When dreaming up your landscape design, do you picture the beautiful views during the daytime, nighttime, or both? For most, these mental images take place in the daytime, with few considering how their landscape will look at night. Outdoor lighting installation is a part of your landscape is too often forgotten, but it can really transform a beautiful daytime landscape into an enchanting nighttime one. When you invest in a landscaping design, whether commercial or residential, make sure you get the most out of your investment by ensuring it’s always seen in its best light.
Outdoor lighting isn’t only something that should be considered for aesthetic purposes, as it can really benefit the safety of your space as well. A well-lit commercial landscape may be less likely to experience crimes like break-ins or vandalism, particularly if the well-lit area is also monitored by camera systems, as those responsible are more likely to be seen, and lighting provides a way for patrons or employees to safely follow walking paths or see debris on the sidewalk should they be on the property after the sun goes down. The benefits are similar in residential landscaping designs, as well, providing families with a well-lit space that is easy both to see and to navigate.
Choosing The Outdoor Lighting For Your Landscape
As you delve into the world of outdoor lighting, you may find that there are quite a few different options to choose from and things to consider. To make things a bit simpler, first make sure your basics are covered. The first areas you’ll want to focus on in terms of designing the placement of your outdoor lights are:
- Walkways – Well-lit walkways give residents, patrons, employees, and guests a way to navigate the property safely in all lighting conditions.
- Fountains, statues, or unique elements – Unique architectural pieces on your property are framed and given that extra touch of drama with outdoor lighting.
- Patios or decks – Anywhere where outdoor entertaining takes place should be kept well-lit during dark hours.
- Entryways – A well-lit entryway is both welcoming in aesthetic and contributes to the safety of the property.
- Trees – Like with fountains, statues, and other architectural elements, framing trees with outdoor light contributes to a great landscaping aesthetic.
While these are simply common places to start, and those typically deemed “must-haves”, your outdoor lighting design is subject to your own creativity, and the possibilities are limitless. A talk with your landscaping consultant will put you on the right track with just how your vision can be turned into reality.
Types Of Outdoor Lights
Now that you have an idea of where you want the lights to go, it’s time to think about the types of outdoor lights you should install. Your landscaping consultant will be able to determine what type of lights will look best in different areas of the property, but a quick run-down of some of the most popular types of landscaping lighting options are:
- Cross lighting – Cross lights add light from both sides of a tree, fountain, walkway, or even whole sections of your property, like a flowerbed. For areas that typically fall victim to shadowing, cross lighting helps to eliminate unwanted shadows and shine line on an entire section.
- Down lighting – Down lighting is exactly as it sounds, light facing downward from a higher point, similar to moonlight. Down lighting can create a nice and soft lighting appeal that is more romantic and less dramatic or severe in nature.
- Up lighting – Up lighting is what you want if you want drama in your landscape, as these lights face directly at different elements to provide almost a spotlight type of appeal. A popular choice for lighting trees or sculptures, property owners should be careful with up lighting placement to ensure they’re not inadvertently shining light in any windows or actually obstructing any views.
A professional landscaping consultant will be able to work with you in determining which types of light are best for a particular area, and what placement will ensure the best light effect without becoming too much.
Whether you’re looking for simple accenting solar lights to go along a pathway, or a full lighting installation with several different lighting elements, your lighting is a big part of your landscape. Talking with a professional landscaping consultant will ensure that your lighting and your landscape are a perfect fit together, and that your lighting installation choice will give you the most out of your investment.