Lighting makes outdoor spaces safer for evening activities such as dining, cooking, and navigating stairs. It also enhances the visual appeal of a landscape.
For maximum effectiveness, pick light fixtures that match your vision for the area. Also consider power and voltage, as well as maintenance needs. (Remember that even low-voltage lights carry a risk of electrocution). Consider LEDs to eliminate the need for time-consuming bulb changes and increase the number of lights you can use on one transformer. You’ll be glad you read this!
Your landscape should be a stage, and good lighting design illuminates the scenery so it shines bright at night. Illuminating certain areas of your yard will help people move around safely, and it will also highlight the beauty and texture of walls, statues, trees, and shrubs.
Spotlights are ideal for this type of highlight lighting, as they can be adjusted to vary the distance and angle at which a specific feature is highlighted. For example, you can light behind a unique landscape plant or urn to create a silhouette effect, or you can use a spotlight on a home or retaining wall to wash it with soft illumination.
This is one of the more subtle types of landscape lighting, and it can be a great way to enhance your property without drawing attention to the fixture itself.
Illuminating a tree from more than one angle reveals its three-dimensional form and reduces harsh shadows. This is called cross-lighting. It’s ideal for showcasing trees, statues, flagpoles, and other structures.
Illuminated pathways and steps improve safety after dark while improving curb appeal. In this home, path lights are tucked under eaves and staircases, keeping everyone safe while creating a warm and inviting entrance.
Hardscape lighting illuminates brick, stonework, and other man-made features like stairways, pavers, and walls. This technique is also known as grazing, and it can add depth and dimension to architectural elements, creating a dramatic effect. Most landscape lighting relies on low voltage power from a transformer that reduces the 120-volt household current to a safer 12 volts. This system is safer to work with and easier to install than traditional 120-volt systems.
Different outdoor spaces require a different lighting approach. For example, lining a garden path with landscape lights that shine downward is one style, but accenting a statue or highlighting the shape of a trellis or wall with lights that are aimed upward creates a dramatic effect.
The power and voltage of your landscape lights will also influence the brightness and intensity of their light. And if you opt for bulbs that use LED arrays, these last longer and consume less energy than halogen options.
For a festive and fun 4th of July decoration or to brighten up an outdoor hot tub space, try this DIY mason jar luminary idea. It’s super easy and looks great! For even more fun, make a sign with rope lights to spell out whatever word you choose.
Downlighting is a lighting technique that uses fixtures positioned low to illuminate areas of the yard below. It’s a great way to accentuate tree trunks, planter boxes, or other garden elements while adding depth to your landscape design at night.
This style is also perfect for accenting architectural details like pillars or columns on your home or pergola, as well as highlighting focal points like trees and shrubs. For added elegance, consider a trending downlighting technique called Moonlighting that replicates the beauty of the moon’s light in your landscape.
Both uplighting and downlighting are a critical part of any professional landscape lighting design. They work together to highlight features, create an inviting atmosphere, and increase property value and safety.
Accent and Ground Lighting
If you’re looking to light up your space, there are a lot of options out there. Before you start picking fixtures, though, think about what you’re lighting up and why.
This is important because it’ll help you decide which fixture to go with and how bright to set it. There are two primary types of bulbs used in landscape lighting: halogen and LED. Halogen bulbs are a bit more common, but they produce a lot of heat and need to be replaced often. LED bulbs, on the other hand, are much more energy-efficient and last longer.
Accent lighting is great for highlighting paths, stonework, planters, water features, and more. You can even use lights to highlight steps, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, benches, and more. Browse the next article.