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No matter how huge your estate is or how pretty your house’s curb appeal appears at daytime, without proper outdoor lighting, everything seems to be for naught. Aside from providing security and safety, outdoor lighting serves to enhance a home’s architectural design, highlight features such as shade structures (pergolas, trellises, gazebos and the like) and water features (fountains, ponds, swimming pools and others), and add overall charm or create drama to the entire property.
With the sheer volume of options available in the market, choosing the right fixtures can sometimes be overwhelming. Here are some helpful tips:
Map out an outdoor lighting plan – Conduct a “walkthrough” of your outdoor space and identify the areas that need lighting. Different spots have different needs. Task lighting, as its name suggests, aids you in accomplishing a specific task. This ranges from outdoor lamps or pin lights which can be installed in a specific corner of a porch where you spend time reading, to halogen bulbs for the outdoor kitchen, to mason jars with tea lights for outdoor dining. Overall lighting illuminates a large space and is generally used to deter intruders. Examples are spotlights and floodlights in entryways, backyards and walkways. Meanwhile, accent lighting serves to draw attention to interesting features like a uniquely designed wall or a water feature and is usually mounted on the ground.
Ensure elements complement each other – Pick out fixtures that balance your landscaping/exterior design. A façade with neutral tones may use lamps in brass or bronze finish. For monochromatic spaces, the possibilities are endless; use your creativity.
Go “off the beaten” track - Sometimes it pays to be creative to lend your home an on-trend look. Set the mood with lampposts in walkways, mason jar lanterns in the garden, gas lanterns in the porch or go a notch higher with a classy chandelier in the entryway.
Materials matter – Experts advise to choose frosted instead of clear glass fixtures as they give any outdoor area an inviting and relaxed feel. Also, pick out items that can withstand extreme weather conditions. For cost efficiency, opt for LED or solar-powered lights; for security purposes, consider those with motion sensors.
As a whole, mix different types of lighting, but ensure they promote a sense of harmony.
• Assess your outdoor space and identify the different areas that need lighting
• Ensure that the fixtures you choose complement your exteriors, landscaping
• Use string lights and mason jar lanterns in the garden to exude a “fun” vibe
Source: Ellen Joyce Soriano, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer