Your outdoor lighting is as much a part of your landscaping as your hedges and flowerbeds. As with most other landscape design aspects, the very best lighting scheme are both attractive and functional. Taking care in setting up your lighting can add a lot to your landscape design.
The most obvious benefit of lighting is increase security around the home. Homes that are well lit from the exterior are unattractive marks for thieves who depend on sticking to the shadows to ply their trade. Lighting can also be used to enhance the beauty of your landscaping and to increase the overall value of your landscaping investment.
Designing a lighting scheme for your landscape is similar in many respects to designing the landscape itself and should, in fact, flow naturally with the landscape. There are key components to consider, regarding the existing landscape, when deciding on an effective and attractive lighting scheme. The best way to design an outdoor lighting scheme is to use a map of the areas you intend to light for visual reference. This will allow you to easily identify focal points, high traffic areas such as walkways and stone paths and individual regions of you landscape that merit their own style and mood.
You should start by sectioning off your landscape into distinct regions. A lighting scheme that works well in one area may not work well for all. For instance, you may wish to light the front of the home, especially drives and entryways very brightly and with motions sensitive flood lights. This works well for similar areas, but harsh floodlights would quickly ruin the mood of a quiet garden. For this purpose, it is important to determine not just what individual areas exist on the property, but the mood that you would like to create in each.
Much of your lighting should draw attention to focal points. Obviously, if you have a flag pole and intend to keep your flag out you will want it brightly lit from below. Similarly, dimmer lighting beneath ornamental hedges can accent the exterior design of the home while increasing the security and functional aspect of exterior hedges. Similarly, up-lighting large trees near entrances to homes can increase the visual appeal of the landscape while offering added security.
Using brighter lights for security purposes is not always necessary. It is easy to go overboard with floodlights. Oftentimes dimmer lights along pathways and entryways are sufficient to provide security and to allow for easy navigation. Using muted lighting can create a more welcoming tone while still being highly functional.
Though many may feel up to the task of installing their own lighting, it is always wise to consult with a professional for landscaping projects that require a degree of technical knowledge and skill. You will want to use an adequate transformer to convert the homes 120 volt circuits down to a usable 12 volts. Running electrical cable for great distances, as is the case with landscape lighting, presents the difficulty of voltage drop. As such, consulting a reputable professional is generally the best bet for those without a lot of experience with electrical installations.
We at Ground Source Are experts in outdoor lighting and overall landscape design. You can read about it HERE. Contact us anytime regarding any of your back yard needs at 407-378-5366