Is your house missing that “wow” factor? Your yard is landscaped beautifully but you feel like it’s just not quite complete? Or maybe you live in a neighborhood where the houses are very similar, and you want to make yours stand out from the rest. Many homeowners plan a yard that looks gorgeous during the day, but forget to make it shine after dark. Check out these landscape lighting techniques that will dazzle your neighbors.
Benefits of Landscape Lighting
Landscape lighting effects are a creative way to boost the beauty of your yard and increase the curb appeal of your home, even after dark. Lighting is the perfect way to enhance the features of your home that attracted you to it in the first place.
Another benefit to expanding your landscape lighting is that it allows you to enjoy your outdoor space after the sun has gone down. Done correctly, an exterior lighting design can create a cozy atmosphere for entertaining your family and friends.
Not everyone will enjoy your newly lighted exterior. Burglars and vandals will stay away since they tend to do their work under the cover of darkness. By keeping your home more brightly lit, you and your family can feel more safe and secure. Plus, an added feeling of safety will come from knowing your walkways and parking areas are sufficiently lit, allowing your invited guests to reach your home without tripping or falling.
Landscape Lighting Basics
The concept of lighting your outdoor areas doesn’t differ a whole lot from what’s considered for your indoor areas. Just like inside, outside lighting is divided into three layers:
- Overall – this lighting will illuminate the whole space, like a spotlight. Think of it as the ceiling light for your yard.
- Task – this is practical lighting that is used for a specific purpose, such as pathway lights. This equates to the desk lamp in your home office.
- Accent – this is exactly what is sounds like… lighting that will accent an object or area – a favorite tree for example. This is the same idea as the recessed lights shining on the artwork hanging over your fireplace.
Landscape Lighting Planning
There are two main things to consider when planning your outdoor lighting – features and functions. Are there specific areas of your yard you want to accentuate? Is there a tree or shrub you’re particularly proud of? Or maybe a fountain or other hardscape feature? Decide what elements of your yard you’d like to highlight and plan accordingly.
Function is another important factor to think about. You definitely want your landscape lighting to look beautiful, but functionality should be an added bonus. For instance, a downlight stationed over your front door will not only add drama to your front porch, it will also allow you to pick the right key when you’re unlocking the door.
Landscape Lighting Techniques
It’s always encouraged that you use professionals when installing outdoor lighting due to the electrical knowledge needed. So while we don’t recommend doing this yourself, here are five techniques that are topping the trends for landscape lighting.
Nightscaping is the overall idea of bringing an intentional lighting design to your landscape through the use of various types, sizes and hues of outdoor lights. This goes beyond a simple light on a tree or pathway lights – Nightscaping is considered an outdoor lighting experience. Many times the multiple fixtures are tied to one remote that can control all the lighting with a click of a button.
Moonlighting is a technique used to mimic the look of – you guessed it – moonlight. Lights are stationed above ground on poles or trees and aimed down towards the house. Not only does it create a lovely wash of light across the yard, it also causes a nice contrast of attractive shadows.
Uplighting is one of the most commonly known ways to create a dramatic effect on a feature you want to spotlight – literally. The effect is created by placing a spotlight at the base of the sculpture, tree or any kind of tall element, which sends a bright glow upwards. Not only does it draw the eye to the tall feature, it creates striking shadows. This technique is perfect for landscape tree lighting.
Just like you would think, downlighting is the exact opposite of uplighting. Downlighting is created by placing lights above or at the top of a feature, and shining the brightness downward. This technique can be used on single features like trees, or along a longer element such as a railing or retaining wall.
5. Path Lighting
Seems like a pretty basic concept, right? Unfortunately, many homeowners take path lighting to the extreme and overdo the amount of light they provide along walkways and paths. There should be a bit of space between fixtures – enough that the lighting is still functional in allowing people to see, but not so much that all the attention is drawn to your front sidewalk.
The idea of landscape lighting may seem like a simple one, but – as you can see from above – it can get pretty complicated with the installation and the amount of options available. Our experts bring years of experience in exterior lighting design that will highlight the beauty of your home after sunset. Click here to reach out to our designers for your free estimate.