We've talked about landscape lighting's many benefits, including curb appeal, safety for people going in and out of your home, and overall security. Not to mention that landscape lighting allows you to add your own personal aesthetic to your front and backyards.
But what do you need to know if you haven't selected or installed any landscape lighting before? Below you'll find some tips and other landscape lighting ideas that will get your home's exterior and yard in tip-top shape in no time.
How to determine where to place outdoor fixtures:
- Use a flashlight at night to help determine which areas need illumination. Walk around your property and note "danger zones," such as darkened pathways, ramps, stairs, and so forth (leaving these areas in the dark could be dangerous—think of people tripping or falling).
- Note architectural details and other special features (such as water fountains) that get lost in shadows. Also, note areas where people like to congregate after the sun goes down, like a backyard porch.
- Test any existing outdoor lamps (such as the one by the front door) to make sure everything is working properly.
- Take a step back when considering existing outdoor fixtures. Do you need to replace any bulbs? Do the fixtures match the look and feel of your home's overall aesthetic? Do they light everything properly? Too often, we see homes where people have installed an outside light based solely on how it looks, rather than how well it works at lighting up that particular area.
Types of landscape lighting to consider:
We're seeing more and more LED fixtures for landscaping applications. This is good news, since LEDs offer long lifetimes, durable modules (no filaments to break), and high light output with lower wattage.
1. Steplights. Steplights are great because they cast light down so that you can see where to put your feet on stairs or walkways—a must in the darkness. You can choose surface mounted or even recessed (if there's space). Install a timer so that they come on in the evening and automatically go off once the sun comes up.
Check out the Hinkley Round Eyebrow Deck Sconce. This LED is dimmable, certified for wet locations, and available in two versatile finishes: Matte White and Bronze (pictured below).
2. Path Lights. We love path lights because they're equal parts pretty and functional. Cast light onto high-trafficked walkways, driveways, and steps while making a statement as well, depending on the type of light you select. Be as decorative as you want—path lights come in many styles, so you're bound to find the perfect one for the look you're trying to achieve.
Check out the Hinkley Atlantis, a contemporary path light with a truly unique design.
Are you looking for something that's a bit more traditional? You can't go wrong with the Hinkley Olde Copper Essence path light (bonus: this one is rated for coastal environments).
3. Adjustable Uplights. These fixtures are installed low to the ground and point up—their position can be fine-tuned and "focused" once installed. As you can imagine, uplights are perfect for lighting up trees and fountains and for grazing up walls.
The Hinkley LED Spot Beam is a great uplight option. It uses a 50w MR-16 bulb AND can be retrofitted with a Hinkley LED module in different beam spreads and color temperatures, which allow you to achieve different lighting effects.
For more great landscape lighting ideas, check out these articles:
- Landscape Lighting Ideas: A Wolfers Q&A
- The Magic of Outdoor and Landscape Lighting
- Elegant Outdoor Lighting: Think Sconces
- Adding Value to Your Home with Beautiful Exterior Lighting
- Outdoor Lighting Fixtures: Modern Forms
And, of course, you can always make an appointment with one of our helpful lighting experts, and see our refreshed outdoor and landscape lighting lab (that includes these fixtures!) Stop by Wolfers Lighting today and let's chat!