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9 Outdoor Lighting Schemes for Aging Eyes

Prevent falls and make your yard look great with the right kind of exterior lighting

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Exterior lighting is just as important as an interior lighting design. Universally designed exterior lighting insures a smooth transition between indoors and out when the evening rolls in. Well-executed exterior lighting design also makes all the difference in transforming your entrance from run-of-the-mill to inviting and welcoming — and safe.

Other areas of the home, such as patios and walkways, also deserve attention, as these are the areas people navigate to get to the final destination — accident-free — to relax and rejuvenate. The lighting options here will make your outdoor spaces more secure for everyone from people with aging eyes and bodies to little ones testing their wings.

(MORE: Why Universal Design Makes Beautiful Sense When Renovating)

The exterior lighting for this home clearly indicates the different outdoor zones, while the front door is marked by the wash of lights. All the entrances are on a single level, with an optional staircase.

Here is another example of how to create an attractive visual cue to a destination point. This home offers single-level access and a great defining sculpture to lead to the front entrance. I also love the color and material contrast to help differentiate the various zones or areas of the home.

The path to this home's front entrance might be a little too long for some, but the LED lighting along its landings helps by clearly illuminating the way to the front door.

Large landing zones, short risers, step lights and strategically placed benches for rest stops allow for an easier approach to the front door.

For the patio area of this home (below), the rope lighting around the perimeter of the raised beds offers multiple benefits: It clearly defines the path to the entry-exit point of the building, plus it prevents people from bumping into the raised beds.


Here, the down lighting in the retaining wall illuminates the path (below), and the large coping stone offers a welcoming seat where people can rest along the way.

This wonderful display of uplighting (below) not only highlights and enhances the landscape and architectural features of the space, but it also offers a reference point for gauging distances and varying grades in the garden.

(MORE: Lighting the Night Garden)

If you have a deck, consider LED rail lighting, like the one below from Environmental Lights. It offers a modest amount of light that's dimmable with no glare and it easily marks the perimeter of the deck. While you're at it, don't forget that you can also light the newel posts (below).

Houzz is the leading online platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners and home design/improvement enthusiasts and professionals. Anne-Marie Brunet, CKD, CBD, is a regular contributor to Houzz. 

Anne-Marie Brunet, Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer He is one cool cat. Read More
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