Outdoor Lighting: Location, Function, Power Source And Cost

To effectively install outdoor lighting around your home, consider its location, function, and aesthetic value as well as power source and cost.

Outdoor lighting can play an important role in enhancing your home's security and cosmetic appeal. When shopping for outside illumination, keep in mind considerations like these:

1. Which type of outdoor lighting is best? Many types are available through home supply and maintenance stores. For example, you may want to install floodlights if you have a large commercial property that requires surveillance. On the other hand, a motion sensor light may be all that's needed for your back porch if you are concerned about stray raccoons feeding off the compost pile. Decide what type of need you have and then shop for the best type of lighting to meet it.

2. What type of power source will it use? Some light fixtures, like the front porch's overhead lamp, operate from your home's electric lines. The light post beside the driveway may feed on solar fuel. Batteries can provide the juice for other kinds of lighting, with kerosene placed in lanterns if needed. When selecting a special type of lighting for the lawn, porch, or barn, be sure to figure out in advance how it will be powered to avoid dealing with possible complications later.

3. Where will you place outdoor lighting? A simple back porch light by the door may be all you need for now. Or you could opt for ground-level solar lamps that will line your flowerbed or light up the length of the driveway. Motion detectors at the rear of your property can be tucked behind a bush or under the eave of the porch for minimal exposure. A gaslight pole, however, makes an attractive addition to your home's front. Even window candles can brighten a porch area.

4. How will you install it? Some units are easy to install, since you can be guided by package instructions or the store clerk's advice, or you can check online technical guidelines. If you need to add an outdoor electrical line or upgrade your wiring, contact a professional electrician instead of trying to do this yourself. It's too easy to hit a buried power line and knock out the neighborhood's power if you don't know where to dig or how to adjust the juice.

5. How much will it cost? Depending on the size of the light, the complexity of installation, and the fueling source's price per month, you could find this additional fairly reasonable or quite expensive. Check with an in-store consultant before investing in a major illumination system to be sure the type of fixture you wish to purchase will be adequate for your needs and to grasp the aesthetic and safety features of the unit you plan to buy.

Outdoor lighting is a great way to spruce up your property and add protective value to the outside of your home. Shop around to get the right-size unit for the best price. Don't try to install the unit unless you have electrical experience and clear instructions. Then plug it in, turn it on, and enjoy the attractive, convenient safety of your home's new feature.

© High Speed Ventures 2011