How the Right Lighting Can Help Optimize Your Outdoor Living Spaces


The visual appearance of your property can have a significant impact on how much you enjoy spending time at home. At North Star Outdoor Lighting, we know that to make the most of your environment, you need to feel good in it. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, quality lighting can play a major role.

Why does good lighting matter?

When building a home, many people consider the types of lighting they choose as an afterthought—but in addition to décor, lighting plays an integral role in creating ambiance in a given space.


Lighting is important for several different reasons, including the following:

  • Preventing fatigue
    Did you know that bad lighting can exacerbate eye strain and even contribute to feelings of fatigue? The human body relies on eyesight to detect contrast changes around us for information processing. As we age, our vision tends to deteriorate, which leaves us dependent on quality lighting to supply the information needed to navigate the environments we live in and move through. If your property is dimly lit, you could potentially experience increased fatigue and eye strain.
  • Maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm
    Over the past several years, most of us have significantly increased the amount of time that we spend on screens, particularly smartphones and computers. The exposure to blue light that comes along with screen use can interrupt the body’s natural sleep and wake cycles—also known as your circadian rhythm. For residential lighting, certain LED bulbs and other fluorescent lights can exacerbate negative cycles and contribute to health issues with added blue light. That’s why it’s important to incorporate soft, yellow lights or warm lighting for evening hours.
  • Enhancing your environment
    Lighting is one of the main contributors to a welcoming and cozy environment. Likewise, bad lighting can have the opposite effect. Think about somewhere you have encountered glaring, supermarket-style lighting—it’s harsh, bright, and unflattering to say the least. These negative qualities can also contribute to feelings of unease at home if the wrong type of lighting is used. Instead, working with a lighting professional will help you choose the right fixtures to create a relaxing and rejuvenating ambiance.


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Factors to consider when choosing outdoor lighting

When it comes to residential lighting, many people only think about interior spaces that involve recessed lighting, table lamps, and more. But the exterior of any home is just as important. From providing a way to illuminate pathways and walkways to offering beautiful accents that enhance the aesthetic appeal of your house, garden, water features, and more, at all times of the day or night, quality outdoor lighting is a crucial component of your property.

When designing and installing new lighting for a property, the professionals at North Star Outdoor Lighting take into account a variety of factors. For example, we consider:

  • Size
    Yes, size matters. Outdoor lighting fixtures can be dwarfed by nature’s scale, so they generally must be larger than interior fixtures. For example, outdoor lights to flank a doorway can be approximately ⅓ the height of the door in order to provide ample light for the space without looking awkward on the wall.
  • Color
    Regardless of location, fixtures for exterior lighting should complement your home, rather than clash with its style or color scheme. In the Valley of the Sun, we also need to consider the durability of materials in order to ensure that fixtures can withstand our harsh environment. At North Star, we love a great bronze of cast iron to make a subtle statement while retaining integrity when exposed to the desert elements.
  • Function
    When diversifying the type of outdoor lighting used, it’s important to match the lighting to its intended functionality. For example, wall-mounted lights along a narrow path can give off the right directional information and illumination without obstructing the walkway. Likewise, a large outdoor dining space does well with a hanging chandelier for visual impact and greater distribution of light. In most scenarios, outdoor lighting accessories should be sturdier and less delicate than those used indoors.
  • Style
    In addition to functionality, lighting should complement the style of your property. You’ll want to focus on cohesion to the era and style of your home.
  • Wattage to fit your needs
    The utilitarian purpose of lighting should be in alignment with any decorative needs. Since outdoor lighting is mostly used during darkness, distributing the correct wattage across areas is important if you desire visibility after the sun sets or before it rises. We recommend a blend of wattage to ensure your needs are met and balanced.
  • Don’t forget the driveway!
    Your backyard is likely where you’ll spend most of your after-hours outdoor time, but that’s not to say that your front yard and driveway don’t need some TLC as well. Be sure to take stock of your entire property for lighting requirements. Plus, it makes it that much more exciting to come home after a long day to a cozy, well-lit, and inviting property.
  • Local requirements
    Did you know that in many neighborhoods you don’t have free range when it comes to options for lighting? Some cities and towns, as well as HOAs, have regulations in place that restrict outdoor lighting. For example, some may require that you only use fixtures with an Energy Star certification or that comply with “Dark Sky” initiatives. If you partner with the professionals at North Star, you can rest easy knowing that we will verify any applicable rules before installing your new lighting fixtures.

If you feel lackluster about your property’s current lighting arrangement, get in touch with our team today by calling (480) 248-0194. We can replace and overhaul existing systems and would love to be your full-service lighting partner.

Our professional team of designers, installers, and lighting maintenance managers will create a picture-perfect system tailored to your property. Let us transform your space into a soothing, secure environment that you are happy to call home!

Get in touch today to discuss your needs or inquire about a free estimate for your next project.