3 Outdoor Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

3 Outdoor Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

Homeowners install outdoor lights for a multitude of reasons. Outdoor lighting makes it easier and safer for people to find their way around their property at night. It deters potential thieves and intruders and enables owners to highlight their properties’ most beautiful landscaping and architectural features. Not only does outdoor lighting make a huge difference in the way a yard looks, but it also allows owners to make the most of their outdoor living space well past sunset. However, all too often, outdoor lighting is installed without any proper planning, so in today’s blog post, we’ll go over the three most common lighting mistakes that homeowners make and provide you with outdoor lighting tips to help you achieve the best results.

Mistake #1: Focussing on the Lighting Fixtures Rather Than the Light Itself

While it’s easy to get carried away with the plethora of gorgeous light fixtures that you can choose from nowadays, remember that first, you need to determine what you would like to achieve by adding outdoor lighting to your property, in other words, your set your goals. Decide what it is that you want to illuminate, for instance, the trees, shrubs or architectural features you want passersby to marvel at. Then, decide how you want to achieve that look, or what lighting techniques will work best. Do you want to create a silhouette to add intrigue or would you rather shine the light directly on the feature? Only then can you start choosing the appropriate fixtures that will help you achieve that look.

Mistake #2: Placing Too Many Lights in One Area

Many homeowners end up overlighting some parts of their yards such as driveways and pathways, neglecting other areas. This results in an unbalanced and lopsided look, which does not look appealing. While it is necessary, for practical purposes and safety concerns, to have an adequately-lit driveway and pathway to your front door, when planning exterior lighting, one of the helpful outdoor lighting tips that professionals follow is to aim for an even distribution throughout your property. Your shrubs, trees, and decorative features don’t have to add curb appeal only during the day. With the help of lighting features such as spotlights, you can highlight and enjoy their beauty even at night.

Mistake #3: Overusing One Lighting Technique or Feature

Homeowners who are not well-versed in the different lighting techniques and fixtures that are available to work with end up overusing one particular type of fixture, for instance, floodlights or spotlights, resulting in a lack of variety and contrast that looks dull and unidimensional. One of the outdoor lighting tips to keep in mind is to incorporate various types light fixtures and play with shadows to add depth and get a richer, more dramatic feel.

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5 Landscape Lighting Techniques

5 Landscape Lighting Techniques

Using the correct lighting technique and light fixture is crucial when installing outdoor lighting. If you’re looking to enhance your property’s curb appeal and up its wow factor, here are five landscape lighting techniques that, when combined with the appropriate lights, can help you achieve the look that you desire.

Up-lighting

Up-lighting is used to create contrast and drama. When using this technique, place your lights at the base of and closer to the item that you want to highlight; doing so will make it appear bolder and more impressive. For example, if you want to bring attention to a large tree in your yard, you can install the light fixture a few inches from its base and direct the light upwards, on the trunk or canopy for a stunning visual effect. When using this technique, opt for spotlights and well lights.

Silhouetting

This landscape lighting technique creates intrigue by using lighting to make interesting outlines or profiles. You need three elements to achieve this look: the item you want to showcase, for instance, a plant with a distinctive shape, at least one light source, and an adjacent wall, which will serve as a backdrop. Install the fixture between the item you want to feature and the wall, pointing the light in its direction, making sure that the light source itself is not visible. Similar to up-lighting, spotlights and well lights work best to create these dramatic shapes.

Shadowing

If you’re looking for a soft, moody effect, shadowing is an excellent technique to use. Employing the same three elements of silhouetting, place the light fixture at the base of the feature you want to highlight, with the light aimed directly at it to cast intriguing shadows on the wall behind it. Try this technique with trees that have delicate foliage that move with the wind, and enjoy the soft shadows and their beautiful movement as the tree sways in the breeze. Spotlights, well lights, and floodlights can help you achieve this effect.

Grazing

This technique creates drama and a luxurious effect. Using a light placed close to a textured surface such as an intricate rock wall, aim the light directly up or down the facade, which will result in a mesmerizing contrast of light and shadows as the light gently grazes the facade. Well lights and step deck lights are ideal for this captivating effect.

Moonlighting

This technique gives the impression that the moon is shining through the branches of your trees. Place the light source higher up in the trees, aiming down, which cast stunning shadow patterns on the ground. This effect works best with open-branched trees and spotlights.

What are some landscape lighting techniques that you use to play with light and shadows on your property? Tell us in the comments below!

Backyard Themes

Backyard Themes

Planning your landscape with a well thought-out theme is a sure way to add character and cohesion to your yard and outdoor spaces. Several elements in a landscape designer’s arsenal can help you achieve the look that you want such as theme-appropriate plants, fencing, lighting, decorative details, and water features, just to name a few.

Desertscape Theme

Ideal for arid regions, desert landscaping is very popular in areas like Palm Springs and Arizona. With a combination of plants such as cacti, succulents, and desert plants that thrive in hot and dry climates and strategically-chosen rocks, stones, pebbles, and boulders that complement the sandy brown and grays of the natural environment, homeowners achieve amazing desertscape looks.

Japanese Garden Theme

Japanese gardens conjure up images of harmonious surroundings conducive to quiet, peaceful contemplation. Instead of relying on artificial elements, oriental gardens prize natural elements such as simplistic and natural paving materials, lush evergreen plants, bamboo, and trickling water features or water basins and koi ponds. When it comes to fencing, opt for bamboo fence panels.

Tropical Theme

When we think of the tropics, images of palm trees, bright flowers, and lush greenery come to mind. When selecting plants that work well with the tropical theme, choose a combination of large, broad leaves, lush, green foliage, and brightly colored flowers such as the bougainvillea. Materials that suit this theme are lava rocks, rattan, teak, and even bamboo. Add a hammock to turn it into the ultimate tropical relaxation oasis.

We’re strong advocates of using lighting to extend the use of your outdoor spaces at night. Homeowners can, for example, use directional lighting to highlight impressive architectural features on their property in order to enjoy their beautiful backyard themes at night.

What are your favorite backyard themes? Share them with us in the comments section below!