If you were to drive around any neighborhood while paying close attention to decorative lighting, you would begin to notice a pattern of gorgeous homes with lighting systems that are too small or cheap in appearance. On the other hand, you would begin to see smaller homes where homeowners had installed oversized lighting systems. In other words, while everyone loves the ambience that decorative outdoor lighting provides, and the enhanced safety of illumination, many people simply do not make the right choices. As a result, the home and lighting system are off-balanced, which distracts from the beauty of the property.
The goal when buying decorative outdoor lighting is to have a plan, which would include the size and style of home. From there, you would find it much easier to purchase a lighting system that would enhance and complement the home rather than create an awkward appearance. One of the next steps is to determine the appropriate size of outdoor lighting for your needs. Keep in mind that no hard rules exist as to size, walk outside, and standing at roadside look at the home. Try to focus on any architectural features that stand out such as a lamp post, statue, pillars, etc. Using good visual judgment, determine the size of decorative outdoor lighting that would create balance.
Another important aspect of choosing decorative outdoor lighting has to do with illumination. Typically, you want the exterior to be lit up for security reasons but you also want to avoid harsh glares. Therefore, we recommend you again look for decorative outdoor lighting that provides balance. After all, this type of lighting should be fully functional.
If you plan to place light fixtures along a driveway or up stairs leading to the front door, illumination should be bright enough to make walking safe while at the same time not so bright that illumination is actually distracting. If you need brightness, then it would be better to illuminate a broad area so the light is not so concentrated. Most decorative outdoor lighting systems come with a minimum of 100-watt capacity, whether as a single light or multiple lights. For creating light outside, this is plenty.
In addition to size and illumination, you want to consider the material of the decorative outdoor lighting fixture. Today, the five most popular choices include iron, brass, copper, cast aluminum, and composites. Although there are other options, these are used because they can withstand the elements and remain beautiful and functional. The hardest material to find is cast iron but something hand-forged would be gorgeous. Just be sure the metal parts of the system are zinc coated to eliminate rust from developing.
Brass is a popular choice simply because it has an elegant look. However, decorative options made from brass also ensures a long lasting system that can handle all types of environments. The only exception is that brass does not handle extreme heat but choosing fixtures that have powder coating would eliminate any concern. It would also be worth spending a little more for solid brass. No matter the choice, brass does go through a unique oxidation process whereby the surface color changes but for decorative outdoor lighting, it adds to the charm.
Even if you were on a tight budget but desperately want new outdoor lighting, remember that companies have sales all the time but you could also make your purchase directly from a manufacturer. In addition, we suggest you look at options for decorative outdoor lighting online. Because companies that sell only via the internet do not have the same high overhead as brick and mortar companies, it is possible for them to pass incredible savings on to the customer.