The aim of landscape lighting is to see the effect of the light only, not necessarily the source of the light. Path lightings are the only exceptions to the case, for they are designed to be a decorative display. The question, when it comes to landscape lighting, is- which parts do you light and what do you leave in the dark? To find the answer, identify the features of your yard that you would like to highlight, be it a pond or a stately tree. It’s a good idea to focus your lights on them.
Figure out which areas might not stand out during the day, and dramatize them with landscape lights. This can be a simple stone wall or a cobbled porch. A little light and shadow play will go a long way for these. Also consider the function of the lights. A meandering pathway or a deck with stairs require more light to ensure safety. The entryway must be inviting and well-lit. Not only will it help guide visitors safety in and out of the house, but it will also create a warm and welcoming curb.
Now that you know the basics of deciding on a landscape lighting, let’s look at the 4 most common kinds in vogue nowadays:
Spotlights or Floodlights
The sole difference between a floodlight and a spotlight comes down to their respective beam spread. The former usually has a wider beam spread up to 120 degrees, so if you are looking to cast light on general areas such as driveways where you need overall visibility and safety, go for these.
As for spotlights, they project a concentrated and narrow beam of light usually up to around 45 degrees. They are much easier to aim and adjust so, if you want to highlight specific display points, be it architectural nuances or landscape details, these will be your best bet.
Inground lights are typically circle-shaped fixtures that are installed directly into the ground, and are often used for illuminating walkways and driveways. They heighten both the sophistication as well as visibility of the show-off worthy features in your yard. If you want to create drama and a soothing ambience illuminating a tree or an artistic structure with uplight effects, these are your best options.
Inground lighting also silhouette the characters that stand might be decorating the yard, especially parts which are usually invisible on a typical night. They are typically best mixed with spotlights, if you can blend them. However, uplighting alone can also be a strong lighting solution.
Outdoor Post Lights
Post lights help accent your pathway to your house and set an ambient mood without the overpowering luminosity of floodlights. Tall posts could be great for illuminating driveways as well as long stretches of space that often get lost in the lack of light. Their shorter counterparts work well for paths or small alcoves.
Path lights are simple outdoor fixtures that we recommend for all yards. They are quite similar to post lights in the sense that they create light markers running down a line. Path lights are typically shorter and smaller as compared to post lights, and they easily improve curb appeal, making walks along pathways a lot safer.
Now that you have the basics to go forward and lay out your landscape design, it is crucial to note that consulting with a landscape lighting professional while laying out your landscaping plan will ensure you are working with the right voltage for the transformer and other similar important details.
The main key is to take your time. Start small and build from there. No one likes an over-lit space; they can prove to be just as uncomfortable as a fully dark one. Ways to light up your landscape are many, but the fun lies in creating the most unique look that speaks of your own taste and lifestyle.