Houzz study reveals nearly two thirds of U.S. homeowners (57%) who are planning outdoor renovations in 2016 are looking to upgrade their exterior lighting. Also, 11% plan to add outdoor security features, 10% outdoor A/V, and 8% smart irrigation.

Automated outdoor lighting is one of the hottest exterior technologies among homeowners today, according to new data from Houzz, a leading consumer home improvement website.

The 2016 U.S. Houzz Landscaping Trends Survey interviewed nearly 1,000 U.S. homeowners who are in the midst of, are planning, or who recently completed an outdoor project. Nearly two out of three (57 percent), plan to make upgrades to their exterior lighting in some fashion.

Specifically, a quarter of outdoor upgraders are installing motion-sensitive lighting (24 percent), while 11 percent are installing outdoor security systems, 8 percent are installing precipitation-sensitive irrigation, and 2 percent are installing smartphone-connected plant sensors.

Upgrades in exterior lighting to LEDs, for example, rose to 32 percent of homes compared to 28 percent last year. Also, 10 percent of homeowners report they are adding outdoor media (audio or video). Nearly one in four (23 percent) are installing solar lighting.

Among the outdoor features that homeowners plan to illuminate are:

Pathways — 60 percent
Decks/Patios — 57%
Trees/Shrubs — 53%
Steps — 32%
Home Architecture — 28%
Driveway — 26%
Water Features — 24%
Outdoor Structures — 24%
Pots/Plants — 21%
Swimming Pool — 10%
Art/Sculpture — 9%

Another positive sign from the study for integrators is that homeowners are not shying away from hiring professional help. More than half of homeowners (52 percent) are hiring a landscape contractor or designer/architect. Specifically, 5 percent plan to hire a lighting designer.

Nine out of every 10 exterior upgrade projects this year will cost less than $5,000; however, among those homeowners planning “complete overhauls” of their yards, 40 percent plan to spend more than $20,000.

The Western states are the hottest place for exterior lighting upgrades this year, with 35 percent of Western households planning to add LED lighting, followed by 31 percent in the South, 29 percent in the Northeast, and 27 percent in the Midwest.

Overall, the technology offerings in outdoor environments paled in comparison to the percentage of homeowners making upgrades in places like flower beds and borders (80 percent), structural elements (72 percent) or irrigation systems (40 percent).

Houzz is a visual platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together. The website, which has more than 35 million visitors monthly, is the No. 1 home and garden consumer website.

– From Jason Knott · March 25, 2016 – cepro.com