Home exterior lighting welcomes you and helps you get inside safely at night. Few things are as annoying as seeing a completely dark home, or fumbling for and dropping your keys while looking for the door knob. And falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for adults age 65 and older, according to the National Safety Council. Accidents like tripping on a toy, spills, or package left near the doorstep are completely preventable with a simple home lighting fixture. Another benefit is better home security because lighting prevents people from getting inside unseen or hiding in dark spots.
Here is a quick guide for lighting up your home exterior.
The most important exterior area to light up is the front entrance. This should be well lit to guide people to the door, to make it easy for you to use your keys, and to help you identify who is at your door. You also want to illuminate your house number so guests will they know they are at the right place. Wall-mounted light fixtures on both sides of the door give symmetrical and redundancy in case a bulb goes out.
As alternative entrances to your home, these areas should be well lit at night to let you, family members and close friends safely into your home.
Path lights lead people safely to your door. You should install lights on pathway, staircases, driveways and other areas that people pass to get to your door.
Areas around a body of water should be well lit to prevent someone from falling in.
In case of emergency, your home exits, fire extinguisher locations and fire escapes should be easy to find.
Before installing any light fixtures and their accessories, make sure they are compatible with your home’s wiring, are rated for outdoor use, and comply with all safety regulations in your area. If you are not comfortable installing lighting on your own, call an electrician.
Choose energy-saving bulbs. Low voltage and wattage will save you money and have the added benefit of reduced heat. LED bulbs can last up to 50x longer, which adds up to great savings on bulb replacements. For an in-depth guide to energy-saving bulbs and eco-friendly design strategies, check out our post about going green with home lighting.
To maximize light, clear the areas around your doors. Obstructions such as parked cars, plants, trees or decorations will block light and create shadows. Clean your light fixtures regularly to keep them bright.
Use more lighting where you need it. If you see yourself working in your garage or spending time on your patio, invest in more lighting there.
Automate your lights, if possible. Lights at night suggest that you are home and that your house is well maintained. Photocells turn lights on at sunset and off at sunrise. Kuna smart light fixtures can be programmed to turn on automatically at night.
For extra peace of mind, walk around the house at night with a flashlight to identify other areas that need lighting. Lighting up your home exterior goes a long way in keeping your home safe, and making you and your family happy.
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