Posted on January 25, 2017 by John Bruce
You pull into the driveway of a neighbor’s house for girls night and shut off the car; boy, is it dark out here! …you think to yourself as you walk carefully to the front door, tripping slightly on the uneven walkway. This sure doesn’t make me feel welcome; don’t they have the decency turn a light on for me?
Later that night you arrive back to your beautiful lakeside retreat, park in your attached garage, and go directly inside. Then, curiosity gets ahold of you. What does my lake house look like when guests come over? You walk out the front door and out to the driveway; Good grief, my house is the same way! You scowl at the pathetically dim porch light and think of all the family and friends that will be arriving for gatherings this spring and summer. You realize that your home-sweet-home doesn’t look very inviting.
Even worse, you walk around the backyard and realize that you can’t quite tell where the yard stops and the water begins. You stumble your way around trying to find that pathway and trip over a ball the kids left outside. Now you trample through the flowerbeds you spent all of that time and money on. When you finally reach the patio, you realize that you can’t see the steps.
The Solution to a Lackluster Lake House
Giving your lake house an attractive and welcoming appearance is easier than you might think. One of the most important factors to consider is how well your home is illuminated. Proper lighting at night helps guests to feel safe and appreciated as they approach your front door. It communicates, “Welcome, friend” in a very practical way.
So, after recognizing that your home needs some better outdoor lighting, what do you do? How do you decide what kind of lights to install?
In the daylight hours, take a visual survey of your yard and the front entrance of the house. Note the outdoor walkways and consider placing small lights along the edges for nighttime guidance. Look for any items of beauty in the yard, such as a trellis or a nicely shaped tree, and visualize it with a spotlight to add interest to the scene. Perhaps your outdoor dining area could use some cafe lighting. And of course, plenty of glowing illumination around the front door to specifically highlight the “final destination.”
If you have a lake house, you’re treated to a view that most of us only dream of! Be sure to get the most use out of it with proper illumination. A well-lit yard is especially important since your lake house is usually a magnet for outdoor get-togethers, and water and darkness are not a good combination if you want your guests to be safe after dark! Besides, who wouldn’t want to illuminate a lake house? Outdoor lighting makes a house at night look warm and inviting, and a little reflection off the water never hurt either.
Follow the links below for some inspiring ideas and suggestions for lighting your lake house to perfection:
- An artfully illuminated waterfront house backyard that also includes safety lighting on the dock.
- An inventive solution to lighting deck landings — sleek black pendants hung from overhanging tree limbs.
- A great place to hang out day or night, a relaxing covered deck gets its nighttime lighting from a rustic chandelier, an outdoor fireplace, and candles.
It’s amazing what good, professionally installed lighting can do, not just in terms of waterfront safety, but in terms of year-round comfort and beauty for your family and friends. Use the ideas listed here to stimulate your own imagination and creativity. Then, make a list of your ideas and talk to a professional outdoor lighting designer to make the most of your lake-front property.