Get the Best Out of Your Landscape Lighting

May 13, 2021

Landscape lighting brightens up your home, so its glory isn’t lost under the cover of darkness. It can highlight your architecture. But not all exterior lighting is the same. You can actually use different types of lights, patterns, and shading to create unique effects. Here is a look at some considerations, the types of outdoor lighting, and a few landscape lighting tips.

Consider This Before Installation

When planning to illuminate your landscape, consider the following before choosing fixtures or doing any installation work:

  • What Outdoor Space Would You Like to Highlight?

Start with the exterior walls of your house to improve safety and security. Next, look at areas you want to highlight, such as trees, gardens and planting beds, garden walls, and focal points such as fountains, arbors, entry points, steps, gazebos, flagpoles, etc.

  • What Type of Lighting Do You Want to Use?

There are many types of lighting suited for specific purposes (a few are described below). First, consider whether it will serve as overall lighting, task lighting (such as to light up a path), or accent lighting that highlights an object or area.

Types of Lighting

The most common kinds of lights considered for outdoor lighting installation include:

  • Wash: Casts soft, diffuse light to brighten up a large vertical area, such as a flat façade, garden wall, or fence.
  • Bullet: Projects a narrow beam from a compact fixture to focus light on a precise area, such as part of your garden or a tree.
  • Well: Contained within a waterproof housing buried in the ground, the bulb can illuminate foliage or the base of a façade from underneath.
  • Flood: Illuminates from below similar to a bullet lamp, but casts a bright beam that is 40 degrees or wider. It can light up an entire wall or a tall tree.
  • Downlight: Installed high on a wall, trunk, or branch, the fixture contains a shroud that eliminates side glare, and creates a moonlit effect on lawns and paths.

Landscape Lighting Tips

There are many ways to approach landscape lighting. Simple installations can be a DIY project, but more sophisticated lighting configurations and effects require the help of a specialist. Here are some tips to ensure a successful outdoor lighting installation.

Get LEDs

LED lights consume less energy than incandescent bulbs and other forms of lighting. They are also available in different colors and types, so you won’t only get harsh blue light from an LED bulb. In addition, LED lighting is exceptionally durable and can withstand frequent use and exposure to moisture. It can last for many years.

Focus on Lighting the House First

Landscape lighting wouldn’t serve much of a purpose if it didn’t make your home look better. When planning an exterior lighting project, first consider how you’re going to illuminate your home. Are there specific architectural features you want to highlight? That’s a good start. Ensuring your house is well-lit also avoids accidents in the darkness and can deter potential burglars.

Consider Using Accent Lights

Exterior lights don’t have to be huge to be effective. Smaller accent lights can keep small dark corners well-lit and remove any dark spots a potential intruder may seek out. You can use a small spotlight or floodlight to provide illumination for the desired area.

Be Sure to Get the Correct Lights

Consider where the light will go to select the right type. Also make sure that the lights you choose are compatible with the size of transformer installed, and use a branched cable configuration instead of a daisy chain to ensure uniform brightness.

Don’t Install Too Many Lights

Whatever your idea is, don’t overdo it. Too many lights and fixtures in close proximity can draw more attention and power than you need to. Use the right lights in the best places and you can create the perfect effects.

Use A Contractor to Get The Job Done Right

Hiring a professional can save you time and effort. You can also benefit from the expertise of a landscaping contractor, who is familiar with various designs and fixtures. Professional advice can go a long way in achieving your goals and avoiding mistakes.

Contact CMC Electric

In addition to general home electrical repair and inspection, CMC Electric specializes in outdoor lighting design and installation. We can choose and combine various lighting fixtures. If you need landscape lighting help in the Raleigh area, please call 919-351-6409 today.

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