The exterior of your home has become as important as the interior, with the popularity of outdoor rooms, and inviting backyard landscapes. The layering of stone, bricks, plantings, and outdoor sculpture creates the opportunity to design a more personal space. Lighting these details well is essential to the space, just as it would be on the inside of your home.
Illuminating landscapes should be thought about in layers as well: security, ambiance, and accent. One of the biggest mistakes is to over light an area. A lovely backyard landscape benefits when light is softly washed, highlighting the plan while eliminating glare. The idea is to use several sources of landscaping lights that work together, rather than one bright spotlight.
Landscape designers will insist that the background be lit the brightest in order to show off the proportions of the design. The foreground will not be as bright, allowing the eye to take in the entire area. Areas of the landscape in which activities are performed may be highlighted more.
Elements that require lighting:
o Pathways and Step Lighting
You don't want your path to look like an airport runway. Staggered path lights are the way to go. Also, be careful to not create shadows that affect a person's depth perception. For step lighting there are recessed step lights available that cast the light out from the riser to the step in front of them.
o Surfaces surrounding pools and hot tubs
This should be lit enough to prevent falls and slips around the perimeter. Spots hung in trees, or off the surrounding structures work well.
o Seating areas used for socializing, eating or drinking
These areas do not need to be over lit, but provide ambient lighting in a relaxing form. Surrounding planters can contain some well placed spots that cast light upward. Lanterns, sconces, and spots attached to the outside wall of the home can be put on separate switches to allow flexibility in when areas are lit. Depending on the type of area and its enclosure, outdoor chandeliers and lamps add a bit of whimsy and unexpected design. These can be moved easily for inclement weather.
o Distinct landscaping elements
A fountain or sculpture should be highlighted with a soft wash of up light. These landscaping lights can be placed in the ground, but should be thoughtfully considered so that they do not hinder trimming or are difficult to replace. Water features can have underwater lighting for additional accents.
It is important to consider the lighting as an accent to the landscaping rather than the focal point. Lighting elements should be easy to maintain and move as necessary when plantings grow. This is more easily accomplished with low voltage landscape lighting. They should also blend into the area unless there is a decorative fixture that plays a more important role with enhancing the plan.
Security lights can be placed on motion sensors to light up darker corners and perimeters. These are placed on the house, typically near doorways and garages, but should also be considered if there are numerous trees or plantings that can obscure potential dangers. There are numerous options for landscape lights that can be found from a lighting specialist. The right combination will enhance the backyard landscape without being overwhelming, and create stunning eye pleasing effects.
Whether you're seeking the ultimate chandelier, new fixtures for a kitchen remodel, stunning nighttime landscape effects or a complete lighting package to showcase your new home, you will find great tips in our Lighten Up Blog and Videos. Eric Lebersfeld is an expert at assisting Homeowners, Builders, and Interior designers in selecting the perfect lighting for their homes and projects. We have over 3000 lights on display in our showrooms and over 500,000 on our website http://1800lighting.com. Capitol Lighting provides the most rewarding shopping experience possible allowing our customers to shop on-line or in-store. We have the same guaranteed low internet pricing everyday. We are proud of our 85 year reputation as trustworthy and ethical business partners with both customers and suppliers.