Outdoor Lighting: Techniques for Illuminating Your Landscape

September 2011

Patio LightsOutdoor lighting can completely change the way you think about your landscaping. An underused patio can become an enchanting rendezvous with the right lighting. Well-aimed lights can turn a foreboding, unfriendly fence into a familiar neighborhood icon. And well placed outdoor lighting can improve the safety and security of your family by discouraging unwanted visitors.

Well and fine, you might reply to these tantalizing outdoor lighting ideas, but how do I actually get started with selecting lighting for my Lake Oswego landscaping? Below, we’ve provided an introductory overview to outdoor lighting techniques commonly used today. Read on to generate outdoor lighting ideas that will compliment your property.

Low-Voltage Outdoor Lighting: Solar and LED Options

These days, most homeowners choose low-voltage bulbs to manifest their outdoor lighting ideas. Low-voltage lighting requires less energy, so it can be safely left on for long stretches without costing you an arm and a leg. And because low-voltage lighting flows at 12 to 24 volts, homeowners do not need to hir an electrician to run the wiring or connect the fixtures.

LED outdoor lighting fixtures are especially energy-conscious options compared to incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs are highly energy efficient, they can often burn for tens of thousands of hours on a single bulb and your electricity bill will be significantly lower than conventional lighting options.

Directional and Accent Lighting

Use directional or accent lighting to showcase especially striking aspects of your garden. For instance, let’s say you’re especially proud of the enormous weeping cherry tree in front of your home in Lake Oswego. Landscaping artists would recommend shining some directional outdoor lighting on that beloved tree so as to draw the attention of passersby.

As you place accent outdoor lighting in your landscape, remember that you can use either uplighting or downlighting when highlighting favorite elements. Uplighting means you are aiming the bulb up toward the feature you want to spotlight, whereas downlighting means the bulb is aimed downward.

Path Lighting

Adding outdoor lighting to your walkways will delight your guests – and help prevent them from tripping. There are many different types of lights available for this purpose. Use light shields to help aim walkway lighting down toward the path.

Security Lighting

As you review your outdoor lighting ideas, think about illuminating areas where intruders would be likely to hide. Spotlights triggered by motion sensors are especially effective for security lighting.

Patio, Fence and Deck Lighting

Recessed lights can be installed in decking to create a natural boundary.  Lights can be incorporated into paver patios and step as well fence posts.  These lights are fairly easy to install and score high on curb appeal. Don’t forget to include your deck, patio, and fence as you brainstorm outdoor lighting ideas.

As you begin placing outdoor lights around your property, however, be careful not to go overboard. Shed light only on the most beautiful, enchanting parts of your yard. Too many outdoor lights will only come across as garish.

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