Whether you are trying to sell your home or are simply tired of driving up to a darkly lit lawn and garden, you can easily learn how to showcase your home with landscape lighting. Curb appeal is more important that you can ever believe if your home is for sale, but if not, at least you can learn how to light up your grounds so that your home stands out in the neighborhood. Here are ten ways to showcase your luxury home with landscape lighting.
1. Understand the Basics of Landscape Lighting
Before beginning your landscape lighting project, it is imperative to understand a few basics. Not only will you need to learn about the kinds of lights available for outdoor use and the difference between lumens and wattage, but you also need to decide what you will be lighting. You can find a great deal of information by visiting this site, in which you can learn the basics of outdoor lighting, but you also need to consider the exact areas you want to showcase before setting out on your project.
Are you going to light your drive and walkways, or will you be focusing on showcasing trees, shrubs, and plants? This all makes a huge difference when plotting out your lighting, so take the time to learn a few basics before drawing up your plans.
2. Sometimes More Is Better
Some homeowners settle for a few solar LED garden lights, but that won’t showcase anything! You will most likely need to do some underground wiring, especially if you are going to showcase a large outdoor area. By all means, power some with solar energy, but when you use LED lights, they are not expensive to operate, so light up as much as you need to in order to get the effect you are looking for.
3. Calculate How Much Space You Need to Light
Before looking at the difference between lumens and wattage, you must calculate how much area needs to be covered. There is a real difference and just because a light is higher powered in terms of wattage doesn’t necessarily mean it will be brighter in lumens. This is an important calculation so that you buy the right kind of light with the power you need.
4. Whenever Possible Opt for LED Lights
As mentioned above, whenever possible, choose LED lights. They are not only less expensive to power but being solid-state technology, they are longer lasting. Many homeowners shy away from LED landscaping lights because the initial cost of each bulb is more. However, other kinds of lighting like halogen lights burn out quicker, needing to be replaced much more often. Now you have savings in terms of energy used to power them, as well as a reduction in replacement costs over time.
5. For Optimum Results Do Your Positioning in Hours of Darkness
While you may be tempted to get out during daylight hours to work in your yard, that is not the best time of day to position your landscape lighting. For the best results, get out there in the darkness so that you can see where those lights are actually shining. There is no way to get the full effect during daylight hours because obviously, the sun will overpower any light you could possibly install!
6. Use a Good Variety of Lighting Techniques
There are actually three main types of lighting techniques you should consider when planning a landscape lighting project. If you want to light an entire area, you would use something known as ‘overall lighting.’ However, if there is a botanical or architectural element you want to showcase, you would use what they refer to as ‘ambient lighting’ in the industry. This kind of lighting is often used for an ethereal effect and why you often see it used in pool or garden areas. If you need to light a specific area, such as for safety, you would use what they refer to in the industry as ‘task lighting.’ That light has a task to perform, such as keeping foot traffic safe, and hence the name, task lighting.
7. Avoid Misdirected Lighting
Sometimes referred to as lighting pollution, misdirected lights can be a real nuisance, especially for passersby or neighbors. Make sure your landscape lighting is directed exactly where you want it to shine and always make sure that ambient lighting isn’t polluted with task lighting or overall lighting. Just as noise pollution would interfere with your ability to enjoy your favorite music or television program, light pollution can ruin the effect you’ve worked so hard to create.
8. Use a Healthy Wattage that Doesn’t Overwhelm
One of the most difficult calculations to make when planning your landscape lighting project is in determining the amount of wattage you need each bulb to be. You can quickly overwhelm an area with wattage that is too strong for the area you want to light up, so this is something you may need a bit of help with. Some homeowners use the trial and error method, which works well if the store will accept returns on bulbs you can’t use, but if not, don’t buy too many bulbs until you ensure you will not be overwhelming the area you are trying to light.
9. Set Your Timers by Season
One of the things we tend to get lazy with is in setting our timers, often as the days get longer and shorter. If you purchase digital timers, it isn’t difficult to do and some timers on the market today can even be set remotely with an app through your smartphone. You may not even need to be at home to set your timers so that they light your grounds when it gets dark and turn off when the day is bright enough not to warrant landscape lighting.
10. Choose Your Lighting for Optimum Effect
Now that you have an idea of the different kinds of landscape lighting you can use, along with techniques and strength of bulbs, it’s time to think about the effect you are trying to create. Every area you are lighting is being designed to create an effect, and so it is necessary to put all these elements together to achieve that effect. Do you want ambient color in your lighting scheme or are you purely looking for shades of white? Are you looking for task-oriented lighting to keep foot traffic safe or are you looking to add a mystical appeal to your Zen rock garden? Each and every step along the way will be based on the effect you are after, so plan carefully and you will have the exact lighting you need to showcase your property.
It doesn’t matter if you are trying to sell your home or are simply looking for the best visual effect in nighttime hours. What matters is that you achieve the results you are after and that could mean spending time planning, designing and learning. However, once the final light is in place and you hit that switch, wouldn’t it be nice to have the one property in your neighborhood that stands out from all the rest? That’s curb appeal at its very best and that is what you can do with landscape lighting.