Outdoor lighting goes beyond illuminating your home at night. Outdoor lights can elevate your home’s personality, highlight landscaping and architectural features, and define the ambiance around your home.
Achieving the desired results with outdoor lighting requires careful planning and execution. It means knowing what lighting, warmth, and spacing you need to transform your patio or backyard. Here are helpful tips on choosing the best outdoor lighting solutions.
Determine the Purpose of the Lighting
Before choosing the outdoor lighting solution, you have to establish the goals you want to achieve. It could be illuminating your yard, highlighting landscaping features, or for security.
If safety is your main concern when looking for outdoor lighting, consider fixtures you can install along pathways, entryways, and the driveway. These lighting solutions will illuminate the path you walk at night to prevent accidents and falls.
Security is another factor that influences the type of lighting you choose. The best outdoor lighting for security should have bright lights that eliminate shadows and hiding places. It should also have motion sensor lights that alert you to someone’s presence in your yard.
Finally, you can use outdoor lighting to highlight your home’s architectural and landscaping elements. When choosing decorative outdoor lighting, you must consider the materials and style of the fixtures and how they combine with the features in your yard, backyard, or patio.
Working with a knowledgeable landscaper is advisable to help you choose the best decorative lighting based on your home’s style.
Consider the Size and Layout of the Outdoor Space
Your outdoor space influences the lighting fixtures’ type, size, number, and position. It also determines the positioning and energy source for your lighting.
Tiny spaces do not need as many lights as bigger yards. Larger yards also require creativity when choosing and positioning the lighting fixtures for maximum impact.
The position of your yard or patio in relation to your house and the environment will influence the type of positioning of outdoor lighting fixtures. You’ll need to consider the amount of light flowing into your home from the street and neighboring properties.
The layout of the yard depends on the position of landscaping features. Their location will determine the type and sizing of lighting fixtures. For instance, if you have a statue in your yard that you want to highlight, you can use string lights or up lighting.
While considering your outdoor space, consider factors such as dampness conditions. If the area is open to the elements, choose a lighting fixture with the right rating. If your yard has direct exposure to water and rain, choose a wet-rated light that can withstand these conditions.
Consider the Type of Lighting
You can choose from different types of outdoor lighting depending on your goals, needs, and preferences. Outdoor lights differ in the amount of light they produce, the area coverage, and the function they serve. Here are a few types:
Floodlights are outdoor lights designed to illuminate large spaces. They are ideal for deterring intruders and improving visibility to prevent accidents.
Landscape lights beautify any outdoor space. They include scones, lanterns, and spotlights which you can install along pathways, entryways, and alongside landscaping and architectural features in your home. You can use them to create shadows, accents, and highlights outdoors.
Motion sensor lights are great for driveways, walkways, and entrances. They turn on when they sense movement and turn off after some time. They are perfect for homeowners who do not need overnight illumination on their property.
Step lights are an outdoor lighting feature installed on the vertical face of staircases to prevent falls.
Garden lights are subtle lighting fixtures used for highlighting plants. They may include globe lights, string lights, and lanterns.
Bollard lights are multidirectional landscaping lights featuring a post and a light on top of the post. They are best for lighting up pathways.
String lights are a type of landscaping light used for decorating trees and hardscapes.
Inground lights are those installed in pathways, driveways, and steps.
Wall lights are a type of outdoor light installed on flat surfaces. They are perfect for decks, porches, and walkways.
You can choose the type of outdoor light based on its color temperature. Outdoor lights range from cold to warm depending on where they fall on the Kelvin Range. Warm lights appear yellow, cool lights appear white, and cooler lights have a bluish hue.
You can also choose outdoor lights based on how they are mounted. The common types include:
- Wall-mounted lights – Great for patios, entryways, and main walls
- Ceiling and hanging lights – Perfect for patios
- Pier-mounted lights
- Post-mounted lights
Consider the Maintenance Requirements
Any outdoor system that you choose comes with various maintenance requirements. These maintenance requirements include replacing bulbs, cleaning debris from fixtures, trimming vegetation around the light, and replacing damaged components.
Consider the maintenance frequency required for each type of lighting fixture to determine whether you are ready for the responsibility. LED lighting fixtures are perfect for homeowners who want an effective but low-maintenance option.
As part of the maintenance requirements, consider the durability of various lighting fixtures. This determines how often you need to replace different features.
Consider Your Budget
It would be best if you had an estimate of how much you intend to spend on outdoor lighting. Your budget will help you align your priorities before you go to the store to buy any lighting fixtures.
Most homeowners prioritize entryway, safety, and task (functional) lighting when working with limited budgets. If you’re in the same position, you can start with lighting the crucial areas within the home, including the paths, driveway, and entryway.
If you still want to go all out with a limited budget, you can choose low-budget lighting options such as solar, string lights, spotlighting, and lanterns.
You might divide your outdoor lighting project into smaller projects and tackle each mini-project based on the available funds. In this case, you may start with security and entryway lights and then finalize with landscaping lights.
Accentuate Landscaping Features With Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting is the best way to transform your outdoors. You can use outdoor lighting fixtures to create a warm, inviting environment or accentuate landscaping features.
Choosing the right fixtures for your yard takes some time and consideration, but it can result in an attractive yard or patio when done correctly. The key is to plan based on your goals and budget.
Unsure how to implement a creative lighting design in your outdoors? Contact professional landscapers from ALD for guidance.