Exterior lighting can really set the mood for a relaxing evening in your backyard, make your house stand out on the block, and accentuate unique and beautiful landscape or architectural features.

Landscape lighting can not only add beauty and elegance to your home, it can also add to its value. If your home is on the market, lots of buyers may drive by in the evening or night hours to get a feel for the neighborhood at different times of the day. If your house is beautifully lit against the night sky, it will be enticing for potential buyers to come back again during the day to view it. Landscape lighting also shows up beautifully in listing photographs as buyers search online.

Having well-lit driveways, pathways and entryways are essential for safety and security. Adding landscape lighting to illuminate the areas around your home is a crime deterrent, as are motion-activated lights. If you have steps leading up to doorways, low-level lighting will help keep your family and visitors safe when entering and exiting.

Professional landscape lighting firms can design customized lighting packages for your home. Most will add lighting to flower beds and trees as well as up-lighting to the house’s façade. If your house borders community property or if the sides are visible from the street, consider adding the same up-lighting there as well, to complete the picture. Don’t forget about the backyard, either. An in-ground pool lit at night looks twice as beautiful when the flowerbeds behind it are glowing, too.

Some lighting companies will offer a service plan that includes regular checks of your systems and changing out light bulbs. This is a good investment if you have an expansive system and the plan fits with your budget. However, some companies will want to change the light bulbs whether they are burned out or not, and this can become wasteful as most bulbs will last longer than one year. Ask your contractor about their specific policy on replacement bulbs.

If your home doesn’t require a lot of lighting, you could install some landscape lights yourself. Most home repair stores have a lighting section and all the tools you’ll need to set it up. Wireless (solar or battery powered) lights are the best bet for your DIY project. These lights have their own sensors and will turn on and off on their own. Burying electrical cables deep enough to not be hit by lawn mowers or weed whackers, not to mention ensuring that the cords stay safe in a high-moisture environment, is best left to the pros.