Tips on Where to Begin with Landscape Lighting

Congratulations on deciding to beautify your landscape with lighting! Lighting is one of the simpler methods to changing the entire look of a landscape without much effort. The effects can make a huge difference and upgrade the look and feel of your outdoor oasis.

If you are new around here and you are just toying with the idea of adding some elegant lighting to your landscape, you are in the right place. Some people want to jump in and do their entire garden, walkway, patio and surrounding area all at once, while others like to take it one step at a time. In this article, we will cover the three basic areas that are often lit to provide not only a safe environment, but also a dash of elegance and sophistication to any landscape.

Gather Ideas

Before you dive in, gather some ideas and concepts you like. Look through magazines or online websites to discover your personal style and the overall look and feel you want to achieve with your landscape lighting design. Take notes and cut out any pictures you like and collect them to show to a contractor or for your own personal reference when selecting lighting fixtures.

Garden

Your prize azaleas and award-winning rose bushes should be highlighted in all of their glory. Lighting can enhance and illuminate the areas on which you want to focus. Our LED Directional Bullet Light is perfect for up-lighting any flower garden, bush or smaller area. The 360 degree rotating shroud offers superior movement so you can change the direction at any time. Solar lights will also work well to accent any garden element.

Walkway

Walkway lighting is one of the safer methods to achieving a complete landscape lighting design. In addition, walkway lights can add a warm glow to your design and create an elegant path for walking. Too many or too few lights can either be too unsafe or appear too cluttered. Keep the lights at a close enough distance to ensure adequate light for safety reasons without cluttering the walkway with too many fixtures. You can either keep them parallel or stagger them on either side to create a more random look. Use colors to enhance the walkway, such as amber or soft yellows. Be careful not to use too many colors, though, as your design can appear chaotic. One color per walkway will suffice.

Patio or Porch

The patio area allows for extreme creativity since a diverse variation of lighting is available. You can add stair or post lights for safety and a more updated look. Or use decorative lighting on walls or spotlights to accent plants and flowers. The sky’s the limit with what you can add to your porch area. If you take a look at what elements you want to highlight you will have a starting point from which to work. Include safety features as well, for this is one of the most important elements of a landscape.

Landscape Lighting for Smaller Spaces

We often dream of expansive backyards filled with lavish greenery, ornate fountains, koi ponds and babbling brooks. But, some of us barely have enough yard space to hold a garage-store BBQ and a hand-me-down patio set. Should you abandon your dreams of a beautifully lit landscape if your space and your wallet won’t allow it? Never!

Your backyard may not look like it was designed by Rockefeller, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a few elements to make you feel like a king—even if your castle is far from reality. Outdoor lighting at any scale gives an outdoor area much-needed attention and can make you feel cozy and comfortable as well.

Small Houses and Small Yards

If you own a small house, add some lighting to your outdoor area to make it feel like an additional room of the house. Do you entertain in the space? Guests will appreciate the space and consider it an extension of your home if it is properly lit. Solar-powered lights are inexpensive and work well to light pathways or steps leading to a patch of grass where guests congregate. Additionally, if you have any special features, even if it is a cute bird feeder, consider lighting it to add interest.

Patios

If your patio is your only oasis, you are not out of luck. Low voltage or solar lighting provides an adequate amount of illumination without overpowering the area or hedging into your neighbor’s property. Avoid strong spotlights or harsh beams. Install lighting on railing posts or on post caps lining your patio stairs.

Globe patio lights are a beautiful design element for any patio. If your patio is on the large side, consider a single globe light that stands on its own or can be floated in a pool for an extra effect. If space is a concern, use smaller globe lights strung together and extend them in different directions above the patio to create a beautiful ambiance at night.

Porch Light

For all the homeowners or renters out there with miniscule backyard space, there is still hope. Most people have porch lights which help to illuminate the outdoors whether they own a balcony or a one-acre yard. Consider a light that provides maximum illumination for guests and for safety, but also unites the outdoors with the indoor decor to further exemplify your design style. Install the light high enough to illuminate the area but not low enough to glare in people’s faces. Look for lights that cater to your design style like modern, contemporary, mission-style, or Southwestern. Even something as insignificant as a porch light can uplift your outdoor space regardless of how small it is.

You may not own a 10,000 acre estate, ripe with well-landscaped grass and prize rose beds, but you can still make your small space your own with a little effort. Get creative and think outside of the box when it comes to your landscape lighting. Sometimes good things really do come in small packages.

Use Lighting to Enhance Your Fall Landscaping

If you’re like many homeowners, chances are you shoot for a little splash of color around your home during every season. Spring brings us colorful dainty buds and blossoms. During the summer months, we’re greeted with flowers that are as bold as they are beautiful.

Once the days grow shorter and cooler and the summer draws to a close, flowers begin dying off and fall slowly creeps in. Your yard will change, and the lighting choices you make for your space should shift in tandem.

Adjusting Landscaping Lighting for Fall

Planting fall blooming flowers is an excellent way to add a splash of fall color to your property. However, they’re typically not as bright and eye-catching as some spring and summer flowers even though they add a shade of sophistication to your outdoor space. The best way to accentuate these blooms is to swap the regular blubs in your existing ground-mounted spotlight lamps for a slightly higher wattage. Not too high, though – you don’t want to irritate your neighbors.

Trees are a fantastic fall spectacle for your yard as well, which means highlighting the breathtaking changes in the colors of the falling leaves should be high on your list of to-dos for fall. Take the same action you did with your fall flowers: replace the bulbs in your spotlights for a set with a slightly higher wattage to show off those beautiful autumn colors falling from the branches of your trees.

Outdoor Party Lighting for Fall

Autumn parties are a staple of any family’s fall agenda, so outdoor lighting for fall fiestas is another great way to dress up your space for the season. For example, you can use lanterns to line outdoor walkways along with seating areas. This will give your landscaping a rustic appeal that will add an injection of charm into your fall get-togethers.

Another outdoor party lighting option for the fall is glow jars. You can find these unique lighting instruments at craft stores, but it’s fun and easy to make your own for parties. An added bonus is that you’ll save money when you DIY. Simply snag some mason jars and give each one a coat of sheer white glossy paint. When lit, the jars will emit a soft white glow that will rival high-dollar party accessories from even the most ritzy of home décor catalogs.

You can also highlight the fall colors of your yard by installing string lights around the perimeter of your landscaping prior to your big “shindig.” Opt for soft yellow or white bulbs, and make sure the lighting is not too harsh. A good rule of thumb: the smaller the bulb, the softer the light. String up a few lengths of lights and wait until nightfall to get a feel for whether you need more or fewer lights to achieve the atmosphere you desire.

Fall lighting for your landscape requires nothing more than a few minor tweaks to your existing outdoor lighting system. For fall parties, a little imagination and innovation goes a long way – and helps your wallet out in the process.