When the weather gets warm, no one wants to be stuck inside the house. Even in the evenings, if the air is warm and inviting, outdoors is a good place to be. How will you choose to light the exterior of your home? Here are some tips to guide you in the area of outdoor lighting.

Let there be light – outdoors. It used to be that exterior lighting was limited to the sun until it set or the outside light on the house. Unfortunately for us, that solitary bright bulb attracted mosquitoes by the handful that tried to drain us of blood until we finally gave up and went indoors.

Times have changed and now there are more options when it comes to outdoor lighting. Let’s begin with some eco-friendly choices.

Solar Lighting

You may have seen them around. Solar lights have several advantages: they are affordable, easy to install and operate on sustainable energy. When you install these lights in strategic areas that get more than their fair share of sunlight, solar lamps can store enough energy for up to 15 hours.

Consider solar lamps for areas that are hard to wire or not near an electrical outlet. That might include driveways, paths through landscaped garden areas and around patios or decks. The downside to solar energy is the lack of sun. They work much better during warmer, sunnier months than during the winter. Then, you’ll be inside anyway.

Low Voltage Lamps

No one wants their outside lighting to become a drain on the energy bill. Avoid this with low voltage lighting systems. They contain 3 components: lamp, power pack and cable. The power pack plugs into the nearest outdoor outlet to where the lamps will be set up. The lamp includes a bulb that can range from 4 watts to 50 watts. Finally, the cable conducts the electricity. These cables are made for outdoor use so you don’t have to worry about rain short circuiting them.

Other Outdoor Lighting Options

Flood lights – In the interest of safety, illuminating certain areas of your home can protect you when coming home after dark or while everyone is resting in the house. A criminal is probably less likely to try to force a door in the full light of a lamp. And, motion sensors can turn the lights on when someone passes within a certain number of feet of them.

Flood lights have more aesthetic purposes as well. They can be used to illuminate flower gardens or sculptures in the yard. Walkways, that need more light than solar can provide, benefit from flood lights of varying wattage.

Home lighting – Change your outside fixtures to match your style. Depending on the wiring, lamps can be attached on either side of exterior doors or hang from chains over the doors where there is an overhang. For an Old World style, use lamp posts on paths leading to the front door.

Whether you use outdoor lighting for landscape, social areas, security or aesthetics, there is an option to suit your needs and tastes.

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