Courtesy of Lutron Electronics
Outdoor lighting can make your customer’s homes look good and feel safe.

Helping Customers Understand the Value of Outdoor Lighting

Jan. 4, 2023
Five outdoor lighting ideas electrical contractors can offer homeowners for increased peace of mind

For homeowners, there’s no better feeling than the peace of mind of driving home after dark and finding their property illuminated by a well-placed outdoor system or the enjoyment of late summer and early fall evenings in the beautiful soft glow of twinkling lights.

Practically speaking, lights can make a home safer and less attractive to criminals. According to the FBI, a home break-in occurs in the United States every 26 seconds, making outdoor lighting a necessity.

And, if you have customers thinking of selling their homes, most real estate agents agree outdoor lighting increases a property’s value by creating the perception that a house’s livable space extends to the outside.

While almost every home has some form of outdoor lighting, new technology allows customers to increase the function of their exterior lights. You can teach your residential customers about what’s available to increase the attractiveness, security, and value of a home through lighting designed for the outdoors. In the process, you can grow your business by highlighting relatively simple steps that can make a big impact.

Here are five ideas that can help homeowners to see the (outdoor) light.

Encourage your clients to think in zones.

One of the first and most important steps is to discover how your customer uses their outdoor space and recommend the best light for each area. Visit your customer’s home at dusk, and take a walk around their yard. Creating different zones is the ideal way to create a comfortable outdoor area while ensuring homeowners have the right light to meet their needs. Brighter lights work well for an outdoor kitchen, bar, or grilling area, while warm lights and cozy seating encourage relaxing and visiting with friends. Uplighting draws attention to a special landscaping feature. A current trend is moonlighting, in which soft lights are installed high in trees or other structures to cast a silvery glow that looks like moonlight.         

Introduce layering using a combination of lighting solutions.

Layering light is another way to help homeowners create a warm, welcoming outdoor space — and it can increase the area’s functionality and flexibility. There are three main types of lighting layers. Ambient light is the most basic and highly functional of the three. It’s the general light you get when you turn on a switch to find your way around. Accent light highlights a specific feature, like a backyard waterfall or a special tree. Finally, task lighting is a practical, focused light needed to do a specific task, such as cooking or reading.

Add lighting solutions to walkways and stairs.

Path lighting provides residents and guests with increased safety and peace of mind. It’s a necessity that can also make your customer’s yard more inviting. Low-voltage or even solar-powered solutions work well to provide the soft light needed to illuminate stairways and other garden paths. When lighting a customer’s pathway, consider placing lamps 10 to 15 feet apart, staggering them on both sides of the walkway. This will create the right lighting to guide their path without causing glare or too much brightness.

Program your customers’ lights.

One benefit of smart outdoor lighting is never having to drive up to a dark house. Programmable outdoor lights give the homeowner fewer things to worry about. They can also help save money on energy bills. Your customers may choose to leave pathway lighting on all night while turning off other lights not being used. It’s particularly handy when homeowners are on vacation, making a home look lived in and deterring crime.

Keep in mind a few practical tips when recommending and installing outdoor lighting.

Make sure the lighting and lighting controls are graded for outdoor use and low voltage; the National Electrical Code requires all outdoor outlets to be ground-fault protected. Look for products that are durable and withstand wind, rain, and dust. It will be worth it in the long run, instead of replacing inexpensive products every year or so.

By implementing some — or all — of these tips, you can delight your customers and grow your business. 

Adam Mack is the product manager for Caséta by Lutron. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University. He can be reached at [email protected]

About the Author

Adam Mack

Adam Mack is product manager for Caséta by Lutron. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University.       

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