Lighting can be used to accentuate parts of a stucco home, or draw attention away from unsightly parts. Soffit lighting in particular offers a dramatic effect, intensely illuminating a portion of the wall but quickly fading to dark just a few feet away. While they don’t create an enormous amount of light, it is enough to deter potential burglars or vandals, and can create an amazing visual effect at night. The lights can also be used to bring out the shape and style of window trim, sills, mid-wall bands and corners quoins.
Modern soffit lighting systems typically use highly efficient 1.5 watt LED fixtures, which provide ample – bright – light, while using very little energy. This is particularly important if you plan on leaving them on over night.Some manufacturers have suggested that upgrading to a higher efficiency light can save over $50 per year on electrical bills, while lasting years longer.
Aside from simply making the home look nice, LEDs placed near a walkway can make the home safer by illuminating the walkway and ensuring you don’t accidentally step on that toy your kid left out, breaking an ankle.
It is something that needs to be planned out in advance though. Typically, soffit lighting is placed in the centre of the soffit. This becomes problematic if you replace you soffit before the stucco (for more reasons than just the lighting) and add a cornice after. Exterior cornices placed at the intersection of the wall and the soffit often extend 5-6″ from the face of the wall, removing a large chunk of “soffit real estate”. LED lights that used to appear centered now appear to be too close to the wall, or even covered entirely.
Inspired by the good people over at North Shore Eavestroughing .
Darren Perry/ September 12, 2010
Homeowners have an excellent oppertunity to transform the look of their home with the new generation of warm white LEDS. Although they are about double the cost of a conventional potlight there are many advantages to them. You have made an excellent point about strategic placement of the lights in the soffit based on the width of the stucco products you install. Your post gives great reminders for the homeowner or general contractor to ensure that all information is being shared to prevent the situation you have described above. Thanks for the mention in your blog!