Help Your Customers See the (Outdoor) Light

By Adam Mack, Product Manager of Casétaby Lutron 

As your customers settle in to the long nights of winter, now is the ideal time to consider how outdoor lighting can have an impact on their homes. Thanks to advances in technology, outdoor lights can now seamlessly blend aesthetics with practicality. 

First, the practical: A well-lit yard can make a home safer and less attractive to criminals. Hundreds of thousands of burglaries are reported to law enforcement every year. The presence of ample outdoor lighting can act as a powerful deterrent, enhancing the safety of families and their homes. 

And, if you have customers thinking of selling their homes, most real estate agents agree that outdoor lighting elevates a property’s value by creating the perception that a house’s livable space extends to the outside. 

Beyond the practical advantages, outdoor lighting offers an opportunity to delight your customers. While most homes have some form of exterior lights, new technology is making outdoor lighting not only easy to manage but also smart and beautiful. Help your residential customers discover what’s possible — and grow your business — by highlighting relatively easy steps that can make a big impact.   

Here are five pro tips to keep in mind when talking to customers about outdoor lighting:  


Help Your Clients Think in Zones 

Familiarize yourself with your customer’s outdoor space by visiting their home at dusk and taking a walk around the yard. How are they currently using the space and more importantly, how COULD they be using it? Help them visualize how the right light can transform their yard into a fun, functional, comfortable extension of their home.  

Identifying different zones is the ideal way to create this space and ensure homeowners have the right light to meet their needs. Brighter lights work well for an outdoor kitchen or grilling area, while warm lights promote relaxing and visiting with friends. Encourage your clients to showcase a fountain or other special landscaping features with up-lighting. Or introduce them to “moonlighting,” in which soft lights are installed high in trees or other structures to cast a silvery glow that mimics moonlight. 


Layer Light Using a Combination of Solutions 

Introducing light layering is an effective method for assisting homeowners in crafting an inviting and cozy outdoor space. And it can increase the area’s functionality and flexibility. The three types of lighting layers are ambient, accent, and task.  

  • Ambient light is the most basic. It’s the general light you get when you turn on a switch to find your way around.  
  • Accent light highlights a specific feature, like a backyard waterfall or special tree.  
  • Finally, task lighting is a practical focused light needed to do a specific task, such as outdoor dining or reading. 


Promote Safety by Adding Light to Walkways and Stairs  

Path lighting is a necessity to help homeowners and guests navigate the outdoors safely. Thanks to new lighting solutions, it can also make your customers’ yards more inviting. Low-voltage solutions work well to provide the soft light needed to illuminate stairways and other garden paths. You can illuminate walkways through downlighting, built-in path lighting, or traditional free-standing luminaries. 


Look for Smart Outdoor Lights 

Smart outdoor plugs can be easily programmed and controlled from an app to turn on and off at certain times of the day. Imagine always driving up to a warm, welcoming, well-lit home after dark. Some outdoor lighting controls, like Lutron’s Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug, even take into account daylight savings time changes, meaning one less thing you or your customers need to worry about. With the holidays around the corner, you can teach your customers how to program their decorations to turn on and off automatically, saving them time and money on energy bills. Your customers may choose to leave pathway lighting on all night while turning off other lights not being used. It’s particularly handy when homeowners are on vacation, making a home looked lived in and deterring crime. 


Keep in Mind a Few Practical Tips when Recommending and Installing Outdoor Lighting  

The National Electrical Code® requires all outdoor outlets to be ground-fault protected. Make sure the lighting and controls your customers use are graded for outdoor use. Help them look for products that are durable and withstand wind, rain, and dust, instead of them having to replace inexpensive products every year or so. It will be worth it in the long run. 

By implementing these outdoor lighting tips, you can not only go above and beyond for your clients but also further the growth of your business.