If you’ve been to a big box, home goods, or hardware store in the past few months, you know how popular landscape lighting and outdoor lighting has become. With aisles filled with inexpensive lights in a variety of styles, there must be something to it, right? Well, actually there is. But, as tempting as it may be, grabbing those lights and doing it yourself is not the best way to get the results you want. Optimum Wilmington landscape lighting requires brilliant lighting design, expert installation, and top-quality fixtures that you just won’t find at the store.
Our first DON’T of landscape lighting is: Don’t Do It Yourself.
Ask yourself: What do I know about outdoor lighting design and installation? If the answer truly is ‘not much,’ we hope you’ll leave it to the experts just like you would your deck building, pool installation, and other home renovation projects. While we would love to believe we could talk everyone into calling us for our professional landscape lighting designs, we know there are talented jacks-of-all-trades out there who will install landscape lighting themselves and just need a few pointers. So here is our best advice:
The Dos of Landscape Lighting
BEGIN WITH YOUR HOME
If you are adding landscape lighting to your property, start with the largest structures first and build out. In most cases, this means starting with your home. Use wall wash lights to highlight the areas between your windows, your porch columns, unique features, and dark corners. Then move outwards to larger landscape items like trees and statues, and lastly to your shrubs then flowers.
CREATE DEPTH WITH SHADOWS
Casting a single focal light on a statue looks better than nothing. But imagine if you can layer the lights to create depth and intrigue. By hitting the focal feature from more than one angle, you make sure your favorite landscape accessories are three-dimensional at night.
CHOOSE DOWNLIGHTING FOR VISIBILITY
When illuminating areas for visibility, downlighting is the best choice. Each step you take is clearly seen when path lighting shines down on the area that lies ahead.
CHOOSE QUALITY OVER PRICE
It might be tempting to get a large number of lights for the lowest price possible, but we urge you to reconsider. Plastic lights will break easily and often don’t last a full year. Powder-coated aluminum can last a little longer, but the powder-coating will chip away. We urge you to use fewer, higher-quality copper or brass lights for a long-lasting gorgeous result.
The Don’ts of Landscape Lighting
DON’T NEGLECT THE UPPER STORIES OF YOUR HOME
Upstairs dormers and cupolas give your home grace and charm, don’t let them go unnoticed at night. We have lights that can reach the second story from the ground, but we also have the ability to gutter mount lights for a seriously awesome layered effect that allows your whole house to shine.
DON’T LINE YOUR LIGHTS UP LIKE SOLDIERS
It is only natural to want to line up your lights in a line. But, this is not going to result in the most optimal lighting design. Remember, when you are placing your lights, it is about the effect, not the lights themselves. This requires some testing and experimenting at night with how you want your property to look. I promise it will rarely result in a perfect single-file line of lights.
DON’T OVERDO IT
Less is more in landscape lighting. We are not trying to recreate daylight. Nighttime is time to recharge, so even if you are using your outdoor spaces the lighting should be soft, subtle and not disturb your neighbors. It should be designed in multiple zones so that some lights are only used when needed (think deck lighting and patio lighting) while other lights are scheduled to illuminate your home every evening at dusk.
DON’T CHOOSE SOLAR OUTDOOR LIGHTING
Solar power is awesome! Don’t get us wrong here. But, it is not the best choice for outdoor lighting. Solar lights are often plastic and cheap. Not only that, they don’t charge up very well, and they fade out early. All that aside, they don’t put out enough light to create a pretty scene, instead, they are simply points of light wherever you place them.
At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Wilmington, we are installing LED landscape lights that will hardly be noticed on your electric bill and last forever. While you think you may be saving the Earth with solar lights, the act of replacing them annually actually costs the environment much more with increased plastic production and landfills over-flowing with non-biodegradable plastics. Just don’t do it.
Whether you are a talented and experienced do-it-yourselfer or you want to just give it a try, please be sure to follow this short list of the most important must-dos and absolute-don’ts for installing landscape lighting yourself. And if you should change your mind at any point in the process, give us a call at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Wilmington. We’re happy to come in with our expert team and our commercial-grade copper and brass LED fixtures to get you all set up. We look forward to working with you! (910) 356-8203
Don’t forget! We offer flexible financing too!