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Home Exterior Lighting Tips

With summer just around the corner, many Houston homeowners are thinking about their exterior lighting design. Whether it’s for safety, security, aesthetics, recreational pursuits or a little of each, Universal Home Experts can help with all your design needs. We’ve been assisting our Houston neighbors with their landscape lighting projects since 1992. Our lighting technicians know the ideal lights, fixtures and configurations that work best with our unique weather and temperature requirements. Before you begin planning your outdoor lighting design, read these illuminating tips from the Universal Home Experts.

  • Define What You Want the Lighting Design to Achieve

As stated in the introduction, there are a variety of reasons that homeowners seek out exterior lighting solutions. Defining the reasons will help guide your efforts; allowing you to narrow down certain fixtures and bulbs. If you live in a dark neighborhood and safety is an issue, lighting up pathways in your yard and ensuring entrances have sufficient illumination will help minimize tripping and falling. Maybe you have a yard that you’d like to accentuate at night? Landscape lighting to showcase trees, bushes, gardens and water features will require different types of fixtures to achieve the right look. Make a list of your reasons for the installation and then follow your design scheme from there.

  • Light Essentials Areas

If your home exterior is dark save for a porch lamp, there are certain areas that should have a light element for basic functionality. This kind of lighting is referred to as “task lighting” as it illuminates an area for a specific use. The driveway, pathway/sidewalk to the entrances, patio steps and any dark corners should have illumination. While these areas might already be on your list for basic safety lights, they should not be regarded as optional. Your household needs to be able to see the pathway to the entrance clearly whether they arrive from the street or the driveway. You should also be able to walk around the house at night without worry of tripping or knocking something over. Basic task lighting can help with many of these areas.

  • Climate Considerations

For your Houston home, you will want to make sure that you purchase fixtures that will stand up to high humidity and moisture. A local lighting professional can help guide you, but knowing the basics will definitely save time. The Underwriters Laboratory (UL) offers a rating system for fixtures based on the climate: damp or wet. Most Houston homes will want to look at fixtures rated UL Damp, which means they are suited for humid and moist locations (that aren’t directly exposed to the elements). They are good for partially covered areas including porches, canopies and patios. UL Wet fixtures can come into direct contact with rain, ice, snow and many other challenging weather situations. These are ideal for driveways, pathways and trees.

  • Create a Full, Layered Design

If your lighting design scheme includes both functional and aesthetic illumination, consider the entire yard and how each type of lighting can compliment the other. Both interior and exterior lighting fall into three different types: task lighting, ambient lighting and accent lighting (which all combine for the overall effect). As stated previously, task lighting is the most important as it ensures safety and overall function. Accent lighting helps to accent architecture and plant life that may go unnoticed in the daylight. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, which is not as important outside as it is inside. The three different types can work together to create a pleasing layered statement, though the ambient might not be necessary. You want to make sure to avoid light pollution, which happens when a yard is over lit. Use a variety of lighting fixtures (and bulbs) to create a dynamic layered effect.

Secrets to Fabulous Outdoor Lighting

Create a new look for your home at night with dynamic exterior lighting. The expert technicians at Universal Home Experts can offer a variety of fixture and design solutions that will help transform your yard into a neighborhood focal point. Contact us at (713) 364-0226 to schedule an appointment today!