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Highlight your home with outdoor lighting

Sep 22, 2017

Adding outdoor lighting to your home can create a dramatic effect, highlighting your home’s features and landscaping as well as providing additional security. Dave Vanderbleek from Tri-City Electric, has three trends in outdoor lighting you can add to your home to increase its nighttime curb appeal.

Malibu lighting
This is a DIY-friendly outdoor lighting option. The low-voltage lighting is preassembled on stakes that can be planted in the ground and the connecting wires covered with mulch or rock in the landscaping. There is a transformer that needs to be attached to the house and plugged into an exterior outlet, but confident DIYers can install Malibu lighting themselves.

There are a few drawbacks to Malibu lighting. It usually only lasts a couple years before the lights burn out or the stake is damaged.

“The stakes, sometimes with the frost and the kids, they get knocked out of the ground,” Vanderbleek said.

Also, the Malibu lighting uses more energy than other options, which means higher electric bills.

Line voltage
This is the option Vanderbleek uses in his own home. It provides up-lighting or directional-lighting to highlight features of the landscaping or house. Typically homeowners use line voltage to highlight the corners of the home and landscaping features, such as trees and shrubs. But in his own home, Vanderbleek wanted to light up the entire house, which you can see in the photo above.

“It gives a very soft look at night,” Vanderbleek said. “It is very appealing.”

Line voltage needs to be hard wired into the house, so it should be installed by a licensed electrician to ensure it meets code and safety standards. But line voltage outdoor lighting lasts years longer than Malibu lighting, and can be fitted with LED lights for increased energy efficiency so you’ll save money in the long run.

“I’ve had lighting at my house for 11 years and it just makes the house look very, very nice at night as well as making it safe around the house as well,” Vanderbleek said.

Down lighting and spots
Down lighting can be used in soffits around the house, over the door to light up entryways or even suspended in trees to highlight a special landscaping feature. Down lighting is often combined with spot lights near the door for added security.

Most outdoor lighting is placed on a timer, coming on at dusk and turning off around 10 p.m. or whenever you typically go to bed. But spots can be set to detect motion and come on whenever a person or animal walks by them, providing additional security.

To get more ideas on adding outdoor lighting to your home to highlight landscaping or provide additional security, click here to contact one of NECA’s licensed electricians. 

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