Landscape outdoor lighting tips
Lighting the external areas of your house can make a huge transformation in the way the space is perceived and used. The creativity in this area allows homeowners to be flexible and play around with shades and highlights, creating functional and safe areas that can be used, even after dark.
In order to start an outdoor lighting project, there are a few things to think about first. You have to think of how the spaces are going to be used, where you need lights to make walking in the yard safely, and what details you want your visitors’ eyes to be directed to.
We provide you with an array of outdoor lighting ideas and tips that can help you decide where is best to place lights and what type of lights will be best suited for the effect you want to achieve in your landscape at night.
Get started with outdoor lighting
There are some basic concepts of outdoor lighting that anyone facing such a project should know. First of all, there are different fixtures, styles, the intensity of light, and even colours that can be used in outdoor spaces. When deciding what type of light can be used, the function becomes your guide. And there are different ones:
When we talk about general lighting, we refer to the illumination of the space in an overall way. The idea here is to have a whole area lighten in a usable way.
On the other handdetail lighting (or accent lighting) is used to highlight certain areas that deserve a bit of attention. Maybe some landscaping features, like statues, fountains, fences, or particularly interesting trees. The same works for architectural features of the façade of the house that you may want to direct attention to.
Similarly, there are task lights. These have the goal of allowing for certain activities. It may include lighting a path so you can safely walk at night, or providing enough light on the deck to have barbecues in the evening.
Finally, we may talk about security lighting, which are lights dedicated to making your home secure and safe. These are lights placed in places that make your house a less tempting target to burglars. They can be located near the door, in a backyard, and in places where darkness may be a good cover for unwanted criminals.
What options are there for outdoor lighting?
Now, more than ever, there are uncountable options when it comes to style, fixtures, and types of lights that can be used on an outdoor lighting project.
When it comes to power sources, we have the traditional wiring, but also more flexible options, like solar-powered lights and portable lights that can be recharged.
If we are talking about the types of bulbs, there is no doubt that when it comes to outdoor lighting, LED lights have become the absolute preferred option. This is due to their long life and low consumption, making them an easy option that needs very little maintenance and has proven reliable for outdoor spaces.
Outdoor lighting styles and tips
Some styles have been much more popular than others. An Italian outdoor lighting design is a very traditional but also modern and functional option, for example. But options are as extensive and aesthetic preferences.
Let’s start by deciding where you want lights placed, as well as why.
A good option that should always be illuminated is a path or driveway. This will help when arriving late at night either on foot or by car. If you have guests, you want them to arrive at your front door safely.
In these cases, low voltage lights may prove the best choice, making it clear where to drive or walk, and creating an attractive but not overwhelming lighting decision.
Another popular option to take a minute to plan the lighting is the patio, deck, or even balcony. These areas are useful even after dark and the atmosphere can be made perfect for family gatherings and meetings with friends. Here we would want to combine different types of lights. There may be what we call decorative lights, like strings of lights or coloured bulbs that make it a welcoming space. But there may also be a need for some general lights or task lights, especially if it’s going to be a space for eating dinner, having a barbeque, or playing board games. Upward lights can produce enough light to use the space fully without becoming too bright, plus they give a great effect outdoors.
Last, but not less important, is the lighting of architectural features that may make your house unique or special. Beams of light and dim lights that create interesting effects with shadows can prove useful to highlight certain desired aspects of your façade or land.
Do keep in mind that the fixtures used in the external areas of your house, especially those that will be exposed to rain and snow, need to be graded “wet-rated” to be able to withstand the elements.