The first thing you need to consider when developing an outdoor lighting scheme is safety. The pathways and the doorways need to be properly illuminated in order to prevent any unexpected stumbles. Properly lit entrance ways including any back alleys that might border your property also increase your level of personal safety. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 60-80 watts of light at every outside door, set of outside steps, or any other place that you might want to go to at night ie alleys or garbage bin areas.
Ceiling fixtures are attractive for the outdoors and come with fashionable designs. Usually you will find them made out of nickel or brass or other high quality metallic finishes. Watch out for energy costs with exterior ceiling fixtures because they tend to be kept on for many hours. So, again, check out what the potential energy costs are before choosing any ceiling lights.
If safety is a concern then you should consider installing security lighting. You should keep it as far away from your living area as possible so it doesn't create a distraction. Task lighting should be used for specific functions like grilling or walking. Accent lighting is focused lighting that can be used to make a certain feature stand out, like an outdoor statue or other lawn object.
During the earlier summer months my backyard was a functional and safe place to socialize and relax without resorting to outdoor lights. Where I live the sun can still be shining until 9.30pm. In fact, during the month of June the skies became dark and the backyard become too dark to be safe right around the time I wanted some BBQ guests to leave so it worked out perfectly.
Outdoor lighting used to be very basic. If you needed an outside light, you bought one of a handful of selections and installed it. Now that people are using their outdoor spaces as extra living spaces, contemporary outdoor lighting and other lighting styles have emerged. There are nearly as many options for outdoor lighting today as there are for indoor lighting, and you are sure to find exactly what you want. Even those who are shopping on a budget will be able to find a variety of lighting solutions for their needs, so don't worry if money is an issue for you.
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