You have the directions you printed off Mapquest in your hand as you head to a a friend's new home in a new area of town. You easily find their street but it is dark and you cannot see any house numbers on the street. You reach for your cell phone and ring up the homeowner letting them know you are on their street but you cannot figure out which house is their's. The thought that immediatlely pops into the homeowner's mind is "Dang! No one can see my house numbers at night! I forgot to put a light on my house numbers.""
As with this example, there are many exterior lighting details that can easily be overlooked when designing your dream home. Illuminating your house numbers whether the numbers are mounted on your home, on the mail box, painted on a rock, on the riser of a step, on a column, or some other place is one of those details. Not only does it help friends, cab drivers, and other people find your home but also emergency vehicles.
Another exterior lighting detail to consider includes adequate lighting for grilling. How many times have you been served a hamburger that is so rare due to the chef's inability to see that you think you can still hear the cow moo-ing? What about your driveway for little ones on their riding toys on a summer night or a competitive game of basketball that lasts past sunset?
Safety wise, you would want some type of lights along any sidewalks especially if there are steps. Proper lighting around doors is important so that the homeowner can see the person ringing the door bell and see to insert a key into the door. If your trash area is outside your garage, you will want to be able to illuminate the pathway to the trash cans. Depending on the location of your home, you might need lighting on the corners of your home in the event you need to go outside at night.
If you have a gated driveway or a gate to your walkway or courtyard, you will need lighting so your visitor can see to use the call box. Take a close look at your driveway on your plans and decide if there are any areas that need lighting.
Once again, pay attention to the details, in this case, the exterior lighting details. Pages 225-227 in Designing Your Dream Home has checklists pertaining to lighting, including exterior lighting. Be sure to keep the environment in mind and discuss lighting options that are environmentally friendly.