When you love your landscaping, you want to enjoy it much as possible, right? So why limit that to daylight hours? Landscape lighting brings out the best of what you’ve got by highlighting your home’s architectural features and drawing attention to your beautifully manicured trees and flower beds. Landscape lighting can also help turn your yard into an outdoor living space to be enjoyed day and night! Adding landscape lighting to your property not only makes your landscaping visible at night, it can also help keep your family and belongings safe. Here are the essential things you should know about landscape lighting.
How Landscape Lighting Keeps You Safe
A well-lit landscape and home make the house less of a target for crimes, like vandalism or burglary. A criminal cannot approach your home as easily and has fewer hiding spots in the landscaping with a well-lit exterior. Illuminating entrance points, like doors and windows, with lights makes it difficult for a potential burglar to break in unnoticed. Well-lit pathways and stairs are much safer than stumbling around in the dark. Home exteriors are full of potential dangers, like drop-offs, pools and other tripping hazards. Lighting near those hazards makes them visible to prevent a fall or other injury. Lights that illuminate the driveway, walkways and house numbers allow visitors to find your home safely and easily.
Landscape Features to Light
How do you know what things to light and what to leave in the dark? Identify features in your yard that you like; a pond or a well-manicured tree. Highlighting those with light will show them off. Add drama to areas that don’t usually stand out in daylight. A stone wall can take on a totally new look by accenting it with light and shadow. Another thing to consider is function; a deck with stairs or a winding pathway need to be lit to ensure that you can move about your yard without risk of injury. Here are a few examples on what features you can add lighting to:
• Stone walls
• Ponds/water features
• Planting beds
• Home architectural details, like accent columns
Types of Landscaping Lights
There are a few basic types of fixtures that you should be familiar with when considering landscape lighting. Here are some of the basic types of lighting:
• Garden: reflects light down into planting beds or can be used as pathway markers.
• Wash: puts out a soft diffuse light ideal for brightening flat facades, privacy fences and garden walls.
• Bullet: versatile, compact fixtures are often fitted with bulbs that project a narrow beam – good for precisely lighting house features, tree trunks and garden structures.
• Well: the bulb hides inside a waterproof housing buried in the ground, so you see the light without seeing a fixture. Well lights are good for illuminating the underside of plant foliage.
• Downlight: these fixtures are often located high on trunks and branches. They can also be aimed at lawns, paths or tree foliage to create a moonlit effect.
• Flood: these lights typically cast a wider beam than a bullet light and are brighter than wash lights. Flood lights can be used to light up tall trees or architectural details on your home.