If you are considering a landscape lighting system for your home, after providing walkway and basic security lighting, you may be unsure about where, and if, additional lighting should be installed. Carefully placed, well designed landscape lighting can actually do much to increase the curb appeal and visual interest of your landscape. Here are some of the most important areas of to include as part of your landscape and garden design.
Lighting selected trees in your yard is one of the most dramatic ways to use landscape lighting effectively. Uplighting from the base of a tree usually has the most interesting results. In the summer, leaves will softly glow when lit from below. In the winter, uplighting will highlight the interesting shapes and form of the trunk and branches.
Use lighting on trees sparingly; one to three trees, depending on the size of your yard, is often enough. Pick the trees that have the most unusual form or bark patterns.
If you have any special features that stand out in your yard during the day, you may also want to show them off at night. Whether it’s a sculpture, bird bath, outdoor art piece or another focal point in the landscape, making it part of your lit nightscape will add to its interest and show a different side of its appeal.
House lighting should be more than just a spotlight or two shining down from under your eaves. Almost any house will look more elegant with a well light shining up onto part of the facade. It’s best to avoid windows, but any other part of an exterior wall is a good candidate. Lighting either side of a front porch or highlighting an interesting architectural feature are effective ways to light your house facade.
Water and light are a natural combination. Underwater lights or soft lights reflecting on water’s surface increase its appeal and add an exciting new aspect to your water feature. Any small pond or fountain with at least a few inches of water is a good place for underwater lights. Bubbling rocks or waterfalls will look even more dramatic at night with light emphasizing the water movement.
Even though path lights may be an obvious choice for landscape lighting, they remain one of the best ways to show off your home and yard at night. A slowly winding trail of low level lights looks like a place you would want to go. Whether it is your front walkway or a garden path through ornamental planting beds, path lights will attract visitors and family members, bringing them outdoors at night.
One of the best things about landscape lighting is it increases the number of hours each day you enjoy your yard and the outdoors. Even if you are only looking out the window, you will appreciate your nighttime landscape more. In addition, curb appeal is improved; lighting immediately makes any yard and house look like it belongs in a higher income bracket. Landscape lighting is a reasonably small investment that adds much enjoyment and lots of value to your home.