By Clarissa Allison | September 16th, 2016
Those of us in the Southwest are thrilled that Autumn is (mercifully) approaching fast. We’ve soaked up the air-conditioning all Summer long, and now we want to revel in the cool fall breeze while relaxing on our decks, patios and gardens with family and friends. If you’re also excited for Fall, you’ve probably already thought about ways to enhance your garden and surrounding landscape for the new season. Below, we’ve outlined three different essential types of landscape lighting to create the perfect ambiance for your outdoor retreat.
Tip: Use a variety of lighting types for the best effect. Through a combination of overall lighting that illuminates your general landscape, task lighting that helps perform a job, and accent lighting which emphasizes features, you can create a lighting design layout that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional!
Lighting for Visibility
Lighting is important when it comes to navigating your outdoor walkways, paths and other areas that may be potential hazards. Get the full picture of your lighting scheme – such as brightness, shadows, and direction. View your garden and backyard at night as a visitor might, armed with a flashlight to determine areas that people may trip or fall off of the path. Perhaps there isn’t enough light to assist in parking in the driveway. In addition, the deck and steps are invisible, the walk to your outdoor storage area is steeped in darkness, and it isn’t easy to find your front door without illumination. Make note of these areas when you begin to design your lighting plan. Path lighting is the easiest and most common solution to the problem of visibility by placing fixtures along the borders of walkways, driveways, and patios. Path lights should be placed strategically, yet not interrupt daily activities like moving the lawn or driving on a driveway. We have a huge selection of path, deck and step lighting, as well as lamp posts in solar options to help eradicate potential pitfalls in your landscape design.
Lighting for Security
Security Lighting is something of a given for both private residences and commercial businesses. While it’s true that lighting alone won’t make your home invulnerable to crime or intruders, proper security lighting like those equipped with motion sensors and timers will certainly increase your sense of safety and peace of mind – as well as helping to deter unwanted visitors in both the human and animal variety.
Outdoor security lighting is used for industrial, commercial, residential and military installations. At Louie Lighting, we have a multitude of motion detector triggered floodlights or spot lights containing various types of light sources. Most outdoor security lights function all through the night. In such cases, LED driven security lights or HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps are often utilized due to their efficiency and lower energy costs. If someone approaches, the sensor will trip causing the lights to come on. These lights are often placed near the garage, entrance to the home and the patio areas. Automatic timers are also an option for when you’ll be away for extended periods and still want the home to appear occupied. Be sure to mount your security lighting high enough so that it’s out of reach for disabling or vandalism. Motion detectors can be very sensitive, and small animals like cats can trip them. Advanced devices, however, can be set at a higher threshold so that small animals like Mr. Flufflebaum won’t set them off.
Lighting for Beauty
We’re sure you have beautiful objects within your landscape that you wish to draw attention to, such as a lovely tree, interesting architecture, a pond or a cobblestone path. You can enhance these facets of your home with several lighting techniques that will highlight your most beloved features and create the perfect amount of drama for the landscape. At Louie Lighting, we offer hundreds of landscape spotlights and accent lights with energy efficient light sources such as LED that are bound to beautify your yard for years to come.
- Highlighting is a common technique found in landscape lighting, created by placing a spotlight at the base of an outdoor feature, such as a tree. You can experiment with different lighting designs by varying the beam spread, color temperature, and distance of the installed light.
- Silhouetting is achieved by placing a spotlight behind the feature. When aimed towards an adjacent wall, an illuminated backdrop is the result. This technique is great for showcasing plant life at sunset.
- Wall-washing creates a low and even glow that is spread to illuminate shrubs, textured wall surfaces or other special details.. Placed a few feet away from the object at a sideways angle, you achieve even and understated illumination. A flood light with a wide beam spread and a low wattage is recommended for this technique.
- You can offer a greater contrast by implementing the bold effect of Up-lighting. An excellent way to highlight your unique architectural elements such as repeating patterns like windows, archways, etc. up-lighting is also the perfect way to make flowering trees take center stage.
- Down-lighting is created by placing a light fixture up high, such as on a trellis, tree, or eave, and cast downwards to spread light over a larger area. This creates general ambient lighting for backyard parties and also adds the feel of additional security.