Lighting the outside of your home can help to keep you safe, but beyond the basic idea of safety you need to concern yourself with ease of installation, cost to run, and how it will look on your home. When done right you can do this on a budget and really showcase the outside of your home.
The first thing to consider is the power source. There are some that can simply plug into an existing outlet box while others run on solar power, while still others run on a very low voltage wire that most do it yourself persons can do pretty well.
The traditional method was to hire a contractor to come out and run the electricity to your new lighting source, but now do it yourselfers can take on this task. Always read the instructions carefully and be sure to ask questions at your local do it yourself stores.
Careful consideration needs to be given to light type and placement. Do you want to showcase a plant, a flag, your house number? Perhaps is a particular shrub or walk way. Some homeowners even choose to use low level lighting to illuminate the exterior of the home. This can be wonderful, but too much light and it looks like your having a huge grand opening sale at the local car dealership!
Lastly, consider using a single string of white lights in a potted plant to add drama to your patio or entry way. Add a few solar type lanterns to your deck or patio area to illuminate the setting instead of the large overhead light to bring ambient lighting to your next party.