With cold weather forcing us inside for the next few months, it’s a great time to research and consider improving the appearance of your yard and gardens with outdoor lighting. As I was out walking my dogs tonight, (and with the time change – yes, it was dark!) I admired the homes with a planned lighting scape. This can truly make a dramatic change to your yard – without a huge dent in your budget. An added benefit is that it can also provide safety and security to your home.
Outdoor lighting products can be used to help accentuate gardens, fountains and landscaping so you can enjoy the beauty of your outdoor living space. Plus, a lit pathway can help show the way through the yard and keep you from trampling your garden or from tripping and falling.
Different types of landscape lighting serve different purposes – whether used for functional or aesthetic use. The two main categories include low voltage lighting and solar lighting.
Low voltage lighting. This type of lighting is available in a variety of brightness levels and emits enough light to be used for nighttime activities. A power pack supplies the electricity and can be controlled by an automatic timer. Low voltage lighting is shockless and safe to use around children and pets. It’s also cost effective and easy to install.
Solar lighting. This type of lighting requires no wiring and is the most energy-efficient because it converts the sun’s energy into electrical power. It costs nothing to operate and is easy to install. It should not, however, be used to illuminate large areas brightly or for activities such as grilling and socializing. It works well to highlight pathways and features in the yard.
Begin by looking for ideas in magazines, online, and at your library. Then visit your favorite home improvement store. They can direct you as to how to begin a do-it-yourself project, or provide names and resources to help. You will be amazed at the difference outdoor lighting can make – and provide years of enjoyment for your yard and garden. (Also, if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market in the near future, this can add huge curb appeal!)
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Sue…..any tips for organizing Christmas stuff so you remember what is in the box….I think my plan will be to take pictures of what is in the box and have a list of what is in there….can you think of a simpler way?
Thanks for reading my blog Shirley – and for your question!
I was actually thinking about writing a post about organizing Christmas decorations – and made a mental note for next year to include it. But here are a few tips…
Because of the volume of my decorations (yes, I’m a little “over the top” when it comes to Christmas!), through the years I’ve developed a system:
1. I try to store the decorations that I put up in in each room (ex/ dining room, living room, kitchen, etc.) all together. I find it is much easier when I’m getting things out at the beginning of the season to go room by room. The outside of the box is labeled with that room name.
2. I wrap all tree ornaments separately with tissue paper and put them all together in one box. As I take each light strand off the tree, I bag it in a plastic grocery sack to keep them untangled and separate. All of the “indoor lights” get put in a separate box & labeled.
3. As I take off the lights outside (& we do have quite few!), I again put them in separate bags to keep them from getting tangled, and label them with the bush, tree, door way, etc. they were on. Next year when I take them out I know exactly where each is going.
4. All extra ribbon, wire, etc. get put all together in a “supply” box.
5. The bows that I use outside on my garland, wreaths and mailbox get labeled – and then stuffed with newspaper, and the tails rolled around toilet paper rolls and pinned. It’s a little time consuming – but they stay fresh and look great year after year. They get put in a box labeled “outside bows”.
6. I use another box for all “holiday serving pieces” – and then another for place mats, dish towel, and other “fabric items”.
I hope this helps. This is what works for me but I would love to hear other ideas people have come up with!