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Creating beautiful lighting for your landscape and outdoor living area can enhance the look of your home, add beauty and character, and even increase the value of your home. Creating a beautiful lighting design as well as knowing how to accentuate certain aspects of your landscape can be difficult. Many people tend to add some lighting in the mulch below trees or just shine it against a wall without taking into consideration the many different ways the lights can be used to create different lighting effects. Here are some ideas to get you started on your next landscape lighting project.
When indoor space is limited it is a great idea to expand outside to increase your living space. During evening hours, and at night, you have to have lighting in order to keep the party going.
There are several ways to create the perfect outdoor living space.
To create the feel of a full moon shine the go to light is a downlight. Apply downlights to nearby trees or your house to create a light glow that you helps you enjoy your outdoor space.
If you have railings on your deck or around your outdoor space, adding some rope lights can add some character to your space and highlights the curves and architecture of the deck or gazebo.
When lighting gathering areas most people choose softer lights to create a welcoming mood. If you prefer your area to be as bright as day you can use more harsher lights such as flood lights. Whatever your preference pick areas to place the lights where they will be unable to shine directly into the eyes of your guest. This essentially limits the areas you can utilize in your yard as others will avoid gathering there.
Highlighting walkways or paths is a great lighting project to start with. This makes it easier to access your house as well as making sure you dont trip while trying to navigate your walkway with bags of groceries in your hand. There are several light options to consider depending on your path or walkway.
If you are trying to light stairs, using step risers could be a great option to illuminate each stair. If your stairs are against a wall, using mounted lights that create a downlight will help keep your stairs bright and easy to see.
When lighting a walkway or other paths in your yard many people turn toward lamp lighting. These lights will create light directly onto the ground so the path is clearly lit. When doing it yourself be sure to pick quality materials or you could be replacing lights every couple of years due to wear and tear.
If you are wanting more area covered by the light another option is to use a downlight connected to your house or close by tree that will illuminate a larger area that includes more than the simple path. This is great if you have a short path or you want to utilize the lights for more than the path alone.
The last option is to use inground lighting or well lights. These lights are inserted into the ground and shine light upwards instead of illuminating the ground and your feet. This could be beneficial for those living in colder climates as the heat from the light could help to melt the snow so it can continue to light up the walkway. Depending on quality of the lights there are several cons to inground lights such as the case flooding, creating steam against the glass, and breakage of the case.
Another great lighting project to enhance your landscape is to add lights that showcase the great architecture of your home. Maybe you have a beautiful arch or a dichroic glass window. If you have a porch that you have beautifully decorated creating the perfect lighting helps to show your hard work off.
This can be done using downlight, wash, bullet, or flood lighting. Wash lights offer a soft light to highlight flat surfaces in a wider area. Bullet lighting has a more narrow light beam that can be fixed on more specific features. Flood lighting is much brighter than a wash light and offers a wider beam of light to illuminate your features.
Water Features and Landscape
Adding water features or other eye catching features to your landscape is another fun project that not only creates a beautiful aesthetic but can also aid in increasing the value of your home. When lighting these landscaping additions remember to consider who the view is for. If you want to enjoy it through a window from inside your home you will want to position the lights to accommodate the angle. If it is to increase curb appeal then that may change the angle or position of the lights. Using a variety of lights will help to highlight your landscape. Lamps are great for garden areas while uplights work well with showcasing a beautiful tree in your yard.
Using lighting to increase the safety of your home is a great project with several benefits. Lighting areas such as near your car or garage or maybe by your boat will help to deter would be vandals. Adding flood lights or downlights in darkened areas around entrances of your home can also increase safety.
When choosing the lights for your next landscape project be sure to research and choose quality materials to ensure your lights have extended life. Most of the landscaping lights now come with LED lights which offers the most cost effective and efficient lighting options. They are considered energy efficient and have the longest bulb life. The fixtures themselves come in several options from plastic to brass to stainless steel. The type of fixture can be dependent on the area in which you live, the type of weather in the area, and your budget. Don’t forget that increasing the curb appeal of your home aids in increasing the value of your home as well.