Night yard landscaping with outdoor lights looks romantic, mysterious and spectacular. Modern outdoor lights are not only for providing safety and security, but also for amazing decorating, for creating unique, glowing in the dark images and highlighting the beauty of yard landscaping.
Before you invest in any landscape lighting, ask yourself what your purposes are for wanting illumination in your yard. Perhaps you want to set a soft, romantic mood during the evening hours. Maybe you have a bench or a shadowy garden corner you need to illuminate for security reasons. A path leading through the garden may require landscape lighting to mark its boundaries. You might want to highlight some features of your yard like a water fountain or pond.
Modern outdoor lights come in various styles, materials, sizes and shapes. When the sun sets, outdoor lighting design can bring life to your garden and accentuate yard landscaping. Trees and shrubs, garden structures and flowerbeds, water fountains and landscaping rocks, waterfalls and outdoor furniture look amazing at night when you use outdoor lighting.
Modern outdoor lights can add stunning centerpieces to yard landscaping or highlight your beautiful yard designs. The sound of waters flowing into the pond feels mysterious and very romantic, combined with glowing night lights, lanterns and soft lighting fixtures. Good outdoor landscaping is impossible without night lights.
Low-Voltage System in Outdoor Lights
Landscape lighting typically relies on stepped-down power from your house.
Transformer: Reduces 120-volt household current to a safer 12 volts.
Bulb: Determines a light’s brightness, color, and beam width, as well as electricity usage.
Fixture Housing: Protects bulb from elements and helps shape light beam.
Stake Holds the fixture in place.
Cable: Carries current to light through fixture’s lead wires. Underlit trees and accent lights aimed at the facade create an inviting post-sunset atmosphere around this home.
Watch how installing outdoor landscape lighting
Type of Lighting
The type of lighting you choose dictates the rest of your outdoor landscaping project.
It helps narrow down options for lighting method, style, layout, and controls. It even dictates the best installation method and power source.
Here are the ten main types to choose from:
1. Deck Lights
Deck lights are a must on any outdoor deck or patio, especially those in an otherwise dark area.
Their purpose is to ensure the visibility of the entire deck surface at night. They usually line the outside of the deck area and are often even installed flush with the decking material.
Though their primary purpose is to improve safety by creating a visible boundary, they can also serve as primary lighting for entertaining.
2. Uplighting on Yard
Accent landscaping features with properly positioned uplighting.
As the name implies, this effect is created by placing the fixtures on the ground and pointing them upwards or towards an object.
Large tree trunks are a popular object to emphasize with Lighting on Yard.
3. Moon Lighting
For an elegant, artistic outdoor landscaping setup, few illumination options are better than moon lighting.
The key to this technique is to utilize tall trees in your yard. Place the fixtures high at the top of the tree. Make sure they’re facing downwards.
The light then filters through the tree branches, bathing the ground below. When paired with trees with open branches, the effect is similar to night with a bright moon.
This technique utilizes a fixture between the viewer and the landscape feature. The light is aimed at the time (much like uplighting). The big difference between shadowing and uplighting is that the light is placed much farther away.
Shadowing works best when the feature is immediately in front of a flat, plain wall. The lighting hits the feature, creating an interesting, eye-catching shadow on the wall.
5. Path Lights
According to the Landscaping Network, path lighting is one of the best ways to spice up your outdoor landscaping at night.
However, it’s not as simple as it seems. Though anyone can throw a few path lights along a pathway or walkway, it takes a keen eye to do things right.
You must make sure you don’t use more fixtures than you need. They must also be spaced the correct distance apart. Too many fixtures, or fixtures that are too close together, creates a claustrophobic, cramped atmosphere.
6. Step Lights
It’s all too easy to trip and stumble on dark outdoor stairs and steps at night.
Step lights offer a nifty solution to this problem. This type of lighting is installed directly into the steps or immediately nearby to provide safe passage at night.
In addition to improving safety, these lights also improve the overall look and visual appeal of steps and stairs.
7. Postmount Lights
Postmount lights are made from outdoor lanterns mounted on top of tall posts.
Sometimes called piermount lights, they’re ideal for entryways, gates, and fences. Install them in areas where guests congregate, such as a deck or patio, to ensure adequate light for everyone.
A similar option is columnmount lights. Though they serve the same basic purpose, they’re mounted on top of stone, concrete, or brick columns instead of posts.
8. Pond Lights
A pond, fountain, or waterfall adds a unique look to your yard while increasing your homes resell value. Those with moving water also bring the relaxing sound of nature to your home.
Use special underwater pond lights to better illuminate these water features during the day and night. Designed to remain submerged underwater, these fixtures are similar to waterproof spotlights in that their purpose is to highlight certain design features.
9. Bollard Lights
The heavy-duty cousin of path lights, bollard lighting accomplishes many of the same tasks, including illuminating pathways, walkways, and driveways.
According to Reliance Foundry, they’re also popular for their decorative elements. Because they’re larger than path lights, they tend to incorporate more complex designs and ornamentation.
Small bollards are ideal for illuminating paths while larger bollards are perfect for framing entrances and gateways.
10. Hardscape Lighting
The hardscaping in this outdoor kitchen is lit with outdoor LED tape, which is a flexible strand of LEDs encased in silicone and designed to keep moisture out. Although the back is adhesive, the tape requires support from clips to stay in place. You need some electrical experience if you want to install this yourself.