There are many reasons people choose lighting the exterior of their home and landscape. If you were to take a walk around your property, you might notice areas, where once dark outside, someone could possibly trip. Maybe you have some unwanted animal visitors you want to get rid of. There is always the security of your home you want to consider and lights definitely deter thieves or vandals. Do you have an outdoor living space, you’d like to use at night? When someone is coming over, is your driveway hard to find? If so, adding some lights will help your guests locate your home.
After your survey, take a drive around your neighborhood after dark, looking for ways other homes and businesses have lit their property. What are they using to illuminate their exteriors and landscapes? What lighting techniques give off the mood you are looking for? Make notes of the types of lights used when you find something you like. You’ll need this list for the next step.
Sketching out your property, special features, and outdoor living spaces, like a barbeque pit or gazebo, will help in designing your outdoor lighting. So take the time and determine where or what you want to draw attention to. The last step in your design plan is to choose the appropriate light for these areas. So, here are some possibilities for designated areas and after that some tips from professionals.
Pathways, Walkways and Water Elements
Fixtures for these areas come in mushroom shapes, tulip lights, lanterns, tier lights and specialty lights . They provide low impact lights that won’t give off a glare. Shields on the fixtures direct light down onto these areas, so you don’t have a runway affect. The goal is visibility not blinding light. This soft lighting effect can be accomplished by installing your fixtures, if they are too bright, behind foliage which will both filter the light onto your pathways and show off your landscape.
Decks, Pergolas, Pools and Hot Tubs
Mounting flood lights or spot lights up high like on trellises or eaves, will give your decks, pergolas, pool or hot tub, the focused lighting they require for night time use. If you’re going for a moonlight effect, mount your fixtures up in a tree. Using a blue filter makes it even more realistic. The light will pass through the leaves creating a romantic ambience to your outdoor space.
Decorative Ponds, Groundcover, Gardens and Shrubbery
Spread lights give off an even, circular, and soft glow commonly used in beds with flowering plants, ivy like ground coverings, manicured shrubs, and ponds. Fixtures typically come on a post or pole shining the light downwards.
Façade Features, Retaining Walls, Privacy Fences, Entryways, Statues and Topiaries
By installing well lights, spot lights or wall wash lights, you will highlight stone and brick work on your house or retaining walls. Positioning fixtures half a foot to a foot from the element at a 90° angle will provide a dramatic effect. Points of entry into your home and poorly lit areas of your yard where an intruder could hide should also be well lit. Doing so will deter burglars and pesky animals roaming around. To create a striking shadow from topiaries or from an original statue, play with distance and angle of fixtures that light them. You will definitely turn heads with this technique.
To light up trees with little foliage, place solar lighting fixtures closer to the trunk. Installation at the foot of the tree will give trees a sophisticated, 3-D effect. Moving the lighting on trees with dense foliage to where the edge of its branches are produces a much better upshot.
Mix it up! By using varied lights, placement, and angles your lighting design will be a hit.
Reducing damage from mowing, fertilizing, and watering can be done through the use of well lights.
Use a timer, movement sensors or photocells that automatically turn on and off lighting. It will conserve energy and save you money.
Overlap the light given off by fixtures to avoid unwanted shadowing. Another shadow fix is to install fixtures behind shrubs.
Effects created with different lights and angle, areas to light, and careful planning should go into your landscape lighting design. Plans without planning are plans that spell disaster. Happy Planning!
Now you can remove the confusion in your mind on the topic of solar landscape light.