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Your Ultimate Outdoor Lighting Design Guide

Is your outdoor lighting helping or hurting your home? At Kolb Electric, we believe that outdoor lighting is an important part of the overall look and function of your Washington, DC area home. From adding to your home’s security to making it look its best no matter what the time of day, outdoor lighting is an important part of your home. If you’re considering installing outdoor lighting in your home, here are some thoughts you need to consider.

Ready to install outdoor lighting in Washington, DC? Contact the Kolb Electric team now!

Why Investing in Outdoor Lighting Makes Sense in DC

outdoor lighting in Washington, DC

Are you considering ways in which you can improve your home’s appearance and security? Outdoor landscape lighting in Washington, DC can do both. By combining beautiful outdoor lighting with your home’s landscaping and adding lighting to areas that are dimly lit, you can increase your home’s value and appeal while decreasing the risk of theft.

Outdoor lighting brings several benefits to your home. Some of these include:

  • Improved safety – Low-voltage outdoor lighting can reduce the risk of people tripping and falling while visiting your home. Lowering the risk of injuries will make your home safer overall. Consider adding lighting to stairways and paths for this benefit.
  • Improved security – Thieves love the dark. Dark spots around your home’s exterior are a welcome sign to people who wish to do your home harm. Deter intruders by lighting up the dark spaces around your home.
  • Improved aesthetics – Your home is a beautiful space, but when the sun goes down it may not shine like it does during the day. Landscape lighting can improve this by shedding some light on appealing architecture of landscape features in your yard. Landscape lighting can be fully customized to make your home look great, even after the sun goes down.

Kolb Electric understands how to design lighting plans for your Washington, DC home that provide all three of these benefits. If you’re looking to improve the look, safety, and security of your home then outdoor lighting is the way to go.

Determining the Right Type of Landscape Lighting for Your Home

landscape lighting with path lighting in Washington, DC

Before installing landscape lighting you will need to know the different types available to you. Here are some common options to consider:

LED Lights

LED lights are low-voltage lights that can illuminate small areas, like individual stairs, garden plants or railings. They don’t use much electricity and last a long time, making them an economical investment. They are available as individual lights, spotlights and rope lighting.

Pool Lights

For homes with a pool, pool lights improve nighttime swimming by illuminating the water from below the surface. They can also be installed in outdoor hot tubs.

Pathway Lights

Pathway lights dress up a path and help reduce tripping hazards. These are often low to the ground and can be solar powered, drawing energy from the sun during the day and then expending that energy with a subtle glow at night.

Security Lights

Security lights light up dark spots in the yard to protect against intruders. Some security lighting is triggered by motion, while other lighting stays on all night long.

Which type of outdoor lighting is right for your home? The answer will depend on your goals. Whether you’re looking for additional safety and security, want to spruce up the look of your outdoor space or simply want to highlight a part of your outdoor space, you can find a landscape lighting option that will fit those needs.

Making the Most out of Your Outdoor Lights

outdoor landscape lighting highlighting a garden

If you’re looking to improve your home with outdoor lighting, you are going to need to make some considerations before you invest. Choosing the right lighting starts with understanding how you want to use it. Here are some considerations you can make.

First, decide if you plan to illuminate a dark area of your yard constantly or if you want to turn the lights off after enjoying them. If you’re going to leave the lights on all night long you may wish to invest in an energy efficient lighting option. The more efficient the bulb is, the less you will be spending on energy bills. Remember that you won’t need much light at night so low-voltage and efficient lighting is a great way to keep the energy bills in check.

If you feel that the high energy cost of leaving the lights on is a bad idea for your budget, consider using motion sensors in areas where you need lights for security or safety. Motion sensors will light up the space when someone is present, adding the safety you’re looking for in your home.

Finally, consider what you’re looking to illuminate. This will help you choose between the two main types of outdoor lights – uplighting lights and downlighting lights.

Uplighting lights shine from the ground up on a surface, like a landscaping feature or a tree. Downlighting lights shine down onto the ground, which can illuminate an unsafe area or highlight a plant you wish to show off. Both can be incorporated into your design as you work to illuminate your yard.

Designing Your Outdoor Lighting

When you have a basic idea of what you want in your outdoor lighting, then the real fun can begin. The Kolb Electric team is ready to help you with the design process, so you can be certain your final project will do exactly what you want and need it to do. As you consider your design options, make sure you take these factors into consideration:

  • Remember your indoor living needsOne mistake many homeowners make is installing outdoor lighting so that it shines into the home. Instead, your outdoor lighting should graze the exterior of your home and travel up, so make sure nothing shines right into the windows in your home.
  • Keep the entrance visible If you use spotlights in your home, don’t shine them directly on entrances. This can make it more difficult for people approaching your home to see where they are going.
  • Use coach lights for balance Coach lights are wall sconce lights that can add balance to your outdoor lighting scheme. These are elegant and attractive additions to your space.
  • Use the spread of the light Outdoor lighting spreads, so make sure the spread is even across your home’s exterior. This will create balance and an attractive look.
  • Light walkways the right way Path lighting is very easy to mess up. You need a large light spread but not too many fixtures, which can cause the area to look cluttered.
  • Enhance the landscaping An effective outdoor lighting design will enhance and add to your landscaping design, not detract from it.

If you are ready to transform your home with beautiful outdoor lighting, Kolb Electric is here to help. Our design team and licensed electricians can help you with the entire process, from choosing the lighting that best fits your needs and tastes to installing it expertly. Let us help you create an attractive outdoor lighting scheme in your Maryland, Northern Virginia or DC area home. Give us a call at 877-287-1179 today, or you can contact us online.

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