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!

5 Landscape Lighting Tips for Outstanding Curb Appeal

5 Landscape Lighting Tips for Outstanding Curb Appeal

Your home is an extension of yourself; it reflects your styles and values. While most homeowners invest a considerable amount of time and money planning their landscaping, selecting only the best plants, trees, flowers, and garden decor items, a landscape element that they often neglect is lighting. Used properly, landscape lighting can enhance your curb appeal at night and allow you to continue to enjoy your investment well past sunset. Here are five landscape lighting tips to help you create outstanding curb appeal at night.

1) Consider your needs and set your goals

With so many fantastic options for outdoor lighting, it’s easy to get carried away. Before you begin choosing the most suitable light fixtures, it’s crucial to first consider your needs and the effect you want to create and set your goals. Since landscape lighting accomplishes many different things such as improving the overall aesthetics, security, and usability of your space, your objectives will determine the best choices for you.

2) Cover all the basic elements

There are a few essential elements of landscape lighting that you should always include in your design. The areas to address are: your driveway, pathways, entryways, patio or porch, plants and trees, and ornamental garden or architectural features.

3) Create visual interest by combining ambient, task, and accent lighting

Use a combination ambient, task, and accent lighting to make your property stand out. Ambient lighting refers to the overall, general illumination of your space while task lighting provides light for a specific task or function, for instance, lighting focused on your barbecue. Accent lighting, on the other hand, accentuates a particular element, such as a water feature. Using all three options will add dimension to your landscape.

4) Choose the correct lighting technique(s) to achieve the desired effect

Depending on the effect you’d like to achieve, you will choose different lighting methods. Down-lighting, which involves directing the light downwards, is an excellent technique for a soft, romantic feel whereas up-lighting, which requires focusing the light directly on specific elements of your yard, results in a bold, dramatic look.

5)  Place your outdoor lighting fixtures at night

Most people position their landscape lighting fixtures during the day, and when they turn the lights on at night, they realize that it doesn’t quite look right. We recommend placing them at night so that you can check the effect and make the required changes.

Did you find these tips helpful? Share our landscape lighting tips with other homeowners!

Is Your Outdoor Lighting Too Bright?

If you or a neighbor have noticed a glare coming from your outdoor lights, the problem may be that your lights are shining outward, rather than down, directly on what they are supposed to be illuminating.

It’s important to remember that good neighbor etiquette doesn’t start and end with keeping music to a low volume, indeed, the brightness of your outdoor lights will also impact the relationship you have with your neighbors.

Of course, people want and need outdoor lighting but to avoid any conflict, the remedy can be as simple as installing unidirectional lighting with shielded fixtures or flush-mounting, rather than unshielded floodlights.

If the purpose of your outdoor lighting is to simply illuminate objects, you can choose lights which are typically lower wattage (and therefore reduce energy consumption). As well as enhancing the visibility of the illuminated area, there is also a reduced glare.

The great thing about smart lighting is that it’s directional in nature. This means that rather than lighting the sky, it just illuminates the intended area. We may be unaware of this, but the natural light of the sky that we’re used to may be largely influenced by the number of outdoor lights. The more people that have awareness of the glare of their outdoor lights, the more likely they can play a role in reducing light pollution.