Custom landscape lighting is a lot like painting. Good painters make use of light and shadow to play up different elements and figures in the painting, bringing some to the front and letting others dissolve into the background. Landscape lighting is very much the same. A little accent light here or a path light there can bring architecture, trees, shrubbery, or water features to life.
The good news is you don’t need to go to art school to be able to plan your own landscape lighting. Let these five exterior lighting ideas inspire you to turn your landscape into something Monet, Renoir, or Cézanne would paint:
1. The Art of Uplighting. Install uplights at the base of an architectural plant so that the light shines upward on them. There are many types of architectural plants you can highlight: agaves, Italian cypress (à la van Gogh), yuccas, or Japanese niwaki (if you want to go for an Asian theme).
Pro tip: Don’t illuminate every plant in your yard. Instead, choose a group of trees or plants you want to focus on.
2. Moonlight Glow. When you mount a light fixture high atop a tree, trellis, or eave to cast light onto a wide area below, you call it downlighting. This technique is designed to cast soft shadows on the ground, the same way moonlight does. It works well in increasing safety and security in your yard as well as providing ample light and ambience when entertaining guests.
Pro tip: Use a wide-angle, low-intensity light to capture that gorgeous moonlight glow.
3. The Water Rule. Illuminate pools, ponds, and other water features using submerged lighting. This creates just the right amount of warm glow to draw attention to the water. For a more balanced look, pair underwater lighting with accent lights on surrounding plants.
4. Subtly Romantic. Sometimes less is really more. You don’t want your landscape to look like a prison yard by flooding it with too much light. Path lights that glow softly and blend quietly into the landscape create a romantic ambience for your garden or yard at night.
Pro tip: Stagger lights. Place some higher, lower, nearer, or farther from the path to avoid an airport runway look.
5. Wash It Up. If you have an exterior wall, siding, or panel with an interesting texture or design, use landscape lighting to draw attention to it. Aim a wide beam of light at your wall from a few feet away to create a wall wash. This technique allows you to cast playful lighting and shadows on the wall as well as provide soft accents to nearby plants.
The key to a well-executed outdoor lighting job is bringing all techniques and ideas together to form a cohesive whole. This could prove to be a challenge even to the most artistic homeowners, so fret not if you think you can’t do it alone.
This is what we at Vernon Daniel Associates are here for. We help you with the design, installation, as well as maintenance of your residential landscape lighting systems. We install long-lasting and energy-efficient LED lighting that lend a subtle and peaceful beauty to your garden, pool, patio, or yard.
Turn your landscape into an artist’s dream with our outdoor lighting services! Call us at (866) 304-3002 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about what we can do for your home.