When it comes to home improvement, landscape lighting is often overlooked. However, landscape lighting is one of the least-obstructive design projects you can undertake.
You can update your lighting and not have to move out or sacrifice any living space, and you won’t have to be constantly cleaning up construction debris. Updating your landscape lighting conveniently takes place outdoors.
So where do you start? Here are a few tips to help you on your path to landscape illumination.
Define the Purpose for Landscape Lighting
Before you invest in any landscape lighting, you need to determine the purpose of your landscape lighting. Are you looking to create a soft, romantic mood for outdoor entertainment and dining?
Perhaps you have a bench or a shadowy garden corner you wish to light for security reasons? Are you looking to create landscape boundaries by adding lighting around the path leading through your garden?
Perhaps you want to highlight some features of your backyard, such as a pond or waterfall? Regardless of the reason, determining what you want from your landscape lighting is the first step to illuminating your backyard.
Create a sketch of your yard
Once you’ve defined your reasons for adding landscape lighting you need to create a design plan. We suggest making a sketch of your yard.
Be sure to include existing lights, buildings, benches, shrubs, trees, pathways, as well as the vegetation and decorations you wish to highlight in your garden.
It’s important to create a detailed sketch, as every aspect of your landscape will reflect or absorb light.
Determining where to place your landscape lighting
This is the fun part! Once you’ve created a sketch of your space, match the lighting to specific areas in your backyard. You can illuminate a bench with a pole-type lamp placed behind it or concealed led strip light below the bench .
You can create a soft mood by hiding landscape lighting under shrubs or small bushes. A path can be illuminated by adding a series of pathway lights along its border.
A water fountain can be intensified with a spotlight, and a pond can have soft lighting around its perimeter. The possibilities are endless!
Safety, security, and ambiance
When it comes to landscape lighting, think in terms of safety, security and aesthetic appeal.
Safety: Grab a flashlight and walk your backyard at night. Where are you likely to trip and fall? Where are you most likely to walk off the path into the darkness? Also look to see if paths and walkways are clearly defined.
Think in terms of getting from point A to point B without falling down. After you determine where you require lighting for the sole purpose of safety, tweak your lighting scheme to assure that visitors can safely and easily navigate in the darkness of night.
Highlight pathways and steps. Consider street lighting that is present too.
Security: Take a look at your yard and consider where you’d like to eliminate dark corners. Look for places where someone could hide or the spot where the animals could hop the fence.
The amount of lighting you need for security depends on your level of comfort and your situation. When properly placed, security lighting can be minimal and does not create a distraction in your backyard.
Ambiance: Your landscape lighting will create the mood and feel of your backyard. Assess the intriguing areas in your landscape that you want to target, such as a beautiful tree, a rough stone wall, a water feature, or a statue.
Now think about the impact you want to create. Do you want to draw out the architectural structure of a tree? Project plant shadows on the ground or a wall? Highlight the luxurious texture of a stone wall?
The right lighting will create the mood and create focal points in your backyard.
Landscape lighting is a great way to update your yard. Not only is it affordable, but lighting can be installed quickly compared to other projects. You can illuminate your path or light up your tree in less than a day.
Full-scale professional installations range from a few days to a few weeks (depending on the scope and scale of your project). So if you’re looking to create an instant impact in your backyard, landscape lighting is a great place to start.
Are you looking to upgrade your landscape lighting? The experts at Milestone would love to help you design your landscape lighting scheme!