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.

 

10 Landscaping Tips of the Professionals

Do you wish you were a professional landscape designer? Many DIY landscapers struggle with landscape design and try to learn the ins and outs too fast. As a result, they make numerous mistakes and get overwhelmed by the stress of the entire process.

Landscape designers have many years of experience and practice and that isn’t something you can learn in three days. Regardless of your research (you should do some!), you could never amass the knowledge of a professional landscape designer. But, you can learn some of their tips and tricks to help you along the way.

Here are some tips from the pros that will help you make your landscape look more professional:

1. Add depth to the landscape by lining the outside of your property with taller trees. Smaller trees look better towards the front which creates more depth and an overall cohesive design. Taller trees also look nice framing the home.

2. Balance the planting. Don’t overpower the perimeter of your home with so many plants that it loses its style and beauty. Conversely, don’t leave it so sparse that you reveal too much of the home’s foundation.

3. Don’t plant foundation shrubs close together. They will mature over time and broaden their reach so give them ample space to grow.

4. Consider design lines when planting your shrub border. Don’t just plant them in any haphazard way. When the winter season arrives, you still want visual interest even though the plants may not be flowering. Use annuals, as well, to add interest to the winter landscape.

5. When planting shrubs under windows, consider lower-growing plants so maintenance is minimal. There is nothing worse than shrubs that grow past the window and block light from coming into the home. If you are willing to prune, don’t worry about it. But if you are a low maintenance person, go with the low-growing plants.

6. When choosing plants to be set together, match leaf size and texture. The leaves should be similar in appearance to create an overall aesthetic appeal.

7. Plan for the future. If you are thinking of having children, create a small area where kids can roam and play. The same principle applies to pets, especially dogs that need room to run.

8. Vegetable gardens need ample sunlight. During the planning stage, map out the vegetable garden area and work around it with the rest of your design.

9. Are there any items you want to hide? How about those ugly trash cans and power poles? Consider using trees, fences covered with vines, trellises and shrubs to cover unsightly areas and remove them from sight lines.

10. Beware of planting in areas where water runs down from the roof into the ground. Set plants away from your home’s foundation and anywhere excess water could cause a problem.

Remember, above all, not to overextend yourself. If you are a novice, start with plants that do not require much attention. As you become more experienced, you can alter whatever you want. Your landscape design will always be a creative work in progress.

3 Tips to Set a Mood with Landscape Lighting

 

Lush greens, decorative stones and herbal gardens—elements like these make up some of the best landscape designs. But what good are the finest gardens without light to set the mood and enhance and electrify their beauty?

Low voltage lighting adds an element of grace and sophistication to your landscape by brightening walkways, bushes and porches, and adding a distinct mood and feel to every inch of your home. Whether you are entertaining for a group or simply enjoying a warm beverage alone, the mood of your space is important to create the effect you desire. Landscape lighting is designed to help you create that mood no matter what outside environment you enjoy.

The first step to creating a mood with your landscape lighting is to decide on the right mood. Do you want a more quiet elegance? A romantic backdrop? A space for entertaining? Regardless of your desire for your landscape, there is a lighting solution that will fit your needs.

Here are 3 tips to help you create the perfect mood:

1. Type of Lighting

If you are going for a certain mood with your lighting, take special note of the type of lighting to ensure your desires are met. For example, if you want to create a subtle ambience, path lighting is the easiest and most effective way to do it. These lights offer a warm glow perfect for a night stroll or teatime for two.

Directional lighting is perfect for the person who wants to create a more spontaneous, “artsy” mood by highlighting certain areas of the garden. Whether a fountain or a creative arrangement of seasonal flowers, your lighting can set the focus on those prized areas to give your landscape a “wow” effect.

The design of your lighting fixture can also create a specific mood. For example, this Tiffany Landscape Lighting Flower would suit the homeowner who desires a more fun and animated style, while the Tulip Landscape Light fares better in a more romantic atmosphere. Additionally, while white lights are normally used in a serene oasis landscape, colored lights can be added to provide softer shading and create entirely different moods.

2. Placement of Lighting

If you want to create a mood with your lighting, correct placement is also very important. Pay attention to the natural light hitting the area, whether from the sun, moon or another source, and emphasize darker areas more aggressively with your lighting.

Also, place your lights towards the main focal points in the landscape. Similar to how you would create focal points in your home like a stone fireplace or a large bay window, your outdoor landscape should draw the eye to key places. Arrange your lights to highlight these special features.

3. Trust Your Instincts

When lighting your landscape to create a mood, remember to trust your instincts because they always know best. At the end of the day, your landscape should speak to your unique personality and self-expression and ultimately make you very happy.