Illuminated garden path and patio lighting

A Bright Idea: 5 Expert Tips on How to Design Landscape Lighting

We all know that lighting can have a powerful effect on our emotions, right? Think about set lighting in movies, at concerts, and at popular entertainment venues. These all set mood and impact how we feel.

Likewise, you may have given careful thought to the lighting design inside your home, especially in certain areas. But what about your outside lighting design?

We want to encourage you to give the lighting for your outside living space just as much consideration—especially if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors.

In this post, we’ll offer some expert tips on how to design landscape lighting to beautify your property. Read on!

How to Design Landscape Lighting

Here’s how to make your home look amazing after the sun goes down. Add some lighting for a beautiful nighttime display by following these important suggestions.

1. Start With a Plan

We say this a lot, but it’s unfortunate how often DIYers or first-time homeowners make costly mistakes due to lack of basic planning. With this topic, it’s important to pair lighting with function, so think about how you’ll use each outdoor space.

  • Will you be entertaining friends or enjoying dinner on the back patio?
  • Are your walkways straight and level, or are there steps and turns that could be hard to see at night?
  • Do you have any standout landscape elements you want to illuminate after dark?

Knowing how you’ll use each space will help you plan lighting logistics like switches, outlets, and low-voltage power lines.

2. Know Your Landscape Lighting Effects

Landscaped grouping of plants and shrubs highlighted by solar lights and edging.Different fixtures serve different purposes, so you will first need to decide what type of lighting you want in each area.

  • Spotlighting: creates a strong focal point on a single object
  • Uplighting: accents a tree or a similar structure from below
  • Downlighting: accents a tree or object from above
  • Cross-lighting: combines lights from two locations to create depth
  • Backlighting: creates a silhouette by illuminating an object from behind

Walkways are common areas for downlighting, while uplighting is attractive around bushes or shrubs, as well as on garden walls. Your local landscape designer can provide guidance about which types of lighting best suit your property.

3. Add Lights in Layers

Keep in mind that you don’t have to have every outdoor light on at all times.

Plan your lighting for two different scenarios: when you’re inside looking out, and when you’re enjoying your outdoor space. Make sure any fixtures you add don’t create glare or (even worse) shine directly into your home.

4. Remember to Use White Light

LED landscape uplighting illuminating palms at nightWarm incandescent light is great for creating a relaxing atmosphere inside your home. It also works well to extend lights from a fire pit or outdoor fireplace around a gathering area.  However, in the wrong areas that soft mellow lighting can make your lovely plants look sickly and pale.

Instead, choose white lights that have a cooler blue color temperature for your greenery lighting. The whiter your lights, the healthier your plants will look.

5. Don't Overdo It

Like many design elements, less is more when it comes to landscape lighting design.

If you try to highlight too many features, nothing will stand out. Space out your walkway downlights at least 2 feet apart—any more will be overkill.

Another tip is to pick one type of lighting fixture for downlighting and accent lighting. Mixing fixtures poorly can draw attention to the lights themselves, rather than to your beautiful landscape design.

Need Help With Your Landscape Lighting Design?

Now that you have some good tips on how to design landscape lighting, what’s next? Use the ideas outlined above to create a beautiful nighttime atmosphere around your property.

Are you lucky enough to have a home at Lake of the Ozarks? Are you ready to transform your landscape design with attractive lighting?

Get in touch with us today and let’s discuss your project.

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