If you think that you can appreciate the beauty of your landscape only during the daytime, then you’re absolutely wrong.
Your landscape can be a sight to behold at night. Highlight your home’s architectural structure with strategic lighting positions. You can also emphasize the beauty of your most treasured plants even after sundown. Contact an expert who can design and install outdoor lighting features for an impressive outcome.
Benefits of Outdoor Landscape Lighting
Home improvement does not only mean indoors. In fact, outdoor space is an extension of your home. Outdoor lighting adds curb appeal and enhances landscape features and elements in your backyard. Read along to know more about the benefits of outdoor lighting.
Enhances the Beauty of Your Landscape at Night Time
Outdoor lighting illuminates dark areas outside your home. Additionally, it creates beauty in your landscape. A relaxing ambiance with gorgeous lighting fixtures makes your outdoor space livable. You can also highlight some focal points in your landscape using a spotlight. Your garden area decorated with string lights will create an inviting ambiance at the envy of your neighbors.
Ensure Safety and Security
According to LED Magazine, outdoor lighting decreases the crime rate by 39 percent. Installing outdoor lighting in the right places can prevent burglars from attacking your home. It can be dangerous to wander off your garden late at night. It is important to identify the best locations for your outdoor lights for safety concerns.
Strategically located lights not only scare burglars away. It also makes it hard for them to conceal their identities. Additionally, well-lighted pavers and pathways help avoid accidents to happen. Strolling through high-traffic areas at night such as pool decks can be dangerous. Guests will surely enjoy your backyard gatherings if they feel safe and secure.
Highlights Landscape Features
Do you have an elegantly-designed porch, a perfectly carved statue, or stunning water features that you want to highlight?
Outdoor lighting creates a focal point for the area you want to emphasize. You can also simply set up a beautiful oasis of light. You can highlight sharp edges in your garden or accentuate intricate features of your landscape.
Adds Value to Property
Outdoor lighting adds sophistication to your home. Your neighbors will truly be captivated when they walk into your front yard. According to a study, the value of a property with an attractive landscape is increased by 15 percent. Additionally, improvements made to landscape design such as the installation of a lighting fixture increase the market value of the property over time.
What to Consider Before Lighting Your Landscape
You may be overwhelmed by the wide variety of lighting fixtures that are available in the market. Make sure you know what you would like to accomplish before diving into your shopping list. It is important to know the features that you want to highlight. Also, a low-voltage lighting system is a practical and efficient choice.
Lighting your landscape not only enhances curb appeal but also improves functionality. Your outdoor space can be a place for gathering or simply for nature appreciation. Outdoor lighting accents the beauty as well as security while you laze on your patio. Determine where and how you would like your lights to be installed in your landscape.
Consider how much you are willing to spend to achieve that picturesque scenery. Also, materials that are durable and long-lasting outdoors can be a bit pricey. Experts may suggest them over the cheaper ones. In addition to that, you may also need to allocate some for the monthly electric bill. Although low voltage lighting seems to be the more practical and economical option.
Power and Voltage
Choose a low-voltage power system for your outdoor lights. LED lights are a perfect choice for energy-efficient lighting. They use less energy than traditional bulbs. LED lights also last longer than ordinary bulbs making them more expensive.
What You Need for Outdoor Lighting
Electrical installation outdoors is best done only by professionals. Be sure to contact an expert in handling electrical materials to ensure safety. DIY outdoor lighting can be dangerous to your home and can result in damage to your property. It may cause faulty grounding or even create fire hazards if not installed properly. The work must only be done by a qualified licensed electrician in the area.
A low-voltage transformer is needed for your outdoor living space. They are efficient, energy-saving, and safe to use outdoors. They also lessen the risk of electric shocks and short circuits. Making your home a safe place to be. In addition, a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet must be installed to prevent severe electric shocks, especially in wet or damp areas outdoors.
Consider quality and durability when buying a cable. Since it will be installed outdoors, it will be exposed to many elements. Search for brands that are best known to produce quality cables by looking into the specifications and reviews of their customers. Also, use a low-voltage landscape wire that is water and corrosion-proof fit for outdoors.
There are different types of lighting fixtures. Each has its own purpose and ideal place of location. You can install multiple landscape lights depending on your need. Just avoid making your landscape too bright that it depletes its purpose of accentuating stunning landscape features.
If you opt for solar-powered lights, make sure that your lighting fixtures are located under direct sunlight. Although professionals will not recommend solar-powered lights as their functionality cannot be guaranteed for a long time. Also, their low cost indicates poor workmanship. A low-voltage power system is the best choice as you can be assured of its performance.
Additionally, outdoor lights must be weather resistant. Check how much tolerance can it take from constant exposure to moisture or direct sunlight.
The purpose of a spotlight is to create a focal point of your landscaping features at night. With the right positioning and level of brightness, you can add texture and create a dramatic effect on your outdoor space.
Tips on Using Spotlight
- Position the lighting fixture a few feet away from the structure you want to highlight.
- Rotate the spotlight at an angle that will focus on its best feature.
- Adjust your light to create a soft and subtle glow.
Floodlights have beams that you can adjust depending on the outdoor area you want to illuminate. Spotlights are usually smaller and give focused light to features in your landscape while floodlights provide light to a wider area.
Tips on Using Flood Light
- Flood lights are best installed in your pathways, lawns, or front yards.
- Just make sure not to over-install them as it may result in an overly bright unappealing yard.
- Flood lights are also ideal for wall-washing techniques.
Wall lights are perfect for your front door or backyard patio. They provide the right brightness when installed correctly. Wall lights are especially helpful in areas where outdoor gatherings are held. They vary in design depending on the type of atmosphere you want to create for your outdoors.
Tips on Using Wall Light
- Install wall lights within eye level to achieve the desired brightness.
- Choose wall lights that will suffice the lighting requirement of your outdoor space especially when installed in a gathering area like a patio. Not only it will be aesthetically appealing but it is important that wall lights brighten the space enough for safety and security purposes.
- Traditional wall light lanterns are a classic beauty.
These are directional lights installed to illuminate steps and stairs for safety. They can be placed on pool deck areas or outdoor stairs for that added appeal. Recessed step lights are modern lights that create a subtle and sleek look to your steps.
Step Lighting Tip:
- The ideal distance of one step light to the next is 3-4 feet apart for that sufficient light coverage.
Path lights can be recessed in the ground or erected just like bollard lights. They provide brightness that can ensure safety when strolling in your garden. Make sure to install path lights at the correct interval so as not to overlit your pathway. Also, it helps if you place them in strategic locations. A beautifully-lit façade creates an inviting look and path lights can do that magic if properly installed.
Path Lighting Tips:
- When lighting paths in a garden, alternately install the fixture from one side of the step to the other to create an attractive pool of lights that is aesthetically pleasing.
- Lighting fixtures at ground level create an elegant and classy walkway
String lights are perfect in your small garden area for that chilling vibe. With string lights, you can have a romantic date outdoors. Install it over a porched area with small garden furniture and a firepit to add to that cozy feel.
Landscape Lighting Techniques
Outdoor lights can provide a rich texture to your landscape elements. They need not be boring and plain looking. With the right lighting techniques, it can totally change the way you view the outdoors at night. Your garden can be your favorite spot in the world.
To differentiate the two, uplighting is simply installing lighting fixtures below or on ground level. The light is usually directed upwards, highlighting an erect structure of your landscape. Downlighting illuminates light from above. It gives an accent to the element it features from below.
- Consider the vantage point of the art feature that you want to highlight. Strategically position your fixture in such a way that the focus is on the light rather than the source of the light.
- Match the beam spread angle to what you are highlighting. For example, if you are highlighting a tree, then position the fixture below the object and adjust the beam angle facing upward towards the branches of the tree.
- Outdoor downlighting is ideal for illuminating seating walls and benches. They also enhance the subtle feature of your garden bed.
- Install a downlight or two in your outdoors preferably at the eaves of your house. They come in handy especially if the lights on your pathways are trashed.
- Be mindful of your light spacing. If you are using recessed lights, reduce glare by using trims that trap and shape light.
Shadowing involves a source of light, an object to highlight, and a vertical surface behind that. The aim is to create a shadow out of the object that will be reflected on the surface.
Shadow Lighting Tips
- If you want to create a vivid shadow backdrop, place the light source nearest the object. Hard lights produced shadows with sharp edges.
- To create a soft or blurry effect, position the light farther from the object to produce longer cast shadows.
Silhouetting is a technique where you create a dark dramatic outline of your landscape feature. It can be a tree or plant with an interesting shape. Emphasis is placed on the shape of the object. The spotlight is positioned behind the object. Light is cast on the adjacent wall creating a dark beautiful outline of silhouette that can be viewed from a distance.
Moonlit glow is always fascinating to the eye. It provides ample light that brightens a pathway. Mounting your lights to a higher structure and adjusting its head to a downward angle will give that natural moonlit glow. Also, make sure that the light should be on full glare for an authentic moonlight experience.
- Mount your fixture on a higher structure alongside leaves and branches of a tall tree to create a filtered moonlit glow.
- Use lights that have a soft glow, preferably a blue-tone light. They are the closest thing to a natural moonlight.
- Be dazzled by the patches of light on your pathways by installing your fixture above the lowest branches of trees.
- Be adventurous. Try to combine moonlighting with other lighting techniques such as uplighting for that added effect.
Garden walls are also an attraction to your landscape especially if they are carved in detailed architectural designs. They need to be flaunted at night, as it is the time of the day when art walls can truly be appreciated and best featured. Wall-washing techniques can definitely bring your garden wall to the next level.
Wall-Wash Lighting Tips
- Use low-wattage lights such as floodlights for a soft and subtle effect.
- Position the light at an appropriate angle to highlight your walls’ best features.
The use of outdoor lighting is not exclusively for gardens and trees so you may appreciate them at night. Lighting up structures such as patios, pool deck areas, water, and other features also adds curb appeal and promotes safety and security. Strategically installed outdoor lighting fixtures that show off exquisite hardscape elements create an immaculate touch to your home.
Why Hire a Lighting Contractor
Safety is the main reason for hiring a professional lighting contractor. We would not want our hard-earned investments go to waste because of poor lighting installation. Fire is the worst thing that can happen when we are not careful and serious about lighting installation. It can result in damage to property and even loss of life.
Tips on Hiring Lighting Contractors
To avoid those incidents, it is important to choose the right people for the job. Make sure that they are licensed professionals. Check for their track records through feedback given by customers. Also, it helps to examine their previous projects and accomplishments. If you are a resident of Nevada, you can take a look at the Nevada State Contractors Board for a list of qualified and licensed contractors.
Landscape Lighting Maintenance
If you hired a professional lighting contractor, they can give you some tips on how to properly maintain outdoor lights. In addition to that, they can even offer the said services to your liking. For beginners, here is a list of guides that could help prevent impending damage to your property.
Replace Non-Working Bulbs Immediately
Regularly check bulbs to ensure that they are still in perfect working condition. A poorly lit pathway because of a non-working bulb can be dangerous to children and adults alike.
Exposed Wires Must Be Kept or Replaced
Exposed wires in your garden are an unappealing sight. Request your contractor to keep them hidden so they do not distract by-passers. Also, damaged wires must be replaced to prevent faulty electrical wiring and other problems relating to that.
Install Lighting Controls
Lighting controls and timers help conserve energy that can add to your monthly savings on electricity. In the state of Nevada, it is required to follow lighting hours. Installing a control system leaves you worry-free from these concerns and will surely aid in a sound sleep at night
Keep Clean and Polished Fixtures
A dirty fixture can affect the quality of light that a bulb emits. Make sure to regularly clean the lenses and reflectors. Also, see to it that the direction of light always captures the spectacular view of your landscape features.
Outdoor Landscape Lighting in the State of Nevada
The state of Nevada requires that outdoor lighting fixtures such as floodlights and spotlights be shielded. Lights must only be emitted downwards or direct illumination should be confined within property boundaries to conserve energy. Exterior lighting standards must always be observed to eliminate light pollution.
Outdoor lighting can be very appealing at the same time very practical to use in our homes. It does not only beautify our surrounding at night but also provides safety and protection while we sleep. It’s recommended that only a professional must handle electrical installation so as not to put our hard-earned assets at risk.