It is quite common for a homeowner to walk down the lighting aisle of their favorite local big box store and grab the year’s most popular outdoor lighting fixture. Or maybe, they grab a basic flood light if their purpose is security. Either way, this is a mistake. There is a lot more to landscape lighting than buying the brightest or least expensive light you can find and plug it in. For optimum results when installing outdoor lighting, the system should be well-designed to have the most pleasing visual impact possible. That is not necessarily a lot of lights, bright lights or otherwise, but a strategic, creative approach.
When designed and installed correctly, fantastic landscape lighting will establish the mood you want and the safety and security you need. We, of course, recommend you place this important task in the hands of the professionals, but, in case you are planning to install outdoor lighting on your own we offer you some important dos and don’ts:
Outdoor Lighting Dos
- Focus on the house first. When designing and then installing your landscape lighting, start with the largest focal feature on your property first, the house, with architectural lighting, then work your way out. Next is trees, then outbuildings, pathways, shrubbery, outdoor living spaces, and finally smaller landscape elements such as flowers.
- Layer your lighting. Don’t shine one light on a focal feature and call it a day. Use multiple lights from various angles to achieve shadows, texture, and depth.
- Downlighting is preferable when possible. For clear visibility on pathways and other outdoor living areas, downlighting is the preferred method. It doesn’t shine in your eyes but instead illuminates the space in front of you.
- Do contact the experts here at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Minneapolis if at any point you think you might be in over your head.
Outdoor Lighting Don’ts
- Don’t use a chalk line. Path lights are not soldiers, they should not be lined in a perfectly straight line. They should follow the natural curves of whatever you’re illuminating to get the most beautiful effect at night.
- Don’t rely on daytime results. It is vital to work on your lighting after dark to get the best effect. While you can install during the day, plan your design at night, and then make adjustments at night.
- Don’t ignore your highest peak. Your home has many unique features. Installing lighting to shine on the highest peaks, the most gorgeous columns, stonework, or decorative overhangs will have the most impact.
- Don’t forget dark corners around the sides of your home. It can be easy to focus on the beautiful areas of your home that are often utilized or seen from the street. But what about the dark corner where the garbage can is? These areas should be illuminated for safety to provide fewer hiding places.
While this short list barely scratches the surface, we encourage you to really take your time, do your homework and find lights that will be long-lasting. If burying lines, installing transformers, and gutter-mounting a light for your highest peak is beyond what you imagined, please feel free to call us. We offer expert outdoor lighting design, meticulous landscape lighting installation and the best-quality lighting available. Call today for an outdoor lighting design consultation. (763) 317-0827