Their primary purpose is to determine the kind and arrangement of the lighting fixtures in your outdoor area. Proper fixture size and mounting height help avoid upward glare and light pollution.
Use moonlighting techniques to create attractive shadow patterns that mimic natural moonlight on the ground. Low-color temperature bulbs offer a warm, welcoming glow, while cooler bulbs provide a crisper lighting hue for task or security purposes.
Outdoor lighting offers many benefits, including safety, security, and aesthetic enhancement. However, getting the most out of your lighting fixtures requires careful planning and design.
Make sure that light is evenly distributed across the property. This reduces dark areas, helps drivers see clearly, and avoids distracting, dangerous glares.
Use LED lamps, which use less energy than halogen or conventional incandescent lighting. Also, consider using timers to set lights on and off at pre-set times so they aren’t constantly running. This cuts energy costs and allows you to control the lights from your smartphone. Remember that homeowners association bylaws and municipal laws may restrict the amount or duration of time that external lights can be left on. This can prevent light pollution or trespass onto neighboring properties.
Adjust your landscape lighting system when Daylight Saving Time changes during the fall. Most outdoor lights have a timer inside the transformers, which must likely be adjusted to reflect the shorter daylight hours.
Digital timers can be randomized by pressing and holding down the “WEEK” and “HOUR” buttons on the face of the timer. This randomly changes the programmed on/off times by 2-32 minutes. This is especially helpful for security when you are on vacation and helps keep your house looking like someone is home.
A well-lit house can ward off would-be burglars and make family and visitors feel at home. Start by illuminating entry points, pathways, and staircases to prevent accidents and encourage using your outdoor spaces at night.
Make the most of your lighting fixtures by incorporating reflective surfaces to maximize illumination and accentuate visual appeal. Metallic finishes, such as stainless steel and brushed aluminum, bounce light to create an attractive luminous effect.
Accent lighting can highlight critical architectural features and landscaping elements, such as an ornamental garden sculpture or terraced gardens, to enhance the beauty of your outdoor space at night. Consider experimenting with different lighting angles and intensities to achieve the desired ambiance. Also, varying the color temperature of your lights can influence the atmosphere.
A well-lit property is a deterrent to trespassers. Lights triggered by motion sensors or timers can keep your property safe when you’re away from home or after business hours.
Choose lights with higher lumen outputs for areas that must be illuminated well. For example, highlight a water feature or a tree swing with two lights to create crossing beams that reduce harsh shadows.
Choose fixtures that comply with dark sky regulations in your area to minimize upward light spillage and protect the nighttime sky. You may also use shields or glare-reducing accessories to control unwanted light trespass on neighboring properties or public spaces. Look for products that withstand outdoor conditions and have a long lifespan. These features will reduce maintenance and energy costs in the long run.
Depending on your home’s design and needs, accent lighting can illuminate anything from framed family photos to a custom bookshelf. This type of lighting can effectively illuminate kitchen counters for late-night cooking and highlight antiques or dishes within hutches. It’s also great for illuminating a gallery wall, outdoor staircase, or walkway.
For security purposes, accent lights can illuminate entry points like doors and garages to deter intruders. They can also highlight art or a focal point to make it easier to admire from a distance.
Using lighting fixtures with different color temperatures can enhance ambiance and create dramatic effects. Lower-color temperature bulbs emit a warm, yellowish glow, while higher-color temperatures produce a cool, bluish light.
Consider changing to energy-efficient bulbs such as LEDs, which are 3-4 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and have a natural-appearing glow. Also, consider using energy-efficient metal halide bulbs for accent lighting.