Landscape lighting can enhance a landscape with dramatic lighting
techniques which contrast light and shadow, or be more subtle with wide
washes of outdoor illumination.
In addition to the aesthetics of landscaping lighting, well placed
lighting fixtures improve visibility for home security and safety.
Various styles and forms of landscape lighting include uplighting,
accent lighting, silhouette lighting, directional lighting, path
lighting, and security lighting.
Outdoor lighting options include both low voltage lighting and 120-volt
landscape lighting systems.
PLANNING LANDSCAPE LIGHTING
SKETCH - Draw a birds-eye view of your property to use for layout
purposes, including the house footprint, walks, driveways, and major
landscape features. Include utility lines, sprinkler lines and other
OVERVIEW - Make a list of the various areas in your yard that require
or would qualify for outdoor lighting.
DON'T OVERDUE IT - Too many lights look busy and don't allow for
the proper mix of contrasting light and dark.
FINAL PLAN - Sketch fixture locations and where wires will run.
Remember it's difficult to go under walks and driveways, and exposed
wires are a last resort.
TESTING - If possible, temporarily hook-up the landscape lighting
system on top of the ground and see how it looks after dark. Make
necessary adjustments before final installation.
FINAL INSTALLATION - Once you are happy with the final layout, install the wires and lights. Check local ordinances for
requirements and follow local codes.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS - It's important to know where lighting wires are buried
for future activities, such as planting and digging. Consider protecting
wires inside conduit, especially where they are close to the surface or
the edge of a bed.
- Place the lighting fixture so it shines on an object or tree, creating a
shadow on a wall.
- Use a spotlight to illuminate an attractive tree or plant in your
- Highlight an architectural detail, statue or garden sculpture.
- Light the wall behind an unusually shaped tree to create a silhouette
- A spotlight hidden high in a tree creates an interesting moonlight
- Light the way to your front door for guest's safety and convenience.
- Show off large areas of flowers and ornamental
- Well-lit outdoor areas can discourage burglars. Consider using
photocells or motion detectors to activate these lights.
- Add embedded or external stair fixtures to reduce the hazard of dark
- Illuminate an interesting wall... coarse textured walls can be
'grazed' with light.
- Narrow spotlights can be used to define columns or pillars, creating
an interesting effect.
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