As daylight saving time ends, we know we’ll likely be outside in the dark pretty soon—whether we are taking out the trash, bringing the kids trick-or-treating, or entertaining guests on the back porch. Many of our homes do not, however, have great outdoor lighting. This is not only important for daily use, but also for any possible emergencies. Where should outdoor lighting go?
The front door—One fixture with a high-wattage bulb is common, but if you’re looking to remodel, two line-voltage (120V) lanterns on each side of the door, with low-wattage bulbs, are a good way to minimize glare.
Walkway—Low-voltage fixture type of lights come in various styles, with ground stakes and support stems often sold separately, so you can set up different heights. The lamps range from 4 to 20W.
Driveway/garage— Get a few low, shaded low-voltage spread lights. Put lights in the trees, pointed down at the driveway. You may also want a motion sensor light to turn on only when someone enters the space.
Deck or patio—In addition to a floodlight on a wall, you can also add string lights or other decorative lights. You may want to consider lights that are specifically designed to keep the bugs at bay. Or, you can try to put the lights overhead instead of at a low level, to lure them upward. Dimmers are also a good idea so you can adjust the amount of light as needed.
If you’re the handy type, you can have a go at trying to install lighting on your own, but for many homeowners, it may be a good idea to hire a professional for installation.
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