Oakville Outdoor Lighting for Your Pathways: Avoid These DIY Don’ts

Most do-it-yourselfers know how rewarding it can be to tackle a home improvement job on their own. It’s an opportunity to pick up some new skills and to feel that hard-earned pride of ownership in the results. Besides, who doesn’t like to save a buck or two?

When it comes to Oakville outdoor lighting installations, however, it’s pretty easy to tell the DIY jobs from professionally designed path lighting. Saving a bit of cash on materials and labour is full of good intentions, but if you are unsure of what you’re doing it can result in undesirable or even unsafe outdoor lighting for your pathways, not to mention greater maintenance costs in the long run. What many of our past clients came to realize is that even a modest, professionally-designed and installed system can have an immense impact on the nighttime safety and beauty of your home.

Take a drive around your neighbourhood one evening and watch for some of these outdoor lighting mistakes that we often see.

Landing Strip-itis
This is one of the most common DIY path lighting mistakes – assuming that it’s all about symmetry. Placing lights parallel to each other on either side of a path creates an unattractive landing strip effect. Not only does this lack subtlety, but it will cast intermittent light and dark spots that can be disorienting.

The Hollywood Premiere
With this outdoor lighting mistake, we’re never sure if there’s a movie premiere, a car dealership or someone signalling to extraterrestrials. Using lights that are too bright or beams that are improperly focused can cause unwanted light pollution for you and your neighbours, which is especially hazardous when the glare affects safe navigation of pathways.

Fashion Faux-pas
Most outdoor lighting kits from your local hardware store are designed to catch your eye with a slick design and finish, and the actual quality of lighting and fixture construction is secondary. Also, kit lighting isn’t engineered to take into account custom power requirements or runs of various lengths, which means you will find yourself constantly replacing bulbs and fixtures.

With these kinds of path lights, you definitely get what you pay for. For people who choose an ornamental style of path lighting, a fashionable fixture can be a nice touch but in most cases the function should trump form when it comes to good outdoor lighting arrangements. Ultimately, the point is to draw attention to attractive lighting and not necessarily attractive fixtures.

Watch Your Step
Even if a DIY-er accomplishes an effective pathway lighting setup, we often see major safety issues when it comes to step lighting. Whether it’s at the front door or the deck area, steps are sometimes left in pools of shadow in between lights – or worse – they’re not lit at all. Improperly lit steps in a nighttime lighting design is worse than no outdoor lighting at all, since a person’s eyes become accustomed to a certain amount of illumination which makes unlit steps seem even less visible.

Set It and Forget It
We assume that the culprits of this mistake never have their chimney cleaned or their furnace serviced either. A lack of maintenance of your Oakville outdoor lighting will start to show in the number of burnt-out bulbs or in power lines that come to the surface of the soil or mulch. Plants and shrubs that border the pathway may grow over a fixture to the point that you forget it’s there. All of this creates further hazards at night, and decreases the value of whatever investment you made in your system.

We love to hear our clients’ DIY design ideas and translate those into a lighting system that makes a home look spectacular at night. A professionally-designed system doesn’t have to break the bank to get the results that you want, and the added services available to keep your system humming will ensure that you will enjoy it for years to come. Contact Nite Time Decor Oakville to find out how.