How to Create a Modern Oasis with your Landscape Lighting

Looking for a way to modernize your landscape design?

Amidst the traditional backdrops and outdated scenery, you can “rev” up your space with sleekness and sophistication and inject a contemporary feel without much effort. A modern design will not only make you feel like you finally stepped into the 21st century, but it will also add so much character and life to your  home. Regardless of the size of your home or the space with which you have to work, modern updates will help to create a more contemporary style to match the times.

Where to Begin

The first step is to decide the purpose for your landscape. Do you want more practicality? Are you interested in keeping up with the Joneses? Do you have some modern features already built in that need to be featured? Once you devise a purpose for your space, you can come up with a plan that will help you meet your goal. What do you want the end result to look like? Without a clear purpose as to what your end goal is, your process will be muffled and you may not get the results you desire.

Contemporary Designs

Your lighting should look modern and sleek. If you prefer the modern touches, avoid lighting in old-fashioned styles like lanterns. These finishes are beautiful, but not in a modern landscape design. You will find sleeker designs if you look for lighting with stainless steel or chrome finishes or even cast aluminum with a smooth finish like our LED Tulip Landscape Light.

If you want to modernize your space even more, consider arranging the lighting in a modern way. Typically, the less ornamentation and clutter, the more modern the space will be. Space out your lighting fixtures so they are not too close together and keep everything clean and minimal. Install lighting around your patio or garden area to make your landscape the envy of many, yet completely functional as well.

Modern spaces contain horizontal and vertical lines. Swirls, circles and ornate details will edge you away from the contemporary look and bring your design into more traditional. Keep it simple and you will be much happier.

Lighting Type

The design of your lighting, though important, is not the only element of a modern landscape design. Pay close attention to the type of lighting as well. For a contemporary touch, LED lights are a great choice. Consider LED string lighting or even adding a color. Be careful, though, not to add too much color all at once. It can create a more chaotic look and pull from your sleek, modern design. White lights are the cleanest looking choice with one or two colors to add extra emphasis in featured areas.

Whatever you do, be careful not to overdo it. Modern design is all about simple and subtle looks with sleek finishes. The simplest additions can sometimes be the most effective and adding too much at one time can create more clutter than sophistication.

How have you created a modern landscape design with your lighting? Please share!

Your Spring/Summer Landscape Garden Checklist

When the winter chill begins to subside and a glimmer of sunlight peers through the clouds, it’s time to get prepared for the months where your garden will shine. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to put off the inevitable and wait for summer to clean up the garden. This will be more of a challenge for busy homeowners, though not entirely impossible. It’s recommended to start spring cleanup as early as possible.

1. Cleanup

Ideally, the earlier you can get your garden ready the better. The first signs of spring signal the best times to start working before the warm weather causes the flowers and plants to grow. The first step is to clean up the area and all the debris Mother Nature so gracefully bestowed upon your property over the winter. Besides aesthetic purposes, a good cleanup will keep your lovely garden free of mold and rot that can wreak havoc on your garden beds.

2. Pruning

Those overgrown shrubs will require some TLC. Check your plants for any winter damage and remove any signs of destruction. Broken and bent branches must be cut cleanly which will help them return to normal quicker. For other shrubs, look for growth before pruning and be sure to trim those rose bushes so they are ready to bloom in the warm months. Be careful when pruning azaleas. Though they look dried up from the winter, they are most likely ready to flower. Wait until they flower to prune them.

3. Dividing

Dividing is one of those tasks gardeners like to put off. But unfortunately, if you don’t take care of it, the plants will grow too close and the job will get even tougher the longer you wait. Look for plants crowding one another. If you only have a little time, take care of the worst ones as soon as possible and save the others for a later date. It’s even advantageous to rectify the problem the moment you see encroaching even if it is in the fall or winter. Daylilies and irises are among the foliage that often need dividing come early spring. Once you finish dividing, mark the plants so you can get a head start next year.

4. Edging

Edging is an important task for the homeowners who love the manicured, polished look for their landscape. Use an edging tool to clean up the borders and cut down grasses trying to invade your garden space. Thankfully, if you forget to take care of edging in the spring, it can always wait for the summer.

If you can manage to accomplish some of these tasks in the spring, you will be one step ahead of the game. If you are behind schedule, make a list in the summer to prepare you for the fall and spring months of the next year. Whatever you can accomplish in the fall, do it, so you have less tasks to complete next spring. Write down your tasks and try to remember how good it feels when everything is done and your garden looks beautiful. It will give you motivation to get in high gear and tackle the project, same time, same place, next year!

 

Landscape Lighting for Water Features

Image: http://yeshomedesign.com/
Image: http://yeshomedesign.com/

 

The elegant Tuscan-inspired water fountain, the koi pond, the Grecian fountain—water features complete a landscape and should be illuminated to bring out their beauty. Water is a very special landscape feature because it is so reflective and it plays with the light beautifully. With lighting, you can enhance the reflection coming off the water in your fountain or illuminate a pond from under the surface of the water. Illuminating water features transform a landscape from normal to spectacular in a matter of minutes.

Your choice of lighting will vary according to the water feature and your personal preference. Submersible lighting is one of the most popular selections since it creates a subtle ambience that looks peaceful and inviting. When you place lights under the water, it can create a shimmering effect and enhance the reflective surface of the water as well as the surrounding area. By changing the colors, you can create a more whimsical look and illuminate moving water as it cascades from the top of the fountain to the bottom.

Any water feature can be lit from the outside. Here are some ideas for illuminating the water features in your landscape:

Solar – If you are energy efficient, solar lighting offers an easy installation process along with lights that will beautify any focal point. You will also save a lot of money in the long run.

LED – LED lights last longer than incandescent bulbs and come in many color options. Get creative with these lights and try out some different looks. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Moonlight Globe Lighting – Moonlight globes are perfect for the larger fountains. They emit a subtle glow and pair perfectly with reflective surfaces like water. You can mount them on surfaces, hang them like pendants or float them directly on the water. They are also available as battery operated units and are highly resistant to moisture and rust. Add optional speakers to brighten up your backyard parties.

Spot Lights – If you want overhead lighting to highlight certain aspects of your water features, spot lighting would be the best choice. You can incorporate this type of lighting into the design of the water feature or simply attach it to a neighboring tree branch, lamp post or sturdy fence. Focus the light so it does not bleed into the surrounding landscape. Be careful not to direct the light into the street or a neighbor’s yard. This can create unsafe conditions for you and the people around your home.

When planning your water lighting design, use a flashlight and test the light on several focal points so you can get an idea of what you like. It’s also a good idea to use some temporary lighting so you can try it on for size. This lighting is often offered by designers so their clients can make well-thought out decisions regarding their landscape lighting.