Porch performance: More homeowners upgrading to smart lights outdoors

Houzz, a platform for home remodeling and design, recently released its 2017 Landscape Trends Study. The study, which provides insight into the latest outdoor home renovation trends and homeowner lawn and garden purchasing decisions, includes 977 homeowners who have undergone, or will be undergoing, outdoor renovations.

The Houzz study found that more than three quarters of outdoor renovators made updates to outdoor systems, and nearly half (45 percent) of outdoor-renovating homeowners updated or installed outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting systems include things like pathway lights that go along each side of your driveway, floodlights that light up your yard at night, or pool lights.

Homeowners have available to them a wide range of lighting options, ranging from the cheap lighting and lightbulbs you can buy at a dollar store, all the way up to smart lightbulbs that costs upward of $100. What are homeowners buying?

Today’s homeowners are opting for the more expensive, higher-quality outdoor lighting, according to the study. Of those surveyed, 73 percent of homeowners upgraded to LED lighting, and 46 percent upgraded to a low-voltage option. Solar outdoor lighting still appears to be popular with homeowners, with 41 percent of participants saying they upgraded to solar lighting.

Perhaps the most remarkable finding, however, involves smart lighting. Nearly one in five participants said they upgraded to smart outdoor lighting systems they can control with a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Around 40 percent of homeowners cited “helping the environment” as a reason for making certain outdoor renovations, such as removing or reducing their lawn. The environmental factor may also play a role in homeowners’ outdoor lighting decisions. LED lights use at least 75 percent less energy, and last a claimed 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2027, if LEDs become the norm, this could save the amount of electricity produced by 44 large electric plants.