Outdoor Lighting: What is Light Color Temperature?

Outdoor Lighting: What is Light Color Temperature?

When choosing the right lights for your outdoor environment, there is a multitude of different factors to take into consideration. For example, the wattage and the design of the lights you select will impact the effect of your landscape lighting. Another important aspect to consider when picking lighting for your outdoor space is the color temperature of the lights. Here’s an overview of what light color temperature is and how it will affect the look of your outdoor lights.

Light Color Temperature

Light color temperature is a way to describe how the light appears to the naked eye. Color temperature is measured on the Kelvin scale from 1000 to 10000. So, for example, lights that indicate they have a 2000k to 3000k range will produce warm white light while anything between 4600k and 6500k will mimic daylight in its appearance. Choosing the right light color temperature for your outdoor space is just as important as choosing the right wattage when is come to aesthetics and visibility.

The best color temperature range for outdoor lighting is warm white light or anything below 3000k. Anything above the 3000k range will give off a bluish hue that will make your outdoor space look unnatural and jarring. This is especially true of LED lights because their light quality is crisp and clear in comparison to other lighting choices, and therefore, they can have an overpowering appearance when they have a high light color temperature range. For the best outdoor lighting results, warm white LED lights are ideal.

Layering and Other Lighting Effects

In simplest terms, light layering refers to the use of highs and lows to create beauty or drama in your space. This is especially important for outdoor areas not only because layering creates different moods for different locations, but it allows you to tailor different lighting experiences for different uses. For example, you may want your pathway lighting to be brighter than that of your patio.

Additionally, if you have your pathway lights on an independent transformer from that of your patio lights, there is a wide variety of dimmers and controllers you can take advantage of to create a different look and feel for your patio space. It’s important to note that these effects only work if your color temperature is 3000k or below because anything above this would be too garish and overpowering to be orchestrated properly.

What light color temperature do you use for your landscape lighting? Do you agree that warm light looks best? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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!

4 Reasons to Have Outdoor Accent Lighting

4 Reasons to Have Outdoor Accent Lighting

Outdoor accent lighting, also known as directional lighting, directs light at a particular object or architectural element you want to accentuate. Often used to illuminate and highlight a specific plant, tree, or prominent feature, it adds visual interest to your property while providing a multitude of benefits to homeowners. In this blog post, we’ll discuss four reasons to have outdoor accent lighting.

1) To enjoy your landscaping at night:

Whether you’ve toiled at it and completed your own landscaping or whether you’ve hired a professional landscaping service, there is no reason you should only enjoy the fruits of your labor (or your investment) during the day. Outdoor accent lighting directed at shrubs, plants, trees, or your most prized decorative feature will allow you to continue to enjoy the beauty of your garden.

2) To enhance your home’s curb appeal:

By incorporating outdoor accent lighting, you’re increasing the curb appeal of your home. For instance, you could illuminate a stone path, specific areas of the garden, or the majestic trees in your front yard. Accent lighting adds warmth to your property and creates an inviting and convivial atmosphere.

3) To extend the usability of your outdoor entertaining areas:

Outdoor entertaining areas require a combination of task and ambient lighting such as accent lights to get the best results. While task lighting is best for areas such as the grill, accent lighting, used with additional ambient lighting is excellent at creating a warm atmosphere around the seating areas.

4)  To add value to your home:

Outdoor lighting is a great investment and an inexpensive way to increase the value of your property while making it stand out at night. If you’re planning on selling your home, it can help you get a higher valuation and convince that potential buyer to put an offer on your property.

Do you use outdoor accent lighting to enhance your property? Join the conversation by commenting below!