Once an afterthought, today's exterior spaces are becoming an extension of the interior of the home. Not only does a well-conceived Outdoor space increase the comfort of the home, but it can also increase the home's value. One of the keys to creating a superior Outdoor escape is Lighting. While any deck or patio can serve admirably in the daytime or even twilight, only those with Outdoor Lighting can truly own the night. If you are thinking about adding Lighting Outdoors, you'll probably want to do some planning. Lighting is not a haphazard activity - you want to make sure that the Lighting is appropriate, covers the spaces you want, and doesn't leave any dark spots, especially near stairs or transitions between different levels of a deck. Installing lights not only increases the usefulness of your property, but also the safety of your home. And, with the low wattage Fixtures coming out on the market and the growing number of solar powered lights, installing Lighting is also cost effective. If you have a deck or patio, you may want to consider recessed lights. These are installed right into the floor and are flush, giving you dramatic Lighting that adds resale value to the home. These can be costly to install, however, largely because you'll need to hire an electrician. But the visual impact and curb appeal is worth it. Another good option for Outdoor Lighting is to put lights on the post caps around the deck. These can be extremely decorative in the daytime and will cast a lovely light on the deck without it being too bright or obtrusive. Alternately, you can go with lights mounted on the posts themselves, either down at the deck level to provide Lighting along the surface or a little higher up to illuminate the entire deck. If you have tall posts, you can go with lanterns for Outdoor Lighting. These work really well around the edge of a deck or patio or around the pool or hot tub. If the wiring of the deck is a roadblock to Outdoor Lighting for your home, consider the growing number of solar lights coming onto the market. The great thing about solar Lighting is that you don't need to dig trenches or hire an electrician. Each light has its on photovoltaic cells that take in the sunlight during the day and stores it as energy in a battery. These are easy to install your elf and usually they can be set to turn on automatically as the sun sets, so you don't even have to remember to turn them on at night. While these were originally created for landscaping, they are increasingly finding their way onto decks and patios, particularly smaller ones where the lower wattage of these lights is sufficient. Solar light technology is in a state of flux right now, with newer, more efficient and even brighter lights coming to market weekly. Outdoor Lighting is something of an art. You want to create different levels of Lighting, not only to create focal points, but also to enhance the natural beauty of your home and deemphasize those areas that are more utilitarian. For instance, you can choose to use solar lights along walkways to add a soft light for safety and to draw visitors to the front door of the home or to a pool, spa or garden area behind the home. Floodlights are great for security, especially when connected to motion detectors. You can put dimmers on deck lights, allowing you to adjust the mood, going from soft Lighting for a romantic evening to brighter levels for a party. If you don't know where to start, you may want to call in a Lighting specialist or landscaper to help you plan your Lighting strategies so that you won't be disappointed or left in the dark because you didn't consider all your options.