Outside Lights - Beautify, Secure and Raise the Value of Your Home A properly designed and implemented landscape lighting design will not only provide you with years of enjoyment and security, but the permanent improvements will also instantly add value to your home. The warm and inviting feeling provided by landscape lights elevates the mood and offers a welcome feeling to visitors. Thoughtful homeowners take pride in the appearance of their home. But outdoor lighting is something that too often gets left out of the landscaping equation. If you are going to take the time, effort and energy to make your yard functional and visually attractive during the day, it would seem a natural extension to preserve and enhance these same qualities when the sun sets, right? The benefits of lighting your yard, walkways, driveways, decks and gardens are numerous. First, they provide a decorative level of creativity, flair and style to your landscaping. Second, decorative ideas like outdoor walkway lighting make nighttime strolls and activities safe and enjoyable. Also, if you live in a climate where conditions don't allow for spending evenings in the yard, outside lights provide a picturesque backdrop when gazing through a window from inside the home. Outdoor flood lights, motion sensor outdoor lighting, patio deck lighting and outdoor track lighting are excellent examples of how you can easily make your home safe and secure. You can use small lights to illuminate the pathway curves and use larger lights to shed light on objects you want to highlight and reveal otherwise darkened spaces. First-time guests to homes particularly appreciate path lighting leading up to an entrance way. The last thing you want is for dear old Aunt Hazel to break a hip trudging up to your front door! If you like sleeping in a home secure in the knowledge your home is protected against prowlers, scoundrels, and other mischief-makers, a well-lit home is a proven deterrence. In addition, outdoor security lighting may very well entitle you to lowered payments on your homeowners insurance policy. To find out, simply consult your policy or give your insurance agent a call or send an email. For those having a house built, the ideal time to install outside lights is during the process of landscaping the yard. It doesn't stretch the imagination too far to understand that implementing a lighting design after the landscape has been permanently installed is going to be more expensive than incorporating it from the beginning. Should you do it yourself? Whether tackling an outdoor lighting project is something for you depends on how comfortable you are working with such things as transformers, landscape lighting wires, wire strippers, wire nuts, screw drivers, electrical tape, lights and bulbs. If this doesn't daunt you, it can actually be relatively easy and inexpensive to set up a landscape lighting design that finishes off an overall landscape design in a way that is visually appealing, functional and secure. Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer pre-packaged outdoor lighting kits that make the job even easier by including all the parts you will need. If you have a
design of your own, you can select products individually. As long as you educate yourself, exercise some patience, and use your own creativity, you'll find that much of the work toward creating a beautifully lit landscape can be done without bringing in electricians or outdoor lighting experts. In short, just about anyone has the ability to install any kind of yard lighting, whether solar patio lights, motion detector lights or even pond lights. Tips for hiring a professional service If you don't want to fool around with transformers, then you'll most likely want to bring in a professional service to see your landscape lighting ideas through to fruition. But before you hire a service, you have a little research to do. To start with, you want to make sure any company you consider working with is bonded, insured and accredited. From this starting point, move on to inquiring of the company's knowledge and level of experience in landscape lighting design and execution. Also consider whether the company offers a yearly maintenance package that covers such things as outdoor light bulbs and other products used in the lighting system. The outdoor landscape lighting company should also be able to prepare a presentation that includes current catalogs and pricing. Ask about the products used by the company and why they use them. Request catalogs and thoroughly read through warranties, which should be included in each catalog requested. The most reputable and trusted products will come with lifetime warranties. A professional service should advise you about the best way to achieve an appearance that highlights the best features of your home while beautifully concealing necessary items like power lines, gas meters, air conditioning units, garden hoses, etc. This design should take into account proper placement of controllers and fixtures that uses the least amount of lighting to get the job done. In other words, a well-designed outside lights system should work efficiently and be extremely cost-effective.