A Guide to Landscape Lighting

Well-planned landscape lighting adds beauty and value to your property, but creating an effective plan requires mastery of multiple light levels and beam angles.

This comprehensive landscape lighting guide will walk you through everything necessary to design an efficient lighting plan using various fixture types.
1. Identify Your Lighting Needs

First step to designing effective landscape lighting is establishing your goals for it. While it is easy to get carried away when trying to light everything on your property, too many lights may cause your yard to appear like an eyesore and are not inviting to guests or neighbors.

Opt for functionality when lighting your property by emphasizing key spaces, drawing attention to key design elements, and safely guiding people after dark. Lights can add beauty by accentuating walls’ ability to reflect or absorb light; illuminate stairs, decks, cooking areas, water features or even gazebos and statues; highlight them with highlights; light up stairs for safety or illuminate stairs and decks for cooking areas – lights make all these tasks simpler! An efficient lighting layout divides your property into regions (zones).
2. Create a Layout

Once you have an idea of the landscape you envision for yourself, the next step should be planning how to bring that vision to fruition. Sketch out all your wildest ideas on the grid you created in Step 1, keeping functionality top of mind as you go.

Consider how your plan might impact traffic patterns and where electricity will need to be run for things such as pond pumps and lights (can solar work?). Also keep an eye out for slopes, views, sun areas or any other natural features that might impact the project.

No matter if it be to illuminate sidewalks, stone pathways or lawn walkways, or add accent boulders and plant beds – landscape lighting offers numerous design possibilities that will perfectly enhance your home and add visual interest to your yard at night.
3. Decide on a Lighting Style

Lighting design involves more than simply choosing the appropriate fixtures; your lighting must also serve multiple functions and produce specific results. To create an engaging illumination scheme, each level should serve its own specific function and achieve specific effects.

Walk around your yard at night to assess how it looks and note any existing light sources and the areas they illuminate. Perhaps installing additional lights or altering your design plan entirely would enhance it further.

Be sure to purchase outdoor low voltage fixtures rated for use, with bulbs suitable for the fixture. A bulb not designed for outdoor use could end up burning out prematurely and creating an unsightly glare.
4. Choose Your Fixtures

Whenever installing landscape lighting yourself, make sure that the fixtures selected complement both the style of your home and color of the exterior. Carriage-style lights may clash with modern bungalows and create an awkward appearance.

Consider that different locations and focal points require different lighting concentrations; for instance, you might use downlights to highlight a herringbone walkway while uplights are best used to bring attention to a jasmine trellis wall.

Walk around your installation site at night with a flashlight to experiment with lighting conditions and assess your needs. This will give you an accurate assessment of which wiring method will best meet those requirements as well as how much wire will be necessary. Once this step is completed, purchase your supplies and begin installation!
5. Install the Lights

Lighting can enhance your landscape at night by creating an unforgettable ambiance garden irrigation repairsor highlighting its most prized garden elements. Lighting also serves to deter crime by lighting areas where burglars might hide.

Step one is to conduct a property tour at night and identify those areas that require lighting in order for them to function or look their best. Sketch out an idea of where and how many lights should be placed before estimating wire runs from your transformer box to each fixture.

Landscape lighting options vary greatly, but the three primary categories are Security (deterring prowlers), Safety (preventing trips and falls on steps or railings), and Accent lighting (highlighting plants, statues or other features). Careful planning will make the process smoother while helping avoid costly mistakes.