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gardening imageNight and Day

Let there be light!

by Janis Turk

photography by Vernon Wentz

Putting things in their best light is important — especially when you want to illuminate your home’s exterior. Consider bathing in light your home’s oak trees, architectural elements, outdoor living spaces, poolside areas or just the carport and garage; when you add light to any area, it makes it not only more beautiful, it often becomes more safe and can even add value to your home. So don’t keep yourself in the dark about outdoor lighting, learn what the pros have to say about bringing light to your home’s exteriors.

A quick trip to the hardware store, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sam’s Club, Costco, or Wal-Mart, and you’ll see a wide selection of landscape lighting fixtures that are fairly inexpensive and easy to install. Be sure that any items you purchase are made of high-quality materials (avoid plastic parts that may crack in the hot Texas sun) that can weather the harshest of seasons.

Line voltage fixtures, which can be wired into the home’s electrical system, are a little more sophisticated than the do-it-yourself fixtures. These include old-fashioned street lamps, security spotlights and garage lights. However, these are also used for “up lighting” to illuminate architectural features of a house or to light trees, pathways and other landscape elements. Most of these can be designed to be put on photo cells or timers so they’ll turn off and on by themselves, or they can be connected to a simple light switch or dimmer switch there in the home. It’s important to remember, however, that if you purchase this type of lighting online or from a home hardware store, you’ll need to hire a licensed electrician to help you install it properly, and often times digging a place for lines to be laid underground is involved.

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