Efficient Outdoor Lighting Tips

Low color temperature LED bulbs produce a gentle, warm light, which is a great way to keep outdoor entertaining spaces inviting.
By James Dulley

Q: We’re considering adding more outdoor lighting for entertaining and better security. What are some efficient lighting tips?

A: It’s a great time of year to think about making outdoor lighting improvements. With energy-efficient LED bulbs, it is easy to light your outdoor space effectively without driving up your electric bills.

You mentioned lighting for both security and when entertaining. The intensity, location and light color quality are different for each scenario, so it is generally best to plan two separate lighting layouts.

For general entertaining lightscapes, you’ll want lower color temperature LED bulbs to keep the light quality warm and inviting. Keep factors like focal points, balance, symmetry and comfort in mind when selecting decorative lighting. Consider using low-voltage landscaping fixtures around a deck or patio — these are easy and safe to install yourself. They also provide an opportunity to change or add to the lighting pattern at any time in just a few minutes.

Lights with a higher color temperature are better for security purposes — sometimes these are referred to as “daylight” bulbs. Keep in mind you’ll want to light your home’s boundaries and the approaches to your property. Take a walk around your house at night and look for spots that are not lit well by your current outdoor lighting. Pay special attention to windows or doors that may be hidden from view by shrubs or trees. These are excellent areas to install bright LED fixtures and floodlights. Standby lighting that turns on automatically when it detects motion may be a good solution for enhancing security lighting around your home.

With a good plan and a minimal amount of DIY time, you can transform your outdoor space to be great for entertaining, while keeping it secure when no one is home.

Send your questions to James Dulley, Colorado Country Life, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit dulley.com.