Landscape lighting could transform your backyard into something special. But, it can be daunting to plan a lighting system for your yard. This is not the case. Here you will find a brief overview of all the lighting options available in landscapes and what each one is supposed to do. We’ll be looking at:
- What lights should you use in your yard?
- Different types of landscape lighting
- Landscape lighting: How to use it
Landscape lighting is like many other things in life. Less can be more. You might instinctively want to illuminate everything, including every tree and every corner. This will not only increase your power bill but also wash out the yard.
The night-time play of light and darkness is what makes a space unique. This allows you to highlight features that you might not have noticed during the day, and create contrast and shadows with the plants and forms in your yard. These elements can create intrigue and drama. A well-lit space is one you will want to spend time in.
What to Light in Your Landscape
What do you do to lighten the darkness? These are three things you should consider:
- You can identify the most appealing features in your yard. Perhaps it’s a pond, or a very stately tree. Highlighting those features with light will help to show them off.
- Dramatize areas that may not be visible during the day. Even a simple stone wall can be transformed at night by shadow and light.
- Function is important. To ensure you are able to move around your yard safely, a deck with stairs or a meandering path must be lit.
Always consider a welcoming and well-lit entrance. An illuminated entryway to your home will help family and friends navigate safely. It will also create warm curb appeal.
Different types of landscape lighting
Now that you have an idea of what you want to illuminate, how can you do it? When planning your lighting scheme, you should be familiar with the basic types of fixtures. Here are some examples of different types of lighting that you might see in a landscape.
Beam spread is what makes a floodlight and a spotlight different. Spotlights emit a narrow, concentrated beam of light at 45 degrees. Spotlights are easier to adjust and aim, so if you want to highlight architectural details or landscape features, a spotlight is the best option.
Floodlights have a wider beam spread than other types, with 120 degrees. Floodlights are best for lighting large areas such as driveways and lots. A floodlight is better for visibility and safety.
Inground lights, also known as well lights, are a circular-shaped fixture that is installed directly into the ground. They are often used to light walkways and driveways. The sophistication and visibility of your yard’s features can be increased by using inground lights. The uplight effect illuminates all of the trees and structures, creating drama and atmosphere. It silhouettes characters in the yard, which is something you won’t see on a normal night. If you have the ability to blend them, they work best together, but uplighting can also be an effective way to provide strong lighting.
Inground lights are concealed in the ground so the light effect is what really stands out. If you have an inground, ensure it is used to illuminate your yard. Garden gnomes and short flowerbeds are not important; instead, focus on trees and garden walls.
For safer navigation through lots and gates, ingrounds can also be used to illuminate driveways. To be suitable for cars that drive on them, they must have the appropriate vehicular weight ratings. You should choose one that is sturdy and can withstand heavy loads. An LED option is also recommended as they offer crisp color temperatures and can last for many thousands of hours. An example of an inground light that does all this is Inground Light.
Outdoor Post Lights
The post lights and their sturdy cousins, the bollard lights, help to accent your home’s pathway. They also set a mood without floodlights. For illuminating long spaces that are dark or driveways, tall posts work well. For paths and alcoves, shorter posts are better.
Path lights are an essential outdoor fixture every yard should have. Similar to post lights, path lights create light markers along a line. They are smaller and shorter than the latter. Path lights are a great way to improve curb appeal, and they make walking on paths safer.
Have fun and go forth
You now have the information you need to start laying out your landscape design. You should still consult a professional before you start to layout your landscape plan.