Like other project ideas, landscape lighting follows certain rules that can alter the effects on your house. To get the best effect out of your lighting, it helps to know what you should do and what you should avoid. Use this list of dos and don’ts to guide you on how to get the most out of your landscape lighting.
Modern LED lights use up 60 – 70% less energy than incandescent lights. They also last much longer, making them an even more energy-efficient choice for lighting your exterior. LEDs also come in a variety of colours, allowing you to choose lights that complement your yard. There’s also no need to worry about any glare; there are LED lights that offer soft, warm light similar to halogen lights.
Diversify your fixtures
Use different lights across the entire landscape. Using the same lights with the same colours and intensities will only make your landscaping look dull and flat. To avoid ruining your desired aesthetic, use a variety of colours and intensities (e.g. soft, warm colours) to create a sense of depth and ambiance.
Have enough lights
Always buy sufficient fixtures to avoid ruining the effect on your landscape. Some homeowners buy fewer lights as a cost-saving measure, and increase the brightness of the lights they have. Avoid doing this yourself. A lack of sufficient fixtures creates a more extreme contrast between light and dark, which distracts from the intended effect.
Focus on lighting the house
Before considering the effect on the landscape, think about how to light your house first. The house is the centrepiece of your property, hence it should receive more attention from your lights. Better lighting for the house also improves security. Position your lighting properly to highlight the walls and other architectural features to draw the eyes.
Be concerned with shadow
The shadows cast by your lights are also important factors to keep in mind. The contrast between light and darkness helps establish your atmosphere. For example, position lights at the base of your walls to shine upward to highlight the texture of the stone.
Focus on walkways
Avoid lighting only walkways, patios, and trees. This isolates those areas, and makes it difficult to see past the immediate area. Position lights at the edge of your property instead to ground your walkways in the rest of the design. This also gives a sense of depth and avoids the disconcerting effect of darkness beyond your walkway.
Ignore out-of-sight places
Always remember the small, out-of-the-way places on your property. This includes the second floor, dark corners of the yard, and overhangs. Cast light on these areas to draw attention to them and let them contribute to your overall aesthetic. Bathing the grounds in more light also gives intruders fewer places to hide, improving your security.
Place lights in a straight line
A common mistake is placing all your lights in a straight line. This creates a bland effect, similar to a runway. Be creative with your lights instead. For example, stagger your lights, or make them shine down on the path to make it more inviting as you walk.
Choose fixtures for aesthetics only
Aesthetics are important, but focus on function over form when it comes to your lights. Think about the lights’ wattage and type of bulb for a better idea of how they’ll contribute to the effect on your yard.
Avoid putting too many lights in any area. Your idea may be to provide better lighting for that space, the effect may be to over-illuminate the area. This also draws attention to the lights, taking attention away from the space itself.
For best results, hire a professional. Professional landscape lighting services can give you quality installation for your lights. They can also suggest lighting designs that can put your property in the most flattering light. Whatever you have planned, consult a professional for advice on how to make your landscape lighting projects as effective as possible. For professional landscape lighting in Toronto, check out the list of reliable professionals in Homestars.