Questions to ask yourself when selecting the right outdoor lighting

outdoor lighting

People install outdoor lighting for a variety of different reasons — style, security and safety — but before you invest the time and money into exterior home lighting, it is important to ask yourself the right questions. Answering these questions will allow you to make a plan to achieve the best lighting effects for your home or garden.

What is the style of your home?

Whether you have a small townhome porch or a vast outdoor garden, your lighting needs to match surroundings.

The first step to achieving the right outdoor ambience is to consider the style, colors and proportions of your home. Is your living space modern or traditional? Does it have any colored siding or roofing? What are the tonal colors of the finishes? How tall is your architecture? Once you address all these questions, purchasing outdoor lighting will be much easier.  

Where should you add some light?

One of the keys to using lighting to your advantage is to know where it should be placed throughout your exterior space. Well your home probably already possesses a porch light, adding some directional lighting can really help to illuminate your surroundings. Do you have a nice pond or flower garden as well? No problem. Invest in some underwater pond lights or some path lighting to guide your guests along your beautiful backyard walkways.  

How much lighting is too much lighting?

When it comes to lighting, more light does not necessarily mean better light. Exterior lighting choices are essential to creating the right backyard ambience. More light can typically cause a harsh glare making your outdoor space uninviting. When you choose your outdoor lighting fixtures, consider placing some low voltage bulbs. Not only are they more energy efficient, eco-friendly choices, but they also provide your home or garden with a softer flow that can deliver the perfect amount of illumination.

How important is it to have energy efficiency lighting?

While you have many choices for energy-efficient lighting, it is important to find the bulbs for your lighting needs.

Your outdoor lighting shines and glows far longer than any indoor lighting throughout the day, especially in the darker, winter months of the year. In the long run, saving energy by using better light bulbs will put money back into your pocket. While LEDs are more expensive to purchase, they last far longer than other traditional light bulbs on the market and they work far better for individuals that live in cooler climates.

Are there any other questions that you need answered before selecting the right outdoor lighting for home? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

 

The Many Advantages of Using Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

The Many Advantages of Using Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

While most homeowners are well aware of the many advantages of using landscape lighting, they may not know why low voltage landscape lighting is the best choice. Here’s a comprehensive list of the advantages of using low voltage landscape lighting.

Aesthetics

Low voltage landscape lighting produces a light that is soft and similar to natural moonlight, which makes it easier to display the beauty of your outdoor space. High voltage lighting can be too bright and overpowering and therefore obstruct the view.

Energy Efficiency

Low voltage landscape lighting uses only a third of the energy that it takes to power high voltage landscape lights, which, of course, decreases their impact on the environment and your household energy bill. Also, low voltage LED lights can last for nearly 30 years, which is significantly longer than traditional halogen or incandescent lighting.

Safety

Low voltage lighting is a safer option for installation and everyday use since due to their low voltage, you are not at risk of electrocution, which means you don’t have to fear using your landscape lighting in the rain or snow. Additionally, low voltage lighting cables can be hidden safely directly under the topsoil whereas high voltage cables need to be deeply buried for safety purposes.

Visibility and Security

One of the primary purposes of landscape lighting is to illuminate your property so that you and others can navigate your property safely. However, when you use high voltage lighting, your view can still be obstructed by large shadows or glare. Because low voltage lighting does not impede the visibility of your property, it makes it safer for people to navigate and easier for you to detect possible intruders.

Recreational Use

Landscape lighting makes it easier for you to utilize your outdoor recreational areas at night. And when you choose a low voltage lighting option, you can do so without accumulating a hefty energy bill.

Property Value

Landscape lighting for all the reasons listed above are sought-after features for home buyers, which is why having a quality landscape lighting system can actually increase your property value. And since the vast majority of home buyers are looking for energy-efficient amenities, you can make your property more desirable by having a low voltage landscape lighting system. Additionally, low voltage lighting is ideal for displaying landscape elements such as retaining walls and flower beds that can draw potential buyers to your property.

Other Advantages

  • It’s easier to reposition a low voltage landscape lighting system, so if you expand your patio or add a retaining wall, it’ll be easy to redesign your lighting.
  • Because the lighting isn’t overpowering, it’s easier to have multiple landscape lighting elements such as flood, well, pathway and deck lights.
  • By adequately illuminating your pool or sports court (tennis, basketball, etc.), you’re able to get far more use out of them which will have a positive effect on your health.

Are there any other advantages of using low voltage landscape lighting that we missed? Please share in the comments.

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!