Improve Visibility and Curb Appeal with Landscape Lighting
Practice these helpful tips to get the most out of your landscape lighting system.
Whether you’re looking to brighten your outdoor walkways and entertaining space, or just want to accentuate your beautiful home and yard, landscape lighting provides an effective solution that combines the best of look and function. If you are considering installing landscape lighting, here are some things to remember to get the most out of your investment.
Incorporate Your Lighting’s Purpose into the Design
Your design will depend heavily on your planned use for the space you wish to illuminate. Do you want lighting for increased visibility while navigating your outdoor walkways, or are you wanting to create a mood with lighting for entertaining friends and family? Do you want to highlight major features of your home’s architecture, or would you like a more light for an added layer of security? Consider these questions as you begin to design your lighting system.
Remember the Basics
Regardless of how you plan to use your lighting, a few key areas of your home that you should consider in your design include:
• Walkways and Entryways
• Patios and Decks
• Unique Architecture and Water Features
Choose LED for Energy Efficiency
LED lighting is more energy efficient than the halogen alternative, and lasts for about 100,000 hours, requiring less changing of bulbs, which can be a real pain for lighting in trees and other elevated positions. LED lighting also tends to do well resisting the elements, shining bright regardless of the weather.
Use a Variety of Lighting Types for Effect
Through a combination of overall lighting (illuminates whole landscape), task lighting (performs a job), and accent lighting (emphasizes a specific feature), you can create a design that attracts attention and inspires admiration.
Place Your Lighting at Night
To get the full effect of your lighting design, such as brightness, shadows, and direction, position your lighting when it gets dark rather than during the day to avoid guesswork.
Prevent Light Pollution
Be sure that your lighting does not project into your or your neighbors' windows, shines directly into eyes, or is so bright that it creates a glare, reducing visibility of the night sky.
Program Your Lighting Using Timers
Avoid the hassle of remembering to turn off your lights in the morning by setting a timer for your landscape lighting. With timed lighting, you get the look you desire for your home with little effort on your part.
Select the Right Wattage for the Job
Higher wattage bulbs may generate light that is brighter than desired. Be mindful of wattage when purchasing bulbs for your landscape lighting system.
Create Visually Striking Effects with Down, Up, or Cross-lighting
The angle of your lighting can have a big impact on the overall mood. For lighting that resembles moon glow, use down-lighting by positioning lights facing downwards from elevated positions (typically trees). For a more dramatic look, use up-lighting to project light directly on to your house and yard features. Use a combination of the two (cross-lighting) to create a beautiful, shadow-free illuminated landscape.