Landscape lighting can transform the look of your home once the sun goes down. Lighting is also a practical consideration for safety and security. Finding the right combination of lights can be challenging with so many options available on the market. Here are some tips you can use for lighting up your landscape.
Lighting Tips for Your Landscape
- Identify the purpose of your landscape lighting. Why do you want to add lights to your yard? It might be to illuminate a commonly used path, or to light up a dark corner. You might want lower lighting for an intimate feeling around a fire pit or dining deck. You might have a spectacular rock facing that you want to highlight. Knowing why you want the lights will help determine what kinds of lights will work best for your particular set-up.
- Consider the layout of your home, yard, and landscaping elements. A quick sketch can help you visualize how the lighting will work around your home. Remember that some surfaces, like glass windows, will reflect the light, while vegetation will tend to absorb it. You can vary the height of the lighting to compensate for these elements.
- Determine what kind of lighting you need in each area of your yard. Short stake lights would work well along a path. A bench is easily illuminated by a pole-style lamp. An up-light is perfect to highlight a tall tree or shrub. Your deck steps would do well with lights inset into the treads. There are literally dozens of options available, so you can find the perfect light for each situation.
- Decide the amount of effort you want to put into the installation. High-end landscape lighting requires 120-volt lines. Due to the higher voltage, these lines have to be buried in the ground at least 18 inches and are best installed by a professional electrician. Low voltage systems are often used in home landscapes. They don’t require professional installation because the lines can be run below mulch or in a narrow groove covered by turf. Solar-powered lighting requires no connection to electricity.
- Set your budget. You can find lights to fit just about any budget you have. You can pay $10 per light or $300 per light, depending on what you want to pay. High-end lighting often requires the 120-volt lines, so be sure to add in the cost of a professional electrician. The least expensive lights are solar-powered.
- Determine if you want to do-it-yourself or have a professional do it. Part of this depends on whether you are going with lights that require 120-volts or not. If you are going with a lower voltage system or completely solar, you can still have a professional do it to save yourself time and hassle.
Lighting your landscape will give your home and yard a completely different look. With a bit of planning and thought, you can make your outdoor space usable, safer, and more secure once the sun goes down. How will landscape lighting transform your yard?