It is a undisputed fact that kitchens and baths help sell a home, but the 3rd classy component in the home equity trifecta is definitely “curb appeal”.
After perfecting the outside of your house, it is time to consider the landscaping. Well-executed landscaping softens the hard edges of trails, drives, and the foundation of the house while complementing the style your house conveys. Hours can be spent pouring over gardening mags, skimming nurseries and consulting local garden mavens on correct plant selections ; at some point all your research and difficult work will eventually come to the end. However ; the bulk of owners stop here. If you stop with just the landscaping, something is missing – the light!
In the long days of summer, lack of out of doors lighting is fine while the sun lingers till late in the evening, but what about what’s left of the year when you would like to sit on your superbly landscaped terrace or deck? Or sit on your front porch and mingle with your neighbors in the evening light? The warm embrace of light creates a welcoming atmosphere, both outside and inside of your house, as well as providing security. Landscape lighting extends the time you are able to enjoy your “outdoor home”. What good is all the tough work you have put into the outside of your house if you cannot see it? There are several options in outdoor lighting that can take the average home from “Oh, that is nice.” to “Wow.
Whether you’re a “do-it-yourself-er” or decide to hire an expert to install for you, correct planning is important to lighting the outside of your home. Measure and map out the areas of your exterior that you would like to light and bring in a few photos to your local lighting showroom.
Remember there is more than one type of exterior lighting.
- Step and bench lighting: Step and bench lighting are designed to accent and safely illuminate your exterior stairways and deck. Under step lights are mounted under stairs or benches; whereas, louvered or acrylic-faced step lights are recessed into stairs risers. Both large and small decorative fixtures can be mounted on the sides or tops of deck posts. You can also integrate recessed brick lights into brick walls during construction. This is a great look for raised brick planters.
- Path and area lighting: Path and area lighting both enhance your landscaping and brighten your pathways.
- Downlighting and uplighting: Downlighting, also known as moonlighting, highlights your home or landscaping from above, while uplighting illuminates from below.
- Shadowing and silhouetting: Shadowing is achieved when a light is placed in front of an object, and silhouetting occurs when the object is lit from behind.
- Wall washing: Wall washing is used to soften shadows and grazing is used to encourage shadows.