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Creating a Beautiful Outdoor Lighting Design

Creating a Beautiful Outdoor Lighting Design

Oct 20 2015

During the day, your landscape features are beautifully illuminated by natural light, but at night they are hidden by darkness. Don't limit your enjoyment of the scenery to daylight hours. Instead, implement an outdoor lighting design around your house. You'll be amazed how stunning illumination can completely transform your yard into an alluring nighttime setting.

Consider lighting placement
Your yards - both front and back - offer a variety of opportunities for lighting placement. So, you should first consider what landscape features you'd like to illuminate at night. Safety lighting is always a good place to start when planning your design. For instance, you'll definitely want to have lamps installed near any pathways, driveways, entrances and stairs. Having small luminaries placed along these areas will allow you to have a clear view of where you're going and help reduce accidents. However, make sure they're spaced correctly. You want these lights to be a guide, leading you along a path, not a flood of light across the pavement.

If you're also looking for backyard patio ideas that will enhance your space, have lights weaved into your pergola. This is particularly beneficial if you have an outdoor dining set because you'll be able to enjoy the space late into the evening and not worry about straining your eyes.

You can also use lights to intensify the look of your hardscape design. If you have retaining walls with a slight overhang on the top stone, place a cord of light along the underside of this lip. The soft glow falling from beneath the structure will create a wonderful effect that allows you to show off your hardscape design both day and night.

Ponder lighting angles
When you first think about outdoor illumination, you might imagine sticking a few path lights in the ground and installing a front door light. This is all well and good, but there's a lot more to it than that. Your outdoor lighting design is not just about placement, it's about angles - you can have uplighting or downlighting, and narrow or wide beams. For instance, if you wanted to enhance the features of your home, you could either place lights close to the house so shadows spread across the upper portion of the structure or move them back a bit to illuminate a larger space. 

Moonlighting is another option for illuminating your landscape. If you want a particularly mysterious and tranquil glow, use this option. Moonlighting is when lights are placed high up in trees to cast a soft light on the surrounding leaves and lawn. The illumination is also more on the blue side of the lighting spectrum, which helps create that moonlight look and feel.

Contemplate light color
Adjusting the color of your light bulbs can really change the whole look and feel of your lighting design. This is apparent through the slightly bluer shade of light used in moonlighting. Now, you don't want to get too creative with the colors. If anything, you'll adjust the color temperature in your fixtures. These lighting elements are meant to enhance the landscape, not overshadow it with funky colors. So, make sure you stick to options that either give off that warm, yellow glow or a soft, bluer hue. Consult your lighting design specialist on this matter to gain a better understanding of where warmer and cooler bulbs look best.

Maintain fixtures
After you've had your lighting installed, make sure you maintain the fixtures. Periodically walk around your yard to check that the bulbs are still bright and that foliage hasn't grown around your lanterns. It's also important to keep everything clean. A few times a year, you should clean out lighting covers and wipe off the exterior of your fixtures. Doing this will also help you notice any damage right away. 

Keeping these tips in mind when looking into an outdoor lighting design will help you receive the nighttime illumination of your dreams.

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