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Want to Improve Your Home’s Look? Upgrade the Outdoor Lighting in these 4 Areas

There’s nothing quite like coming home to a well-lit house at the end of a long day. Those St. Louis winter days may be gray and cloudy, but your home can be bright and inviting. Plus, it’s great to be able to see what you’re doing when you’re coming and going, now that it’s dark when you leave and when you get home. 

While you’re probably not spending as much time outside on cold days, good outdoor lighting is still important. Not only does it make your house look cozy and welcoming from the outside, good exterior lighting also makes everything look better from inside your home, looking out. With bare trees and less foliage giving you a clear view, let’s take a look at four areas that could probably use an outdoor lighting upgrade

Front porch lighting ideas

Front porch lighting is one of the first things guests see when they come to your home, so make sure it creates a good impression. There are a few different ways you can light up your front porch, depending on the size and style of your home. For example, if you have a small porch, you might want to add a sconce on each side of the door. If you have a larger porch, you could install an additional ceiling-mounted fixture. Consider upgrading your lighting fixtures to match your home’s decor or exterior paint for a cohesive look. 

Go outside at dusk and look at your front porch from your yard or the curb. Does it seem too shadowy or too bright? Look into modern low-voltage LED fixtures which have adjustable brightness, or intensity. You want the front porch glow to be welcoming, not overwhelming. If there are dark corners or dim areas, you may need another fixture or two. Also, remember that lighting for the front porch can come from fixtures that are on the sidewalk or in the landscaping in front of the porch, such as spotlights aimed at a low angle toward the house. See more about home uplighting.

Upgraded pathway lighting

Are you still relying on flimsy solar lights along sidewalks and walkways? While we love the idea of solar lights, the truth is that they’re just not dependable and often don’t last more than a season. We recommend low-voltage LED lighting for exterior pathway lighting, and here’s why: 

  1. It’s energy efficient: you’ll use less energy and save money compared to older systems. 
  2. LED bulbs have a long life, too. 
  3. We use timers that adjust for seasonal changes so lights are on when you need them. 
  4. LED bulbs are adjustable in intensity. 

We use high-quality fixtures made of the best materials and with long — sometimes lifetimes — guarantees. Over the long run, it’s better to invest in one energy-efficient system that will last for years than to replace solar lighting fixtures every year. See more about pathway lighting.

Lighting ideas for outdoor stairs

It’s easy to overlook lighting for outdoor stairs, but you really shouldn’t. First of all, think about safety. Of all the places around your home, which one is most likely to trigger a fall? The unseen stair, that last missed step. Lighting helps with this, of course, so people can see where they’re going. 

So what kind of lighting works on your outdoor stairs? Here are a few ideas:

  • Wash lighting can be installed directly on the vertical lift of the stairs, providing a horizontal, downward angled beam of light on each stair. 
  • Pathway lighting fixtures can be installed just outside of stairs, on each side. 
  • Rail lighting can be installed on stair railing. 

You probably don’t need all three types of lighting. If you don’t have much lighting nearby (such as a porch light or landscape lighting), you might need a combination. For example, rail lighting and wash lighting provides a soft beam of light on both the stair surface and on handholds. 

Upgraded outdoor lighting for hardscaping

Technically, hardscaping includes both sidewalks and stairs, which we’ve already discussed. But what about those other little areas that need outdoor lighting, like that low stone wall in front of the flower beds? They can be kind of tricky. Where do you put the fixtures? Where should the light be pointed? How much light do you need? 

The short answer is that it depends on each area. For example, if it’s a low stone wall serving as the perimeter for flower beds, you probably want to install spotlights that highlight the flower beds and show off the seasonal plantings. However, if you really love the stonework, then you might want spotlights that are set back further and angled to light up the wall itself. 

Not sure exactly how to get started? Schedule a free consultation for your St. Louis home and get all the expert help you need. 

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