Small and affordable improvements to your property’s lighting can have a big effect on potential tenants looking for a new home. Most people like to live in a light and bright home, they prefer a safe and welcoming home, and they want to keep their utility bills as low as possible. Changing out or adding new lighting can achieve all three. When a potential tenant is looking at and comparing several properties – all of which may be in the right place, be the right size, and in the right condition – it is often the little things that make them choose one over all the others. The greater the occupancy, the higher the annual profit. And those small but important improvements may be written off against this year’s taxes.

Light and Bright

Modern LED and CFL lighting gives out more light than traditional, incandescent light bulbs. A traditional 60 watt bulb is not really bright enough to read by and gives out about 1100 lumens.  A modern LED light with only a  50 wattage rating will give out 5,500 lumens or about five times as much light. Many LED bulbs come in different designs. Modern LED lighting can look like the traditional bulbs they are replacing, old fashion bulbs to add some quaint charm to a room, and even like works of art to add that “Wow!” factor to a dining room or lounge area. They can also be flat panels to replace the fluorescent kitchen lights which go yellow over time.

So, CFL and LED lighting can look very attractive during the day, and give much better illumination at night or on a dull day. This issue has become even more important since so many kids are now home-schooled and so many adults are working from home.

Safe and Welcoming

Movement detector lighting helps everyone to feel safer. When an outside light comes on because it detects movement it does two things; it alerts the tenant, so they can check if there is a problem. It also warns potential intruders that they cannot hide under darkness. The other benefit is that if the tenant is arriving home after dark or if they have a visitor, the light comes on as they approach the door to make it easier and safer to get home.

Lower Utilities

Yes, CFL and LED bulbs cost more to buy than incandescent bulbs, but look at the long term and see the difference:

  • Useful life: Incandescent bulbs have an average useful life of 1,200 hours, a CFL 8000 hours, and a LED 25,000 hours.
  • Wattage (electricity bills are charged in kilowatt hours.) A low-light incandescent bulb uses 60 watts, a CFL bulb will use 14 watts, and a LED bulb only 10 watts.
  • The cost over 25,000 hours of use for an incandescent bulb (excluding replacing old bulbs with new ones) is about $180, a CFL will cost about $42, and a LED $30.

The Takeaway

You want prospective tenants to choose your property over someone else’s. A home that will be brighter will feel more like a pleasant place to live. Outside lighting offers a sense of security and “homeyness.” And the idea of spending less every month on the electricity bill may just be all it needs to have that lease signed today instead of waiting another month for a new tenant.