With the right outdoor lighting, your home can really, well, shine.
Above all, exterior lights provide safety. They make it easier to walk around at night without tripping and falling. They discourage burglars and vandals, who tend to have seasonal patterns.
On top of that, outdoor lights can lend your home a lush radiance when the sun goes down. They offer beauty, romance, and an unmistakable touch of magic.
If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your home’s exterior lighting, here are some popular products and techniques to give it an extra special gleam. They represent some of this year’s top lighting trends.
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1. Smart Lights
In this digital age of ours, it seems like every gadget is getting smart. That’s certainly true of many outdoor lights.
You could use a phone app to turn your smart outdoor lights on and off. Likewise, you could control their colors and brightness with just a few taps.
2. Solar Lights
When you have solar lighting, you can say goodbye to pesky outdoor wires. You can lower your monthly utilities bill as well.
During the day, solar lights absorb the energy of the sun through their small panels. As a result, they have the power to last all night long.
3. Strip LED Lights
An LED strip looks like a long belt, and it’s covered with small lights. These lights use relatively little energy and emit relatively little heat. Plus, they’re easy to position, and they work well with a wide range of features.
LED lights come in just about every color imaginable. Especially exciting, you can program them to flash in all kinds of different patterns. They could even “dance” to music. Every night, you could enjoy your very own backyard light show!
As their name suggests, uplights shine upwards. Also known as spotlights, these lights are usually placed as low as possible. They’re sometimes level with the ground. And their beams can light up the outdoor features you want to show off: shrubs, birdbaths, gazebos, and so forth.
As a basic rule of thumb, the larger the object you want to showcase, the more intense the uplight should be. With a particularly powerful one, you could light an entire side of your home.
Be sure to also check out our article on exterior lighting design.
As you may have guessed, downlights are the opposite of uplights: They shine downward.
Most downlights have coverings that surround the bulb on three sides. As a result, their beams are narrow and focused. And they’re perfect for accentuating small, low-to-the-ground objects like flowers. They’re also ideal for lighting pathways and preventing people from tripping.
Another quality of downlights is that they can lessen the overall brightness of your exterior lighting. After all, if your outdoor lights were too bright, they could disturb the neighbors and make it hard to see the stars. They could also blind you when you step outside.
6. Fairy Lights
Fairy lights are small lights attached to a net. You could buy several of those nets and throw them over your trees and shrubs. Then, each night, you’d have a twinkling, otherworldly landscape — a home for sprites and pixies of all kinds.
Not to mention, considering how much time and labor you probably put into your gardening, it’s great if you can make your greenery visible when it’s dark out.
When selecting fairy lights, some people opt for white lights only, while others choose sets with various colors. It’s just a matter of taste and style.
One more note about fairy lights: You could use them year-round or, if you prefer, only during the holiday season.
7. Strand Lights
Also called bistro lights — since they’re so popular at small cafes — strand lights hang above exterior areas. Bistro lights are ideal for gardens, porches, and patios, among other places.
Strand lights are especially festive during the holidays, but they should impress your visitors no matter what time of year it may be. They can create a soothing yet luminous atmosphere, like something out of a storybook. For that reason, they’re a terrific choice if you frequently host outdoor gatherings.
Simply put, a sconce is a lighting fixture attached to a wall. When they’re outside, sconces are often positioned next to windows and doors.
These lights come in a wide range of colors, materials, and decorative styles. They can be as simple or as ornate as you’d like, and you’re sure to find a sconce that suits your home’s architecture.
Moreover, most sconces hold up well against high winds, brutal cold, and other extremes of nature.
9. Motion Sensors
Motion sensing is not a new technology: It originated way back in the 1940s. But motion-sensing lights remain highly effective for home security, and they’re as popular in 2022 as ever.
Whenever someone or something moves near such a light, it goes on. In most cases, these lights beam at a high wattage. However, less intense motion-sensing lights are also available.
These lights help people see where they’re going. At the same time, because they only go on once in a while, they use much less energy than other types of outdoor lighting.
In addition, motion-sensing lights often scare robbers away. And, if you place a security camera near one of these lights, the police might get a clear view of the perpetrator’s face.
10. Hardscape Lights
Your home’s hardscape consists of all the landscaping elements that aren’t organic: the walkways, the patio, and so on. Generally speaking, these features have hard surfaces.
Hardscape lights come in many different sizes, shapes, and forms. Some of the most popular are mounted brackets, recessed stair lights, and even old-fashioned lanterns.
In most cases, hardscape lighting doesn’t call much attention to itself; it can be remarkably subtle. Indeed, these lights are rarely too powerful or too bright.
Even so, hardscape lighting can make important contributions. It enhances the environment by brightening the background. And it often showcases features that are particularly lovely — textured stone walls, for instance.
With all of these options in mind, maybe you can’t wait to start shopping for outdoor lights. On the other hand, the sheer number of lighting choices can be overwhelming.
Of course, if you’re not sure which lights would work best for your property — functionally or aesthetically — you could always seek professional advice.
We at Washington Outdoor Lighting are experts in this field, and we’d love to help you light your home’s exterior in the most affordable, practical, and beautiful ways possible. We can also install those lights efficiently and flawlessly. And, with the trendiest outdoor lighting, your home will always be glowing.