Landscape Lighting Tips

Keep these tips in mind when installing landscape lighting.
outdoor lighting

Have a Light Plan

This property features more than 500 lights, including uplights, downlights and even lights in the water. If budget is a concern, start with path lighting.

Photo by: Chip Wade

Chip Wade

This property features more than 500 lights, including uplights, downlights and even lights in the water. If budget is a concern, start with path lighting.

Landscape lighting is as important as plant life is to your overall landscape design. Lighting affects curb appeal, safety, and the look and feel of your property after dark. Although landscape lighting can be expensive, there are many options on the market to choose from. If you’re in the process of choosing or installing landscape lighting, here are a few tips to help you make confident decisions:

  • Research lighting types such as electric, low voltage, solar, and LED to decide what’s right for you. How the lights are powered determines, to some extent, how they are installed. Hardwired electric lights, for example, will require electrical wiring installation and additional modifications to installation areas in your yard.
  • Choose landscape lighting that matches or blends well with its surroundings and the architectural style of your home, The effects of landscape lighting should be almost subliminal – no one wants a lantern or path light that distracts from the beauty of its environment.
  • Be consistent. If you blend a variety of fixture styles between your path lights, spotlights lampposts and mounted fixtures, the overall landscape lighting design may look disjointed. Remember, you want the lights themselves to disappear into their surroundings. They should be attractive to look at up close, but should appear coherent from the street view.
  • Placement matters, so consider drawing a picture of the front (and/or back) of your home and think carefully about where lighting is needed, keeping in mind purposes such as providing light for walkways, creating ambient light for outdoor lounging spaces, or lighting feature areas with spotlights.
  • To switch or not to switch? Landscape lighting that is wired to your home can be linked to one ore more standard wall switches, so that you can flick on the outside lights easily. Some lights with battery or solar power require different switching mechanisms. Be sure to consider how the landscape lights work together and how they can be connected for ease of use … otherwise you might be walking around your yard every night turning on lights individually!
  • Consult a designer to ensure that your landscape lighting choices are cohesive and work well with your existing landscape design plan. Although this is an additional cost, a designer can provide valuable insight into the long-term usage of landscape lighting, how it may effect the curb appeal of your home and how it can add value to your home when designed and installed properly.

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