Landscape lighting installation is an easy way to highlight and beautify your garden structures, statues, paths, patios, aquatic environments, and pools and it is the only way to beautify your landscape at night.
With professional-grade landscape lighting, you can harmonize the illumination to create smooth transitions between plants and accentuate what is needed. For instance, you might have a crystal clear, cool fountain you need to add some sparkle to, or you may need to illuminate a shady corner of the yard. Landscape lighting is one of the easiest methods to beautify your space.
Moreover, according to the Appraisal Institute, it is proven that good landscape lighting increases the value of a property. The long-term investment in an expertly built, correctly designed landscape lighting system would seem that it would pay off in the long run while you get to appreciate the short-term satisfaction.
Landscape Lighting Design & Installation
Landscape lighting is a significant factor in the attractiveness of your home. When you rely solely on landscaping, your work may be impressive but only during the daytime. The allure of your yard is no match for the surrounding darkness come nighttime.
For this reason, you should make use of a well-executed landscape lighting plan to let the intricate designs of your plants and yard shine in the spotlight. You didn’t spend all that time maintaining your flowers, trees, and other greenery for them to hide in the dark.
Furthermore, installing a decent landscape lighting system is a big plus for safety. By having lighting on your pathways or walkways, you can stop worrying about guests or family members tripping over unseen obstacles.
When considering landscape lighting, you should probably start by deciding whether to go with a low voltage system or a line voltage system. The landscape industry is predominantly installing low voltage systems, and for a good reason. Historically, before readily available transformers and lighting systems, your outdoor lighting would have been installed by an electrician and would have been line voltage. Below we will walk you through the Pros and Cons of both systems:
Low Voltage (Usually 12 volt DC, just like the electric in your car)
- Easy to install – Plug a transformer into an outlet and run the wires.
- Economical – There are systems and options in all price ranges
- Suitable for Do it Yourselfers – no need for an electrician
- The wire doesn’t need to be deeply buried.
- No one dies from low voltage.
- The wire is easy to repair if cut with a shovel or lawnmower.
- Many fixture choices
- Minimal tools needed
- Many different control options
- Fixtures are easy to place and adjust.
- New LED bulbs last a long time.
- High-end fixtures can have adjustable output and beam angles.
- Great for wet locations such as ponds and waterfalls
- Wires are shallow and get cut often.
- Wire runs are crucial – the longer the run, the more voltage is lost.
- Fixtures often move out of place.
- Fixtures tend to be more short-lived than line volt.
- The old halogen bulbs burn out yearly.
- Some LED lights have an odd, unnatural color.
- Need more maintenance – generally speaking, low volt systems require at least yearly adjustments, and the timers and transformers are more prone to failure.
Line Voltage (120 volt AC, this is the electricity in your house.)
- It can be as bright as you want it to be
- Wires are buried deep and to code.
- Fixtures are permanently installed and typically don’t move around.
- Bulbs can be bought at the local hardware store.
- Can have regular light switches in your house or can be on timers.
- Can be LED
- Very low maintenance and long-lived.
- It should be installed to code by a licensed electrician.
- More costly
- If you do cut a wire, you could get electrocuted.
- Not great for in waterfalls and ponds due to electrocution.
- More chance for danger – outside is often wet. If a bulb gets broken or fixture damaged, it could be dangerous.
- Typically uses more electricity.
- They are not easily adjusted or changed.
Types of lighting
These types are used to light the areas of your outdoor living space that need to be lit for safety’s sake so that people can see what they are doing. They come in many varieties and can be set in many locations.
- Wall lights
- Pathway lights
- Stairway lights
- Driveway lights
- Deck/Patio lights
- Yard Floodlights
- Security lighting
Accent lighting is used to highlight and present particular features of your yard at night. By using light wisely, you can paint a stunning nighttime portrait of your yard. These lights aren’t necessarily placed so that you can see better at night; they are simply used to create the look. These lights come in a wide array of different functions and styles, so you’ll need to do your research.
- Downlights – often hung on posts, on the house, or from trees. These lights can be bright to highlight features or dim and subtle to appear more like dappled moonlight.
- Uplights – placed on the ground pointing up at particular trees, plants, or objects that need to be highlighted. These can be bright or subtle and can come in many different beam widths.
- Submerged lights – Typically used in ponds and water features. While all outdoor fixtures are designed to get wet, only some are designed to be submerged in water.
- String lights: These have become very popular to use for lighting above your deck or patio.
There are plenty of outdoor lighting options that, while not unpleasant looking, are unimaginative and nothing special. You need to find lighting that will add flair to your space. There is a vast difference between buying a cheap kit at the local big box store, lighting a few trees, and designing an all-encompassing landscape lighting plan to showcase your home and yard. There are practically unlimited options for beautiful lighting effects.
Advanced LED Systems
LED (Light Emitting Diode)-based landscape lighting is a practical, energy-saving way to bring your yard, pathway, or garden to life. Compared to halogen lamps, these lighting systems are a valuable addition to any home due to their low-energy costs, longer lifespan (up to 50,000 hours), less heat output, and wide color selection.
If you want to liven up your yard in a surprising and less conventional way, then an electronically controlled LED system may be right for you. These systems can be set to cycle through different lighting effects automatically, or you can change effects with a remote control. It can be as simple as adjusting brightness or color or as complex as having the lighting change to the beat of the music. It’s all up to you. You can change your yard’s look with your mood or with the seasons!
A well-thought-out and designed landscape lighting system can make a world of difference to your yard. The difference can be quite literally night and day. Landscape lighting can enhance your property’s look, value, safety, and useability if appropriately done and with an eye for aesthetics.