Ask McKay: Tips for Getting Started with Outdoor Lighting


Getting Started with Outdoor Lighting

Here at McKay Landscape Lighting we get some frequently asked questions from our current customers, new customers, and sometimes other companies. We thought it would be nice to offer advice and answer questions in a new blog series called, Ask McKay. To kick things off, AJ, our Outdoor Lighting Designer, answers a question we get frequently from customers in the beginning stages of considering adding landscape lighting…

When it comes to adding outdoor lighting what is essential? Where should I start?

We believe that you should start with what is most important to you and your goals for adding outdoor lighting. The first step is to determine your needs, wants, and concerns. For example, are you looking to increase the safety of your home or is adding curb appeal more important? Do you want to extend the time you spend in your outdoor space? Maybe you like to entertain and want to wow your guests after dark?

We suggest walking around your property after dark taking notes of areas that might need light. Are your doorways well lit? Are there dark areas where an intruder could hide? Do you have outdoor steps that could be lit for safety? Make a list or use our checklist

From there, depending on your need for security, safety, or aesthetics, move towards whichever one has higher priority and start by lighting key elements on your property. If adding security is your priority, we recommend highlighting the house and entry points. If you are more concerned about safety, highlight pathways, walkways, and especially steps. For aesthetics, large deciduous and ornamental trees make the greatest impact. If you are not sure where to start, we always recommend to start by adding security lighting to your home, or you can schedule a free consultation with one of our designers to discuss your needs and help you determine the best approach.

The great thing about landscape lighting is that you can always build on your lights by adding more as you need or want. This allows you to start with the essentials and add more later, if needed. This is also great if you plan to add elements to your property like a patio, deck, water feature, or outdoor kitchen later on. Our team has worked with many homeowners after they have added on to their lighting system, or worked with them to install lights in phases.

If you need help determining what you want to do with your landscape lighting or just want to discuss it with a designer, McKay offers free consultations. We can schedule a time to meet, walk your property with you, discuss your lighting needs and the direction you want to take.  Lighting is all we do, and it is all we have done for more than 20 years. McKay has performed thousands of lighting assignments from coast to coast, and we would be delighted to meet and come up with solutions to your outdoor lighting needs.

Looking to Enhance Your Property?

Our dedicated team at McKay Landscape Lighting works with you to create a custom landscape lighting design that's unique to your property. From design to installation to service, you can count on our team of experts to make sure you are happy with your lighting system for years to come. 

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