3 Outdoor Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

3 Outdoor Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

Homeowners install outdoor lights for a multitude of reasons. Outdoor lighting makes it easier and safer for people to find their way around their property at night. It deters potential thieves and intruders and enables owners to highlight their properties’ most beautiful landscaping and architectural features. Not only does outdoor lighting make a huge difference in the way a yard looks, but it also allows owners to make the most of their outdoor living space well past sunset. However, all too often, outdoor lighting is installed without any proper planning, so in today’s blog post, we’ll go over the three most common lighting mistakes that homeowners make and provide you with outdoor lighting tips to help you achieve the best results.

Mistake #1: Focussing on the Lighting Fixtures Rather Than the Light Itself

While it’s easy to get carried away with the plethora of gorgeous light fixtures that you can choose from nowadays, remember that first, you need to determine what you would like to achieve by adding outdoor lighting to your property, in other words, your set your goals. Decide what it is that you want to illuminate, for instance, the trees, shrubs or architectural features you want passersby to marvel at. Then, decide how you want to achieve that look, or what lighting techniques will work best. Do you want to create a silhouette to add intrigue or would you rather shine the light directly on the feature? Only then can you start choosing the appropriate fixtures that will help you achieve that look.

Mistake #2: Placing Too Many Lights in One Area

Many homeowners end up overlighting some parts of their yards such as driveways and pathways, neglecting other areas. This results in an unbalanced and lopsided look, which does not look appealing. While it is necessary, for practical purposes and safety concerns, to have an adequately-lit driveway and pathway to your front door, when planning exterior lighting, one of the helpful outdoor lighting tips that professionals follow is to aim for an even distribution throughout your property. Your shrubs, trees, and decorative features don’t have to add curb appeal only during the day. With the help of lighting features such as spotlights, you can highlight and enjoy their beauty even at night.

Mistake #3: Overusing One Lighting Technique or Feature

Homeowners who are not well-versed in the different lighting techniques and fixtures that are available to work with end up overusing one particular type of fixture, for instance, floodlights or spotlights, resulting in a lack of variety and contrast that looks dull and unidimensional. One of the outdoor lighting tips to keep in mind is to incorporate various types light fixtures and play with shadows to add depth and get a richer, more dramatic feel.

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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.

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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.