Lighting design services are often part of interior design basics. But not many people know that they can also be applied to your home’s landscaped yard.
Most homeowners are said to have the universal thinking that landscaping is enough to increase a home’s sale price. But you can possibly raise the stakes further by installing lights outside of your home. When it comes to accentuating your curb appeal, it’s believed that nothing beats a combination of a well-manicured lawn and the proper positioning of lights to bring out the best your courtyard has to offer.
This article discusses the seven most compelling reasons for hiring landscape lighting experts for your outdoor lighting needs. Furthermore, some of the basic lighting techniques and methods many lighting companies usually use will be tackled.
1. Landscape Lighting Designers Can Add Value To Your Home
Landscaping is an important component of home care, and it’s said to be able to improve your property’s overall look at reasonable costs. By spending from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, you can increase your selling price quite substantially.
According to a report from the National Association of Realtors or NAR in the United States, good landscaping, which can cost you as high as USD$ 6,000 based on industry estimates, can instantly help your property to sell in the hot real estate market. It’s also believed to net a high ROI or return on investment, the agency further added.
Thus, outdoor lighting installations from Washington Outdoor Lighting in Seattle and elsewhere in the Washington state area have the potential to help you make your house more desirable in the eyes of prospective homebuyers. Industry estimates reveal that exterior lighting can cost you anywhere from USD$2,000 to USD$4,000, depending on the works needed.
2. Outdoor Lighting Specialists Know What They’re Doing
Sure, you can buy different do-it-yourself backyard illuminating kits for a few hundred dollars in a hardware store. And, being a seasoned DIY-er, you might even do an ‘okay’ job installing it.
But landscape lighting professionals, being familiar with the effects, types, and all elements of a great lighting system, are still your best bet. These lighting experts have standards that leave the guesswork out of the appropriate types of lights, wattages, and wires to be used for your home’s outdoor lighting.
A professional will consider several factors, including the climate, home height, vegetation, effects, and the critical functionalities that need to be prioritized. For outdoor lighting to work properly, it should be protected from external concerns such as power fluctuations, harsh weather, and potential water leakages. With a professional doing the installation for you, you don’t need to worry about these problems at all.
3. Trained Pros Can Make Your Home More Welcoming
With the addition of lights, the beauty of your property is highlighted and your entryways are said to become more accommodating. This runs counter to the dark and gloomy feel your yard exudes due to the absence of proper illumination.
Whether you’re inviting friends over for a potluck dinner or planning to sell your home soon, a more inviting home can do wonders in stirring interest from guests and potential buyers.
Like a well-kept yard, a great entrance lighting system can also increase your property’s curb appeal. That’s because the overall look of your home frontage, entrance lighting included, can transform this section of your property; making them more attractive to passersby and onlookers alike.
4. Light Design Experts Can Work To Bring Ideas Into Life
It’s believed that service providers are trained to bend over backward just to provide full customer satisfaction. Landscape lighting professionals are said to be no exception to this.
While they can provide useful suggestions on which types of lights and systems may work well in your yard, in the end, your preference matters. Before coming up with their professional suggestions, lighting experts will talk to you about your wants and needs, visit your home, and take your opinions into account before submitting a project proposal.
Simply put, you can convert your outdoor area into a creative space to experiment with diverse lighting styles and design options. You may ask help from your lighting professionals about how your choices may impact your landscaped yard’s look and feel.
Besides this, they can provide advice to homeowners on the best lighting options well within their set budget. So, instead of dismissing their services for being ‘pricey,’ you can actually save costs by hiring these experts in some cases. Having them on your side lets you spend minimal costs that can generate maximum impact.
5. Qualified Landscape Lighting Workers Help Follow Compliance Rules
The National Electric Code or NEC has set specific rules for outdoor wiring and your lighting designers are fully aware of what these standards are. They made include federal or local applicable codes.
There are few basic rules for outdoor wiring which are said to be all focused on preventing the dangers of moisture and corrosion. Paramount to this requirement is having at least one outdoor electrical receptacle in the front and back sections of the house. All houses are also required to have a ground-fault circuit interrupter or GFCI outlet, which protects humans from being electrocuted.
Below is a list of some of the core tenets the NEC mandates that are helpful for you to know.
- NEC requires one lighting outlet for all exterior doors on the first level of your home.
- An outlet is also needed at all exit points of the garage.
- Outdoor light fixtures in wet areas, with or without roof protection, should be listed as such.
- Mounted electrical boxes must be weatherproof.
- Any low-voltage lighting system, with less than 30 volts, should be listed by an accredited testing agency as an entire system. Each fixture should be more than five feet away from outside walls of wet environments such as swimming pools.
- The wiring for this low-voltage outdoor lighting system must be buried six inches or more.
Authorities also strongly suggest property owners call ‘811’ or the ‘Call Before You Dig’ hotline before digging any portion within your property’s vicinity. This is to ensure that you don’t damage any utility lines buried in the area.
7. Outdoor Lighting Professionals Can Help Improve Home Security
A well-lit exterior may help deter crimes. No burglar is willing to take the risk of being identified because of the presence of multiple lights capturing the housebreaker’s every move.
When installed, outdoor lights can complement video home surveillance systems, so you can rest assured that your family and other prized assets are protected even if you’re away for work. With proper lighting, you can also identify your kids’ friends and the persons they hang out with.
Placed strategically, it could let you see what’s happening near your neighbor’s doorway too. This may help you maintain peace and order in the neighborhood.
8. Lighting Companies Provide Maintenance and Upgrade Services
An outdoor lighting system can last a great deal of time. However, they may be prone to electrical-related issues for various reasons. Weather, accidents, and insects are believed to play a huge role in lengthening or cutting short a light fixture’s life span. For instance, an LED or light-emitting diode bulb can get broken after being hit by a flying pebble or get busted for no clear reason at all.
Depending on the type of repairs needed, you can either do it on your own or seek the services of professionals familiar with your lighting system. Because they keep records of any activity related to your system, no one understands your lighting needs more than your service providers.
These professionals know when to visit your home for preventive maintenance, allowing your lights to perform optimally at longer periods. When things go wrong with your lighting cable wires, GFCI, or other components, your light experts can perform repairs to keep you and your family safe.
Basic Landscape Lighting Techniques
Expert lighting professionals follow different dogmas in determining the outdoor lighting system fit for your home. Some of them are indicated below:
- Backlighting – this technique is utilized when a designer wants to accentuate an interestingly shaped object in a more impactful way.
- Deck lighting – as the name implies, it’s used to illuminate the steps and bricks or any materials used in construction. This aims to achieve a welcoming atmosphere while ensuring safety along passageways.
- Step lighting – works the same way as deck lighting, except that the lights on this one focus on the steps on a stairway.
- Grazing – aims to highlight a textured object by placing the light source about one foot away from the object you want to be emphasized while aligning the light beam to the object or surface.
- Uplighting – this method works to highlight an area or object from below, so as to generate a focal point in the landscape. You can do this on trees, shrubs, and other areas of interest.
- Shadowing– works when you want to create a shadow from an object you want to highlight. This is achieved by placing the light in front of the object and looking for a surface where you can project the object’s shadow.
- Wall washing – as its name suggests, this method aims to accentuate the surface or the wall by placing a spotlight in front of the property.
Landscape Lighting Focus Areas
Whether for aesthetic or safety purposes, or both, outdoor landscape lighting can be used in many places within your property’s premises. Here are the possible areas in your house’s exterior that could benefit from landscape lighting:
- Close-By-House – refers to the illumination of side and rear sections or entry points of the property such as windows.
- Driveway – while focusing on safety, interesting designs and patterns can be formed while playing with the lights needed to brighten this section.
- Front Entry –as mentioned, lights can be placed on your front door to make it look more welcoming.
- Garage – your landscape lighting should include the garage, both for safety and security purposes. An adequately lit garage helps discourage thieves and provides ample light so you can move in and out of the garage with ease.
- Rear Yard –floodlighting, or placing a strong light that shines on a considerable portion of a surface or object, is a technique often used on the back portion of your home.
- Steps and Paths – lights used to brighten these areas are focused on safety. As such, they should be soft and warm.
The Bottom Line
Illuminating a landscaped outdoor area exudes a more inviting atmosphere. A well-lit yard highlights the best parts of your patio or garden. Not only do they enhance your home’s security and guests’ safety, but you can also reap its benefits when you decide to put up your house on sale in the real estate market.
To perfectly achieve these goals and more, it’s best to seek the help of trusted lighting professionals located in your area.