Outdoor Lighting Tips for Rental Properties

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When people go hunting for a place to rent, some of the key things they look at include the size of the home, its kitchen, appliances, the outdoor lighting, and how clean the house is. But the crowning qualities that renters seek in any home are safety and security. People want to be sure they can live in relative peace if they move into a house or apartment.

One of the most important ways landlords can assure renters of their safety is by how well-lit a home’s outdoors is. The occupants of a building need to be able to see any person or animal approaching their home. People should also be able to come and go from their homes without being attacked by criminals who lurk in dark corners around the house.

In addition to providing security, good lighting also increases tenant’s enjoyment of a rental and improves the home’s overall appearance. People will use outdoor spaces for more extended periods if the area is adequately lit at night. Good lighting also highlights the features of the home, making it more attractive to prospective renters and visitors.

This is why landlords ought to pay attention to the outdoor lighting in their rental property. They should approach it with the same thoughtfulness that they apply to the home’s indoor lighting. Even if a home’s interior lighting is perfect, if the outdoor lighting is inadequate, tenants may not rent the property.

What makes good outdoor lighting?

There are three measures of good lighting:  luminance, uniformity and lack of glare. Luminance: Is the amount of light falling on surfaces in an area. The right quantity of light depends on what that space is used for. The lighting is insufficient if the light is not bright enough to meet that need. Uniformity: If lighting is uniform, people are not temporarily blinded when they walk from a brightly-lit area into a dimly-lit one. Instead, there is enough light to see what is going on in the space, as well as the surrounding areas. Lack of Glare: Glare is when there is more light than is needed and people are blinded by the lights. Where there is glare, people find it hard to distinguish between objects or detect the details of an item.

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The effects of good outdoor lighting

Outdoor lighting that satisfies the three components of good lighting will achieve the following:

  • It will deny camouflage by lighting up dark places that serve as potential hiding places for criminals or animals. There will be no dark shadows or creepy pathways around the home.
  • The lack of hiding places will deter criminals. Since they are more likely to be seen, they will avoid the house.
  • It will enhance nighttime recreational activities. Since they can see each other clearly and what they are doing, people will spend more time in the yard.
  • It will make the home more beautiful at night, and pictures of the property will get more attention from internet users.

Lighting tips for a rental property

Map the area

What needs to be lit-up, and why? Outdoor lighting can be functional or aesthetic. Most outdoors will need a combination of both lighting types. By figuring out the different areas that need lighting, it will be easier to determine the type, quantity and placement of each light. Outdoor lighting areas usually include; entryways, pathways, driveways, steps, patios, plants and landscaping features.

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Start from the top

Usually, an area will need three levels of lighting:

  • Overhead lights for security and illumination
  • Ambient lighting to brighten specific areas of the outdoor, such as the patio
  • Table-height task lighting to make it easier for people to do what they want to do, like, read a book

Depending on the home, it may be necessary to add up-lighting or spot-lighting to draw attention to specific features in the yard. 

Watch the spaces in-between

When properly done, the lights in a yard should guide people’s eyes from one structure to the other. This means there should be no in-between spots that are shrouded in darkness. Using one powerful beam to light the outdoor will throw un-illuminated areas of the yard into darkness.

Remember path-finding lights

Driveway, walkway, step, and entryway lights should provide enough guidance to make it easy for visitors to navigate their way. They should offer a sense of safety for people who use the pathways. The right pathway lighting can also significantly improve the home’s aesthetics.

Light size and placement are important

Undersized lights will not provide enough illumination to light up an area and surrounding areas. Before installing a light, it is important to consider the effective radius of its illumination and how high the light can be placed. Wrong light size and placement will undo the best outdoor lighting plan.

Vary the types of lighting

The best light to use in any part of the outdoor will be determined by the area that is being lit and why. Motion-sensor lights only come on when there is human or animal movement. Solar lights help to reduce the energy bill. LED light bulbs provide more illumination and less heat. The more versatile the lighting system, the more effective it will be.

Contributed by Blue Mountain Real Estate and Property Management