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The art of outdoor lighting

The art of outdoor lighting

Aug 11 2016

Consider why you bought your home. Did you close on the house because of its functionality? Maybe it had enough bedrooms for all the kids and a big yard for Fido. Did you buy the space for its beauty? Perhaps you were enamored by the structure's regal elegance and smooth driveway pavers. Chances are, you invested in the property because it offered the best of both worlds: function and aesthetics.

That same balancing act applies to other features of your home, including outdoor lighting design. At first thought, incorporating light through the yard just seems like a way to brighten up the space, allowing late-night parties to last longer. However, with careful thought, an understanding of basic design principles and the help of System Pavers, you can turn your backyard into a work of art using these fixtures. Here's how to focus on the aesthetics of outdoor lighting to totally transform your space:

Bring in a backdrop
With the help of outdoor lighting, you can make the view outside your window look like a painting that has come to life. Like any intricate work of art, your yard must have a backdrop, which you can construct by incorporating lights along the far edge of your backyard. This creates your own personal horizon that stands out against the surrounding darkness.

This backdrop strategy can be further amplified with the help of a pool, according to Houzz. Lights within the water source create a soft glow on the surrounding area, while fixtures outside the pool can shine brighter on features you want to accent, like a few trees or sculpted shrubbery.

Be dramatic
A bright spark in the dark night certainly catches the eye, but don't let the theatrics end there. Homeowners can give their yard more drama and depth with the right outdoor lighting choices. For example, HouseLogic advised using upward-facing lights. Fixtures typically shine downward, and switching the direction adds an unexpected element to the mix while still providing functional visibility.

Meanwhile, property owners can create drama by highlighting unusual spaces. Houzz gave the example of installing lights beneath a hardscape bench. This move creates a soft glow in the yard while also delivering a surprising aesthetic touch.

Elicit emotion
A quality work of art tugs at your emotions, urging you to feel in the moment. Embody that same aesthetic in your backyard space by incorporating outdoor lighting. In the darkness, everything is flat - you can't perceive a tree's rounded trunk or a paved pathway's smooth curve.

With a bit of brightness, on the other hand, depth and dimension suddenly enter the picture. You can actually see the subtle details that put life into perspective and naturally evoke an emotional response.

Put your home on display
Part of the reason you moved into your home was for its beauty, and that facet of your life shouldn't become hidden once the sun sets. Property owners can use outdoor lighting to accentuate all the features that make a home uniquely theirs.

For example, incorporating lights on the front of the home so no detail is masked by night's darkness makes the vastness of the space immensely larger. This creates a picture that more accurately reflects the house's grandiose facade.

Outdoor lighting can also place the focus on areas in your backyard you'd like to accent, such as a flowing fountain or an elegant pergola. With no ceiling, you can't always shine a light directly down on the structure, but there are other, perhaps more beautiful, ways to highlight it. For instance, make a garden statue the center of symmetry by balancing it with a light positioned on either side.

Remember, you should highlight more than just the structure's shape. Defining the details through light can do these works of art true justice. Shining light between hardscape fixtures, perhaps a beam that glows between a fountain and the stairwell it sits under, showcases the tiniest patterns and intricacies. Positioning light fixtures beneath the ledge of a retaining wall highlights the unique properties of each natural stone that creates the piece.

Your home is more than a shelter; it is your sanctuary. Let your house reflect the beauty of your life by incorporating outdoor lighting design.

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