Outdoor lighting can give a home an entirely new appearance. One place for dramatic outdoor lighting is the space below a roof overhang. Adding light to this area exclusively, or as part of an overall landscape lighting design, enhances your home's appearance at night without any changes to the architecture.
The locations you choose for installation of lighting for your home's roof overhang affect how the lighting looks and how the installation process proceeds. Some roof overhang lighting is affixed to the side of your home or the ground, pointing upward. In other cases the lights are attached to the underside of the overhang itself, projecting light down and accenting your home's exterior facade and landscaped surroundings. Ground level lighting is easier to install because no ladder is required, but it may require routing electrical wiring outdoors. Roof-mounted lights can use the wiring in your attic.
Lighting for a roof overhang can come from any type of outdoor fixture. Outdoor lighting fixtures, including directional spotlights, powerful floodlights and small accent lights, are meant to endure harsh temperatures, wind and moisture that would damage conventional interior lighting fixtures. If your roof overhang covers a porch or deck, hanging lanterns may be a good choice.
The use of lights added to your roof overhang will increase your home's energy usage, but it shouldn't cause a severe impact on your energy bill. Some outdoor lights feature small, built-in solar panels, which can charge them during the day if they are installed in a location that receives direct sunlight. This also eliminates the need to run electrical wiring to the lights. Timers to control when roof overhang lighting is on, along with low-energy light-emitting diode lighting, will further reduce the amount of electricity the lights use.
Designing and Budgeting
Lighting for a roof overhang can be a way to enhance your home after it's built, or part of the initial design process. Landscapers, architects and builders may collaborate on lighting schemes that accent the colors or forms present in a home design. If outdoor lighting is a priority, ask about including it in a home construction or renovation project, which will allow it to be more integrated into the home's electrical system and make it less expensive to install. If you choose to add lighting for a roof overhang after the fact, consider the price for fixtures, the cost of installation and the impact on your electric bills in your budgeting.
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