November 12, 2020
Light Up Your Lawn: A Guide to Landscape Lighting
Imagine that you finally have the landscape of your dreams at your home or business, but as soon as the sun sets, it’s hidden away in the darkness. Guests continually pass your building because they can’t find it, or, worse, guests on your property fall and become injured because they can’t see or follow your pathways at night. Fortunately, landscape lighting offers an easy but beautiful solution so you and your guests can safely enjoy your outdoor spaces for more hours of the day. The sunset does not have to mean the sun sets on your fun!
When considering landscape lighting, one of the first questions to answer is what you hope to accomplish, whether to accent or highlight special features, add safety to pathways, or security to doorways. Functionality matters when considering each space in your yard, but you can mix and match lighting styles to achieve different goals. Whatever lighting you choose, ensure it is built well enough to withstand outdoor weather conditions and wear.
When using lighting for aesthetic purposes, think of which features of your yard may be lost in the daytime or those you particularly love and want to highlight. Unexciting features that seem dull in the day, such as retaining walls or concrete pillars, can take on a whole new look when bathed in light at night.
Less is often more when it comes to lighting, and when designing landscape lighting for aesthetic appeal, you should see the light’s effect but not the lighting component itself.
Accessibility and Security
Lighting can also be used to illuminate pathways and stairs or anywhere else a guest may fall in the darkness, bringing safety and accessibility to everyone who visits your home or business. Similarly, low-voltage or motion-sensor lights can be used to add security to your doors and windows.
Landscape Lighting Types
Floodlights and Spotlights
These two lighting types are similar but differ in their light beams. As the name suggests, spotlights cover a narrow field of view, typically around 45 degrees, and are mainly used to highlight certain features, such as statues or architectural details. Contrarily, floodlights are used for broader coverage, such as on a driveway, patio, or tennis court, and cover about 120 degrees.
These lights are best used for substantial structures in your landscape, such as walls, walkways, or trees, and they can be used alone or combined with spotlights for maximum dramatic effect. Some inground lights are specially designed to be embedded in a driveway and have sufficient weight ratings to support the heavy cars parked above.
Up or Downlights
These types of lighting are used to highlight certain features or areas. Uplighting can be used to shine on:
- Tree trunks and canopy undersides
- Garden walls
- House walls
Meanwhile, downlighting can brighten outdoor seating areas or entertainment spaces.
As the name suggests, this lighting type improves visibility and safety for your pathways. They are the most commonly used lighting and are typically more affordable than other types, so use as many as needed to adequately light up your sidewalks and walkways. The proper placement for path lights is 14 inches high, about 1 foot from the walkway’s edges.
Post lights are a great option if you have a long driveway that expands into the dark to your home or business. As the name suggests, these lights mounted in posts can be tall to illuminate a greater space or short for paths or small areas. Offsetting the post lights on each side of the path or driveway will help it look inviting and not like an airplane runway.
Another version of this lighting type is called a bollard light, whose light sits on top of the post with no cover. It’s the only landscape lighting capable of shining in every direction.
Get the Right Lights With SkyFrog
These are just a few examples of landscape lighting styles. There are countless options available, and determining which is best for the specific needs of your lawn and purposes can feel overwhelming. SkyFrog Landscape is here to help. Our team of expert horticulturists is knowledgeable in assessing your yard and helping you figure out which lighting styles suit your home or business. Contact us today for a free quote to start loving your outdoor spaces 24 hours a day.