Lighting Tips for Outdoor Living

Unfortunately, home decor is not quite as easy as it looks on do-it-yourself TV shows. There’s a lot of tough questions, decisions, and budget balancing required in any home improvement attempt, and you always have to fear that the results won’t end up quite how you expected. Take, for example, the hope to create an attractive outdoor space. Done right, a beautiful back or front yard can transform your house, making it seem more spacious, comfortable, stylish and valuable. On the other hand, a poorly decorated front yard can depreciate the value of your home and give guests a bad first impression.

frontAlthough there are man factors to keep in mind when designing an outdoor space, perhaps the most important one is lighting. With the right lighting, a small space can seem cozy, a large yard can seem safe and intimate, and activities can continue outside for as long as they naturally occur. The key to lighting a space beautifully is to have a clear idea in your mind, before you head to home depot or online, of exactly what kind of space you’re trying to build for yourself. Do you want a fancy outdoor space? An earthy vibe? Do you need a lot of light or do you like things to be a little dark? It’s all up to you, but you’re going to want to be consistent if you hope to come to an attractive, ambient end product.

When you’re considering what your goals are in terms of the lighting of different areas of your house, you also might want to keep in mind that there may be different needs in the front of your house verses the back. Your front door, for example, should be well lit, as should the rest of the side of your house that faces the street. This isn’t just for ambiance; it’s for safety, too. You want visitors to be able to find there way to your front door, and you want potential criminals to feel very vulnerable and visible if they ever take a chance and approach your door.

scrawThe backyard tends to be a slightly different story; people like to go all out with backyard designs and ambiance, and you’re likely to be bombarded with a myriad of options upon starting out your research. The major things to keep in mind are your budget and your priorities; are you willing to skimp on the quality of lights you use so that you an afford better furniture? Does that really make sense, given that you may have to then replace those lights at a later date? You’re likely to get the most bang for your buck if you pay more upfront for a light that will last longer, plus if you buy a better and more powerful light, you may be able to get away with using fewer lights and less electricity overall.

Another major factor of lighting decisions is the exterior of your home, the basis of the architecture with which you can work. Try to flatter what you have, not decorate for what you wish you had.

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