need 150 watts. For cheaper, more energy-efficient, and maintenance-free lighting, go for LEDs over halogen or incandescent bulbs.
Making a Plan
With a simple paper template, determine the exact position and size of a fixture before paying for it. For the front porch or back patio, an outdoor wall light should be around a third of the door’s height. The materials should also be made of high-quality materials, making them sturdy and weather-resistant. For a quick fix for your lawn, get a kit that you can plug right into any outdoor outlet or try solar landscape lighting.
A View from Inside
It’s always good to consider how your outdoor space looks like from inside your home. For instance, the right lighting in a garden that is visible from your dining room, creates an illusion of a bigger room at night.
Subtle Light for Entertaining
Your guests won’t likely appreciate the spotlight when enjoying their outdoor meal, so stick to soft glow lighting. So for your outdoor dining area, think pendants, outdoor lanterns and the like. You’d like to add a dimmer as well so you can set the lights to full during food prep and cooking, and low for eating and socializing.
Lastly, while outdoor light should offer a desirable ambiance, it should work to secure your home too. Keep all entry points well-lit. You’ll do well with a wall lantern on each side of your garage door (outside) or just one on top. You can also install wall lanterns on windows, garages and side doors, and spotlights on your eaves around certain shadowy areas for added security.