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What You Need to Know about Good Landscape Lighting Design

A well-lit home is both inviting and safe. It’s also a major selling point when it comes time to put your house on the market. While you might think that all you need is a few porch lights, proper landscape lighting design can make all the difference in your home’s appearance – and its security. Read on to learn more about how to create a beautiful and inviting nighttime atmosphere for your home.

How do you plan landscape lighting design?

  1. Make your preferences a priority.

There is no right or wrong way to landscape your yard, and there are countless different ways to design a landscape lighting plan. Some people prefer to start with the outline of the house and move outward, while others like to start with large focal points and work their way inward. Ultimately, it all comes down to your own personal preferences and what you want your finished landscape to look like.

  1. Think about how you use outdoor spaces.

It’s important to take into account how the lighting will be used. For example, do you want lights that highlight specific trees or large structures? Do you want areas of your yard where there is less light? What kind of activities do you enjoy outside? Would you like to have outdoor living spaces for relaxing and entertaining? 

  1. Take a project-based approach.

We advocate a project-based approach to your landscape lighting design. Here’s what that means: think about all the things you’d like to include in your landscape lighting. Go wild. Get inspiration from other homes in your neighborhood and creative, interesting ideas online. Take a drive through different areas at night and make notes about what stands out and looks great. Make a list of what you love, and then think about how you could use those ideas in your own yard and outdoor spaces. 

Once you’ve got a comprehensive picture of all the elements of a landscape lighting design you’d love to have, divide it into separate projects. For example, we recommend home uplighting as a great first step for landscape lighting. It makes a huge, immediate difference in how your home looks and feels, and increases curb appeal. So, home uplighting might be your first project. You can prioritize projects by what seems most fun or by seasonal factors: for example, if it’s getting close to summer, you might want to focus on outdoor living spaces in your backyard and hold off on the pathway lighting out front. 

How do I light up my landscape? 

  1. Choose the right type of landscape lighting fixtures. 

There are several different types of landscape lighting fixtures. Each type has different uses. 

  • Spotlights are great for highlighting specific areas or architectural features in your landscape. 
  • Path lights are shorter, with a downward beam to provide subtle lights for walking paths, sidewalks, etc. 
  • Flood lights are used to illuminate large areas, such as a patio or driveway. Motion sensor flood lights are typically used for security, mounted high on house corners and around doors or outdoor structures. 
  • String lights are for more than holiday decor! Permanent outdoor string lights, whether bistro style or with smaller “twinkle” bulbs, add an enchanting touch. 
  • Bollard lights are tubular lights often used to line driveways. 
  • Wash lights create a horizontal “wash” of light on hardscaping. They’re often used on landscape walls. 
  1. Think about where to place outdoor lighting fixtures.

Where you place your lighting fixtures will have a big impact on the overall look of your design. Here are the factors to consider:

  • Spacing: Generally speaking, you need more fixtures than you think you do. Too few fixtures will create odd, shadowy gaps between your beautifully light elements. That can make the whole effect dingy rather than warm and polished.
  • Angle: Play with the angle of the fixture to ensure that the light shines where you want it and doesn’t create dark areas. 
  • Spread and intensity of beam: Some fixtures have adjustable covers that allow you to change how wide the beam is. The intensity, or brightness, of the beam will determine how far the light reaches.

Landscape lighting design is more important than you may think. By taking the time to plan your landscape lighting design, choosing the right fixtures, and placing them well, you can create a livable outdoor space that’s perfect for entertaining, relaxing, or simply enjoying your favorite outdoor activities. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out for a free consultation. We’ll work with you to create a custom plan that meets your needs and makes your outdoor space look amazing.

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