Landscape lighting serves many functions. Its main two goals are aesthetic appeal and safety/security concerns. A good landscape lighting plan easily covers both of these issues. So, how do you set up landscape lighting?
How To Make Landscape Lighting Work With Your Home
Landscape lighting can be a bit tougher to incorporate when it comes to design. It takes some extra thought to set up your lighting so it really serves its purpose. We asked Portland Sprinklers and Landscape Lighting about this and here’s what they told us.
1. Decide What You Want To Use Your Lights For
Before you even start looking at lights, you should make up your mind what you want to use them for. The use dictates the design needs. If you just want to light up your sidewalk so you can get from your car to your front door when it’s dark, it requires a different design to a system meant to enhance your home’s nighttime curbside appeal. When you’ve settled on what you want your lighting to do, then we can move on to the planning
2. Decide On The Types of Lights
There are many different kinds of lights you can buy. Sconces, spotlights, floodlights, and recessed lights are just a handful of the different types of lights you can buy. Each type of light has a different usage. Floodlights, for example, are designed to fill large areas of space with bright light, but they consume a lot of energy. You’d want to set them up in a place you might want to temporarily light up – such as a patio or gazebo where you have outdoor parties. Set with motion-sensors and timers, they can also be great deterrents for burglars. Knowing what the light types are good for lets you know whether it serves your purposes or not.
3. Decide Where To Place The Lights
Once you’ve bought your lights, it’s time to decide where to set them up. If you worked out what you’re trying to do with your lighting ahead of time, this step is easy. If you’re lighting up a walkway, you’ll want to place lights around the path. If you’re trying to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home, you’ll want to place lights so they draw attention to the best features of your home. When trying to set up lighting for security, you’ll want to set lighting in areas that burglars might try to enter your yard from and around your house so they can’t approach it without being seen.
Planning security lighting should factor in the ways people might approach your house. If you have a pool, burglars might try wading through it by turning up pool toys to hide themselves. In that case, you’ll want to light up the pool so they’ll be spotted if they try. Lighting up the darker corners of your fence will make it difficult for them to get into your yard unseen. And lighting around the house is absolutely necessary so that anyone can easily see someone approach it in the dark. Mixing this with motion sensors is most effective, as lighting suddenly coming on is more likely to draw attention and therefore more likely to scare burglars away.
4. Consider The Ground
Many types of lights will be installed in the ground, or into it. If you plan on using these kinds of lights, you’ll want to find out what kind of ground you have in the areas you want to light. Installing ground lights in some areas might require more work because the ground is harder packed. This costs more money, so if you’re keeping to a tight budget, you should make sure you know what kind of work you’ll need to do to install them.
5. Work Out The Distance Needed Between Light Fixtures
It’s very easy to create harsh, ugly glares with your lighting fixtures by putting them too close together. Before you fully install the lights, you should create temporary set-ups to test them. Find out how much space you need to give them to properly light the area. That way, you won’t destroy the ambiance you’re trying to accomplish with your lighting.
6. Clear Space
While you’re measuring out the space you need for your lights, be sure to clear the area around them so nothing gets in the way of setting them up. Remove any debris, like fallen branches or leaves, from the area. You may need to move some of the plants in the area to give yourself enough space to properly light your home’s features.
7. Install the Lights
Once all the prep work is completed, it’s time to install the lights. When it comes to the basics of setting up, This Old House has a great video you can watch. They walk you through the basics of setting up your lighting system to make it work. If you need any additional help, you can get in touch with a landscaping company with experience in this area. Most landscaping companies will be able to help.
Landscape Lighting Improves Your Home’s Value
With a good plan, your landscape lighting can increase the value of your home. The aesthetic benefits of well designed lighting enhance the beauty of your home. It’s easy to set up good looking lighting systems that also address security concerns, both for your safety walking around at night, and discouraging burglars from targeting your home. All of these combined make your home much more attractive to the market. Even if you never need to sell your home, increasing the property value improves the quality of the neighborhood, so your neighbors will certainly appreciate it! There’s really no reason not to set yourself up with some good landscape lighting. Done well, it only serves to benefit you and everyone in the neighborhood.