how to select landscape lighting

How to Select Landscape Lighting

Mike Rentz Outdoor Lighting

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

When the weather is nice, there’s nothing better than inhaling the fresh air and relaxing outdoors. After spending time, money, and effort to create a pleasant outdoor space, you might as well take advantage of it. Unfortunately, many of us end up cutting the night short once it gets dark outside. A lack of light makes it difficult to eat, talk, play games and engage in other enjoyable activities.

If you’ve ever had to end a fun outdoor night due to the darkness, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there’s a solution available: landscape lighting. Also known as garden lighting, this system is designed to illuminate your yard. When chosen with care and thought, landscape lighting can elevate your home and bring practical benefits. Here’s a closer look at how to select landscape lighting.

Benefits of Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting brings aesthetic and functional benefits to any home. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of installing landscape lighting.

Elevated Appearance 

One of the main reasons homeowners install landscape lighting is to enhance the appearance of their homes. Not only will lighting brighten up your yard, but it will also highlight some of the architectural features of your home. For instance, properly placed outdoor lights might showcase your favorite plants at night, thus accentuating the beauty and appeal of your decor.

Increased Safety

Landscape lighting improves safety by highlighting potential dangers such as stairs, tripping hazards, pools, and drop-offs. By casting light on these obstacles, your household members and guests can enjoy visibility and avoid potential injuries. The lights will also illuminate driveways and walkways in your compound, making it easier to navigate.

Improved Security

By illuminating your home’s exterior, landscape lighting can scare away potential criminals and protect your space from burglary and vandalism. A well-lit compound means less hiding space for burglars, while illuminated doors and windows make it more difficult for thieves to break in unnoticed. Outdoor lighting can also be fitted with motion sensors.

Read More: How to Secure Your Home With Outdoor Lighting

Increased Functionality

Outdoor spaces such as patios and decks cease to be useful once the sun goes down. By illuminating these areas, you can use your outdoor areas at night for any purpose, including dining, late-night conversations, and parties.

How to Select Landscape Lighting for Your Home: Planning & Design

When it comes to landscape lighting, you have the freedom to select the type and style that best suits your needs. Here are some key factors to keep in mind as you plan the perfect lighting experience.

Location of Your Home

Before you start the landscape lighting selection process, consider your home’s location. If you own the house, you can install the lighting whichever way you want. On the other hand, if you live in a shared compound, you need to plan your lighting in a manner that won’t disturb your neighbors.

Number of Lights

A critical step in the planning stage is determining the amount of lighting you need. This will go a long way in ensuring you don’t lose money on an unnecessary extra set of lights. To calculate the lighting amount, multiply the compound or outdoor space area by 1.5. Then, divide this value by the average wattage of the desired lights – this should give you the number of lights you need.

Type of Lighting

There are three main types of lighting you can choose from:

  • Ambient
  • Task
  • Accent

Ambient lighting illuminates the entire space and sets the tone of an area. It’s a soft, uniform light that isn’t too heavy on the eyes. This is different from task lighting, a direct type of light that makes it easier to perform tasks. You might have task lighting on your outdoor furniture or on your stairs.

 The last lighting type to consider is accent lighting – like task lighting, it highlights direct objects, However, it tends to be very intense and can be up to 3x stronger than ambient lights.

Lighting Fixtures

In addition to choosing the type of lighting you want, you have to determine the medium through which that light will shine. Options include:

  • Light posts
  • Lanterns
  • Fixed lighting

Your choice should take into account both practical and design demands. For instance, fixed lighting is often desirable because it’s attached to your home and takes a minimal amount of space. However, light posts and lanterns give your house a unique appearance. You can stick with one form of lighting, or you can go with multiple.

Location of Lights 

The next step is to determine the precise location where the lighting will be installed. If you want to illuminate your entire yard, you should place lights where they can easily access the entirety of your space (such as by the center of your home). You also want to cover areas that can be dangerous in the dark, such as the stairs.  

Lighting Color 

Finally, you need to select the color of lighting you want for your landscape. While white is the most common color, adventurous spirits might want to combine different colors to accentuate the beauty of their home and give it a unique appearance.

When choosing the color, you may also get to select the type of light bulb you want. If you’re looking for a strong, affordable, and environmentally-friendly lighting option, LED lights are a safe choice.

How Much Does Landscape Lighting Cost?

The cost of installing landscape lighting varies from one space to another. The final price is influenced by several factors, such as the following:

  • Size of the compound
  • Type of lighting
  • Number of lights
  • Labor or installation costs

To get a precise estimate of how much it will cost you to install landscape lighting in your backyard, consult a professional lighting company such as The Perfect Light.

Get the Right Lights Today! 

Landscape lighting is a great way to decorate your home while improving safety and security. However, selecting the right lighting is a lengthy process that requires careful planning.  For best results, you should engage the services of an expert such as The Perfect Light. We’ll assess the unique features of your home, guide you through the steps and help you choose the landscape lighting of your dreams.