You have spent your time and money into a beautifully landscaped yard, but as the sun sets all that can be seen are shadows and outlines. Using landscape lighting you are able to extend the enjoyment from your plantings by creating new interest when dusk approaches. From steps, paths, and driveways to pools, patios, and fountains, outdoor lighting is both practical and alluring. There are several reasons to invest in landscape lighting, one of the biggest is to add visual effects to your home and the plantings you have. Adding lights to your home’s exterior highlights the beauty of your property while enhancing safety and security.
There are various uses for landscape lighting and knowing what type of lights to use and where to position them, especially at different times of the year, is crucial to achieving the desired effect. There are a wide variety of lighting techniques that, if used properly, will achieve dramatic results.
-Accenting: This technique directs beams of light to highlight particular elements of the landscape, such as a prized ornamental shrub or statue.
-Down Lighting: As simple as illuminating a path or walkway with low fixtures, or as complex as a floodlight mounted on a pole, building or tree, this technique lights a larger area as accenting. Placing the lighting higher up will illuminate a larger portion and placing lighting lower will have a more compact glow.
-Up Lighting: More dramatic and the reverse of down lighting. Fixtures on the surface or well lights shine upward to highlight leaves, bark, or statues. Up lighting can also be used as a way of wall-washing, spotlight fixtures are placed closer to a building for a bolder effect.
-Silhouetting: By placing a spotlight behind the feature, aimed toward an adjacent wall, you create an illuminated backdrop only showing the outline or structure of the plant rather than highlighting the plant itself.
-Shadowing: Lights located in front and beneath a landscape feature to throw a shadow on a wall, fence or building behind the feature. Often works best with a tree that has open, delicate foliage, the effect of the tree’s movement in the wind can sure add drama to any home façade.
-Moonlighting: A type of down lighting using soft diffused light from fixtures located in a tree or pole to resemble the glow of the moon through the plant canopy.
-Path Lighting: Created by placing small fixtures along the borders of walkways, driveways, and patios. It is important that the style of these path lights be considered carefully. Be careful when choosing light locations that they won’t be kicked or hit by the lawn mower.
-Grazing: This technique shines light on surfaces to reveal interesting textures, such as brick, rough wood or tree bark.
The optimum goal of lighting is to enhance and not overpower the landscape. Sometimes less is more, especially with lights. Placing accent lights strategically around the yard is more aesthetically pleasing than one huge light on the porch. Smaller, smarter lights placed along paths, up steps, and in landscaping beds create a beautiful ambiance that adds to the nighttime beauty of the landscape. The options you choose can change your landscaping from night to day