MANY OF TODAY'S HOME BUYERS are looking for more livable outdoor spaces, especially after the sun sets. But extending outdoor living hours into the night requires illumination.
“Years ago, people would light the front of their house—up-lights on trees, walkways, doors. Now, the trend is to light the outdoor living spaces—spa areas, patios, decks,” says Tom Fenig, president of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, based in Charlotte, N.C.
Most home buyers may not think about asking for a landscape lighting package, but it's an upsell opportunity that should not be passed by, especially in today's highly competitive market. Outfitting a model home with a basic low-voltage landscape lighting package is simple and doing so helps to highlight and add drama to the home's exterior features and its surroundings.
“Landscape lighting is a relatively easy installation during the construction phase. Builders can install the low-voltage transformers and run cable before sod is laid,” says Darrin Hoyle of Cooper Lighting's SOURCE educational facility based in Mississauga, Ontario.
Even though most home buyers never see model homes at night, builders can display photos of the model lighting up the darkness. This can be especially valuable if you offer landscape lighting packages as standard upgrades.
The experts recommend keeping landscape lighting packages simple. Giving the buyers too many options will just overwhelm them, advises Chris Primous, product manager for builder and landscape products at Progress Lighting, based in Spartanburg, S.C.
It takes fewer light fixtures to illuminate the average home than people think. “Light goes a very long way at night,” says Jack Miller, general manager of landscape lighting at Kichler Lighting, based in Cleveland. “You're looking to create pockets of interest, not high levels of light.”