Good backyard lighting offers both a safer and more attractive property. Ample lighting helps to prevent injuries and to deter vandalism and other crimes. But lighting is not only functional. When a home is properly lit, the lightscape will add beauty by emphasizing a property’s soft and hard landscaping features and creating a specific mood. Outside lighting is an important aspect of any home design and is something every homeowner needs to seriously consider.
Mastering Outdoor Lighting
Creating a stunning lightscape for your property is a skill worth learning. You can try a few of the following suggestions to improve the look of your home’s exterior lighting.
Think in Zones
A good way of approaching outside lighting is to divide your property into different zones. Think about the public and private areas of your yard and how people will typically use each area.
Public areas include entrances, pathways, and property lines. These areas need maximum illumination to make them as safe as possible. A series of solar-powered LED lights are a perfect choice for avoiding accidents on walkways, steps, and driveways at night. All entrances to your home must have adequate lighting. Many homeowners find attaching entrance lights to a motion detector is a convenient and cost-saving option. Overhead or sconce-type lights work well for entrances. A well-lit property line makes your home more welcoming and keeps away unwanted visitors. Installing automatic dusk to dawn lighting means you don’t have to remember to turn on and off your home’s exterior lights.
Check your local zoning regulations before installing public area lights. Some towns forbid “unshielded” fixtures and have restrictions on other forms of “intrusive” lighting to prevent light pollution.
The goal for lighting a private area is different from lighting a public area. Instead of using lights to allow people to see and be seen, light is used in a private area to establish a mood or to highlight interesting focal points, creating a special space to share with your family and guests.
There are three main types of lighting positions you can choose. Up-lighting is shining a light up from the ground level. This creates a dramatic effect and used for lighting a property feature like a tree or statue. This type of lighting produces plenty of appealing shadows and placing a light behind an object creates an even more striking effect. Down-lighting is lighting a space from above. Soft down-lighting can simulate the light of a full moon and adds a romantic element. This is especially true when you use a cooler, bluish light. Cross-lighting eliminates shadows by lighting an object from both sides.
Try to vary the color, height, and amount of the lighting to add more charm to your backyard.
Use Lighting to Create Outdoor Spaces
Outside lighting is a fantastic way to break up a large yard and define separate outdoor spaces, or “rooms”. By lighting each outdoor “room” independently you are able to create a feeling of intimacy and give each area its own character.
Strands of overhead hanging lights are a great way to light a patio or deck. Hanging lights are bright enough for cooking, eating, and socializing without being too harsh. Use softer, colored lighting for seating areas to encourage a relaxed feeling. Consider incorporating candles, gas lanterns or fire features as part of your outdoor lightscape for a more natural look.
Before spending thousands of dollars on lightscaping your Arizona home, call 480-756-9100 to speak with the lightscaping experts at Blooming Desert.