Outdoor lighting contributes to a home’s curb appeal and may offer enhanced safety after the sun sets. At night, a home’s features can be lost in the shadows, and hazards are more prevalent. To prevent mishaps that may take place, outdoor lighting can be a welcome enhancement. The Milwaukee/ NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc., celebrating 50 years as the area’s leading home improvement and remodeling resource, shares these outdoor lighting and security tips.
Entrance Lighting: Lighting by the front door creates a focal point. Whether a homeowner uses recessed lighting, wall lanterns, or pendants, entrance lights safely guide visitors by illuminating stairs and exposing other hazards.
All Lights on Deck: Deck lighting allows homeowners to enjoy the space after dark. Use lights under steps, railings, and benches to give the porch or deck a warm glow. If individuals enjoy entertaining, they may consider putting lights by the grill or serving areas. This can be achieved with a recessed lighting on an adjacent roof overhang, portable fixtures, or a light mounted to a nearby railing.
Step by Step: Build lights into the stairs to avoid trips and falls. Step lighting illuminates each step with recessed lighting in the steps’ risers or surface lights on vertical posts.
Show the Way: Pathway lights offer safety and beauty. With fixtures such as lanterns, solar lights, or tier lights, homeowners can illuminate a walkway to prevent tripping and showcase landscape features.
InMotion: Use motion-detecting lights to provide a home with security. They indicate when someone is walking past an area or offer illumination when a person is arriving home. Motion lights should be mounted in areas where it’s useful to have light for short periods of time, such as the garage or a side door.
Up and Down: Uplights and downlights accentuate architectural and landscape details. Uplighting casts light from an object’s base and can be used to highlight a tree, a flag, or the side of the home. Downlights can be mounted to a stone wall to display the texture or in tree branches to emphasize the foliage. This type of outdoor lighting can be achieved with many fixtures, including spotlights.
Underwater: Lighting that is submerged underwater gives ponds, fountains, and pools a glow that reveals plants, fish, and architectural details during the night. Low voltage, LED, and fiber-optic lighting are popular sources for ambient light.
Low Voltage: For a small amount of money, homeowners can illuminate their yard and provide security. Low voltage lighting is ideal for a variety of lighting uses – entrance, accent, flood, and more.
It can also help homeowners achieve the “moonlight effect,” which is soft, natural light. In many cases, lower lighting offers better security because bright lights can be harsh and create more shadows.
Time It: Timers can add convenience and save energy and money. Homeowners can set the timer to turn the lights off, except security lighting, at a certain time to conserve energy. There are numerous types of timers, from programmable systems to photocell timers, which sense changes in natural light.
The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council was chartered in July 1961, as a Chapter of the National Home Improvement Council. In May of 1982, the National Home Improvement Council merged with the National Remodelers Association to form NARI – the NationalAssociation of the Remodeling Industry.
The Council’s goals of encouraging ethical conduct, professionalism, and sound business practices in the remodeling industry have led to the remodeling industry’s growth and made NARI a recognized authority in that industry. With over 800 members, the Milwaukee Chapter is the nation’s largest.
For more information or to receive a free copy of an annual membership roster listing all members alphabetically and by category, and the booklet, “Milwaukee/NARI’s Remodeling Guide,” call (414) 771-4071 or visit the Council’s Web site at www.milwaukeenari.org.