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Working with Outdoor and Landscape Lighting

Posted by admin on June 18, 2014
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Don’t let all that hard work you put into making your house look great go to waste as soon as the sun goes down. Instead, place a few outdoor lights around the yard; with the flick of a switch you can put it back on display in a brand new way.

sidewalk lighting

Image Courtesy of Tulsa Landscape

Outdoor lighting is more than just illuminating parts of your yard of course; it is an art, one that requires careful planning and research. There are two types of goals in landscape lighting—practical and aesthetic. Landscape lighting should address safety and security; it should be an investment, and it should also be visually appealing. A good lighting design addresses each of these. Read on to discover how to put a spotlight on your yard, and enhance your home’s nighttime curb appeal.

Practical Goals- Safety, Security, and Investment

Safety

Illumination that offers safe passage through the property is considered safety lighting. This type of lighting targets steps, driveways, pools, water features, and other hazards. Keep in mind that the illumination of these hazards should be at a very low level—just enough to discern details, but not so bright as to obscure surrounding dark areas.

landscape lighting

Image Courtesy of Cautaro

Additionally, bulb filaments should not be visible. Trust us, you don’t want your eyes to come in contact with one of these “light bombs”. When a visitor is subjected to one of these light bombs, he or she is momentarily blinded and may even trip and fall.

Security

Security lighting refers to illumination that deters prowlers and vandals. While floodlighting can accomplish this task, it can also create unnecessary danger in the unlit areas because the human eye cannot adjust to the dark fast enough to discern a possible threat.

outdoor lighting

Image Courtesy of MacroArts

A better approach is to create a strategic lighting plan that illuminates several key areas of the property with low levels of illumination. Because the human eyes can compensate for a narrow range of illumination, these low levels of light allow visitors to see objects in the illuminated areas as well as unlit areas.

Investment

No matter how large or small your home is, dramatic nighttime lighting can make it look like a luxurious estate. Outdoor lighting increases the resale value of your property and allows you to show off your curb appeal 24 hours a day. When done right, landscape lighting can highlight gardens and trees and emphasize your home’s architectural features, attracting buyers to your home. That is more money in your pocket and often times a quicker home sale.

outdoor and landscape lighting

Image Courtesy of Lifeshield

Practical Benefits- Visual Appeal

Visual Appeal

Show off the beauty of your home after dark by highlighting your favorite flowers, shrubs, trees, fountains, and statues. Display focal points that draw the viewer in, or create a relaxing atmosphere in your backyard for entertaining.

For this type of lighting there needs to be cohesion. Try to create a balance that encourages viewers to move from focal point to focal point. Make use of shadows and light to reveal the inherent beauty of your yard. Here are some tips for creating visual appeal.

When lighting trees aim ground lights straight up into foliage, and bathe the trunk in light. With gardens, place fixtures no closer than 20 feet apart. You want pools of light to guide your eye from one plant to the next. For the home façade, fit bullet lights with bulbs that have 12-degree beam spreads, and aim them at the corners of your house or architectural details. For garden walls position fixtures close to the base so that the beams bring textures into sharp relief. For other focal points, such as a fountain, aim two or more lights at it. The crossing beams reduce the harsh shadows that form when only one shines on an object.

Important Tips to Consider

*   Conceal the light source behind shrubs and other plants when possible unless the fixture itself is a decorative element

*   Don’t over light – a little light goes a long way

*   Be creative in using a mixture of lighting techniques for drama and excitement.

*   Arrange for an automatic device to turn lights on and off, such as a timer or photocell

*   Be considerate of your neighbors – aim lights so they do not shine into their windows

For more information on one of the most sought after home builders in the Augusta Metro area, Bill Beazley Homes, call 706-863-4888.

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