Lighting Hints for Beginners

Outdoor lighting can give your home a more curb appeal. It will make your yard more pleasing to look at as well as safer when walking around in the dark and being able to see. Landscaping lighting may not be on your number one "To Do" list but there are some affordable and practical solutions that will make it a quick fix for most beginner landscapers.

Getting Started:

Fist thing before you look at installing any lighting to your landscaping is see the current condition your yard is in.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you have lighting fixtures already installed?

Do you have necessary power to provide electricity to your entire landscaping, or does it need to be rewired?

Most houses have outdoor landscaping outlets outside of the house. Please makes sure your home has these connections. If not, you may want to hire an electrician to make the adjustments to the power outlets of your home to make them accessible to you and your landscape lighting.

Where to Aim:

It doesn't matter if you are wanting to light the front or the back of your landscaping with outdoor lights, you will need to decide the areas you would like to highlight them most. Maybe you have specific bushes or trees you would like to highlight. Make those areas a priority when adding directional light to accent them. Decide if you are looking to have your landscaping lighting point up or down on your subjects and work thought the yard with the similar theme.

What Style of Lights:

Exterior lighting are primarily going to be flood lights, spotlights or path lights and you might want to consider a combination of all three depending on how elaborate you want your lighting schema to be. Most flood lights will cast a wide beam of light that is perfect for illuminating areas such as walkways or large outdoor patios. Spot lights are more narrow and will allow you to focus more on specific targets to add your landscaping light to.

Type of Light:

Once you have picked the style you want to use, you will need to figure out if you are going with an LED, halogen or fluorescent lighting. Halogen lights will produce the higher intensity light this is whiter and brighter than a florescent but also will take more power to run than an LED light. Fluorescent lights give more of a natural glow and run hotter than Halogens and are less expensive to replace. LED has become the standard giving off less heat, a bright light with true white, and less power to run, however LED lights are the most expensive to start with and or replace.

Color of Light:

It's important to understand the color of lights you would like to achieve in your yard's landscaping. The color of light is produced by its temperature. The brighter the light, the hotter the light in most cases. Also most outdoor lighting will have options of color to give your landscaping even more appeal when accented by it.

Creating Effects:

The degree spread of the lamp is important when considering what you want to illuminate. Make sure you purchase fixtures for all external lights so that the light source is hidden or obscured. You wouldn't want to see ugly light fixtures that will take away the mood you are trying to achieve.

Final Checklist:

Make sure you test your lighting scheme to look for any unwanted shadows or hot spots. Make changes when you need in order to get your desired look. Test all lights for heat, loose wires and or reflections giving off light pollution to your neighbors.  Also make sure your lighting is hidden form the view of the street so your house has a finished and polished landscaping lit areas instead of a eye sore of light fixtures.

If you are interested in having a professional design your landscaping lighting, please contact JTB Landscapers today for a free estimate.

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