Lighting up your outdoor areas can be surprisingly challenging. It may seem as if the best plan is just to flood the area. However, one bright light actually creates shadows in other areas, which can trip you or your guests up. Layer your lighting both to create a safe evening environment and to add visual appeal.
Light Up Pathways
The first consideration for outdoor lighting should be the pathways you and your guests take. Whether it's the walkway leading to the front door or a path out from the patio, it's important to provide safe travels. Utilize a selection of soft lights directed downward on the path. Better Homes and Gardens suggests staggering the placement of the lights to avoid creating the "runway effect."
Illuminate Task Areas
The next step in outdoor lighting is illuminating the other task areas. The most obvious space is the front door. Here is one area where a floodlight is appropriate, though wall-mounted lanterns can enhance an attractive front door while still letting you see your keys.
If you entertain on your patio, consider those task areas as well. The grilling and food preparation spaces need relatively bright lights. Dining or drink mixing stations perhaps require less illumination but still should be highlighted.
Highlight Interest Areas
The area in which your outdoor lighting can stand out is in the placement of accent lights. These lights are not strictly necessary for safety, but they can provide visual interest.
First of all, if you have any beautiful architectural features to your house or in your yard, consider highlighting them. For instance, a wash light aimed at the side of your home can showcase a pretty bay window or stately overhanging eaves. Likewise, a downlight aimed at a gazebo or trellis makes that feature a centerpiece.
Next, look to illuminating your landscaping. For example, a majestic tree looks even more regal with a well light pointed into its branches. Similarly, adding submerged lighting in a water feature creates a luminous look in your yard.
Finally, consider the symmetry of your lighting placement. Depending on your yard, you may not want to highlight the side of the house and the gazebo and the pond and the oak tree – that might be too much visual competition in a compact yard. Instead, illuminate the necessary areas of the path and front door. From there, identify dark spots in your yard, and plan on adding accent lighting there.
Your outdoor lighting has the potential to not only make your yard safe at night, but also to beautify your landscape. For more information, ask at companies like Attaboy Electric Service LLC.