Eaves provide an effective place to install lights that produce downlighting. Depending on the height and style of your roof, you may be able to install track lighting, which allows you to position several lights to illuminate a porch, entryway or sidewalk from above.
Downlighting can also come from recessed lighting in your eaves, which allows the light fixtures to disappear into the roof's structure and illuminate the side of your home, which serves as an illuminated backdrop for the sharp edges of the roof.
Uplighting involves lights mounted on the ground or other parts of your home that point up toward the eaves. This eliminates the need to install lighting in the eaves themselves after your house is built.
Uplighting can be used to create shadows and patterns by shining lights through plants or railings. Illuminating the underside of your eaves can also reveal architectural details you wish to highlight.
Your home's eaves provide a place to add subtle touches of color throughout the year. Some eave lighting fixtures have hinged doors and easily removable bulbs, allowing you to add colored bulbs or filters depending on the season or a certain mood.
Multicolored lights can prepare your home for a party, while a warm yellow or orange tone will give the home an appropriate look at night during autumn months. Green and pastel shades are best in the spring and summer to complement your landscaping, which may feature its own lighting to be visible at night.
Adding lighting to your eaves is an opportunity to pursue an energy-efficient strategy that will reduce your electricity costs and help preserve the environment. High-efficiency bulbs, such as compact fluorescents and LEDs, last many hours longer than conventional bulbs and offset their higher initial costs.
If you use uplighting, your yard-mounted lights can use small solar panels to product their own electricity from daytime sunlight. Solar lights also eliminate the need to install wiring for the lighting that illuminates your eaves.