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Illuminate Your Entire Home's Exterior in Style
Outdoor Shopping Tips
1. Yellow lights do not bring out the best attributes of your plants and landscaping; instead, use blue & white bulbs. Keep it discreet by camouflaging their location and using low-watt bulbs whenever possible. This will make your home gleam.
2. Position outdoor lamps so you have easy access when it is time to replace bulbs, and use long-life outdoor bulbs to decrease the amount of replacements necessary. Although lining them along a path may seem sensible and easily accessible, this layout belongs on the airport runway, not in your back or front yard.
3. The National Crime Prevention council suggests illuminating dark spaces on your property to prevent vandalism and break-ins. Effectively doing this invites visitors and reduces the chance of injuries due to falls.
4. Motion-detected security spotlights are too bright and distracting for outdoor living areas, yet there are times when you are away that you might want to automatically illuminate these areas. Make sure your security system has a manual switch that allows you to override the automatic features.
5. Bright fixtures should not be used in outdoor tasks; place them for grilling and other outdoor tasks below eye level, and above the task area. To add drama to your property, accent with uplighting that creates relaxing silhouettes in designated areas of your outdoor living space.
6. Line-powered (hardwired) fixtures connect to the existing electrical system of homes, and although the most durable, they are the most expensive to operate. Low-voltage ones connect to a home's electrical system using a transformer that reduces current from the normal 120 volts to 12 volts - they are easily installed energy savers, but sometimes lack durability.
7. Indoor fixtures are not intended for outdoor use; use only UL-listed fixtures that have been approved for damp or wet areas and are completely weatherproof. Use of Energy Star outdoor fixtures increases performance, reduces energy costs up to 75 percent, and outlasts ordinary fixtures 10:1.
8. Outdoor hanging lights can provide the ideal illumination at doors and windows and accentuate the architectural features of your property. Proper measurements, chain dimensions, cord length, and fixture weight are important to the safety and proper functioning of these.
9. Outdoor posts are decorative, provide ambiance, and complement homes and landscaping, while safeguarding property and preventing accidents. Outdoor posts create the same downlighting and clear illumination as on city streets, and automatic photocells provide worry-free security.
10. Installing a outdoor ceiling fan with a kit in sunrooms or on porches, covered patios, or outdoor decks circulate air and create a peaceful environment. Fans and fan kits that are used in protected outdoor areas should be UL-listed and approved for use in damp locations; fans used in open out-of-door locations must be UL-approved for use in wet locations.