Outdoor Landscape Lighting
A successful outdoor landscape lighting plan relies upon the strategic placement of the right fixtures and correct wiring. Consider waterproof lights for water features, offset lighting for pathways, highlighting, spotlighting, and floodlighting depending upon the elements you want to enhance. When carefully designed, you can even simulate moonlight using select tree-mounted spotlights.
Other considerations include the expanse, height, seasonal factors, and the size of the transformer to accommodate both your initial lighting plans and your desire to add to or expand your lighting features as your garden grows. To get started with your outdoor landscape lighting plans, begin with an essential aspect of your property, which is your home. Lighting the night is all about the atmosphere. You are not trying for stadium floodlights where you turn the night into day.
With the right fixtures and features, your nighttime illumination also provides safety and security for you and your guests. Highlighting architectural features takes advantage of the design of your home and property while safely lighting the way. To help you create your fantastic nighttime environment, here are five tips for outstanding outdoor landscape lighting ideas:
You want to make the most of the most expensive part of your property, and that is your home. You can affect lighting accents that make your property stand out at night featuring aspects of your architecture that are only visible at night. Whether that is downlighting walls from above, drawing the uplight from below or taking advantage of unique architectural features, first focus on the façade.
Choices of lighting fixtures include:
Bullet lights – upward-facing narrow beams typically spaced about 1-foot from the foundation and focusing on the most attractive architectural aspects such as columns, eaves, dormers, or corners of the house.
Wash lights – to throw a soft, diffuse light intended to brighten facades, garden walls, or privacy fences.
Floodlights – brighter than a wash, more extensive than a bullet, and best used sparingly to illuminate broad areas or tall trees.
If you are not interested in doing the work yourself, you can choose to go with a pro. A professional can help with the initial design plans, budget, installation, and the warranty.
Take the time to evaluate your lighting needs to determine if you would be better off with the professionals who are already prepared with the tools, equipment, and knowledge to perform a more dynamic outdoor landscape lighting design in the same amount of time.
2.Light the Way for Foot Traffic
Outdoor landscape lighting must include the courses or pathways where you and your guests will be walking. Those unfamiliar with your layout will need the light to avoid trip and fall hazards while the lighting creates a welcoming atmosphere that safely shows the way. This may be walkways, steps, or decks where people go to areas where the entertainment or dining takes place.
Avoid a straight line of lights on a pathway, so it does not resemble a landing strip. Staggering lights that shine down along the path will not look too busy or distracting. Bollards give you a contemporary way to establish a safe boundary. Where you have steps, you can use LED or strip lighting, or you can plan to install built-in lights that appear to come from underneath to illuminate where people step. Consult with a professional if you are not sure of the proper height or placement or want to learn more about on-trend lighting features such as LED pavers.
3.Make Your Plants and Trees the Stars of the Night
Making use of your plants and trees transforms your yard into a magical land at night. Whether you are illuminating the space intended for backyard dining or drawing the eyes of your guests across the yard to view the mystery of your grand trees and plant life, you have a lot of options.
You can string lights, pendants, or lanterns and use LED or solar-powered lighting. Place uplights highlighting the trunks of trees or downlights with good lights to show off the branch structure of trees. Garden fixtures can be placed taller than plants to showcase them. Tree-mounted lights can also bathe a natural stone patio in a glow that sets the mood.
4.Illuminate Water Features
If you have a pool or pond, you have a golden opportunity to exploit your outdoor landscape lighting. Whether you bother to install waterproof fixtures below the water line or create your floating rafts of candlelight, you can have fun lighting your water features.
A garden wall with a fountain installed is yet another place where lighting changes the mood and creates an atmosphere after dark. These can be achieved in different ways, whether you add a sconce or use underwater lighting to draw the illumination up from within the well.
There is no shortage of outdoor landscape lighting materials available, whether in-store or online. Most landscape lighting is intentionally low voltage because it is safer and less costly. With a step-down transformer that reduces the 120-volt household current to a safe 12 volts and a choice of bulbs to determine brightness, beam width, color, and electricity demand, you have much to choose from.
You will need cable to carry the current, and you may be digging trenches to connect the cable to fixtures. If you do not have a 20-amp GFCI-protected receptacle for your transformer, this may be the impetus to contact a professional for guidance. A 10-gauge cable running to a waterproof junction box and branching out to a 12-gauge cord will allow you to run up to 50-feet to meet an 11.5-volt halogen or 15-volt LED light. That beats a daisy chain that would otherwise overpower the lights set closest to the transformer.
When done right, you can create a most compelling impression with the mood and memories that occur when experiencing the welcoming atmosphere of your home and property after dark. If you want professional guidance and assurance that your outdoor landscape lighting is installed correctly and safely, give the experts at Scapes Inc., a call today to get the process started.
Scapes Landscaping OKC has a rich history of bringing high quality landscaping design to the OKC area. We’re known for serving Oklahoma City landscaping clients with the best rated residential landscaping and commercial landscaping services! Be sure to check out our before and after landscaping gallery. Contact us today at 405-376-0505 and request a quote.