When designing your yard and garden to offer the best curb appeal, the first thing most homeowners consider is adding bushes and plants to boost the appearance of the home. But as amazing as your landscaping may be, it is proper landscape lighting design that can really transform your lovely yard into a dramatic showplace at night.
Just as strategically placed lighting can add that magic ambiance to your interior decor, so can the right lighting bring mood and depth to the outdoors, highlighting all that fantastic greenery as well as the architecture of your home. Here are a few ideas for your landscape lighting design, that will turn your home into the most noticed house on the block.
First, don’t make the typical mistake of buying a few solar lights and sticking them in the ground. These offer little in the way of lighting, create absolutely no mood, and the only thing they highlight is the walkway, so that your guests hopefully don’t stumble in the dark. Instead, you want lighting at different levels in different styles, which will add dimension and magic to your night time landscape. Up-lighting, down-lighting, and cross-lighting can be used together to create a magical effect.
You need to determine how your yard will be used. Do you just want the home to look magnificent from the street or will you also be entertaining in your backyard at night? Is security an issue? Deciding on how your yard will be used can help you focus in on overall lighting, accent lighting, or task lighting.
Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that you have task lighting for doorways, pathways, driveways, patios, and steps. Next, you’ll want to consider what are the most attractive features of your home and yard. Do you have a sculptural fountain, an ornate balcony, or a beautiful tree? Be sure to include accent lighting to highlight those elements. Some homeowners may want overall lighting to illuminate the entire landscape, but this may take away from the drama that the accent lighting can provide. A blend of lighting usually offers the best results.
The type of lighting you use is another important choice. You definitely would benefit from LED lighting, which is extremely long lasting, saves energy, doesn’t get hot, is more durable, and will require less maintenance. Halogen lights are fading from use because they don’t last long and no one wants to have to dig around in the yard in January snow to replace a halogen bulb.
Landscape Lighting Design
Take into account how shadows from one light will affect the results you’ll get from other lights. You’ll always want to position your lights at night, when you can see how shadows and brightness levels will affect things.
You may also want to think about how the areas will be used and make sure that the lights don’t aim where they will shine right into someone’s eyes or into your home’s windows or those of a neighbor. Avoid over-lighting, which can create a glare and wash out the night sky. Glare guards and lighting shields can help minimize the risk of over-lighting.
By incorporating these techniques into your landscape lighting design, you’ll have a home with stunning curb appeal that will set your landscaping apart from every other home on the street.