A properly lit front porch should be inviting, safe and an opportunity to set the tone for your visitors. Whether you own a single-family home, townhouse or condominium, you should give outdoor lighting the same consideration as your indoor lighting. After all, exterior lighting has so many benefits.
A good beginning is to simply walk around your home at night with a flashlight. Take note of dark areas that should be lit for safety and landscape, or garden areas that could be lit for additional interest or beauty. Just like indoor lighting, think about the types of light–ambient (general lighting), task (helps you perform specific tasks, such as preparing and cooking food), and accent (to highlight and add drama to architectural or landscape features).
Don’t forget specific areas that could benefit from lighting, such as the front door, a pool, steps, driveways, garage doors, pathways, decks or patios, address plates, landscaping, flagpoles and outdoor cooking areas. While you’re assessing where you need light, also assess beam angles. Direct lighting isn’t always the best, as you don’t want it where it can glare in people’s eyes; you may find diffused or ambient light is the better route.
Security lighting should be top of your list. Patios are often at the rear of a property. If you store outside equipment under the patio roof, or you have an expensive BBQ or patio furniture, do you really want someone climbing into your backyard and walking away with a few free acquisitions? No, of course, you don’t, so why make it easy for them?
A few security lights will deter casual intruders and make it impossible for anyone to poke around under the cover of darkness. Install motion-sensor security lights at each corner of your patio. You can switch them off if you are having a gathering and you don’t need super bright halogen lights, but leave your security lights activated the rest of the time.
Do you enjoy cooking under cover of your patio or are you more likely to curl up with a good book and a glass of wine? Either way, task lighting is essential. Fit a bright LED light above a cooking area so you can grill food or prepare snacks safely. For bookworms, a small reading lamp in a dark corner is a good idea. Some people use their patio for playing games, such as pool or table tennis. Once again, lighting is important, as gaming in the dark isn’t much fun – unless you enjoy a challenge!
Decorative Porch Lighting
Don’t dismiss the idea of decorative lighting. There are some amazing lights to choose from, including opulent chandeliers and beautiful net lights for a canopy roof. Let your creativity come to the fore and think about what type of look you are trying to achieve. Do you have plants you want to show off or maybe you have some nice pieces of sculpture around the patio? If so, highlight them with spotlights or hang decorative lanterns for added visual appeal. There is a lot you can do with decorative lighting.
Solar Porch Lighting
Some lights need to be hard-wired into the main electrical circuit, but if you want to add decorative lighting cheaply, look at solar lights. Solar lights draw their power from UV light and will work well around the perimeter of a patio. Hang solar string lights along the edge of your patio and plant solar post lights in flower pots. It’s a cheap way of illuminating a patio at night.
Experiment with different types of lighting to find something that works best with your decorative scheme. And remember, if you want to add lights to an existing electrical circuit, hire a qualified electrician to do the job.
Experts you Can Trust
Price is important, but when choosing an electrician judge the entire picture an electrician is showing you character, expertise, the ease of working with him or her, and overall value. A large part of an electrician’s value is that he/she gets the job done right and safely without taking too much of your time and inconveniencing you. A very competent electrician can save you money by suggesting more efficient ways to do a job or to save on electricity. When you enjoy a good relationship with your electrician, it can save you both time and money. Give us a call about your next electrical project and we will be happy to help.