If you have a gorgeous landscape around your home, it would be a waste not to enjoy it during the nighttime, too. With some landscape lighting, you can see all of those bushes, flowers, and hardscaping elements after the sun sets. But just mounting a few lights in your backyard is not really enough. Here are some tips to adhere to as you design your landscape lighting scheme.
1. Place some high and others low.
You want to create layers of light within your landscape lighting scheme. This will help cast a uniform glow over the space while also illuminating some specific elements more completely. Lights mounted higher above the landscape design cast a broad expanse of light. Those mounted closer to the ground cast smaller circles or beams of light, illuminating certain elements specifically.
2. Uplight tall trees.
If you have some tall trees on your property, or if you have a tall flagpole, the best way to call attention to it is with uplighting. This involves mounting a small light on the ground but angling it upward so the light beams up into the sky, concentrating on the tall element. There are landscape lights that you can stick into the ground in your mulch or soil. These are the perfect choice for this uplighting arrangement. You may want to install them when it is dark outside so you can see where the light is focused and adjust the angle of the light accordingly. It will be hard to adjust the uplight during the daytime since you can't see where the light is shining.
3. Enhance your walkways.
Walkways are not just functional. They can have a deeper meaning in the design of landscaping. They represent the standpoint from which you experience the landscaping. Illuminating the walkway is a way of calling attention to its importance. Plus, the illumination makes it a lot safer to walk through your yard at night. You won't accidentally trip over a raised section or rock that you forgot was there! The best lights for illuminating a walkway are small lights mounted on a stick with about a 3- or 4-inch diameter. The ones you choose should have round heads so that they're able to cast light in all directions. As you push them into the ground, angle them slightly toward the path so the light becomes more focused on the path. Place a light about every 3 feet along the pathway.
4. Put your lights on a motion sensor.
You don't want to waste electricity powering the lights all night long when nobody is around. A good way around this is to put your lights on a motion sensor. Depending on the layout of your yard, you might need a few sensors — one at the back door, another along the walkway leading into your yard, and perhaps a third at the driveway. If you end up having trouble with animals, like squirrels, tripping the sensors and turning the lights on, mount them about two feet off the ground so they are not triggered by these small creatures.
5. Hide lights in architectural elements.
At this point, you might be thinking about the impact that tons of little black lights will have on the appearance of your landscape in the daytime. There's a way around this. Include some of the lights in the architectural elements of your yard. For example, you can buy lights mounted inside of rocks to place along a path. You can also build lights into the backs of steps or even hide black push-lights in a bush.
With the tips above for your landscape lighting design, you can create a gorgeous outdoor space.