The Beginner’s Guide To Choosing Landscape Lighting

If you have no idea where to start when it comes to buying outdoor lights, this post is for you. For many people, outdoor living spaces are becoming an integral part of how we live, with a wealth of options to help illuminate our gardens. From deck and pond lighting, to well lighting and path lighting, there are a multitude of options to consider. So why is landscape lighting important?

Installing landscape lighting not only enhances the beauty of the features in your garden, whether that be architecture, fountains or paths, but it also increases the value of your home, adding to its aesthetic appeal. Having good landscape lighting also prolongs the time space in which you can use your garden, and ensures its safe and secure.

When choosing the best type of landscape lighting for your garden, you need to consider a number of factors. For this reason, first timers choose to work with a professional landscaper who is knowledgeable about the best types of lighting for your garden as well as methods for installation.

Of course, you can do it yourself without any help from a professional, but you’ll need to familiarize yourself with each type of lighting and how they work first. Low-voltage landscape lighting is easy to work with and doesn’t necessarily require professional installation for this reason. For low-voltage lighting, you’ll also need to purchase a low-voltage transformer.

Choose whether you want to install halogen lighting, which produces a higher intensity light which is very bright and white, fluorescent lighting, which produces very little heat, while giving off cool, visible light, or LED lighting which is long lasting and energy efficient. LED lighting is quickly becoming the favorite for this reason, although keep in mind that the upfront costs are more expensive than for halogen or fluorescent lighting.

You should also familiarize yourself with where to place lighting for the best effect. For example, it’s usually best to place path lighting between one and two feet from the path to illuminate it. Ground lighting may be enough to highlight the path, or you might find you need a combination of high and low lights for the best results.

If you are unsure of the best lighting to use and how to install it, consult a licensed professional. If you’re looking to buy outdoor lights, check out our website, or contact us for more information.

Should you hire a professional for your landscape lighting project, or do it yourself?

As with any home improvement project, you can choose whether to do it yourself or to hire a professional instead. Often, it takes an experienced eye to decide on the best lighting fixtures to use to highlight the elements of your garden, and although doing it yourself may mean the initial costs are less, choosing to do it yourself may end up costing you more time and money.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional

  • A professional will help you to develop a certain look for your space
  • Keeps your project on budget
  • Saves you time on research
  • Helps to avoid costly repairs
  • A professional may better understand lighting systems and wattage needs

Although hiring a professional makes your landscape lighting project more straightforward, with a bit of research and time, doing it yourself is very possible.

When starting a DIY landscape lighting project you should bear the following in mind:

  • When it comes to path lighting, remember less is more – you’re not installing runway lights for an airplane landing!
  • Be sure to clean the surfaces of your lights and check for burned out bulbs at least once a year
  • Add color and texture to your garden by placing lighting near plants
  • Don’t simply light your home’s exterior – this can look unnatural and bleak
  • Create shadows by placing spotlights in front of your house close to the foundation

Have you started your own DIY landscape lighting project? We’d love to hear your results!

4 Ideas for Outdoor DIY Lighting

Decorative Tin Can Lantern on a Wooden Background.

Here at Best Pro Lighting, we stock everything you need to complete a professional looking low voltage landscape lighting design, from directional lights and path lights, to well lights and step lights. But if you’re looking to get a little more creative in the New Year, try these DIY lighting ideas from other bloggers we’ve come across on the web.

Create some fairy magic

Image: The Gold Jelly Bean

For this DIY project, all you need is a glass jar, some glow sticks (which you can buy from any dollar store), some rubber gloves, scissors, and you can also use a piece of tulle (a soft, fine silk, cotton, or nylon material like net). Simply cut open the glow sticks, being sure to put on your rubber gloves for protection, and empty the contents into the glass jar. Replace the lid and shake for instant fairy magic. Check out The Gold Jelly Bean for all the steps.

Give your tin cans a new lease of life

Image: Inhabitat

Instead of throwing old cans in the garbage, give them a new lease on life with this great DIY lighting idea from Inhabitat. First, strip the cans of their labels before hammering small nails into the sides to create holes. Make sure you place some wood inside to prevent the cans from denting under pressure. To create the light, simply drop in a candle.

Ready, set, lights!

Image: Kittenhood

Kittenhood noticed the resemblance between shuttlecocks and lamps and came up with this DIY Shuttlecock Lights Garland. Using a knife to remove the tops of the shuttlecocks, simply weave your lights through, and voilà, a new and improved lights garland, which also incidentally creates a very pretty pattern on the wall behind.

Paper bags can be pretty too

Image: Martha Stewart

 

Household goddess Martha Stewart decided that beribboned colored bags would make great outdoor lights. To make them, cut small slits in paper bags and cover your string lights. Hanging ribbons will add a party vibe when all the Christmas celebrations are over. See the full steps on her website.