You’ve probably paid very good attention to your interior lighting, but have you thought about your landscape lighting or outdoor lighting? The U.S. Houzz Landscaping Trends Study reported that around half of homeowners who are renovating their outdoor spaces are also redoing their landscape lighting. Almost 75% of those changing up their outdoor lighting are going for LED lighting instead of incandescent bulbs. And, almost 40% of respondents to a “What Home Buyers Really Want” survey put out by the National Association of Home Builders said that exterior lighting was an “Essential” or “Must Have” feature. So why is exterior lighting just as important as interior lighting? What are some smart outdoor lighting ideas you can incorporate in your yard? What are the benefits to using LED lights versus more traditional lighting options?
Why a Well Lit Yard Is Important
Have you ever walked by a home at night that has a lovely soft glow emanating from front porch lights or a path snaking up from the fence to the front door? It can be a striking touch! The Houzz Landscaping Trends Study showed that in 2017, just over 15% of homeowners thought that outdoor lighting was one of the top features in a front yard that could boost curb appeal. Having backdoor lighting on your deck or patio can help extend outdoor dinner parties or get togethers or simply provide a relaxing atmosphere for you and your family.
This can be especially important if you have a large piece of property. A well lit yard can make sure that you feel safe if you’re out in your yard alone at night, as well as ensure that you can always see where you’re going. Turning your ankle or tripping down stairs can be painful, inconvenient, and in some cases, even life-threatening. And, a well-lit yard suggests to those with perhaps unkind intentions, that the house is well cared for and maintained — and that it might be tougher to try any funny business on that particular piece of property.
Let’s Talk Landscape Lighting Ideas
Your landscape lighting design will depend largely on what kind of property you have. If you have just a postage stamp sized parcel, a front porch light and a back door light might well suffice. Street lights and neighbors’ lights might take care of the rest.
However, if you live in a more suburban or rural area, and have more land, you may want bigger lights on outbuildings (say, floodlights on barns) or pathway lights that lead to different landscaped areas of your yard.
In 2016, homeowners who touched up their outdoor lighting changed or added path, post, or bollard lights and just over 40% worked on installing or changing up their deck, step, or rail lights.
Ideally, you want a lighting design that complements your home’s aesthetic, while also being practical. Whether you choose incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, or LED lights is up to you, but it’s worth knowing the new trends and changes on the market as well.
Why Should I Be Considering LED Lights?
As mentioned above, homeowners who swapped out lighting were likely to choose LED lighting. Why? Well, for one, LED lights only use about 15% of the energy that a halogen light requires. And, even though it uses less energy, it puts out about 85% more in light.
Furthermore, Energy.gov reports that if LED lights become the standard by 2027, a huge amount of electricity could be saved — equivalent to about the electricity that 44 electric plants could put out.
LEDs also tend to be more direction-specific; that is, they give off light in a particular direction, so they’re perfect for areas that are a little more hidden or that you need a direct sight line for.
If you’re planning on redoing your yard, you should think about your landscape lighting situation and see what improvements or changes could be made to your existing lighting design. A better lit space can improve safety and appearance, as well as functionality!