Lighting in Landscape Design – Getting Off the Front Porch
When first considering a landscape design, most people think of trees, shrubs, lawns, patios, and decks. When homeowners do consider lighting, it is often focused on entries and pathways; essentially, safety lighting.
But appropriate placement of specific lighting fixtures can enhance outdoor spaces for all the seasons.
Patio lighting, along with electric heaters and fire pits, can extend the use of the space well past the summer season. Overhead lighting fixtures can be placed over dining areas and task lighting can be added to cooking and grilling areas. Lower wattage lights can be tucked under surrounding shrubs, adding a soft glow for the evening's enjoyment.
Up-lighting a particular tree in the landscape can add a focal point that extends into winter. The structure of a tree's branches often has a sculptural look that remains hidden when in full leaf. Taking a walk through a park or an arboretum in the winter can give homeowners an idea of what tree would work best in their landscape.
Spotlights on an already existing focal point, such as a water feature or art piece, can make that piece stand out even more. Accenting that particular piece can also help to bring the outdoors in, when viewed from inside.
Safety lighting should not be ignored. Entryways and pathways need to be lit for safe passage and to deter crime. However, care should be taken to avoid the "runway" look. Landscape designers, magazines, and websites can offer suggestions to what would work best for your home.
When it comes to installation, a professional contractor might be the way to go. Wattage, cables, and power supplies can be a challenge for a DIY project. Underground utilities and irrigation lines should be taken into consideration when planning.
No matter what your landscape design is or entertaining needs are, lighting can add a special touch when well placed.