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How to Come Up With the Best Outdoor Lighting Idea

Mar 19, 2008
Outdoor lighting is great for security reasons. There are some homeowners that use outdoor lighting for aesthetic reasons. Here are some great ideas for excellent outdoor lighting:

- How do you start? It is a fact that there are thousands of different outdoor fixture designs and styles. This can make it even more difficult for you to come up with a great outdoor lighting idea. The best thing to do is to first of all know exactly what you want out of your outdoor lighting. Is it something that you just wish to have for security reasons or do you want your lights to highlight and accent your outdoor property? Do you have a specific theme to your home and outdoor area? Your answers to these questions are crucial in determining the best outdoor lighting idea for you.

- Your decision to do things on your own or to hire a profession will depend greatly on the extent of the project. Consider getting the professional opinion and help of a lighting consultant, landscaper and a licensed electrician. An electrician in particular may not be able to add an aesthetic outdoor lighting idea but he can make sure that your fixtures and wiring are compliant with government electrical codes.

- Some say that you can still make great plans for your outdoor lighting idea even after your entire home structure and landscape are done. It would make sense though to try to incorporate outdoor lighting plans with your entire residential plan if you are still about to build your home. This can help determine the proper placement of not just electrical receptacles but pipes and wires as well.

- Assess your property first before you finalize your plan. Aside from a possible theme, you should also look for the focal point or points of your property. What exactly do you want people to notice first when they enter. Is it the large tree in your yard, a pool, a statue, a fountain, a walkway or an entrance arch? Once you have determined this, you can pick the right outdoor lighting idea.

- Mix elements. You shouldn't have just one kind of lighting for your outdoor property. Different areas require different kinds of lighting. Arches and entrances for example would look wonderful in uplights while statues would look better with downlights as would pathways, driveways and walkways. Patios and decks on the other hand would look wonderful with well designed lamps, lanterns, scones, table lighting and floor recessed lighting.

- Don't forget to include a toned-down and soothing effect for your lighting. In other words, direct glaring lights should be removed. Select lighting with soft or natural glow.

- Consider using portable and movable fixtures. This will allow you some flexibility when it comes to choosing lights for specific events or seasons. You may for example temporarily replace your lawn lamps with tiki torches if you are in the mood for a tropical themed gathering. You can easily do the replacement without necessarily removing your present wiring or socket placement.
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