It’s that time of year! The weather is warm, sunsets are beautiful, and everyone wants to spend more time outside. You’ve done lots of work on your landscaping and patio space, and it looks great. Your neighbors are full of compliments, and you recently hosted an afternoon get together. But wait—all of these things have happened during the day, when the sun is shining and people are in sunglasses. You need a solution for the parties that last into the evening, past the sunsets and into the moonlight. You need your space to continue to be welcoming and functional. You need J&S Landscaping to help with your outdoor lighting solutions! What are some things to consider?
Less is More
Our eyes are drawn to areas with the greatest amount of visual contrast, which means that you don’t necessarily need a lot of fixtures to create a beautiful lighting effect. You want to highlight certain features to stand out, so consider what you’d like to show off (a unique tree? A fountain? A seating area?) and then begin thinking about the best way to display them. Think about light color and quality, and keep perspective in mind. For example, if you’d like to highlight a tree that will be seen from all sides, one accent light fixture won’t achieve the desired effect. You’ll need lights around the additional viewable sides.
Safety and Security
When considering adding lighting, you’ll want to make sure your entrances and paths are well-lit and shadow-free. This can include any side doors, any sidewalk or garden paths, and the yard entrance from the inside. Any stairs should certainly be included, and there are a number of ways to light them, including: under-tread lights, flexible LED strip lighting cut to size for each step, standalone bollards or post lights, and individual step lights mounted on a post or railing.
Security can be added to any lighting plan, and there are a number of options to achieve it. One is motion sensors that activate when someone enters your property, but the placement of these needs to be carefully considered if pets or other animals are routinely in the yard, as the sensor will pick up any movement. Another option is to add timers to turn lights on and off on a schedule, or to just keep a light on from dusk until bedtime to show that someone is present in the home. Some outdoor lighting manufacturers now offer smart lighting apps that allow you to control the lighting remotely even when you’re away. Any of these—or a combination of all three—will help keep your home safe as well as achieve aesthetic lighting goals.
As mentioned, you’ll want to choose a few things to highlight in your yard. Subtle uplighting can make a striking tree, a fancy sculpture or a terraced garden look great. Lighting can also benefit water features, adding drama to your swimming pool or outdoor pond.
Talk to the specialists at J&S Landscaping to discuss layered lighting, which can help set the mood of your space. This can be a simple as putting different lights on different circuits, such as your pathway lighting against your deck lighting. There is a also a wide range of dimmers and controls available that will allow you to create different settings for different events. Keep in mind that if different light sources are all operating off the same dimming circuit, all the fixtures will dim at the same time. Planning ahead when it comes to this is essential—consider the fixtures you want to control and how you want to control them.
Some other neat available controls are sunlight-activated sensors that shut lights off when its daylight, and time clock sensors that predict sunrise and sunset and switch lights on and off accordingly.
Call us Today!
It’s easy to recognize good outdoor lighting when you see it. When the sun goes down, the house looks welcoming – there are no dark shadows, and entrances and the driveway are well-lit, secure and beautiful.
You can create the same welcoming ambiance for your home with a good outdoor lighting plan. Start with a list of your goals for lighting your home’s exterior, and call J&S Landscaping today for all your outdoor needs!