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Landscape Lighting Design Guide

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Home – DZN | Landscape Lighting Design Guide. Residential Landscape Lighting Design Guide can add flair to a façade, safely light a dim garden walkway or highlight a focal tree in the front yard. Whether you want to illuminate pathways and patios to prevent slips and falls or light up a backyard space for weekend entertaining, here are seven tips for creating a beautiful, effective residential exterior lighting design.

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1. Imagine how the outdoor space will be used.

Establishing goals for your Landscape Lighting Design Guide or best wattage for landscape lighting will allow you more freedom to safely think outside of the box; it will also ensure you cover all of your basic elements. Do the residents like to entertain guests? Do they have small children? What is the local climate? How can outdoor lighting complement the home’s architectural style? How can lighting improve safety, such as with outdoor pathway lighting or outdoor deck lighting?

When determining your landscape lighting objectives, consider the following elements of the yard:

Pathways and entryways
Driveways
Steps
Patios
Trees
Water features
Unique architectural elements

different types of landscape lighting
2. Consider LED lighting.

LEDs are designed to withstand shock, vibrations and all kinds of inclement weather, which makes them a great choice for Landscape Lighting Design Guide. When the wind is howling or the ground is buried under ice and snow, LEDs outshine the storm.

Long lifespan is another advantage of LED lighting. LEDs can last approximately 50,000 hours depending on use. That equals almost six years of continuous use. LEDs are also extremely efficient, which means lower operating and maintenance costs. Over time, that can equal a huge savings compared to halogen systems.

If you want to do something unique with your different types of landscape lighting, LEDs are the perfect choice. This flexible light source can be dimmed or brightened, giving you the ability to create complex lighting effects and extra layers of subtlety.

Landscape Lighting Design Guide

3. Choose the right fixture design.

There are many different types of landscape lighting fixtures. Some accent a focal point with precision, while others create a soft, downlit glow on a garden bed. Understanding the different types of fixtures you can use in a design will impact the final outcome. Here is a breakdown of several types of fixtures and how they illuminate outdoor spaces:

Garden fixtures create a downlight perfect for planting beds or pathway markers.
Wash fixtures create a soft, diffused light ideal for illuminating flat façades, privacy fences and garden walls.
Bullet fixtures are versatile and compact. They project a narrow beam to precisely light unique architectural features, garden statues and other focal points.
Well light fixtures hide inside a waterproof housing buried in the ground. They can be used to brighten the underside of plant foliage or graze the base of a façade or wall.
Flood light fixtures typically cast a wider beam than a bullet fixture and are brighter than a wash light fixture. They should be used sparingly to light up tall trees or wide house façades.

landscape lighting design pdf
5. Imagine your exterior lighting design at night.

Positioning your landscape lighting during the day won’t provide a full picture of how trees, shrubs, bushes and other yard elements cast shadows. You also run the risk of misplacing a fixture and shining light into a window or door of the home or surrounding homes.

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6. Stay mindful of light pollution.

Light pollution can ruin the effect of a landscape lighting project; sources include:

Light that shines directly into someone’s eyes
Light that shines directly on a neighbor’s home or windows
Over lighting, which creates glare or washes out the night sky
Consider using lighting shields or glare guards. Careful positioning can also help you avoid outdoor light pollution.

landscape lighting design tips

7. Utilize lighting controls and timers.

The last thing most busy homeowners want to do is spend valuable time remembering to turn Landscape Lighting Design Guide on at night and off in the morning. Setting landscape lighting to timers or dimmers helps make the home look beautiful 24 hours a day with minimal effort.

From choosing the right fixtures to incorporating controls, careful planning and attention to detail can create a stunning residential Landscape Lighting Design Guide that keeps functionality and safety in mind.

How to Light a Landscape Lighting Design Guide
Don’t feel overwhelmed—there are a lot of types of lights and a lot of spaces to place them. One of the best things that you can do to scope out your own project it to grab a good, high-powered flashlight with a dimming optic and get out into your yard at night. Then, play with the light. See what looks cool, or what might not work as well.

Here’s a look at the various landscape lighting effects you might want to try:

Up Lighting
Ulighting
Up lighting is one of the most basic forms of landscape lighting. It is used to create drama with a taller structure or tree. You can choose to highlight the trunk of (generally larger) trees, or the underside of the tree’s canopy on larger or smaller trees.
Use with: Spotlights, Well Lights

Silhouetting
This is a fantastic effect for highlighting dramatic shapes you might have hiding in plain daylight. Place the light source behind the item, and light toward where the main vantage point will be, making sure that the light source itself cannot be seen.
Use with: Spotlights, Well Lights

Shadowing
This is the reverse technique of silhouetting. Placing the light between the main vantage point and the item being lit, with the light source aimed at the item. This really only works when you have a wall or flat surface behind the item being lit to catch the shadows created. But it can create a bit softer, more moody effect.
Use with: Spotlights, Well Lights, Flood lights

Moon Lighting
Moonlighting
This is an especially effective way of using lighting when you have larger trees in your space. The light source is placed high up in the tree aimed down, washing the branches and ground below in light. It creates an impressive effect when used with an open-branched tree. (Photo via Kichler Lighting)
Use with: Spotlights

This is an especially effective way of using lighting when you have larger trees in your space. The light source is placed high up in the tree aimed down, washing the branches and ground below in light. It creates an impressive effect when used with an open-branched tree. (Photo via Kichler Lighting)
Use with: Spotlights

Grazing

Types of Landscape Lighting and How to Use Them

Welcome Landscape Lighting Design Guide. We’ll walk you through the who-what-how of
taking your yard’s lighting scheme to the next level.

Written by Cody Torgersrud

Landscape lighting can be the thing that takes your backyard from basic to bling, but undertaking a lighting plan for your yard can be an intimidating project. But have no fear, as this need not be the case. Welcome to Landscape Lighting 101, where we’ll walk you through a basic overview of the various types of lighting you’ll find in a landscape and exactly what each of them is supposed to do. We’ll look at:

What to light in your yard
Types of landscape lighting
How to use landscape lighting
Like many things in life, less can be more—and this is the case when it comes to landscape lighting. Your instinct might be to light up everything: every detail, every tree, every nook and every cranny. But besides potentially running up your power bill, this will wash the yard out.

What makes a space special during the night is the play of light and dark, highlighting features that you may not take note of during the day and creating contrast and shadows using the forms and plants in your yard. Playing with these elements creates intrigue and drama, and a well-lit space will often be one in which you want to stay.

What to Light In Your Landscape
So what do you light and what do you leave in the dark? Here are three things to consider:

Identify the features in your yard that you like. Maybe it’s a pond or a particularly stately tree—highlighting those with light will show them off.
Add drama to areas that might not stand out during the day. A simple stone wall can take on a whole new personality at night when grazed with light and shadow.
Think about function. A deck with stairs or a meandering pathway need to be lit to ensure that you can can move about your yard without risk of injury.
And always consider an inviting and well-lit entryway. By properly illuminating the entrance to your home, the light provided by one or two outdoor wall sconces will safely guide family members or guests while creating that warm and welcoming curb appeal.

PRO TIP
The goal of landscape lighting is only see the effect of the light, not the light source itself. The exception is path lighting, which are designed to be decorative and on display.

Types of Landscape Lighting
Now that you know what you want to light, how will you actually do it? There are a few basic types of fixtures that you want to get familiar with when you are making your lighting plan. Below are the various types of lighting you might find in a landscape:

Shop Nexus LED Swivel Landscape Light by Hinkley Lighting, Nexus LED Extension Rods by Hinkley Lighting and moreShop Nexus LED Swivel Landscape Light by Hinkley Lighting, Nexus LED Extension Rods by Hinkley Lighting and more
Shop Nexus LED Swivel Landscape Light by Hinkley Lighting and moreShop Nexus LED Swivel Landscape Light by Hinkley Lighting and more
Shop Nexus LED Extension Rods by Hinkley Lighting and moreShop Nexus LED Extension Rods by Hinkley Lighting and more

Path Lights
This is probably the most common type of landscape lighting. Path lights are small posts that have a light built in and are capped with a diffuser. They can be spread out down a walkway or used to frame out a space or feature in a yard. Line them down a path, around a pond or along the outline of a driveway.

Shown: Nexus LED Landscape Collection by Hinkley Lighting

How to Light a Landscape
Don’t feel overwhelmed—there are a lot of types of lights and a lot of spaces to place them. One of the best things that you can do to scope out your own project it to grab a good, high-powered flashlight with a dimming optic and get out into your yard at night. Then, play with the light. See what looks cool, or what might not work as well.

Here’s a look at the various landscape lighting effects you might want to try:

Up Lighting
Ulighting
Up lighting is one of the most basic forms of landscape lighting. It is used to create drama with a taller structure or tree. You can choose to highlight the trunk of (generally larger) trees, or the underside of the tree’s canopy on larger or smaller trees.
Use with: Spotlights, Well Lights

Silhouetting
This is a fantastic effect for highlighting dramatic shapes you might have hiding in plain daylight. Place the light source behind the item, and light toward where the main vantage point will be, making sure that the light source itself cannot be seen.
Use with: Spotlights, Well Lights

Shadowing
Shadowing
This is the reverse technique of silhouetting. Placing the light between the main vantage point and the item being lit, with the light source aimed at the item. This really only works when you have a wall or flat surface behind the item being lit to catch the shadows created. But it can create a bit softer, more moody effect.
Use with: Spotlights, Well Lights, Flood lights

Moon Lighting
Moonlighting
This is an especially effective way of using lighting when you have larger trees in your space. The light source is placed high up in the tree aimed down, washing the branches and ground below in light. It creates an impressive effect when used with an open-branched tree. (Photo via Kichler Lighting)
Use with: Spotlights

PRO TIP
Have an extra-large tree that deserves a special treatment? Giants, especially evergreens, can look amazing when you double-team them with lighting. Get both a spotlighting and a moonlighting effect by placing two spotlights half- to three-quarters of the way up the tree. Aiming one light up and one light down will create a dramatic effect, and the year-round foliage will hide the light sources.

Grazing
Grazing
This can be a great option if you have a hardscape-heavy yard. Grazing involves placing the light close to the flat surface and aiming directly up or down the surface to create dramatic light and shadow play. You can graze up or down, but the idea is to take advantage of a texture across a flat plane, so uneven or irregular patterns work best. This can add an upscale touch, as it is often seen in hotel and restaurant design.
Use with: Well Lights, Hardscape Lights

Washing
Sometimes a space will need more ambient lighting. To create a well-lit space, try flooding a large wall or hedge in an entertainment area with light, which will “wash” the space with light. Use a wide-beamed light placed between the main vantage point and the surface to cast an even, gentle light over the whole area. (Photo via Hinkley Lighting)
Use with: Flood Lights

Path Lighting
This one seems pretty basic, but it can easily go wrong. Think about how many lights you really need. People often use way too many, creating an over-lit space that feels cramped. If possible, try placing the fixtures on either side of the path, working back and forth to create an effective and inviting entry.
Use with: Path Lights, Bollards

outdoor up lighting for trees

Now you have the basics to go forth and lay out your own landscape design. It’s important to note that it’s still important that you consult with a professional when laying out your landscaping plan so they can ensure you’re working with the right voltage for your transformer and other important details.

The key is to take your time. And you can start small and build from there—an over-lit space can be as uncomfortable or unusable as a completely dark one.

There are a million ways to light your landscape, but the fun is in creating a unique look that reflects your own personal taste and lifestyle.

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