Introduction to Landscape Lighting

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This article will give you ideas for your landscape lighting.
by Brett · All Zones · Landscaping Projects · 0 Comments · August 17, 2010 · 8,573 views

With outdoor landscape lighting you can enjoy your home at night as well as by day. A beautifully landscaped yard deserves to be in the spotlight at night as well. Illuminating specimen trees, walkways, or water features at night creates dramatic patterns of light and shadow after dark. Night lighting also adds an element of safety and security. There are different types of lights, each having their own benefits. Downlighting can cast pools of light on steps and paths, or when mounted on a tree can create an ethereal moonlit effect. Uplights cause foliage to glow and can produce intricate light and shadow effects when combined with downlighting. Diffused light filters through translucent materials and offers glare-free illumination over a patio or other large area. Accent lighting can focus attention on a plant, sculpture, or water feature. Well-planned nightlighting will add even more value to your landscape and enable you to enjoy your favorite features at night.

Garden Lighting Tips & Tricks

  • Always conceal the light source when garden lighting, either with a glare guard on the luminaire or by tucking it behind a shrub, large branch, wall, or rock. Ideally, you will be unable to see where the exterior light originates. Avoid installing garden lights in the undergrowth of low shrubs or tall grasses, when exterior lighting. The beam of light needs unimpeded passage from the fixture to the focal point so there are no distracting spots of reflected light (unless you want a shadowy effect, in which case the opposite applies).
  • Don't over light. Less is more!!! Extremely bright garden lighting often has a garish, theatrical look. We therefore recommend only using bulkhead luminaries for security and commercial applications.
  • Experiment with backlighting. Lighting trees in the background of a forested area creates silhouettes in the foreground. An up lighted hedge behind a shrub or tree will do the same.
  • Don't illuminate every surface when garden lighting. Shadows work to define lighted areas. Create a different look with outdoor garden lighting at night than it has during the day. The night view will often be more dramatic than the day view. We use the term "picking out" as will only see what you light at night not the entire surrounding area!
  • Take advantage of the many beam angles, frosted lenses and mounts available so that your garden lighting suits your situation. Use the highest quality equipment, and materials, your budget will allow; it will last longer and offer more options.
  • When deck lighting, pay particular attention to where people will sit and try to avoid glare. As with deck lights and other garden lights the light source needs to be positioned so that you are not looking directly at the luminary.
  • Driveway lighting should offer safe access for pedestrians at the same time as lighting the driveway for vehicles. Either lampposts or small post lights provide an excellent solution and alternative to bulk head luminaries, where driveway lights are required.


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