Landscape lighting obviously refers to the lighting system including the wires and lamps, among other fixtures, installed for form and function in the back and front yards. The lighting fixtures are installed to add beauty to the landscaping, especially at night when the garden arrangements can be highlighted by strategic lights, as well as to enhance visibility for the driveways, yards, and patios.
Indeed, if you have yet to install lighting systems in your landscaped yards, then it’s the right time to do so! But before plunging into the project, here are a few things that you must first know about it so as to enjoy better results.
Plan Your Lighting Project
While you can just place lighting fixtures here and there and be done with it, you should ideally plan your lighting project. You have to keep in mind that the lighting system can affect other yard installations, such as the sprinkler system for the lawn grass or the drip irrigation system for the plants. Your best course of action then includes:
• Deciding the areas for lighting, such as along the driveway leading into the house, around the large trees and bushes, and in dark areas as well as on the outdoor areas of the house (e.g., patios and decks)
• Planning the lighting system in terms of its layout with the drains, water faucets and lines, and even electrical sockets, among other existing installations
• Selecting the right lighting fixtures according to your planned lighting styles and techniques
• Choosing the power supply, which can either be low voltage of line
If these steps seem complicated for your DIY skills, then your best shot is to hire a landscape professional with comprehensive experience in landscape lights. You can discuss your needs and wants in the projects with him and let him do his job afterwards.
Know a Few Things First
Even when you hire a landscape professional for the job, you may want to know few things about the job just so you can carry on sensible discussions.
• Low voltage is the more common installation
Most yard lighting today uses low voltage installation because of its greater safety from the risk of electric shock, lower costs from installation to maintenance, and higher energy efficiency especially when LED lights are used, among other benefits. While it may only receive 1/10 of the power, you will not be limited by its creative applications including subtle glow washes from a low wall and ethereal moonlight from a tree canopy.
• Artistry is a must
Yard lighting is not just about the light fixtures, lines, and transformers but also about the artistry with which these things are arranged. You have so many choices in lighting techniques including:
Spot or accent lighting to highlight focal points like small shrubs, statuaries, and flowers
Grazing to bring out the beauty of interesting surfaces, such as a tree bark’s patterns
Shadowing to project fascinating shadows on walls
Silhouetting to enhance the natural beauty of a stand of bushes or trees
Pool and fountain Lighting to create dramatic effects on the water
Downlighting to cast broader illumination
With proper planning, your yard will become a thing of beauty, perhaps even the best in the neighborhood!drip irrigation system, landscape lighting, sprinkler system