Outdoor Lighting Do’s and Don’ts

Northstar Outdoor Lighting, LLC

Well-designed and expertly installed outdoor lighting can dramatically transform the look and feel of exterior spaces and last for years to come. If you have been eyeing an upgrade for your home’s outdoor lighting, there are a number of factors to keep in mind to ensure that your lighting has the best effect.

At North Star Outdoor Lighting, we have helped homeowners for decades utilize new lighting options to boost their home’s curb appeal and enhance sustainability and energy efficiency. Read on for some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when it comes time for your next outdoor project.


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Do – Use LED

The benefits of LED lighting over more traditional incandescent lighting cannot be overstated, and if it has been a while since your home received a lighting upgrade, switching to LED is an easy and compelling option. LED lights can last over ten times longer than halogen while using 85% less electricity, thereby cutting down on both energy and replacement costs, as well as the time spent changing bulbs.

Other than its cost impact, older bulbs often contain dangerous gases and other chemicals that can leach toxins and contribute to both ozone depletion and unsafe mercury levels in soil, making switching to LED as good for the planet and the health of your family as it is for your wallet. The availability of LED lights in a wide array of colors, temperatures and brightness also allows homeowners the creativity to make their lighting options work better for their home. An industry standard for a reason, LED lights are a necessary upgrade for homes that currently rely on outdated forms of lighting.

Don’t – Overdo It

When upgrading darker spaces with less optimal lighting, it can be tempting to add more lighting than necessary, which is why really assessing the lighting needs of your home and not overdoing it is so important. Balance is an important consideration when utilizing exterior lighting, and softer lights angled to illuminate a focal point rather than harsh or excessive spotlight lighting can create a more subdued and elegant effect. While lighting can both enhance the security and aesthetic of an exterior space, too many fixtures or lights that are not optimal can draw too much attention to the lighting elements themselves, rather than the features they are highlighting. Investing in a professional consultation can help homeowners gauge the lighting needs of their space and prevent unnecessary energy costs and lighting installation that can actually detract from the natural beauty of their home.

Do – Install Motion Sensors and Timers

Timers and motion sensors can be a great way to utilize outdoor lighting without the worry of wasting electricity or over-lighting spaces that don’t need it. Dusk-to-dawn timers can be used to enhance the security of your home by having lights turn on at nightfall and off when the sun rises, making sure your lights aren’t on when you don’t need them to be, but offering the peace of mind that darker parts of your house are illuminated in order to help deter intruders.

Motion lights are also a great option for areas that only need light when you approach them, like when entering or exiting your property. Even when utilizing LED lighting, energy costs can still be an issue when lights stay on at all hours, and with motion sensors or timers you can be sure your lights will always be there when you need them and not when you don’t.

Don’t – Use Bright, Cool Lights

Lighting options like LEDs allow homeowners to explore different colors and temperatures when illuminating parts of their home. However, lighting that is too strong or bright for the space can negatively impact its feel and utility. Utilizing higher wattage bulbs than your home actually needs can hamper the aesthetic, create glare that makes your home feel less inviting and increase energy costs unnecessarily. Even in spaces that benefit from enhanced security, brighter is not always better; instead, a few slightly dimmer lights can provide a much better visual appeal than a bright, solitary light. Rather than bright, cool lights that shine directly on your home, look to utilize softer, layered lighting that can play off landscaping, trees or other green elements. Colored LED lighting like reds or soft oranges can also add a soothing, intimate ambiance without sacrificing visibility or security.

Why choose us?

At North Star Outdoor Lighting, we have decades of experience working with residential and commercial lighting, and whether upgrading existing less-efficient lighting or designing a completely new space, we ensure that our lighting options can be enjoyed for years to come. Our emphasis on LED lighting in particular helps consumers reduce costs and their environmental footprint, while not detracting from the beauty of a well-lit and designed space.

Whatever your lighting needs, contact us today for a free estimate! Our team of professionals makes upgrading or installing new lighting features a breeze.