How To Increase Your Curb Appeal with Landscape Lighting (PRO Tips)
Curb appeal is quite the buzzword in real estate circles and becomes a high priority when trying to sell your home. This makes sense, since potential buyers get their first impression of your home as they make an initial drive by before making an appointment or when they pull into the driveway for a scheduled showing.
However, curb appeal is not just about finding the right buyer to make an offer on your house. It is also about making your home stand out among the houses of your neighbors and impressing any guests that happen to stop by. When it comes to increasing curb appeal with landscape lighting, it is also about making your home easier to find, and increasing the safety and security of your property.
Increase Curb Appeal: Landscape Lighting for Security
A well-lit yard and illuminated doorways act as a deterrent to intruders looking for an easy target. In this case, the point is to actually make your home less appealing – at least to burglars and other bad folks. When considering which homes in a neighborhood would be easiest to break into, burglars look for dimly lit entries with obstructed sight lines that make it difficult for neighbors and passersby to see that something is awry.
While it is not possible to make your home completely burglar-proof, it is possible to take steps to make your home a less-appealing target. Lighting is an important part of an overall security plan for your property. For example, lights with motion detectors can help deter unsavory characters and illuminate anyone trying to sneak up to your door or windows.
Other lighting can be used to increase visibility throughout your yard, which is a great deterrent, since intruders do not want to be seen. Lights need to be properly positioned to illuminate darker areas of your yard and to avoid creating areas of shadow where intruders can hide.
This ties back in with curb appeal because making your home less appealing to burglars by illuminating your yard and house also makes your house look warmer, more inviting and safer.
Increase Curb Appeal: Landscape Lighting for Safety
While landscape lighting can enhance your home security efforts, it can also increase safety. One of the best ways to avoid tripping hazards or accidentally walking into low-hanging branches is to make sure pathways and stairs are well lit. Pathway lights are an easy way to illuminate walkways and down lights are an attractive option for lighting stairs.
Another option to consider is motion-detecting lights, which can provide much-needed light when you or a guest walk up the driveway or get out of the car.
Your guests will feel safer walking in well-lit areas and are sure to find your house much more appealing if it is not looming in darkness and they are not worried about tripping as they make their way to your door.
7 Ways to Increase Curb Appeal with Landscape Lighting
Using landscape lighting to increase the safety and security of your property can be done in conjunction with your plan to increase your home’s curb appeal. In fact, you might find that many potential security issues are removed while you are illuminating more of your yard with decorative lighting.
Here are seven ways you can increase curb appeal with landscape lighting, while making your home stand out.
1. Use uplights to highlight architectural features.
One of the easiest ways to use landscape lighting is to install simple uplights to illuminate your home’s best features. The trick to successfully achieving this is to avoid positioning any of the lights to shine directly into one of your home’s windows and to create the right amount of light and shadow to accentuate the pillars, rock work, dormers or other architectural features you want to highlight.
When done properly, this type of landscape lighting can really showcase your house and make it quite impressive after the sun goes down. However, it can be difficult to position the lights just right, which may require the help of landscape lighting designer or professional installer.
2. Silhouette landscaping features.
Another technique you can use to increase curb appeal is to position lights to silhouette specific landscaping features at night. This could be topiary or statuary, for example, but could also be a particularly attractive tree or bush.
3. Create areas of light and shadow to increase visual interest.
If you do not have any particularly interesting architectural features or landscaping features to highlight, you can make your landscape lighting the focal point of your yard. By creating areas of light and shadow, you can increase visual interest even on a decidedly mundane canvas. This may come in handy as you wait for newly planted landscaping features to mature into their full beauty.
4. Use downlights to create a moonlight effect.
Illuminating your yard with downlights installed high up in trees or on structures can create a beautiful cascade of light that simulates natural moonlight. This gentle light can be used to guide guests to your doorway or to simply illuminate your yard in a way that does not look stark or manmade.
5. Incorporate your lighting into your overall landscape design.
If you think sticking a few solar lights along your front walkway is all the effort you need to put into your landscape lighting, we would like to invite you to reconsider. While this is certainly an option, it is not necessarily one that is going to increase the curb appeal of your home.
It is important to take the time to incorporate your lighting into your overall landscape design to create a more cohesive look, ensure that your functional lighting needs are being met and make sure your outdoor lighting is actually adding to your home’s visual interest.
6. Put your landscape lighting on a timer.
By the time most of us get home from work or picking up kids from sports practices, it is already dark. This is particularly true in the winter months when the days are shorter. If you have taken the time and made the investment to install beautiful outdoor lighting, it is a shame for you to not enjoy how impressive your home looks as you come down the street and pull into your driveway. It is also a shame that your neighbors or guests cannot enjoy the visual display until you have gotten around to unloading the car and flipping a few switches.
Of course, there is always the chance that you will forget to turn on your landscape lighting as you run around preparing for a social gathering – only to have your guests arrive to dark house. And, of course, it is safer for you and your children to arrive to a well-lit home.
By having your landscape lighting installer put your lights on a timer, you can avoid the hassle of pulling up to a dark house and having to remember to turn your outdoor lights on altogether. They will automatically turn on at the set time, which is one less thing to worry about when preparing to host a party or going away on vacation.
7. Cross light architectural or landscaping features.
Where there is light, there is shadow, which may become an issue when trying to highlight particular features of your home or yard. Another option that allows for a softer, more subtle look with fewer shadows is cross lighting the object with two or more lights. It can be a bit tricky to get the lights positioned just right for cross lighting, but if you are working with an outdoor lighting professional, it will not be a problem.