7 Outdoor Lighting Mistakes

Outdoor lighting goes a long way toward increasing your homes curb appeal, but only if you get it right. Unfortunatley many people get it wrong.  Don't make these seven outdoor lighting mistakes.

The light is the wrong size.

When hanging on the wall in the hardware store, the light looks the right size. However, when mounted, the light often is too small and does not give off sufficient light to illuminate the front of the garage as expected. When standing 30 feet away, the light looks only half as big as it does up close. On the other hand, don’t over light the area either. You’re not lighting up a football stadium and glare can be just as bad as not enough light.

Changing light colors on the house.

This is a fun idea. For July 4th maybe.  Or Halloween. Or if your son is coming home from being deployed. But not every night. Choose a nice soft light and stick with it.

Emphasizing the wrong architectural features.

Remember as a kid putting a flashlight underneath your chin, then telling scary stories with your friends or brothers and sisters? That was fun, but you want your home in the right light. Don’t scare off your dinner guests. Also, give thought to proper illumination of your walkway. You want your guests to easily find their way.  Especially when the weather is bad or there has been snow or ice accumulating.

Don’t ignore your best features.

Perhaps you put a lot of effort in building a backyard area to relax in during the summer. By adding in subtle lighting, you can make the area even more enjoyable.  Perhaps you have a couple of distinctive trees in the area or some small funky statues that make you smile. Put them in the light.  You might even have still water or a small manufactured waterfall. Proper lighting can create a delightful mood.

Know when to call in the experts.

Outdoor lighting that will have a receptacle and is away from the house should be installed by a professional. Rain and the elements can take their toll on these fixtures and your professional can help you protect them.

Using duct tape or staples to hang café outdoor lights.

When done right the café lights create a fiesta like feeling and can greatly enhance your living space for warmer months. So, do it right. Industrial grade staples are good for securing the extension cords up the side of a tree, but the lights need to be able to sway with the wind. So loop the lights through springs or carbiner clip to allow some “give” to the cord. A 1/16” wire should be sufficient. And make sure the bulbs are easily replaced and not one of a kind.

Not being serious when lighting a pool.

Night swimming on a warm evening can be a lot of fun. Do it right.  Use LED lighting which has a long life and can cost pennies a day to run. The LEDs also allow you to customize the color of the light rather than being stuck with the yellowish blob that regular lights produce.

Here’s the final takeaway on mistakes people make in outdoor lighting. Don’t be afraid to get an opinion from a lighting professional. our certified electricians have done this work hundreds of times and can make the choices clear. You think you’re saving some money until you have to do it over again.  This time do it right. More importantly, an electrician can help you do it safely.  While installing a light can be dangerous if not done properly, it can also be danger down the road.


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