The front of your home sets the tone for your entire property, and outdoor lighting has the power to make a huge impact. Whether you opt for recessed ground lights, security lights, spot lights, or wall lights, the lighting you choose to install on the exterior of your home can affect how your property is perceived. Beyond the type of lights you choose, homeowners must also consider the position of the lights being installed. If positioned properly, outdoor lighting has the power to completely transform the aesthetic of the front of your home, creating a welcome and inviting atmosphere. On the flip side, poorly positioned lighting can have the opposite effect, which is why the placement of your lights is so important.
As we see it, there are three main rules of effective outdoor lighting relating to cohesion, depth of lighting, and focal points. First, when implementing any new design, whether on the exterior or interior of your home, you’ll want to make sure it’s cohesive. Consider the overall impression you want your front of house lighting to create, as well as the existing design elements of your home’s exterior. To achieve a cohesive lighting effect, you’ll generally want to illuminate the borders, intermediate areas, and background of your front yard. Further, the depth of your outdoor lighting must also be considered. Given that homes are three-dimensional structures, you may wish to install lights of different wattages to cover more ground. Finally, when choosing the ideal front of house lighting positions for your property, it’s worth thinking about which focal points of your home you’d like to highlight. There can be multiple focal points ranging from decorative, like a water feature or tree, to functional, such as a path or driveway. Ultimately, the best front of house lighting positions will vary from property to property, so as a homeowner, it’s your job to identify the ideal spots to install outdoor lighting so that it presents your house in a flattering light. Below, we’ve compiled a list of common front of house lighting positions to inspire you.
Installing lights along a path or walkway has the potential to boost curbside appeal owing to the inviting atmosphere they create.
One of the most popular front of house lighting positions is along pathways or walkways. Installing lights along a path or walkway not only makes walking around your home in the dark safer by preventing accidents but has the potential to boost curbside appeal owing to the inviting atmosphere they create. When using pathway lighting, it’s important to install them correctly to avoid them giving off glare. (LED lights of any kind also come with the added benefits of burning cool, being durable, and consuming 75 percent less energy than other kinds of bulbs.) Path lights with dome shades are a great option as they direct light downwards, preventing them from blinding the person walking while simultaneously lighting up the path where you need it the most, around your feet. If you choose dome bulbs, aim to install each fixture roughly 14 inches above the ground to create a warm, inviting glow. Another tip for positioning pathway lights is to place them along the edges of the path. To make your walkway as safe as possible, it’s recommended that homeowners install path light fixtures along both edges of the walkway, roughly one foot apart.
If you’re after a trendy form of outdoor lighting, look no further than string lights. Providing low-intensity illumination, string lights are typically decorative. They are often considered a type of accent light, used to achieve a certain ambiance or atmosphere. Especially desirable for entertaining, string lights can be hung wherever you like, from the eaves of a home or even between the posts of a front porch or gazebo. With all kinds of string lights on the market today, we recommend looking for ones that are specifically made to be used outdoors. Ideally, string lights should be waterproof and rechargeable. Some are even solar-powered, which can help eliminate the need for running bulky extension cords and cables through your front or backyard.
Do you have steps leading up to the front of your home? Then you may want to consider positioning some outdoor lights along or within the staircase. With any kind of step or staircase lighting, the key is finding the right type of light and positioning it to avoid the light shining in all directions, including upwards into the person’s eyes. Walking up or down stairs already puts a person at an increased risk of tripping and falling, so it’s important that the staircase lights you install decrease rather than increase the odds of this happening. Common options for staircase lights range from path lighting (mentioned above), where lights are installed on either side of the staircase rather than on the steps themselves, to hardscape lighting, where wall lights are installed on the walls that flank either side of the staircase. Downlighting or moonlighting is another staircase lighting position. Downlighting and moonlighting are both known for the soft, natural glow they give off. Rather than placing light fixtures directly on the steps or along a staircase, lights would be positioned on nearby trees that are at least 25 feet high, with the beams cast downwards towards the staircase. Should you choose to utilize this method, at least two fixtures must be installed per tree for the lighting to be effective. Finally, tread lighting is another lighting option for outdoor staircases. Tread lighting involves the light fixtures (usually strip lights, small step lights, or slim hardscape lights) being placed underneath each step. This technique creates a bright, modern effect that makes it seem as if each step is floating. Not only does tread lighting ensure the light is focused on the steps, but it also makes for an eye-catching design aesthetic.
Illuminating your driveway is another front of house lighting position homeowners can play with. Similar to path lighting, driveway lights provide additional safety and security, helping your family members navigate the driveway in the dark while also allowing homeowners to see who is entering their property. Given the large size of driveways, you may be tempted to install tons of lights along the perimeter. However, to avoid your driveway looking like an airport runway, we recommend installing fewer lights in strategic places. Floodlights, known for their brightness and ability to light up large areas, are ideal if the main purpose of your driveway lighting is safety and security. There are even floodlights that have motion detection. Downlights are another option if you have trees near your driveway. Similar to how downlights work for staircases, they can be positioned in tall trees, with beams directed downwards so the light is diffused across the surface of your driveway. Downlights are a great option if you wish to create a softer, more natural glow on your driveway. Pillars or post lights may also be used to illuminate driveways. These can be stationed at the end of the driveway to both light up the area, as well as create a dramatic entrance to your home.
One final front of house lighting position that homeowners may wish to explore is illuminating a tree, shrub, or other decorative feature on their property. The most common way of illuminating trees is by installing uplights. Uplights should be placed away from the base of the tree and angled upwards to illuminate the branches and leaves, rather than the lawn or trunk. Ideally, you’ll want to conceal the fixture so that the focus is entirely on the tree rather than the light itself. Though homeowners can choose uplights of all different brightness levels, softer, subtler lights are generally recommended for trees, as their purpose is to highlight the beauty of the tree and not to provide safety or security. Although it can be difficult to strategically position uplights near the trees in your yard, once you’ve got it right, they can create a major impact.
Now that you’ve learned about some of the most optimal front of house lighting positions, we must discuss a few positions to be avoided at all costs. From positioning lights at doors and windows to angling path lights upwards, check out a few tips for front of house lighting.
As you can see, there are all kinds of front of house lighting positions available to homeowners. Whether you wish to showcase a pathway, towering tree, driveway, or staircase, there are plenty of functional and dramatic positions to choose from. If you’re ready to install new lights on your Atlanta home or are still unsure of the best lighting positions for your home and wish to get a professional’s opinion, you’ve come to the right place. Abulous Lighting is one of the leading light installation companies in Atlanta, Georgia. Our specialty is quality, cost-effective custom lighting designs and we are experts in the art of outdoor lighting installation. Not only can we provide our professional opinion as to the best lighting positions for your home, but if you choose to move forward with your front of house lighting installation, we will make sure your landscaping project is executed to perfection.
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Absolute Lighting installed my outdoor flood lights 2 years ago and they are beautiful! They did such a great job that I used them to setup and take down the Christmas lights for the past 2 years. I would highly recommend them. Frank always responds to questions and automatically puts me on the schedule for set up and take down of the Christmas Lights.
Frank and the team at Abulous were great to work with. They came out and retro-upgraded some previous lighting that we had done a few years back and made it look as seamless and continuous as possible. They also worked with us on the best (& most economical) way to light up a hard to reach area of our yard. They also followed up with us after we had another group of workers "disturb" some of the lighting wires and came back out and fixed everything back up again. Very friendly, dependable local resource who do great work. Highly recommend.
After reviewing multiple companies we contracted with Abilous Lighting to create outside accent lighting for our home, backyard patio, walkways, & fire pit. Their ideas and design were the best! It was a pleasure working with Frank Hasty, who did the design, and his crew of Brandon & Rusty who performed the work. All were excellent to work with. We are very happy with Abulous Lighting.