If you feel that your home is missing that extra something, you may need to brighten your property with landscape lighting. This simple change can have a profound impact, by completely changing the look and feel of your home and yard. Properly lighting your landscape has many additional benefits as well, including preventing injuries from tripping in the dark, increasing security and allowing you to enjoy outdoor spaces even after the sun has gone down. To help you understand these advantages and the types of outdoor lighting effects that you can select, let’s take a closer look at them below.
Types of Outdoor Lighting Available
You have many options to choose from today, when it comes to adding lighting to your landscaping. These run the gamut from a simple wall light beside your front door, to spotlights that illuminate the side of your house or even trees in your yard.
One of the most popular landscape lighting options, placing lights along the side of a pathway serves two purposes. First, it makes your path easy to traverse safely at night. Second, by defining the edges of the path in this way, you’ve added an attractive feature to your home which you’re sure to love.
There are many styles to choose from, and many products are battery powered. This means they don’t need to be tied into your home’s power using unsightly and difficult to install electrical cords. You simply pound the stake lights into the ground and you’re finished. Some are even recharged from sunlight during the day, for the ultimate in environmentally responsible landscape lighting.
Many people make the mistake of adding a single intensity of light to the exterior of their home, which illuminates the entire house and yard equally. This makes your property look more like a parking lot, rather than the lighting being a beautiful addition to your grounds. The correct approach is to add variation in the intensity and location of the light sources – to create a layered effect that’s interesting to the eye (1).
Spotlights are one of the best ways to achieve this goal. You can place them in carefully chosen positions, to light up the front of your home with beams of light which are brightest in the middle and taper off towards the sides. Other popular options are to highlight attractive elements in your yard, like lighting up the leaves of your largest tree or a birdbath in your garden. In fact, you can choose to light up many such elements in your landscaping, to create pools of light all over your yard.
When it comes to adding landscape lighting to your home, one of the best investments is illuminating outdoor seating areas. For example, if you have a gazebo or other sitting area that’s situated a distance from your home, adding lighting will make it more useful. You’ll be able to sit out in this space when the weather is nice, and even entertain or have a meal outside.
In addition, you may consider adding more lights around your patio area, especially if it’s fairly large. While you no doubt have a light next to the patio door on your home and perhaps another on the ceiling (if your patio has a roof or overhang), it may not be very inviting after dark.
If your garden starts where your patio ends, you could add diffuse spotlights to highlight some beautiful plants or features such as a decorative sundial. If these features are close enough, the light will spill over onto the patio – providing wonderfully soft lighting and making your outdoor space more functional.
In-ground or well lights are typically small round canisters that you bury, so only the top of the light is visible and nearly flush with the ground. These are excellent for lighting flower beds or small shrubs next to your home or even around your yard (2). They’re a good alternative to much more powerful spotlights, and they can create small points of brightness that will make your landscaping look terrific after night falls.
Lighting As a Design Element.
You can think of lighting as a design element for your outdoor spaces, and adding judicious lighting to your landscaping can revolutionize how your home looks in the evening hours. Instead of your yard being hidden from view, the lights will proudly put your most beautiful landscape elements on display for all to see.
Choosing to brighten your property with landscape lighting in this way can also deter thieves, help prevent accidents caused by being unable to see where you’re walking at night and increase the use and enjoyment you get from your outdoor spaces. For all of these reasons, landscape lighting can be a wonderful investment – one that you’ll likely wish that you had made sooner.