Outdoor landscape lighting can be appealing, inviting and an effective safety feature. It’s a cost-effective way to emphasize your beautiful exterior in both night and day.
Landscape lighting can be introduced into your home or business to enhance existing features, such as stonework, large trees or your home/building. When used properly in conjunction with water features, lighting can create extraordinary patterns of dancing light across your property. For these types of lighting, the best choice is usually a low-voltage, but fairly bright set of lights that shine in a concentrated area.
On the other hand, in backyards soft lighting can be used to create a relaxing atmosphere. This might be achieved with lights muted by shades, or bouncing light off of walls or screens. Around your home, lighting creates a sense of safety and security in your guests when they’re entering your home or enjoying your backyard.
There are many techniques used by the experts in landscape lighting, which when used correctly and introduced in the right place, will exponentially improve the appearance of your landscape. Some techniques include:
When lights are shone upwards from below they accent large features very effectively. Uplighting may be used to accent trees, statues, stone structures, or fountains. Uplighting it a great way to add that “wow-factor” you’ve been missing in your landscape.
When lights are shone down from above they can create a wider area of illumination, perfect for safety purposes. Downlighting may be used to light a walkway or pond and can be achieved using floodlights, lampposts or hanging light fixtures.
The mystifying patterns of light created by moonrays running through your trees can be emulated by concealing soft light fixtures in canopies casting irregular lights and shadows to the ground.
When used very sparingly, spotlighting can highlight the most breath-taking parts of a landscape, but it is the most misused technique in landscape lighting in residential and commercial properties. It should be used, again very sparingly, to accent large detailed features in a dramatic way.
For large features where form (instead of detail) is the key to its appeal, silhouetting may be used. By placing bright lights behind a sculpture or unique tree, a mask of a sharp or soft outline can be created. Owners may be hesitant to use this feature which seems to “hide” their piece with light instead of “show” it (as with spotlighting), but when used correctly it is a beautiful addition to your property that creates a unique display.
Consult a landscape designer or architect in your area to see how these, and more, techniques can be best used with your home or commercial property. Always consult a trained expert for proper installation. Even though most outdoor lighting is low-voltage, if it’s installed incorrectly without regard for industry safety standards it can be dangerous.