9 Ways To Increase Curb Appeal With Outdoor Lighting

Many homeowners invest time, effort, and resources to improve their property’s curb appeal. They opt to do so as a home’s exterior is crucial to its property value because it’s the first part of the house that onlookers notice when they pass the street. A home’s visual appeal and market value can easily be amplified with a well-designed driveway, manicured front lawn, and an attractive color palette.

Apart from these aspects, making your home stand out from the rest of the properties on your block is crucial to attracting more buyer interest and generating a higher profit from sales. To do so, you’ll need to highlight the best features of your exterior using outdoor lighting. Illuminating your front lawn or driveway will improve its functionality, security, and safety. It will instantly enhance your home’s curb appeal.

If you’d like some tips on how you can give your curb appeal a quick boost using outdoor lighting, here are some suggestions you can consider:

Choose A Lighting Design To Compliment Your Landscape

Outdoor lighting requires more than placing light sources on your front yard or walkway. The fixtures should be installed strategically while considering safety, security, and functionality. Moreover, the placement should be done to highlight the best features of your exterior and illuminate it in a pleasant, warm, and welcoming way. To do so, you may need to consult professional outdoor light installers or landscape lighting designers such as Washington Outdoor Lighting to achieve the desired results.

Place Up-Lights To Draw Attention To Your Home Exterior’s Desirable Features

One of the most commonly used lighting fixtures is up-lights. These fixtures are strategically arranged to illuminate decorative features such as fountains, topiaries, trees, or plants. Most can be installed in-ground, such as spotlights and bollard lights. There are many other up-lighting options you can choose from depending on the type of landscape you have and your design preferences.

When used effectively, up-lights can significantly help showcase the design elements you want to accentuate. Thus, most property owners opt to hire professional services to place up-lights in strategic positions.

Create A Beautiful Silhouette For Key Features In Your Landscape

Lighting design offers much more than illumination when it comes to boosting the visual appeal of your property. For instance, you can strategically place fixtures beside or around a key feature in your lawn, such as a fountain, topiary, or sculpture, and create an attractive silhouette that would add visual interest and design complexity. This technique is ideal for those who want to keep their exterior décor minimal since the outline created will serve as an impermanent decorative element to help achieve the desired look.

Use Tall Trees And High Structures To Install Downlights

Does your property have tall trees, poles, and other high structures? You can take advantage of them by installing downlights that would beautifully light up your yard. Depending on their size and placement, downlights have an illuminating effect similar to moonlight, making them a great addition to your outdoor lighting design. Your downlight fixtures can be strategically placed to make it easier to find the pathway leading to the entrance or the walkway that leads to your garden.

For example, homeowners who want a sufficiently illuminated driveway may use floodlights. This light fixture can cover a wide space with enough brightness to ensure safe movement, making it ideal for parking spots and entryways.

Apart from its visual appeal and functional quality, adding downlights is also a space-saving solution ideal for the limited spaces in your yard, lawn, or driveway. Hence, you can consider this option if you want adequate outdoor lighting without needing extensive floor space.

Use A Landscape Lighting Timer

Have you ever seen a property with outdoor lighting that comes on at set times? You can also enjoy the same beautiful exterior lighting for your home by installing a landscape timer. With it, your lighting system would turn on automatically at a designated time, which can be an advantage if you regularly come home at night. Using a landscape timer, you can go home to a well-illuminated outdoor space, making it easier and safer to park and walk towards the entrance.

Aside from this, there are other benefits to using a lighting timer. For one, it helps you keep your property safe even when you’re away on business or holiday with your family. Since the lights would be turned on at an exact time each day, you’ll have the illumination to keep intruders away from the perimeter.

It can also be beneficial for parents who work until nighttime. With an automatic timer, your children won’t have to wait until you come home to turn the lights on, making it safer for your whole family. You won’t have to worry about not having enough lighting on your property, and you can also avoid any accidents related to operating the outdoor lights.

Strategically Combine Light, Shadow, And Color For A Dramatic Effect

If your front lawn is mostly a blank green space with no particular features to highlight, you can use your lighting design to add more visual interest to it. The uneven distribution of light can be visually appealing, especially from the street’s point of view. Moreover, this play of lights can make a space look more attractive and exciting without having to add any physical décor.

Apart from light and shadow, you can also add colored lights to your exterior. Doing so will effectively make certain spots stand out and direct the viewer’s attention to parts you want to highlight. Furthermore, you can use this to add color to your lawn without having to make permanent changes or requiring extensive labor.

You’ll also need to consider your overall landscape design to create a dramatic yet cohesive look. While the goal is to boost visual interest in your outdoor space, it should be done in a way that supports functionality and safety. To achieve this balance, you’ll need to ensure that your outdoor lighting illuminates essential points of entry, limiting the shadowing effect to areas with less foot traffic.

Achieve Balanced Illumination Through Cross Lighting

Do you have a central feature in your exteriors, such as a fountain, gazebo, or a sculpted décor that you want to highlight at night? Then, you may need a lighting technique that would minimize shadows and allow balanced multi-point illumination. For this purpose, you can consider cross lighting as a viable option.

Cross lighting is done by strategically positioning two light sources so that the lights coming from both will cross at a specific point. This technique allows more depth and visual interest, which makes it an appealing addition to exterior lighting design. It also eliminates harsh shadows that take away the effect you want to see in your home exterior, which is why many homeowners prefer cross lighting to illuminate key features in their landscape.

Enhance Your Home Security

One of the benefits of having a well-illuminated home exterior is the boost in security. A well-lit lawn, driveway, and doorway can make intruders think twice about entering your property, making your home safer from burglars and trespassers. In contrast, having a dimly lit exterior makes a home an easy target for criminal activity, with poor lighting at entry points. It decreases the likelihood of neighbors witnessing untoward activities or attacks at night, making it more convenient for those with ill intentions to enter a home illegally.

To strengthen your home’s protection against illegal entry, you can consider adding outdoor lighting at strategic points to deter trespassing. Doing so will increase visibility in your front yard, driveway, and other points on your exterior. Because of the boost in security, the added lighting will make the property look more secure and inviting.

For added security, you can also add lights with motion sensors to help quickly detect unusual activity in your home exterior. This technical upgrade will add a modern touch to your lighting and enhance its effectiveness in securing the perimeter.

Boost Safety In Your Outdoor Living Space

You can optimize your investment in decorative lighting by using it to boost safety in your exterior. To do so, you can consult with your lighting design provider and devise a plan to strategically position light fixtures in areas where security needs to be enhanced. For instance, you can install wall lights to illuminate the pathway towards the main door beautifully. This addition will not only highlight the design of your pathway but would also prevent accidents at night time.

Meanwhile, you can also apply the same principle when adding decorative lights around your driveway. You can install ground lights and path lights to enhance nighttime visibility, improving safety for walking and parking. Furthermore, ceiling and wall lights are good options for those who want to save space when adding lighting to their home exterior.


Investing in quality outdoor lighting is wise if you want to boost your property’s visual appeal and market value. Moreover, you can also improve your home’s safety, security, and functionality with sufficient illumination. Finally, your home would instantly stand out and attract attention from buyers with creatively designed exterior lighting, which makes it a worthy investment.

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Photography courtesy of Washington Outdoor Lighting

- by Matt Watts