Outdoor lighting can highlight the architectural beauty of your home and illuminate beautiful landscaping features. Well-placed landscape lighting can also increase your home’s security and improve the safety of stairs and footpaths. For all of these reasons and more, we encourage you to carefully consider your options before installing lights in your yard. For help, check out our outdoor lighting placement tips below.
Outdoor Lighting Placement Tips
Landscape lighting represents an investment in your yard and your home’s exterior. To make the most of your investment and ensure that you highlight the landscaping features you love most, spend some time deciding where you ought to place landscape lighting. Begin by evaluating your yard and your needs. In most cases, you can create an outdoor lighting plan in six simple steps:
- Determine why you want outdoor lighting. Are you trying to set a romantic mood? Do you want to keep your garden well lit so that burglars stay away? Are you trying to improve the safety of your stairs?
- Set a budget for your lighting project. Then, choose a landscaping professional or contractor who can complete the project for you at a reasonable price within your budget.
- Draw a sketch of your yard or hire a professional to do so for you. Identify all buildings and major trees, bushes, and landscaping features. Be sure to add all current lights. You should also identify current outdoor power sources.
- Decide the general areas where the lighting should be placed. Then, determine what type of lighting you would like in each area. For example, you might want path lighting along a walkway or accent lighting to highlight trees.
- Determine whether you’ll need to make electrical upgrades. To accommodate new lighting, you may need to upgrade your current electrical situation. If you need to run new wiring to your outside lighting features, contact a qualified electrician.
- Work with your lighting installer to ensure that all lights are placed exactly where you want them. Remember to keep an open mind too. Your installer works with landscape lighting on a regular basis and will have valuable input about the best lighting techniques for your home.
Common Outdoor Lighting Techniques
To create a general lighting plan for your landscape, you will need to understand the various lighting techniques available. These techniques can highlight your home’s exterior, your landscaping, and other features of your yard. Familiarize yourself with the following terms so that you’re prepared to discuss your lighting needs with your contractor or installer.
- Highlighting: This lighting technique uses one or more lights placed at the base of an object (such as a tree) and aimed upwards to highlight that feature.
- Shadowing: True to its name, shadowing is used to create a shadow of a feature (such as a bush or tree) on an exterior wall. This can create beautiful effects when a tree’s branches sway in the wind.
- Silhouetting: With this technique, a light is placed behind a feature like a topiary, so that a strong outline of that feature appears on the wall behind it.
- Up Lighting: Up lighting is used to highlight exterior architectural features. This technique utilizes bold, bullet-style lights to draw the eye to a certain area of your home.
- Wall Washing: Wall washing involves the use of one or more lights placed at the base of your home to create a soft, even glow across its exterior. This technique is similar to up lighting but not as bold.
- Moonlighting: With this technique, light fixtures are placed high in trees so that the light washes down through the branches to mimic the light of the moon.
- Accenting: This technique uses carefully angled lights to highlight a certain statue, tree, or landscaping feature.
- Down Lighting: In down lighting, light fixtures are placed high on walls or landscaping features and aimed downward to cast a bold glow.
- Path Lighting: This refers to any type of lighting used to highlight or illuminate a walking path or pond.
How to Get Started
Although these outdoor lighting placement tips should help you get started, don’t be afraid to embrace your creativity and try something new. If you live in southwest Missouri and you’re looking to install some new landscape lighting, give Nixa Lawn Service a call. We use fine lighting fixtures from FX Luminaire, and we’re dedicated to creating artful installations that will highlight your home and your landscape’s best features. Plus, we would be happy to give you more outdoor lighting placement tips. Give us a call today at 417-724-0318 or to request a free quote online.