Some of the most beautiful homes look their best at night, thanks to their evening landscape lighting. Many people are stumped as to how to achieve a similar look on their own home, especially when it comes to buying the right light fixtures and where to place them. Here are a few tips and tricks for night lighting a landscape.
Work at Night
This is a great tip for those looking to save a bit of money and do their own outdoor night lighting on their landscaping. The best time to experiment with night time lighting is to turn on your outdoor lighting fixtures at night. You can even “pre plan” using flash lights to give yourself an idea of what the space might look like once you’ve installed the actual light fixtures.
Remember the Different Effects
A professional lighting designer knows that even outdoor night lighting requires a number of different lighting types: accent, uplighting, downlighting, silhouetting, grazing, moonlighting and shadowing. You don’t necessarily have to use all of these on a single home, but using multiple styles and light fixtures can help pack a punch on an otherwise bland night lighting scheme.
Accenting is used to highlight specific elements, such as a bird bath or a statue. Uplighting is when light fixtures are placed so that the light shines upward onto the item, whereas downlighting is the exact opposite: light fixtures are placed overhead to shine light downward.
Silhouetting uses light fixtures placed behind an item so that when turned on, there is a silhouette. Shadowing is when multiple light fixtures are arranged so as to create a shadow onto a wall such as a fence or onto the home itself using a wall sconce. Finally, grazing is when light is used to show texture while moonlighting is a technique that creates a gentle glow similar to that of the moon.
Considerations for Light Fixtures
When choosing light fixtures for your outdoor lighting scheme, know what you want to achieve before you purchase the actual fixtures. For example, if you’re going to do a lot of silhouetting with your bushes, you’ll want to purchase light fixtures for exactly that purpose.
Other questions to ask include: are your fixtures sturdy? Will they withstand the elements of your specific region? Are they U.L. wet listed or damp listed? Can you actually install the light fixtures yourself or will you need to hire the help of a professional? You may find that while you can plan everything and make all the purchases, actually installing the light fixtures, like swing arm wall lamps, may prove to be a bit more daunting than you had anticipated. It is better to be safe than sorry, so don’t skimp on the help if you need it!
Finally, consider maintenance for these fixtures. Light fixtures located on the ground will need to be monitored for debris build-up, as they can potentially catch fire if certain items, such as leaves or twigs, build up over top.
You should routinely clean your fixtures, wipe off the dirt and debris from the shades to ensure that you are getting maximum light and the most bang for your buck.
For wiring that is exposed, be sure to regularly check the wiring to ensure it has not become compromised or that the casing has not been worn away or chewed off by animals and other pests. Always make replacements immediately to avoid additional damage, such as a fire. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Start planning your outdoor lighting fixtures today to enjoy your home by day and by night!