5 Exterior Lighting Tips For Your Timber Frame Home

When you’re planning the electrical schematic for your new timber frame home, don’t forget about your home’s exterior lighting and landscape illumination. It’s important to consider where you need power and lighting, both now and in the future. It’s a lot easier to pre-plan for future electrical needs before your home is completed, rather than redoing and expanding your electrical system later.

Exterior Lighting on a Timber Frame Home

Plan For Current And Future Lighting Needs

When you’re planning your electrical needs, you’ll be considering the types and locations of your exterior lighting. Obviously, you’ll illuminate your driveway, front walkway and porch. You’ll also have a lighting design for your back porch and patio or deck. However, if you’ve been developing landscaping plans, you should consider the electrical needs for other areas of your property as well. Perhaps you envision a charming gazebo in a secluded section of the yard. You may have your eye on an outbuilding plan that would make a perfect storage area, workroom or studio. Your toddlers will soon be clamoring for a playhouse and your immature softscape may develop into attractive focal points that would be enhanced by subtle illumination.

You’ve spent so much time and effort designing your timber frame home. Planning attractive lighting to accent and enhance your unique home is a finishing touch you shouldn’t neglect.

Plan Your Exterior Lighting

When you’re considering how to set up your exterior lighting, take a couple of tours around your property. Take one tour during the daytime, and then plan another to see your yard at night. Your evening stroll will give you an opportunity to look for potentially hazardous areas like curbs and steps. You can also look for dark corners and areas that should have lighting for safety and security.

Observing the effects created by the moon and sun will help you determine what areas you want to illuminate.

Prepare a rough sketch of your house’s footprint and your yard. Include the landscaping and walkways, porches and outdoor living spaces such as decks and patios. Lay out the locations of light fixtures and lighting patterns. This will probably change and grow as you consider all the potential lighting solutions that are available.

Use A Combination Of Lighting Styles For Total Illumination

Just as you use a variety of lights for different areas for the interior of your timber frame home, you should combine lighting techniques for your yard. This adds interest to your property and adds curb appeal for all who pass by.

For example, up light a specimen tree, cluster, or bushes while bordering a walkway with subtle down light path lighting. You may use spotlights to highlight architectural features of your home. This is a great idea for timber frame homeowners, as your house has a distinctive style that isn’t seen often.

You can also create high contrast by placing spotlights to accentuate a specific zone with a dark area around it. There’s so many ways to add interest to your property with lighting. You can use a minimalist approach or a symmetrical plan. Whatever style you choose, use a variety of lights to add interest to your home and property.

Ease Of Access And Use

When you’re designing your outdoor lighting system, consider the most convenient locations for installing the switches. Indoor controls make it simple to manage all your exterior lighting day or night, and you won’t be running outdoors in rain, sleet or snow to flip a switch. You can also have three way switches installed, so you have the convenience of both indoor and outdoor switches.

There are also special photocells you can attach to your lighting system that will automatically turn the lights on and off. There are also programmable control systems that give you continual automation based on your needs for different times of the day and days of the week.

Think Green When Planning Your Exterior Lighting

As a timber frame homeowner, there’s a good chance you’re part of the green movement. Using energy efficient lighting and fixtures is just one more way you can contribute to lessening your carbon footprint.

Since lighting is the fifth largest culprit of electrical use in your home, using energy efficient outdoor lighting such as LED and fluorescent fixtures can make a significant impact on your electric bill. You don’t need to skimp on lighting the exterior of your home. You just need to think in terms of using the most efficient type of illumination to give you the style and security that’s right for you and your family.

Using exterior lighting is like the frosting on a delicious cake. It certainly isn’t necessary, but it adds a top note that accentuates and highlights a well-made product. Add a little frosting to your timber frame house to bring out its beauty and style.

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2 Responses to 5 Exterior Lighting Tips For Your Timber Frame Home

  1. Pete Wycombe January 2, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Ace ideas Brice, really makes sense to plan for potential future changes/extensions.

    • Brice Cochran January 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Thanks, Pete

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