When it comes to interior decorating, it is quite common for homeowners up and down the United Kingdom to spend a small fortune on architectural interior lighting to completely revamp their home spaces. The same though can’t be said for the exterior lighting as when it comes to the light sources the majority of people choose for their gardens and exteriors, it is usually a case of selecting whatever works with no real thought about it.
This situation is of course a bit of a shame – particularly in a country where outdoor living is a passion shared by so many. The fact of the matter is that similarly to home interiors, the appropriate exterior lighting could make the most amazing difference to any external space for the pleasure and joy of all who use it. Additionally, high quality exterior lighting has the potential to drive up the overall value of the property in question – proving the kind of investment that is almost guaranteed to pay many dividends.
This is of course assuming you will actually get it right – something that is not always as simple to do as it may sound. So, in the interest of getting the very most out of your exterior spaces, here is a short overview of five of the most typical exterior lighting mistakes homeowners are guilty of:
1 – Lantern and Lamp Proportions
If you consider investing in wall lanterns and lamps to be mounted around the entrances and doors outside, it is important to make sure you choose the appropriate size products. It is all about considering the right proportions and making sure that you neither crowd and clutter the entrances with overly huge lamps or install pitifully small fixtures that will serve no practical purpose at all. Be mindful of the size of the doors and entrances you are looking to light along with everything else that is in the vicinity to help avoid this particular mistake.
2 – Going Crazy With the Lighting
Try not to fall into the trap of thinking that when it comes to exterior lighting, there is no such thing as way too much. There very much is! The main idea of lighting your exterior spaces is to create a sense of beauty and practicality to them during the dark hours. Put simply, what you are really not looking to do is to illuminate the place like a football pitch at all hours of the night. It is perfectly easy to get carried away once you start, which is why it is better to work with a plan rather than inventing things as you along.
3 – Leaving Out Control Systems
If you are determined to save a few pennies by leaving out the automatic control systems such as motion detectors and timers, it will not be long before you start regretting doing so. There will be many situations when you’ll forget to turn the lights off that the extra money you will waste on the electricity bill would have easily covered the price of a good control system. To the same effect, you should also think about control systems to be installed in the different zones and areas of your exterior lighting systems if they are too complex or large.
4 – Quality Matters
Another thing you are guaranteed to regret is choosing any given exterior lighting fixtures simply on the back of them being the most affordable on the market. Of course it is quite important to pay the best price for any given decoration, but it really does not make any sense to do so if you will be then likely to need replacements or repairs over and over again. It is worth realising that what you are looking at is an investment in the long-term enjoyment of your home and its overall property value. It really pays to avoid frugality.
5 – Ignoring Colours
Last up, it is also very common for people picking up exterior lighting for the first time to completely ignore the fact that there are various colours, effects and tones available. You should think carefully about what is already in your garden and the effect you would like to produce as there are literally endless ways and means of designing any effect imaginable. If in doubt, speak to an independent professional for advice.