Outdoor Landscape Lighting...
Illuminate your garden to create beautiful night time effects
Outdoor Landscape Lighting forms a major part of the overall impact you want to create with your home, your landscape and your garden.
- It will add the desired effects in your outside living spaces, and
- You can accentuate the important features of your landscape at night.
Landscape lighting is such a useful tool and it adds great value for very little money. It is also something that, with a little thinking and planning, will give you much joy in implementing.
It is not difficult and nowadays with everyone going green, the cost of running low wattage landscape lighting is almost negligible and you don't contribute to global warming either. Isn't that special?
I have always wondered why so few people use their gardens at night? Nowadays more and more professional landscapers are using outdoor landscape lighting in outdoor living spaces to add value to their clients homes and to give additional areas that can be utilised at night.
Outdoor Landscape Lighting..... What are the benefits?
Well, I always thought we had a thing going there, but before I blow my trumpet too much, let's look at some of the benefits that great outdoor landscape lighting provide you with:
- Safety and Security
Landscape lighting does not only make your outdoor spaces useful at night, it also acts as an excellent deterrent for intruders. Even security specialists here in South Africa encourage people to use outdoor lighting as a safety feature.
- Style and Beauty
Careful planning of where your outdoor landscape lighting will be placed and installed, will accentuate certain features in your garden that will increase the visual appeal of your landscape and garden tremendously.
- Value and Enhancement
By adding the outdoor landscape lighting, you extend your living space to flow into your garden. The interior need not overshadow your exterior area anymore, as they now balance each other to create a sense of continuous flow. It adds tremendous value to your home.
OK, so let's look at how we can use effective landscape lighting techniques to bring out the best in our gardens. There are some basic guidelines to keep in mind when you design your landscape lighting plan as different areas have different needs:
- Steps, pathways and level changes need to be well lit for safety reasons.
- Water features and other attractive garden features need accentuating with special lighting techniques.
- Patios and large entertaining areas need to be bathed in sufficient light to be able to use the area for the intended purpose.
So now that we know what areas we want to light and we have an overall idea of the effects we want to create with our outdoor landscape lighting, we have to do a more detailed design.
There are many landscape lighting techniques that may be used, but I am only going to tell you about a few here as most gardens are either too small, or the garden layout is not suitable for using more than one, two or maybe three different landscape lighting techniques.
Let's look at some of my personal favourites when it comes to landscape lighting techniques:
- Ambient Lighting
This is one of the most popular types of lighting techniques as it lights up outdoor living areas with a comfortable level of light. For outdoor areas, ambient lighting brightens a patio for entertaining, or you can use it at an entry way to your home for safety.
- Down Lighting
With down lighting, the light source is mounted above the object and the beam is directed downwards. It is also called moonlighting as it creates an effect of moonlight filtering through the object, throwing attractive shadow patterns on the ground. I normally install this type of light quite high up in a tree where I want to create a romantic area below the tree. The moving branches then constantly create new shadow patterns.
- Up Lighting
With up lighting, the light source is mounted on the ground and aims upwards. This type of lighting technique is very effective to highlight interesting features like trees, rough wall surfaces or rock gardens.
- Spot Lighting
I just want to highlight this technique as I recommend it mostly for security purposes. If planned properly and installed carefully, it is very effective for that purpose and it can fit in with the rest of your landscape lighting techniques without looking too obvious.
The majority of residential crime still take place after dark and by having well placed controlled beam lights with movement sensors fitted, it can really be an effective crime prevention technique.
There are many other landscape lighting techniques, but I think the ones mentioned above are the ones most commonly used. I have just listed a few more here so that you can do your own research on them if you like:
- Cross lighting,
- Shadowing, and
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