5 Ways to Use Landscape Lighting

There are a lot of great ideas out there on landscape lighting. The most important thing to accomplish is to achieve safety for both you and your guests. Secondly, to enhance the beauty of your home. Here are five ways to do both:

1. Deck and Patios

Decks and patios are designed to be places for entertainment but without the proper lighting they can be very hazardous, especially if you have any elevation changes at all like steps, planters or seating. Landscape lights can be added to a deck or patio very easily to illuminate these elevation changes and make it a pleasant place to be for outdoor living. There are several options available like the recessed lights that fit flush into the deck itself. They are also very durable and can even be stepped on with out shattering. Another option for deck lighting can be to have lamps on the deck. Deck lamps come in many different shapes and sizes and can be a beautiful addition to your deck. With proper planning they can be part of the design and add an architectural element to your deck or patio. Another option to consider is adding post cap lights to your deck. Your deck design would benefit from the added detail.

2. Water Features and Fountain Lighting

Landscape lighting can enhance water features such as fountains with incredible effects. A fountain can glow and a small pond can be transformed from below the water surface with LED lighting. You want to be sure and choose the correct lighting for your situation though; it will make all of difference in terms of how your water feature will be perceived. The most common choice for fountain lighting is the submersible light. These lights are placed underwater and illuminate upwards to create a shimmering effect. They also help to illuminate streams of water as they flow in to the basin of the fountain. Colored filters can be added for creativity. LED landscape lighting is a good choice for fountains because is much less expensive than traditional incandescent lighting and they come in many vivid colors as well. Solar lighting is by far the cheapest and easiest to install and is becoming a popular choice for many because of this. However, you may not get enough light for your particular setting with solar landscape lighting, although technology is getting better. Choosing the correct lighting techniques for your fountain will take a little planning on your part. You will want to experiment with a flashlight at night to see exactly the locations that will best serve you for your fountain lighting project.

3. Walkway Lighting

Walkway lighting is crucial because it adds safety as well as accentuates the materials used on your path as well as surrounding plantings. The most common application these days is solar lighting. You can add solar lighting to your walkways in as little as 2 hours and for less than $150. Lighting kits usually come a number of lights, wiring and your power source.

4. Tree Lighting

Tree lighting usually involves up lighting and/or down lighting. Up lighting can accomplished with lighting fixtures that is mounted at the tree’s base or around the drip line and aimed up towards the trunk and branches. This is a great technique when you have specimen trees with interesting branching patterns, for example the Live Oaks. Solar lighting may not be the best option here as it may not provide enough light to accomplish the effect. Down lighting is another option for tree lighting. Mounting lights in large trees on established branches and then aiming the lights downward to highlight bedding areas.

Another tree lighting option is to use the Moonlight Globes. This is a fairly new product but they have won awards for there shatter resistant design. The globes are available in four sizes: 10?, 14?, 22? and 30? diameter and are also available in half globes. The globes are also available in many different colors and designs that can really add some creativity and life to your landscape. They are battery operated or hard wired and can be hung from your established trees. They also come with speakers for ambiance.

5. Wall Lighting

Wall lighting can be done in several ways. One technique is “grazing”. Grazing is accomplished by installing a light approximately 6″ from the edge of your wall or facade and aiming it vertically up the wall. The textures of your house, fences or retaining walls will be highlighted and accentuated using this technique. Another way to light a wall is by using spot lighting. Spot lighting can be done by either up or down lighting. A creative way to use spot lighting is by up lighting a tree or any ornamental structure, for example a statue, by shadowing it. Shadowing is accomplished by positioning a light behind the object and aiming the light through it towards a wall. Silhouetting an object is another example of up lighting a wall using spot lights. You will want to locate your landscape light in between your ornamental piece and the wall, then position the light to shine on the wall at a 30 to 45 degree angle. The result is that the dark image your object is in front of it; only the shape of the object is shown, no leaf or flower color or texture shows up.

Here are five super easy techniques for lighting up your landscape. The key to having good results is a little planning before beginning your project and a little creativity.

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