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LANDSCAPE LIGHTING

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 buried items.
  
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.
  


   

LIGHTING TECHNIQUES

Shadow Lighting - Place the lighting fixture so it shines on an object or tree, creating a shadow on a wall.
  
Uplighting - Use a spotlight to illuminate an attractive tree or plant in your landscape.
  
Accent Lighting - Highlight an architectural detail, statue or garden sculpture. 
  
Silhouette Lighting - Light the wall behind an unusually shaped tree to create a silhouette effect. 
  
Downlighting or Moonlighting - A spotlight hidden high in a tree creates an interesting moonlight effect. 
  
Path Lighting - Light the way to your front door for guest's safety and convenience. 
  
Area Lighting - Show off large areas of flowers and ornamental plantings.
  
Security Lighting - Well-lit outdoor areas can discourage burglars. Consider using photocells or motion detectors to activate these lights. 
  
Stair Lighting - Add embedded or external stair fixtures to reduce the hazard of dark steps. 
  
Wall Lighting - Illuminate an interesting wall... coarse textured walls can be 'grazed' with light. 
   
Column Lighting - Narrow spotlights can be used to define columns or pillars, creating an interesting effect.
   

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