Shedding some light on your yard
The outside of your home can be just as beautiful by night as it is by day, thanks to the magic of outdoor lighting. Heres the best part: you dont necessarily have to rewire your house or dig a maze of trenches through your yard to accommodate mood-creating outdoor lighting. A multitude of new products make installing outdoor lighting an easy do-it-yourself project, according to Tom Daly, a lawn and garden expert with The Home Depot.
Outdoor lighting is one of the most attractive and least expensive improvements you can add to your home, Daly said. A few lights placed strategically in the yard serve as a soft and secure welcome mat once the sun goes down.
Turn on the lights:
l Begin by taking a critical eye to your yard. Select a main element from which to build your lighting plan, making sure to limit focal areas to one or two points of interest like your front entry, a tall stand of trees, a walkway or a landscaped island. And think security at the same time. Try to eliminate dark, shadowy spots and illuminate steps and walkways.
Light up your life:
l Low-voltage lighting and solar cells are perfect for lighting walkways and paths and are both easy to install. Solar lighting requires no wiring at all because photocells turn solar energy into electricity during the day, and switch on to power the lamp automatically when the sun goes down. With no trenches to dig or wires to run, installation couldnt be easier.
l Malibu lights also are very easy to install and work well to light up pathways because you can add as few or as many as you like along the walkway. Daly recommends adding a lamppost at the beginning of the walkway as an added welcoming touch.
A flood of light:
l Halogen floodlights give off a bright white light that helps illuminate a large area in a yard. This is perfect in the back yard, especially for families who like to spend evenings outside playing with the kids or simply enjoying the night air. Halogen lights also are popular because the bulbs last twice as long as standard incandescent light bulbs and give off more light for the amount of power used.
l For safety reasons, its important to remember that halogen and incandescent lights can be very hot, so dont touch them with your fingers until they cool.