is so easy to install, versatile, and gives you and your home so many benefits, you'll wonder why you didn't do it any sooner. Outdoor landscape lights can up your property value, give you home increased functionality, and even add an artistic component to your home or garden. You have numerous different options for both types of light and designs you can use. So what are you waiting for, find out about different types of lights and designs you can use online and put together a plan of how to light up your home.
Reasons to Use Outdoor Landscape Lighting
There are many reasons to light up the outside of your property. The first and simplest reason for lighting is safety and security. By lighting up your house or installing motion detectors that trigger lights, you make your home much less of a threat for a break in for burglars. If you install these lights in your garden, you also might even scare away the stray deer or rodent that feeds on your plants while you are fast asleep. Outdoor lights can also provide safety. Make sure to light up any hazards that are outside your home â be it stairs, stray stumps, drop off, or whatever else is out there â so that you don't trip over them in the middle of the night.
The second reason to light up your home is add an artistic element to your property. With nighttime lighting, you can bring out a whole new perspective of your landscape that was previously unseen during the day. You can highlight areas you want, and play with light, dark, and shadows to create the right effect. The lights don't just have to be in your garden, they can accentuate you home as well. For example, you can light up your home's entrance to draw attention to it and the features you want your neighbors to see. This will undoubtedly raise your property value as well.
The final reason for lighting up your landscape is out of practicality. By lighting certain areas, you can relax well into warm, summer nights on your porch, patio, or just out in your garden. Make sure to light up pathways, walkways, and stairs as well so that guests can see where they are going.
Designing Outdoor Landscaping Lighting
The combinations that you can make to bring out your landscape at night are almost endless. The only limitation is your imagination. I've listed several popular types of lights, there are many more out there, but even just using these types of lights, you can create innumerable combinations of different lighting schemes.
The most common types of lighting are uplighting and downlighting. These two types of lights do exactly as their names imply. Uplights are situated on the ground and are shown up to illuminate an object, while downlights are put in trees or other high objects and shown down to illumate the areas below them. Uplighting is mostly used to draw someone's attention to walls, fountains, trees, and other tall objects. With this type of lighting, make sure that you point the light source away from the person who will be looking at the object you want to light. This will help to keep the light from the glare down. To do downlighting effectively, you should put lights on your home or trees and shine them down. Generally, this type of lighting is used to light up walking paths for you or guests.
Mirror lighting is another very interesting lighting technique that you can use. Mirror lighting gets its name because it uses a still body of water as a mirror to reflect objects. This works particularly well if you have a pool, but ponds work as well if they're in the right location and are clear. What you do is you light walls, trees, or other interesting designs on the side of the pool. Then, when you go to the other side, you can see a reflection of those patterns in the water of the pool, at least until someone does a cannonball.
The final type of lighting I am going to talk about is moonlighting. No, it's not getting a night job, it's lighting is a form of garden light that evokes the feeling of walking around under a clear sky with a full moon. To do this, you need to get a special type of light bulb that emits the rays that generally come with the moon and also possibly proper fixtures. The light fixtures are hidden up in the trees or on the top of buildings and shown down to give the effect of the moon.
Solar vs. Low Voltage Outdoor Landscape Lighting
There are two basic ways to light up your property at night. You can use solar or low voltage lighting systems. Both have their pros and cons. Solar patio lights are easier and cheaper to install and have absolutely zero operating costs. This is because each light has a solar cell attached to it that charges a battery in the light during the day and turns the light on at night. This makes installation a snap, you just find a place in your yard with ample sunlight and stick the light in the ground and forget about it. There are downsides however. If you have places that need lit that don't receive direct sunlight, solar lights won't work very well and will not be very bright at night. Also, while there have been big advances in LED technology, solar yard lights still usually don't have the power to light up very large portions of your landscape. What solar lights work best for is lighting up paths or driveways, not large scale or accent lighting.
The second type of lighting system available to you is low voltage lighting. Low voltage lights are the most versatile lights around and can be used for any type of lighting, but they also take time, effort, and a bit of knowledge to install because you have to run wires. Luckily, with this type of system you will install a transformer to decrease the voltage in the wires you are running down to a safe level. This means you do not have to bury the wires deep underground and also that you can usually install the system yourself, unlike with more high powered lines. Using a low voltage system costs more , but it does open up a lot of different lights and lighting styles to use.
There are numerous different way to do outdoor landscape lighting. You can achieve anything, from functional lighting of your pathways so that you can stay outside with guest to late at night to accent lighting in your garden to beautify your landscape. The only limit is what you imagine, so make sure to draw up some plans and visit some websites and your local home improvement store for some advice.