Brighten your outdoors
One final touch that can really accent the beauty of an outdoor garden is landscape lighting. Many people unfortunately neglect this step, which is a shame – a lit garden at night can truly be breathtaking. Landscape lighting is a fairly simple addition to a garden, but if you really want to take advantage of it, it requires an artistic touch. In most cases, if you've planted your own garden you know what kind of lighting will look good, but if not you can always contact a professional landscaper.
Landscape Lighting Installation
Outdoor landscape lighting is pretty simple to install and wire, but difficult to master the placement. There are a lot of subtle nuances to the procedure. Generally, the following placements are encouraged:
- Architectural features such as facades should be lighted from below.
- Spotlighting can be used to bring out textures.
- Make foliage appear more dramatic by putting light sources below or behind it.
- Fountains and other water fixtures can be lit up to draw visitors' eyes.
- Garden gazebos and archways can be targeted with landscape lighting to draw attention.
- Illuminated handrails, pathways and stairs can help improve nighttime safety.
These are just a few of the basic concepts of outdoor landscape lighting. Once you've established the basic layout of your lighting, consider some more advanced techniques, such as using colored lighting to highlight a hot tub or a similar luxury location.
Security Landscape Lighting
Another advantage of landscape lighting is for security purposes. More than 90 percent of crimes happen at night. If your property is lit by landscape lighting, criminals will be less likely to target your home. Landscape lighting makes it difficult for them to remain hidden, blocking their approach and escape. In many cases, this can totally dissuade a person from performing a home invasion or another unlawful activity.
Solar Landscape Lighting
Another popular choice is solar landscape lighting. With this type of lighting, solar energy is stored in rechargeable batteries. This is a more cost-effective option for many homes, however it is somewhat subject to the whim of the elements. If the solar panels aren't able to take in enough light, they may not keep your garden lit through the night.
Wired Landscape Lighting
When it comes to wired landscape lighting, there are four major options. Each has different statistics for efficiency and light output. LEDs (light emitting diodes) are one of the most efficient forms of lighting. LED lights are durable, impact resistant and waterproof. These lights have lifetimes of 100,000 hours or more, making them the most long-lasting choice. With an efficiency of about 30 percent, they are also one of the most energy efficient. The other choices are incandescent lighting (1 to 10 percent efficiency – the worst choice, but the cheapest), florescent lighting (40 percent efficiency), and high-intensity discharge bulbs (50 to 80 percent efficiency – powerful, but have many special requirements and restrictions).