Gone are the days when experior lighting means one light at your front door and two fixtures on either side of your garage door. Potential home buyers now expect exterior lighting to include landscape lighting in places like the garden, on the lawn, in and around trees, along sidewalks and pathways, above gates and along fence lines, and most importantly, on the side of your house to highlight its architectural features.
Investing in exterior lighting drastically improves the look and value of your home and now more than ever, it is becoming more affordable and easy to install lighting around the exterior of your home. In this article, the Bob Blake team share their insights to shed some light (groan, we couldn’t resist!) on why it’s wise to upgrade the exterior lighting around your home when you’re getting ready to list or sell your property. Oh and if you're looking for tips and tricks to illuminate your house during darker evenings, I got you too!
The Emotions of Curb Appeal
Curb appeal refers to the “first impression” that someone gets when looking at your home from the curb. And while pretty paint on the front door and clean windows are important for their visual effect, there’s nothing like lighting to set the mood and evoke an emotional response.
To help understand this point, picture yourself outside at night time in a place that had dramatic lighting such as a tropical resort, an amusement park, or a nordic spa. The outside lighting around pathways, on the sides of buildings and facades, in the trees and shrubs, and especially near water features such as a pool or fountain all create an ambiance which is easily brought to mind with minimal effort because of the emotions associated with those places and experiences.
Homeowners with property on the market are wise to tap into these emotions as well by recreating the mood that potential home buyers will have experienced at resorts and spas, even if it was just on a screen or in a magazine. The sense that “this place is special” can most easily be achieved through well designed exterior lighting.
Safety + Security
Potential home buyers are also drawn to the sense of safety and security that strategically placed exterior lights can provide. Whether you’re lighting a pathway or sidewalk so that guests can safely enter and exit your property after a dinner party, or safely illuminating the stairs and level changes on your deck to keep pool guests safe, placing lights in strategic places will show buyers that your property is ready to receive and entertain the friends and family of the new homeowners as soon as the keys are handed over and the sun sets.
Having adequate lighting for security purposes is important in several areas around your home and property. These include:
Exterior Lighting Innovations
There has been a boon in the technological advancements for exterior lights in recent years. Outside lights with motion detection sensors, for example, have improved greatly and are becoming more affordably priced and easier to install on your own without having to hire an electrician. In a similar vein, exterior light fixtures which can be turned on and off with voice activation applications such as Alexa and Google Home make it virtually impossible to “forget to turn on the lights” whether you’re at home or not.
The choices when it comes to the look and feel of exterior has improved greatly in recent years, as well. There is a myriad of design choices when it comes to choosing fixtures, the type of light they throw, and even the style of switches and cables. It has been a long pet-peeve of our team to see undersized lighting on front porches and we’re delighted that the latest designs are more appropriately sized for the average front stoop!
Expect potential homebuyers and their real estate agents to be particularly savvy about the design and quality of your home’s exterior lighting. If your lighting is outdated, consider a quick upgrade to impress buyers and prove your pride of ownership.
Looky-Lous Come Out at Night
Anyone who claims that they are never tempted to peek in at night time when walking or driving by a house with their lights on and curtains open is lying! So of course it is to be expected that anyone interested in buying your home will do a drive-by at night time to see what your house looks like in the dark. (Who’s kidding who … they’ll likely park right out front for a good look!)
If your house is on the market don’t let potential buyers find you in the dark. Keep your outside lights turned on from dusk to dawn to evoke the emotional responses that will stick with them as they consider their purchase. By showcasing your landscaping and architectural features with exterior and landscape lighting, you’ll be able to capture their imaginations about what it would feel like to live in your home and receive guests with pride.
Repeat after us … “Alexa, turn on exterior lights.”