Are you hoping to improve the lighting situation outside your home? If you’re looking for landscaping lighting ideas, we’ve got a guide full of inspiration here!
How often do you stand away from your house and admire your landscaping?
Perhaps you’ve gone the full nine yards to plant some amazing trees or added some impressive architectural features. You might have even created a garden complete with winding paths and a pond.
Professional landscaping adds tremendous value to a home. So why not show it off 24/7?
Draw attention to your home’s architectural features and highlight unique plantings and trees at night with landscaping lighting.
Where to Use Landscape Lighting
There is such a thing as stressful lighting. And, of course, there’s always the chance of too much lighting. You don’t want your yard to look like a stadium at night. So how do you decide what to leave in the dark?
First, you need to identify what it is you most like about your yard. Maybe it’s some uniquely shaped trees, a small pond with a cascading waterfall, a statue, etc.
Then, consider the areas that don’t stand out as much during the day. For example, a simple stone wall can become a special attraction at night when lit in such a way to accents shadows.
Finally, think about function. If you have stairs or pathways that are to be wandered at night, then they will need illumination to ensure safety.
And it should go without saying – but your entryway should always be well-lit. Not only does it allow for safe entry into your home, but it also creates some serious curb appeal.
Fortunately, there are many different types of lights that professional landscapers use in their designs to get the greatest effect and most impact. They are as follows:
1. Path or Area Lights
Of course, you want to create a safe route for your family and guests at night. Yet, don’t forget about those architectural features along the path. Path and area lights are used to spotlight architectural details while providing illumination on dark paths, steps, or stairs.
Specific types of area lights can also be used for lighting up entertainment spaces such as outdoor kitchens or decks.
Landscape lighting professionals recommend lights that are sturdy and made from corrosion-resistant materials, such as those with powder-coated finishes that can stand up to the elements. LED path lights are also highly suggested since they keep costs down with reduced power consumption and burn cooler than more traditional path lights.
2. Spotlights or Floodlights
The distinction between a spotlight and floodlight all comes down to the spread of the beam. As their name suggests, spotlights project a concentrated, narrow beam of light. They’re easy to adjust and are used to highlight specific areas of interest like porch columns, eaves, or landscape features.
Spotlights can create dramatic effects though uplighting or convey more subtle moods through downlighting and are perfect for illuminating specific objects or areas.
Floodlights, on the other hand, have a wider beam spread of up to 120 degrees to “flood” light into an area. They tend to be more functional and provide safety and security to areas like driveways and parking lots. They’re often motion sensitive and will go off once no longer needed.
3. Wall Wash Lights
Some spaces and features look better with more ambient lighting. A well-lit space can be created by washing a large wall or hedge in an entertainment area with light.
A wide-beamed light can cast an even and gentle glow over the whole area. Wall wash lights can also be used in a smaller capacity as well, such as along fences or on garden walls.
4. In-Ground Lights
If you’re looking for drama and atmosphere in your landscaping lighting, in-ground lights kick up the visibility of the features in your yard. Using the uplight effect of an inground light can illuminate an entire tree or large structure in your yard.
At the same time, this form of lighting can be used to highlight less obvious features that could go easily unnoticed. Mixing inground light with spotlights can add extra dramatic effect – though it works well on its own.
One of the advantages of inground lights is that you don’t need to think about how the actual fixture will appear in your yard – since it’s below the ground.
5. Hardscape Fixture Lights
Low profile hardscape fixture lights are newer on the market. These are durable linear fixtures that can be easily concealed under items such as deck handrails, outdoor kitchen counters, bench seating, columns, and window ledges.
If your yard is hardscape-heavy, professional landscaping lighting designers will often suggest the method of grazing. This involves placing the light close to a flat surface and then aiming the light directly up or down to create a dramatic play with shadows.
The idea is to take advantage of texture across a flat plane, so if your yard has a lot of uneven or irregular patterns, you’re in luck.
6. Post Lights
If you have winding paths and smaller alcoves, your best bet is short post lights for illumination. Tall post lights – and larger bollard lights – are ideal for illuminating driveways and long stretches of space that get lost in the dark.
The placement of post lights is also crucial. To avoid the airplane runway effect, many designers will place fixtures on either side of the path or driveway in a back and forth pattern. This creates a pleasing effect, as well.
7. Submersible Lights
Submersible lights are essentially spotlights meant for underwater operation.
Alternately called pond lights, they can be submerged into water to highlight specific outdoor water features such as fountains, waterfalls, rock formations, or aquatic plants or fish.
When installing submersible lighting systems, professionals may recommend energy-efficient LED lights. They’re more robust than traditional tungsten bulbs while offering a comparable level of power at a fraction of the wattage.
Illuminate Your Landscaping
Make the most of your investment. Show off your yard both day and night with landscaping lighting.
Contact us today to speak with one of our skilled landscape lighting designers who will advise you on the best ways to light up your nights and make your yard shine.