Landscape Lighting Design: What to Know
Summers are beautiful in Colorado. We especially love spending evenings having dinner on our patios, enjoying the wonderful weather and gorgeous scenery. And, who doesn’t love a nice backyard BBQ in August? Well, if your yard isn’t effectively lit, you may find yourself forced inside as soon as the sun goes down.
With an effective landscape lighting design, you can turn your outdoor spaces into beautiful living areas where you want to spend time. From area lighting that illuminates your dining area to string lights in your trees that create a romantic atmosphere, landscape and outdoor lighting can be truly transformative.
Types of outdoor lighting include:
- Area lights
- Barn lights
- Garden lights
- Inground lights
- Pathway lights
- Step lights
- String lights
- Wall lights
How Is Outdoor Lighting Powered?
Outdoor lighting is typically powered by your home’s electrical system, but some may be available in solar models or be battery-powered. Many homes have outdoor electrical outlets to accommodate outdoor lighting fixtures and other appliances in their patio areas. Depending on the setup of your home, you may also be able to hardwire your lighting fixtures into your electrical system, especially wall lights, porch lights, and other similar fixtures. Consult with one of our electricians to determine which type of outdoor lighting is best for your situation.
Below we review some commonly lighting fixtures and styles used in different areas of your property, their various benefits and potential drawbacks, and what to consider before purchasing.
Landscape Lighting for Your Front Yard
Planning landscape lighting is one of our favorite things to do. As noted above, there are many options when selecting what kind of lights you want throughout your yard, and the possibilities are endless. For example, many people will put fairy or string lights in their large trees, highlight some larger shrubs with up-lighting, and then create interesting shadows by placing lights at the base of trees and plants close to their home.
Things to consider when planning landscape lighting:
- Do you have any trees or plants you want to highlight
- Do you have any fountains or other house features you want to be highlighted
- Do you have any pathways that need lighting
- What type of lighting do you have around your front door
- How do you use your front yard
- What do you want people to notice most when they drive up to your home
When planning your landscape lighting, you also want to consider the power requirements for the lights you are selecting and the accessibility of power in your yard. Understanding your power requirements and restrictions will likely significantly impact the specific lighting fixtures and your lighting layout.
As with all things lighting, we recommend working with our licensed electricians when planning and installing your landscape lighting.
Lighting for Your Backyard & Patio
Typically, your patio or terrace is where you will spend most of your time outside. This generally is where people have their outdoor dining tables, BBQs, sofas, and chairs located. Consequently, your patio likely serves several functions: lounging, cooking, dining, and conversing. As such, you may find that you need several different types of lighting to meet all these different needs.
Types of lighting to consider including in your patio area:
- Area lights
- Accent lights
- Deck lighting
- Pendant lights
- Stair and step lights
- String lights
- Walkway and path lights
- Wall sconces
Many homeowners also install ceiling fans in their covered patio areas to improve lighting and airflow. Speak with one of our electricians to find out if this is possible in your patio area.
Lighting for Your Pool Area
When lighting your pool area, you want to balance safety and ambiance. You want your space to look warm and inviting but be bright enough that you can use the area safely. Additionally, when working on anything electrical in a pool or spa area, you must work with a licensed electrician like ours at AAA Service Plumbing, Heating & Electric to ensure that the installation and/or repair work is completed safely and reliably.
Remember, any time you are working on a lighting project in areas where water is present, like your pool or spa area, it is vital that you work with a professional, licensed electrician.Electrical systems can be dangerous, and even experienced DIYers may not have the knowledge or equipment to complete an outdoor lighting project safely.
For help with your project, call the electricians at AAA Service Plumbing, Heating & Electric.