If you take good care of your home, the yard may look good. However, unless you have proper outdoor landscape lighting, your home is not as safe as it could be and it may lose its “curb appeal” after dark. Lighting up your landscape is sometimes hard work, but these 5 tips can make it easier and more effective.

1. Draw up a Plan

Go over your entire yard and plan out your light design. This may take time, but it can keep you from making some major mistakes. It’s best to consult with a landscape professional to help you design your lighting scheme. The money you spend on these services more than pays for itself. It can save you a lot of money on energy and give you more effective outdoor landscape lighting.

2. Don’t Forget Pathways and Exterior Windows

Pathways are important because people need to see as they walk at night. If the area is dark underneath your windows, it’s an open invitation to thieves. Criminals love dark yards because they can work without being seen. When you light up the area, they’ll stay away.

3. Think of the Neighbors

Once your lighting is in place, check to see if it infringes on your neighbors. For example, floodlights may shine in their windows or their eyes as they pull into their driveways.

4. Light up Your Trees

If you have large lovely trees, they can be a focal point of your yard at night. Place floodlights at the base of your trees for a dramatic effect.

5. Think LED

LED outdoor landscape lighting is the most efficient way to go. You’ll save an enormous amount of money over the years on electricity. LED is safer because it uses low voltage power. Also, LED bulbs last for many years, so there’s less maintenance involved.