Landscaping lighting is much more important than most homeowners think. Often, interior lighting is the main focus for builders and homeowners, and exterior lighting is not a major consideration. After all, how necessary is landscape lighting, really? Isn’t a porch light enough?
In reality your home’s exterior lighting is just as important as your interior lighting. Proper exterior lighting not only helps to make your landscape look better, thereby increasing your property’s curb appeal, it also helps to improve your home’s safety and security. Georgia Crime Information Center reports there were 79,992 burglaries in Georgia in 2013…nearly 74% of those on residential property. Many law enforcement agencies and police departments recommend good exterior lighting including ambient and motion control lighting as a strong deterrent to home invasion, burglary and vandalism.
Here are a few lighting tips that will help to improve your home’s security, thereby improving the safety of you and your family:
Light your doorways
Your front door probably has a light – and if it doesn’t, you need to install one right away. In fact, all of your exterior doors need to have lights that can be controlled from the inside. Hearing someone at the door and not being able to identify them because they are shrouded in darkness can present a stressful and potentially dangerous situation. Not only will a thief be much less inclined to try and break in through a door if there’s a light shining right above it, but you’ll be able to clearly see anyone that walks up to the door.
Use motion-detecting lights
Motion-detecting lights are incredibly useful because they allow you to light up a large area outside of your house without keeping it lit all the time. This saves you money and creates an unexpected light can startle a would-be intruder. By using motion-detecting lights, the area will only be lit when someone walks into the path of the motion sensor. You should use these in areas where there is little to no light, such as at the sides of your home, in the back of your home and above your garage.
According to the FBI, around 60.5 percent of all burglaries are done by forcible entry and considered, for the most part, crimes of opportunity. That opportunity is minimized with motion-detecting lights since they will turn on in the presence of an intruder, spotlighting them and increasing the chance that they will run off instead of break in. Properly adjusted, motion sensor lights can be an excellent deterrent to vandalism and burglary for your property.
Use landscape lighting to eliminate dark areas
Although you should definitely use motion-detecting light fixtures in key areas, you probably don’t want to surround your property with them. The last thing you want is to walk across your property and get hit with dozens of spot lights like your center stage in an outdoor show. Instead, consider more subtle light fixtures around the property where motion sensors are not the best choice.
Some other options for more subtle lighting:
Up-lights – Use up-lights on different parts of your landscape, such as underneath some of your larger trees and specimen plants. Not only do these lights help highlight some of your landscape features, they will help eliminate some of those dark hiding spots in a more subtle way.
Path lights – Accenting your walkway with path lights is a must as well. They can highlight stepping stones and provide safety for you and your family to walk across in the dark while allowing you to see if anyone unexpected is walking to your home as well.
Accent Lights – Lighting key architectural features such as columns or dormers will show off your home’s unique character while giving it a safe and inviting look for guests and family alike.
For the most effective exterior lighting plan, it’s a good idea to consult a landscape architect or designer. Classic Landscapes can help you to design an exterior lighting scheme that will highlight the beauty of your landscape, improve its safety, improve your home security and it’s curb appeal. Contact Classic Landscapes today for more information.