Landscape lighting is an often overlooked home improvement project that can significantly enhance your curb appeal and improve the safety and security of your home. The addition of professionally installed, high quality low voltage lighting fixtures is an exciting opportunity to create a beautiful atmosphere throughout your entire outdoor space.
Landscape Lighting Installation
The Basics of Outdoor Lighting
There are many different types of landscape lighting, and generally, the best plan is to combine several types of lighting in your yard to create the right effect. Most outdoor lighting systems consist of 5 basic parts.
- Transformer - Reduces your standard 120 volt household current to a lower, safer, 12 volts
- Bulb - Determines the brightness, beam width, electricity usage, and color of the light
- Fixture Housing - The enclosure that protects the light from the elements and directs the beam
- Stake - Holds the ground-based lighting fixture in place
- Cable - Brings the electricity from the house to the outdoor light
The Most Common Types of Landscape Lights
Everyone has heard of outdoor flood lights, but today's landscape lighting goes far beyond that. Here are some of the most common types of outdoor lighting fixtures.
This type of lighting shines the beam up from the ground onto the subject. Up lighting can be used on trees, houses, walls, and focal points to create a dramatic and appealing effect.
Wash lighting is similar to up lighting, except it lights a broader area with a softer light. Wash lighting is also placed farther out from the subject, usually at least a foot away. This type of lighting is great for creating outdoor ambiance.
These lights are compact and have a narrow beam. They are perfect for specifically directing light, and can be used to highlight flags, trees, bushes and other features on your property.
What's the difference between wash, bullet, and flood lighting? Flood lighting is more of a general lighting, and casts a much wider beam than a bullet light. It is also much brighter than a wash light. Flood lighting is typically used in parking areas and driveways.
A well light is buried directly into the ground in a waterproof housing. They are aesthetically pleasing because you can't see the fixture, just the effect. Well lighting is a form of up lighting and can be used under foliage and in plant beds.
Garden lights are the type you see along pathways, with a short stem and a hooded bulb that casts light downward. While well lighting completely disappears, garden lights are meant to be seen, and you can choose styles to match your outdoor décor.
Popular Placements for Landscape Lighting
While it is possible to expand your outdoor lighting system at any time, it's always best to begin the project by covering the major areas. Here are some great ideas for areas of your home to light with landscape lighting.
Your trees are one of the major highlights of a yard and garden. To make them shine at night, aim ground lights directly up into foliage for a dramatic effect. Be sure to point the light so some of the trunk is illuminated as well. You can also use down lights in trees. Hang them as high as possible and point directly down. Be sure to keep each light's beam separated for the best effect.
Landscape lighting is important for safety as well as beauty. Paths, driveways, and walkways should always be well-lit at night. Use a combination of lighting features such as garden lights, down lights, and well lighting to get the right level of safety without being too harsh.
Pointing lights at your house's facade looks beautiful at night, and emphasizes the pride you place in your home. This extra step creates the ultimate curb appeal after the sun goes down. Bullet lights do a great job at highlighting architectural details like doorways and corners. Fill in the spaces in between with a softer wash light to put your house in the best light possible at night.
If your property has a special feature like a gazebo, statue, or flag, landscape lighting is a perfect opportunity to emphasis it's beauty. Use flood lights or bullet lights in front of a focal point, or light it from behind for a dramatic silhouette effect. It's best to use two or more lights to avoid shadows.
Go with the Experts
Once you've decided what types of lighting you want to add to your property, the most important thing is to have it professionally installed. Caribbean Electrical Contractors will make sure you have the best exterior lighting fixtures for the application and that they are expertly installed. Properly installed landscape lighting will give you many years of enjoyment as well as increase the value of your property. To find out all your options, contact us today. Our experienced staff is ready to discuss all aspects of your project with you.