A property’s outer appearance is often a deal maker, or breaker, when buying a home. Now more than ever, as buyers return to the search after Christmas, first impressions can make all the difference.

Kerb appeal has a lasting affect. It takes potential buyers just eight seconds to decide whether or not they like a property, but with reduced daylight hours in the winter months, what can be done to enhance the façade as the property market returns in 2016?

“The approach to the front door should be warm and inviting and lighting should be soft,” says Sally Storey, Design Director at John Cullen Lighting. “This isn’t difficult to achieve, but homeowners will often overcompensate with lighting, whereas less is more in this instance. There are in fact many options worth considering.”

Spiked spots uplight the doorway
Spiked spots uplight the doorway

She goes on to suggest: “A lantern could be the best solution, either on one side of the front door or both. Try working with architectural details and recesses. The best lighting is that which is invisible. For example, discreet uplights are effective on both sides of the door frame for symmetry. They highlight existing features and the radiant light is far more pleasant than any direct light sources.”

Another popular idea is to give the façade a ‘wash’ of light using spiked uplights. Consider the balance of plants and lights. Foliage will help to disguise and soften the lighting and create an ambient layered scene.

To successfully light the entranceway to the home, regardless of size:

  1. Think about setting the tone for what is to come. The driveway, the garden path or the front door is the first taste of what lies beyond, so treat it with care. Try not to over impose
  2. Some areas are best left unlit. Identify the architectural features which work well, such as arches or masonry, and start by lighting these
  3. Where possible, use recessed LED uplights near to the architrave of the door for shafts of light. The result is far more exciting than using two decorative wall lights
  4. Lighting the entrance, path and steps can be done with as little as eight watts of energy. Make sure to choose good quality LED bulbs, ones with a temperature above 2700k, to avoid the cool-white light produced from cheaper LED bulbs
  5. Wiring the external lights to a PIR (presence detector) not only ensures peace of mind in terms of security, but acts as a welcoming touch as you approach the property

For more information go on-line at: www.johncullenlighting.co.uk