Landscape lighting offers ample benefits all year long, but with shorter days and snowy winter weather ahead, keeping your home and yard well-lit becomes even more important.
Winter landscape lighting adds safety and security to your home, boosts your home’s curb appeal, and helps you continue to enjoy your yard and outdoor living spaces during the darker months. Even better, it highlights the beauty of the winter wonderland outside your door.
Read on to learn more about what landscape lighting can do for your home this winter, as well as a few of our best winter landscape lighting tips.
Add Safety and Security
Landscape lighting is one of the most practical and effective ways to prevent crime in and around your home. Lighting is an excellent deterrent: statistics show that crimes are less likely to occur on a well-lit property. Security lighting is important all year long, but with winter’s longer nights, many of us leave for work or school when it’s dark and return home when it’s dark, so good lighting is that much more vital.
In addition, ice and snow can make for hazardous conditions on pathways and driveways, increasing the potential for injuries from slips and falls. Path lighting not only makes your walkways look more inviting, but also helps clearly mark them to keep you and your guests from slipping on icy surfaces.
Light Up Outdoor Living Areas
Many of us like to continue using our grills throughout the winter, and deck or patio lighting makes doing so easier and safer. But even if you’re not spending time in your outdoor spaces during the winter, twinkling lights on your patio or deck offer you a cozy scene to view from your windows while you enjoy the fireside indoors.
You can also use landscape lighting to highlight features in your yard. For instance, shine a light on your fire pit to ensure you won’t trip over it in the dark when it’s not in use and to make it easier to find after a snowfall. Or add lights in or around a water feature, pool, or spa for safety as well as to produce a beautiful effect. To best highlight the beauty of the water, place lights no more than 12 inches below the surface.
Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Boost the curbside beauty of your home with lighting that highlights its best architectural features and key aspects, including trees, lawn decorations, fences, pathways, patios, decks, and water features.
- Create a warm and inviting look with uplighting or downlighting.
- Use spotlights to highlight architectural features like columns.
- Create silhouettes by shining light behind a landscape feature onto a wall or fence, or use soft lighting to create shadows of trees or bushes on the walls of your home.
- Place lights in trees for a soft natural effect.
- Place a light at the base of any object you want to showcase, such as a statue, garden trellis, or other feature.
- String lights on your snowy front porch railing to add visual appeal and hint at warmer weather activities.
- Illuminate your front door and driveway, making your home’s entrance brighter and more inviting.
Landscape lighting can add value to your home and provide a big return on your investment (as much as 50% according to the NAR and NALP). If you are putting your home up for sale, well-lit pathways and soft lighting in your yard and on your home itself will create a beautiful scene that helps attract buyers.
Enhance the Beauty of the Snow and Highlight Holiday Decor
Landscape lighting can help set the perfect snowy scene in your yard. Turn those blankets of snow into a beautiful glittering landscape — your very own winter wonderland!
Lights catch the sparkle of snowflakes as they fall, making your yard feel magical, like a snow globe. Lights shining on fallen snow add a warm glow to your yard. And if you decorate the outside of your home for the holidays, landscape lighting can help shine a spotlight on any unlit pieces of décor.
Winter Landscape Lighting Tips
Follow these best practices to ensure your best landscape lighting this winter:
- Adjust the direction of your lighting to focus on the trunks of trees instead of their bare branches.
- Adjust the brightness of your lighting or add frosted lenses for a softer look.
- Plan your path lighting placement so it helps direct your steps even when the ground is covered in snow.
- Reset automatic timers to reflect shorter daytime hours. As the days get shorter, make sure to adjust your timer to turn the lights on earlier and stay on longer to accommodate leaving for and arriving home from work or school in the dark.
- Opt for LED bulbs whenever possible. Harsh winter weather can shorten the life of regular light bulbs, but LEDs last much longer and perform better in the cold.
- Change burnt out bulbs as soon as possible. Otherwise, adjacent bulbs will receive more voltage and could burn out faster.
- Prevent moisture damage. Remove snow from your outdoor lighting fixtures quickly after storms to prevent water from getting into the light’s inner workings.
- Do routine checks after snowstorms to ensure all globes and casings are tightened and sealed properly, and replace any damaged lights.