Exterior Lighting Can add Value and Security Exterior Lighting Can add Value and Security
You know how important it is to have proper lighting inside your home and if you stop to think about it, exterior lighting is equally as important. Properly planned and laid out exterior lighting can add to your home's resale value by highlighting its architectural and landscaping features, plus it can add a level of security for you and your family. Here some tips for adding exterior lighting to your home.
Plan to do it right
- When putting together your home's exterior lighting plan, take a walk outside just when the sun is going down and determine which areas should have additional lighting. There are the obvious places where more light is always welcome such as walkways, porches and entrances, but don't forget about your back yard patio or deck and any dark areas away from your home where intruders could lurk.
- Ambient exterior lighting (to light pathways for example) can be easily provided using low voltage (12 volt) light fixtures or solar powered photocells that turn themselves on at dark and off at daylight and are easy for any homeowner to install. Brighter light more intense security lighting will likely require fixtures wired directly to your home's 110 volt electrical system.
Considerations for Lighting Close to your home
- Ensure your guests (and potentially emergency response teams) can find your house by ensuring your home's address numbers are either back lit or well illuminated by placing a wall light close to them.
- Your front walk and porch are the first things your guests see as they approach your home, so be sure there is lots of light along the path and near your entrance so they can avoid any tripping hazards and feel safe while approaching. Among your options here are post lamps, wall mounted fixture or sconces or even hanging lights installed in passage ways.
- Flood lights installed up high on the four corners of your home where they're out of reach and tamper proof are a practical if not necessarily attractive choice to eliminate any shadowy areas close to your home.
Lights away from your home
- If you have a large property installing flood lights high up in trees can eliminate any dark areas where potential intruders could lurk. Flood lights equipped with motions sensors activated by movement will eliminate the concern your lights will bother your neighbor and if dogs or animal movement in your yard is a problem, some motion sensors can be adjusted so movement close to ground won't turn them on while a taller person moving in their vicinity will.
- Lights in car ports and garages are a vital component in a home's exterior security lighting plan. While all the best automatic garage door openers include a light that turns on when the opener is activated, leaving a light on all the time is a good choice for added safety.
- If you don't like the idea of leaving a light burning 24 hours a day, consider installing a fixture equipped with a motion detector inside the garage that will turn on when someone comes into the garage.
Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer whose work has appeared on numerous web sites, as well as in newspapers and books in both the US and Canada. He is often cited as an expert on home related topics and is a frequent contributor to DoItYourself.com.