Top 5 Landscape Lighting Ideas
Landscape Lighting should be a key of any landscaping plan. Effective landscape lighting should not be a Home Depot, do-it-yourself project. It should do more than merely mark a path. The best results come from totally integrating lighting as a landscaping feature. After all, light is color that can be placed, textured, and woven into other features.
Lighting Water Features
Consider what reflects light. Pools traditionally have white lighting, but the same lighting system works with colored bulbs. Water reflects overhead and indirect lighting, and it even provides a canvas for projecting visuals on. Ponds used for koi or water plants can be lit from beneath or from lights nestled in surrounding foliage. The wavering light will reflect up from beneath the plants at the edge.
Using Lighting to Add Texture
Other natural textures absorb and/or reflect light for maximum effect. Lighting brings out the color and shape of assorted river rock and crushed gravels. It brings out the best in the stain and grain of wood fencing, decking, and dividers.
Stucco is a wide open background for landscape lighting. You might consider varying the degree of lighting brightness and varying the colors within the same pallet, so the stucco does not bleach out. And, brick, granite, sandstone, and other natural materials both absorb and throw back the light in attractive ways. You might think of lighting the front elevation with spotlights hidden beyond shrubs.
Dramatic Tree Lighting
Never place a light where it has no maximum design effect. For example, if you want to line a path with lights, place the lamps where they also highlight a plant or shrub. Even then, think how the light will play against the plant. It might accent the color of the flowers. It might highlight the bright colors of desert or buffalo grasses. Or, it might reflect off of silver or variegated leaves.
Spotlights on decorative trees bring dark corners of a yard together, but lighting the branches with LED lights can add charm for entertainment occasions.
Lighting for safety and security should come from well designed fixtures that highlight and accent the home’s architecture. Chandeliers, sconces, hanging lamps, and ceiling fans can extend your living quarters outdoors, but the night does not want you to light these spaces like the bright of day. So, choose fixtures that integrate their design with their purpose and put in low wattage glare.
But, you might try to hide the rest of the lighting sources. Fitting lighting fixtures behind rocks, under stairs, behind garden features, and furniture – all allow your lighting landscape more freedom in terms of power sources, wiring, and display. The mechanics of spotlights, lighting strips, and fluorescent lighting are not attractive. But, hidden behind planters, barriers, and benches the different light effects work wonderfully.
The safest, more secure, and attractive lighting can run up some bills if you do not consider low-voltage and green options. Motion sensitive lighting can reduce the brightest security spots, and programmed dimmers will control decorative lighting. You might differentiate what lighting you need for general purposes and for entertainment purposes; then, you can segregate the controls for those purposes.
Maximize the number of fixtures and lamps labeled LED-Low Voltage. These eco-friendly bulbs fit all your landscape lighting needs including underwater fixtures and fixtures that prefer the look of a gas flame. And, individual fixtures and entire systems can be solar powered.
Homeowners, general contractors, and landscape architects appreciate the way integrated lighting can enhance the safety, security, and curb appeal of thoughtful and creative landscaping lighting.
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