Are you considering investing in some outdoor lighting to spice up your landscape? Installing add-ons for your garden, like lighting and sprinkler systems, adds many benefits to your home. There’s plenty of reason to think about it; whether for security, curb appeal, or aesthetics, good lighting can be a boon for your home in more ways than one.
Installing an exterior lighting system can be a great way to enhance your home. Whether you’re installing a totally new system or updating an existing one, it’s a great way to add a personalized touch to the house. However, before you start, it’s a good idea to know what you’re doing first. Here are a few basics to familiarize yourself with. Use these tips to make the most of your new system for maximum effect!
What To Light
When it comes to lighting your landscape, it helps to find some subjects. What is there outside that you want to emphasize? Are there specific trees or shrubbery you wish to highlight? Here are a few things to consider:
- Identify features you like outside. If you have a particularly impressive tree you’re proud of, or if you want to shed some light on your patio, think of those first. A few strategically-placed lights can really highlight these areas and draw the eye there to make them stand out.
- Add some colour to places that may not stand out during the day. For example, you can make a stone wall far more interesting by playing with the light and shadow that fall on the wall.
- Keep function in mind. If you’ve got a deck with stairs or a pathway along your garden, they need to be lit so you can see where you’re going. Combine striking lighting with bright lights to give yourself a practical way to see while making the space more appealing.
How To Light Your Landscape
When it comes to lighting your home’s exterior, you have plenty of options, which is great for you! You have different types of light fixtures to choose from, and plenty of places to put them. Get a good idea of what your exterior looks like by taking a flashlight with a dimming optic and sampling all the spaces. Try playing with the lights to see how the striking spots around the house look under different kinds of lights. Experiment a bit to see what works for you.
The go-to lights for the exterior include floodlights, spotlights, and path lights, each of which has different characteristics. Each type of light brings something different to the table; it’s important to understand each type of light to make the most of them and make your landscape stand out.
Floodlights – These lights cast a wide beam that illuminates large areas. These are great for providing ample light outside when you need to see.
Spotlights – Spotlights provide a more narrow beam of light compared to floodlights. Use these lights to draw the eye to key elements outside (e.g. trees, sculptures, and fountains) and present them in a more exciting light.
Path lights – As the name says, path lights are lights typically spread out around a walkway to light the path. However, you can also arrange them in interesting patterns to make the lighting more interesting than limiting yourself along the path. You can also line your path lights along other outdoor elements to frame out spaces in the yard (e.g. driveways and ponds).
Basic Techniques To Brighten Your Spaces
Other than the lights you use, you can also find intriguing ways to place your lights to frame your space in a more eye-catching manner. These techniques can help you position your lights and frame the different elements outside in a better light. Knowing the ins and outs of lighting can be a big help with maximizing the benefits of outdoor lighting.
- Uplighting – Uplighting is one of the more basic forms of landscape lighting available. Simply put, you take a light and aim it upward on a tall object (usually a tree). You can use this technique to highlight the trunk of a tree or emphasize its canopy, creating a dramatic, eye-catching effect.
- Moonlighting – Like uplighting, moonlighting is a great way of emphasizing significant elements like trees. In contrast, moonlighting has you set the light up high in the tree and aim down to wash the tree and branches in light. Think of it as another way to emphasize the height of your tree, especially with an open-branched tree.
- Silhouetting – Silhouetting can be a great way to put more emphasis on elements that tend to hide during the day. Keep your light behind the object and aim it toward the vantage point, taking care to keep the light hidden from view. This gives you a striking look, rather like seeing the object at sunset.
- Washing – When you need more ambient lighting, washing can be a great tool. Washing involves flooding a large area (like a wall or hedge) with light. Set a wide-beamed light near the vantage point and aim it at the surface. This lets you wash the area in an even, gentle light.
- Path lighting – Path lighting may sound simple at first glance, but there’s much to consider to make the path look its best. Avoid putting too many lights; over-lighting the path can make the space feel cramped and confined. Instead, try placing fixtures on either side of the path. Arrange the lights to go back and forth to make the entry look interesting and inviting.
Other Ideas To Make Your Lighting Brilliant
There are some other simple things to remember that can help make your landscape really stand out. The devil is in the details, as the saying goes, and a little tweaking can make a world of difference in getting the effect just right. Keep these tips in mind to help put the finishing touches on your landscape lighting and make the exterior look its best.
- Remember the small spaces – Quality landscape lighting includes more than the most noticeable elements like hedges and trees. Pay attention to those locations to get overlooked (like the second floor or the corners of the yard. Lighting these places lets you add a little more to the aesthetic of the home and make it more secure (just in case).
- Use multiple layers – When you really want to focus on a specific element, try lighting with multiple layers. Avoid grouping several fixtures together. Instead, set several spotlights around the object at different angles. This kind of light reveals new silhouettes and layers that make that object stand out.
- Go with LEDs – LED lights tend to be the go-to lights for most landscape lighting projects. They can last for years, making them cost-effective picks for the long haul. They’re also very energy-efficient, allowing you to save on energy costs when you use them to light your home’s exterior. Best of all, LED lights come in a variety of colours, giving you more flexibility with how you want the landscape to look.
- Think about security – Outdoor lights can also do their part to make your home much more secure. Adding lights in strategic areas can provide fewer hiding spots and make it easier to see what’s happening outside. There are plenty of options for approaching the question, from installing lights outside the garage doors to installing wall lanterns around side doors and windows.
There are any number of things you can do to improve your landscape, from adding lights for aesthetics to installing sprinklers to help irrigate it properly.
At Augusta Green Sprinklers, we pride ourselves on providing quality service spicing up your landscape.
Give us a call at (416) 227-1666 or visit our contact page for all your landscaping needs.