When the sun goes down, do you want your yard and property to sit in darkness, or do you want to light up the night?! Striking a balance between energy efficiency and tasteful lighting is an art in itself but can help to bring a new dimension to your outdoor spaces as well as increase the safety and usability of your property at night. The following guide offers some recommendations on where to place outdoor lighting for maximum functionality and beautification!
Common Locations to Place Outdoor Lighting
Driveways and Garages
Positioning lighting along your driveway or adjacent to a garage is an important feature when arriving to your home, especially for newly arrived guests. Given how difficult it can be to determine where a specific address is located (even with GPS!), having lighting to identify your home makes it easier to find the right address as well as to drive into your driveway without driving onto the lawn or adjacent planting. Further, knowing where your garage is located makes it easier to pull the car in while avoiding any adjacent obstacles, such as decorative planting and planters, ornate borders, or retaining walls located alongside the driveway.
Doors and Walkways
Lighting around entranceways and walkways provides a functional enhancement for your home. If you’re returning home late on a cloudless night, lighting that runs parallel to your walkway can help you avoid any unexpected tripping hazards, such as steps or debris that may have fallen onto your walkway, while making sure you stay on a marked path rather than wander off into the mud. Likewise, lighting around a doorway makes it much easier to find keys and other stowed items upon entering your home while also providing an additional security dimension, as would-be burglars are not as apt to enter a home if they can be detected.
Lighting around foundation planting offers more of an aesthetic enhancement but also offers increased security. As with lighting around a doorway, it creates an additional deterrent for breaking and entering. The greatest asset of foundation lighting is that it can help to enhance intricate planting located along the front of your home as well as create a more inviting glow from the outdoors, creating a more regal effect for guests as they approach and enter your home.
Decks and Patios
Since summer is a popular time of year for outdoor dining that can extend late into the evening, positioning lighting around decks and patios, as well as pergolas, porches, and gazebos, creates further functionality for these outdoor spaces. Lighting creates a more social environment, as no one really wants to sit in the dark to have a conversation. Having pre-positioned lighting also decreases the inconvenience of carrying out lamps to turning on overhead lighting that can burn out or provide poor lighting. Lighting that runs along the perimeter of an outdoor space such as a deck or patio also creates an added safety measure for those transitioning or accessing the space from other areas of your home, such as a lawn or a driveway upon arrival. As with other landscape lighting features, it can create a dreamier effect that adds another dimension to the outdoor experience.
Landscape lighting around a pool adds an additional safety feature, especially if you don’t have a gate around your pool. Guests, particularly children, can navigate around the pool deck in the evening without worrying about tripping and falling into the pool (a particular hazard if your party is lively and filled with ample alcohol!). For those who enjoy nighttime swimming, landscape lighting can extend your swimming session, so you don’t have to swim around in the dark while also creating an ethereal effect that creates a distinct experience while enjoying evening aquatics.
Trees and Ponds
Illuminating around trees and ponds serves primarily as an aesthetic feature, though it also has safety relevance. Most often, landscape lighting positioned around trees and ponds allows you to enhance these features to create a nighttime aesthetic that brings your yard to life while adding a new dimension to features that would normally only stand out during the daytime. Lighting around ponds and trees does also serve as a safety feature, particularly if ponds are low-lying without retaining walls and trees are featured in areas that may be heavily trafficked during the evening. In these cases, lighting can help to identify these features so that those transiting, and the features themselves can enjoy the evening in peace.
Lighting can be used in a variety of ways to bring a new dimension to your home while also providing additional functionality and enhanced safety. We hope that the above guide has sparked your interest in the benefits of landscape lighting, and we’d be honored to share our joy of landscaping lighting with you.