Lighting the Exterior of Your Home — Tips from the Experts at GE

Traditionally, outdoor lighting has been considered a great way to make the outside of your house more secure, but outdoor lighting is also a great way to add drama and curb appeal to your home. Strategically placed fixtures with state–of–the–art GE outdoor bulbs create beautiful focal points and highlight areas of interest within your outdoor landscape. 

According to the lighting experts at GE, the same principles of layering light that apply to the interior of your home can be translated to the outdoors. Ambient light, which provides overall illumination, includes yard lights and porch lights. Task lighting consists of low–voltage lights along sidewalks and paths. It can even include lights that keep insects at bay. Accent lighting includes spotlights and many other forms of special–interest lighting to dramatize water features, outdoor sculptures or art.

Use GE outdoor bulbs for their unique all–weather construction, designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. For a full, balanced effect, use a variety of subtle lighting techniques with multiple levels of brightness:
  • Uplighting is the perfect way to add depth and drama to trees, landscape features and architectural elements. Uplighting is achieved by placing lights at an angle and lighting objects from below. For heavy–duty, all–weather bulbs that will stand the test of time, choose GE halogen floodlights. They produce broad beams of light for creating dramatic effects.
  • Backlighting creates beautiful silhouettes by placing objects of interest in front of a lit surface. Instead of directly lighting a tree, shrub or a statue, angle the light against a wall or fence behind the object. GE outdoor halogen spotlights are a great choice for this eye–catching effect.
  • Use accent lighting to enhance the beauty of your home. For a bright, white light that's long lasting and designed to make your home look its best, try GE halogen postlights.
To ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit and effect from your outdoor lighting, clean exposed bulbs several times during the season. The wind spreads dirt and pollen that build up on bulbs, causing a light loss of up to 40 percent.

Purchase lighting fixtures that are UL–listed and designed for outdoor use. Light decks, patios, porches and other outdoor living spaces well, especially the steps. These areas can be prime tripping hazards for those who are unfamiliar with the landscape.

Use motion–sensing fixtures with GE floodlights and get light only when you need it. Check the motion sensor regularly to ensure it isn't being triggered by moving pets, wild life, gates, tree limbs, or plants.

Conserving energy
To save on energy costs, select ENERGY STAR®-qualified GE Energy Smart™ Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) for outdoor use, which are available in more shapes and styles than ever before. They use up to 75 percent less energy and last 8 to 10 times longer than ordinary incandescent bulbs. Outdoor timers paired with incandescent or halogen bulbs will also help you save energy, as the lights will go off even if you forget to flip the switch. Motion sensors are also a good way to conserve energy, since they are only activated by motion.

Bug off
If you want to avoid attracting pests to your patio party or dinner on the deck, illuminate the night with a GE® Bug Lite. These bulbs contain a special coating that makes light invisible to flying bugs, so they aren't drawn to it.

Choose these specially coated light bulbs to avoid those pesky insects at outdoor gatherings. They are available in incandescent, floodlight and postlight bulbs, including an EnergySmart™ postlight. Designed with a unique all–weather construction, they withstand harsh weather conditions better than conventional bulbs.

Lighting is a marvelous and powerful decorating tool — learn to use it well for both your interior and exterior, and your home will look and function the way you've always hoped it would. For more information visit, and click on the new Design With Light section, for helpful lighting tips throughout your house.