If you want a landscape with nighttime appeal, do not overlook the benefits of landscape lighting. It is an easy, affordable way to add ambiance to your landscape and safety to your home. Landscape lighting will highlight the beauty of your home and increase curb appeal and property value.
How to Plan Your Outdoor Lighting
When you are planning for outdoor lighting, it is helpful to walk around your yard at night to get a realistic picture after dark. Make note of areas where landscape lighting will enhance landscape features, showcase architectural materials on your home, and provide functional outdoor spaces for activities. After you determine where you need light, you can look at the type of fixtures that will provide proper lighting.
When choosing landscape lighting fixtures, consider existing outdoor structures and features like swimming pools and spas, pavilions and cabanas, terraces and patios, walkways and pathways, as well as trees, shrubs and garden areas. Measure or carefully estimate the height of objects and plants in the landscape where you want to install lighting.
Landscape lighting is available in a wide variety of fixtures, finishes and prices. It is easy to find fixtures that will complement the style of your home within your budget. To create a well-lit, appealing landscape, you need to consider both functional and decorative lighting. Fixtures are typically divided into three basic groups based on the type of lighting they provide:
Fixtures like floodlights, up-lights, down-lights, pathway lights, and wall washers are used to accent landscape features. Floodlights, up-lights and down-lights are commonly used to highlight trees, shrubs, garden areas and outdoor features like fountains, waterfalls and fences. Pathway lights are used to provide safe footpaths for walkways and pathways. Wall washers are used to accent architectural materials and features on homes and outdoor structures.
Outdoor task lighting creates light for specific tasks. Ceiling and wall mounted fixtures are used on patios and porches to provide light for a variety of tasks and activities. Post lights often sit atop columns, fences, walls and deck railings to provide additional light for movement. Step lights provide safety when used on outdoor steps and staircases.
Outdoor features like decks, patios, pavilions and cabanas require overall lighting. For outdoor features with a roof, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures or recessed fixtures will provide good illumination for the entire outdoor space. Since these fixtures require electrical wiring for installation, check your local contractor leads for a qualified electrician.