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Light the Way: 5 Tips on Choosing Home Outdoor Lighting

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Your home's outdoor lights are more than illumination. You can't hang some string lights and wall sconces and call it a day. 

Outdoor lighting requires planning and design while at the same time complimenting features of your home.

Here are some tips for choosing the right outdoor lighting for your home.   

1. Function

What are your lights for? The function of your lights will play a factor in your buying decision.

Studies have shown that adequate lighting significantly lowers crime rates. Safety lighting needs to be bright but not too bright. Overlighting draws unwanted attention.

Lights for safety are along walkways and entryways to either light your path to prevent trips and falls or to deter possible intruders.  

Decorative lighting adds curb appeal, highlights beautiful architecture or landscaping, and creates a comfortable environment for entertaining friends and family. 

What about both?

Find fixtures that are both aesthetically pleasing with added security.   

2. Type of Lighting 

The types of lighting are broken into three categories:

  • Ambient: This is also known as general lighting and sets the tone of the environment. Outdoors, this is post lights, walls lights, or hanging lights. 
  • Task: Lighting that has a specific purpose is task lighting. Task lights include pathway lights, deck lights, and security lighting. 
  • Accent: Accent lighting is more for appearances such as showing off landscaping or using a spotlight. 

3. Placement

Outdoor lights can go anywhere but you want to be strategic in its placement. Here are the best areas to place your lights:

  • Paths: Pathway lights add safety and hospitableness. These lights don't need to be very bright and downlights prevent glare.
  • Driveway: Low-voltage driveway lighting doesn't use much energy and makes parking and exiting your vehicle safer. 
  • Entries: Install lighting overhead or on either side of each entrance to the house.
  • Steps: Lights are needed on the stairs for safety. 
  • Deck or Patio: Use subtle light for entertainment areas such as seating and railings.
  • Architecture: Highlight architectural features and see what works best for your outdoor space. 

4. Durability

Your outdoor lights are subjected to the elements and need to be built to last. The lights you choose depend on your geographic location and where the lights are placed.

Some are more waterproof while others are better at withstanding harsh weather. Lights in sheltered areas or warmer climates won't need to be as durable. 

You might hear the term UL Listed or UL Rating, but in regards to lighting, it means if the fixture is safe to use in damp or wet areas. Check your fixtures to make sure they're in the appropriate location. 

5. Style 

Outdoor lighting comes in a variety of different materials, styles, and finishes. Pick fixtures that compliment your house, fit the style, and give off enough light. 

Due to the number of available options, choosing the right style for your home isn't always easy. 

Need Outdoor Lighting Installed?

Don't sit in the dark any longer. Let a professional get the job done right for you.

Contact Tri-County Irrigation to help design your outdoor lighting plan and start the installation process. 

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Tri-County Irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation & Outdoor Lighting

(973) 696-0121

40 Vreeland Ave, Suite 101,

Totowa, NJ 07512




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