Lighting for your landscape can be the factor that can transform your backyard from being basic to stunning; however, implementing a lighting plan for your backyard is a daunting task. Don't worry that this shouldn't be the situation. We want to welcome you to Landscape Lighting 101, where we'll provide an overview of the different kinds of lighting you'll see in a landscape and what they are meant to accomplish.
· What can you do to illuminate your yard
· Lighting for landscapes:
· How do you use landscape lighting?
Like many things in the world, less is indeed more, which is especially true in the case of lighting your landscape. The first instinct is to illuminate everything, including every aspect of every tree, each little nook, and cranny, in addition to increasing the cost of electricity and scrubbing the lawn. What makes a space unique at night is the blend of dark and light accentuating features that you may not notice during the day. It also creates shadows and contrasts by using the shapes and plants in your garden. Combining these elements will create interest and intrigue, and space is usually one that you'd love to remain.
What to Light In Your Landscape
What do you shine, and what do you keep in the dark? Three things to think about: Find the elements within your yard that you enjoy. Maybe it's a lake or a magnificent tree. Highlighting the ones with lights will show how beautiful they are. Bring drama to spaces that may not be noticeable in the daytime. A stone wall could be transformed into a completely new appearance at night when surrounded by shadows and light. Consider the function. A deck with steps or a meandering path needs to be lit to ensure that you freely move around the yard with no risk of injuries. Always think about an inviting and well-lit entranceway. A well-lit entranceway to your home can be able to safely guide family members or guests to a cozy and inviting curb appeal. Types of Landscape Lighting If you've decided on what you're looking to light, what can you do to accomplish it? There are several fundamental fixtures you must be acquainted with while creating your lighting strategy. Below are the different types of lighting you could see in a landscape Spotlights / Floodlights The distinction between a floodlight and a spotlight is due to beam spread. Spotlights shine a concentrated light beam, which is usually about 45 degrees. It's simpler to aim and adjust to ensure that you're trying to highlight certain areas of interest, such as the architectural features or landscape Spotlights are the ideal choice.
Floodlights typically have a larger beam spread, which can be around 120 degrees. If you're looking to spread lighting over large areas, such as the driveway or lot, then you should choose the floodlight. It's safer overall and visibility. Inground Lighting An inground light also called a lighting fixture, also known as well light, is usually an oval-shaped fixture that is inserted right into the ground and is commonly used to light pathways and driveways. Inground lighting can enhance the beauty and visibility of the elements in your backyard. They create the illusion of drama and create an upward light that lights the entire area of a structure or tree. It also highlights the people in the area and isn't on an ordinary night. They're ideal when mixed with spotlights when you can blend them with uplighting. However, lighting by itself can be a great lighting option. Because inground lights are concealed beneath the soil, the effect of light makes them stand out. If the light source is inground light, ensure it's utilized to create an enormous presence in your lawn. Do not worry about garden gnomes or small flowers; focus on the garden wall and trees. Inground can also illuminate driveways for more secure navigation in gates and lots. They must have the right vehicle weight ratings appropriate for the vehicles that cross them. Select a model that is sturdy and durable in terms of weight. It is also recommended to choose LED lights since they offer crisp colors that are stunning in dim light and last long.
Outdoor Post Lights
The post lights (and their sturdy cousin's bollard lights) can help to highlight the path to your home and provide an ambiance without the overwhelming brightness of flooding lights. The tall posts are perfect for illuminating driveways and large expanses of space that is lost in the darkness. The shorter posts are ideal for small spaces and paths. Important considerations: The number of light fixtures: To determine the number of lights for your post you require, keep track of the length of the light's circumference within the frame of your post. Set your next fixture within the space. The fixture's height will allow you to determine the best placement, while the purpose of the light will inform you that it's placed in the right spot. This will keep the yard from appearing like an airfield. If you can, place fixtures on the opposite sides of the pathway, moving circularly to create a functional and welcoming entrance. Path Lighting The path lights are an essential outdoor fixture that all yards must be equipped with. Like post lights, they provide lights that mark an arc, but paths lights are shorter and smaller than. They can greatly improve the curb appeal, and obviously, they help make walking more secure. Important considerations:
Size: When selecting the path lights you want to install, be sure to consider height. To get smooth, even lighting, lights for your path are recommended to be placed at least 14 inches high. Scale: About the boundaries, your walkways must be at least 1 foot from the edges of the walkway or path. Remember to note the size of the light surrounding the fixture and place your lighting outside of these areas to avoid crowding. Materials: The lighting fixtures you choose to install should be strong and made of materials resistant to wear and corrosion. The powder-coated finish offers long-term resistance to outdoor elements, and soda-lime glass is robust throughout the year. LED lights for paths are highly recommended since they are cost-effective due to less power consumption, and they are cool to burn with a variety of color temperatures. Choose a light that can enhance the appearance that your exterior house. Other Landscape Accent Lights Deck and Step Lights As an accent to architectural features and provide security to dark staircases or decks. Deck and step light fixtures are incorporated directly in a garden's hardscape or decking. They are also utilized to wash light down stone walls or light up spaces for entertainment. Pond Light A spotlight aquatic! However, it's similar to the spotlight designed to be submerged into water to affect outdoor water features dramatically. Hardscape Lights Hardscape lights are the newest alternative to landscape lighting because of LED technology. They are small lights with brackets or flanges installed onto or in structures to clean and saturate walls with lighting. Do not be overwhelmed; there are many light sources and plenty of places to put the lights. One of the most effective methods to determine the best location for your idea is to purchase a high-quality, high-powered flashlight with a dimming optical and venture out in your backyard in the evening. Play around with the lighting. Check out what you like, or what doesn't also.
The first thing you'll need to plan is to figure out the lighting requirements for your area. For instance, walkways that lead to your home should be lit to allow people to see where they are headed. To do this, you'll require rather bright lights that focus the light in the direction it needs to be. I generally use low-voltage lights (rather than solar lamps) in these areas since they spread the light more evenly. Be sure that all the steps are lit up so that everyone knows how to get down.
Solar lights are ideal for this purpose, especially on decks that are already in place. No wires are making them easy to set up! If you own a patio or deck in which people gather at night, you'll need to ensure that you have enough light to allow people to be able to see one another. One of my favorite ways for this is to utilize umbrellas for patios that have lighting under them. In these cases, the solar model can work quite well (yes, I purchased one )...which helps make it simpler to put up since there is no wiring required. It is also possible to include Citronella candles or even torches into this category. The reason is not because of the light they bring. However, they can help repel mosquitoes and other bugs, which can cause trouble outdoors.
DESCRIBE THE FOCAL POINT(S) The next step is to choose which parts of your yard you wish to make central areas. This could include fountains or sculptures, specimen plants, or any other feature within your garden that you wish to highlight in the evening. You will typically use spotlights for up-lighting or down-lighting. The effects of these lights can make your garden's focal points be noticed. I typically use low voltage lights for these purposes too. The majority of solar lights don't have the power to produce sufficient light to create an effective look.
PLAN THE FILLER LIGHTS The next step is to incorporate lighting that acts as fillers. The majority of light can be used to fill this niche. The aim is to create garden lighting that appears cohesive. A single light that is placed alone in the backyard won't create the impression that people want. It looks scarier than inviting. If you've got places like this, you should plan to put extra lights around it to form a grouping. Fill the "black holes" with a light that can join the lighting groups. Repeating the same kind of lighting several times (like lighting several hanging baskets) is easy to achieve. The idea isn't to draw attention to something but to make a connection which your eyes can follow throughout the yard. Don't be scared to put in the fun lighting you like, and add some personal style to your yard. Lay the wire out Once you have figured out the location you'll be placing your lights; you can figure out the locations where wiring needs to be. Utilize hoses or strings to plan out the location where wires will run. In general, you shouldn't connect over 100' on one line. This is because the electrical signal transmitted through the line is less intense the longer it travels. If the wire runs too far, the light at the end will not have the same brightness as the ones that were at the beginning. If you require more than 100 feet of wire, you should plan to connect several lines. Some transformers can be connected to multiple wires. They are useful when locating them in the same area and connecting two wires to them in various directions. In other cases, you might require planning to install multiple transformers that are situated in different areas. For instance, I have four transformers in my backyard, and two of them are connected to multiple lines. Also, you must determine the locations you will connect the transformers to. They must be connected to GFCI outlets that automatically shut off the power supply to the line off if water gets into the line (and it does happen from time to time). If you have a few lighting fixtures that are away from your view, You might want to consider solar lighting for them. It can make the installation much easier. Once you've figured the wiring layout, measure how long all the wires are to determine the amount you'll need. I always buy 12-gauge landscape lighting wire. It's a bit higher in cost, but it can handle a heavier load. It is also easier to add additional lighting later on without needing to replace the wiring. Pick YOUR LIGHT FIXTURES The next step is to select (or buy) exactly the fixtures you will use for your lighting fixtures. Be aware of which fixtures you would like to have low-voltage and which are solar. In most instances, there is no need for any more than twenty W of bulbs to create lighting effects for your landscape. I typically employ 20W for lighting up, 10W up to 20W for downward lighting, and 7 W-12 for lighting paths. You will need to add the Wattage of all the lights connected to the line for each wireline. This will be needed to calculate the power of the transformer.
What's the dimension of TRANSFORMER? All transformers that are low voltage come with a Wattage rating. This is the number of Watts it will provide on every wire connected to that transformer. For instance, if you purchase a 200W transformer, the total Watts for all lighting fixtures attached to the transformer must not exceed 200 watts. I typically leave at least 30 Watts of my capacity to spare if I need to add another light in the future. If the total power for one wire was at 140 Watts (the calculation you made in the earlier step) and you want to add 30 Watts, it means you'll need the transformer to have the capacity of 170 Watts. Also, as an aside, it is not a problem to acquire a larger transformer than what you'll need. If you purchase an electric transformer that can handle multiple wires, each line will have a wattage rating. This will inform you of how many Watts you could connect to every wire coming from the transformer.