Landscape Lighting Tips that Showcase Your Plants

You’ve put a lot of thought and effort into creating a landscape design that increases the curb appeal of your home. As the weather continues to get warmer, you’ll likely want to spend more time outside enjoying your yard and inviting people over for outdoor get-togethers. The right lighting can bring more attention to the best features on your lawn, and there are several ways you can use lighting to make your home’s exterior more appealing.

Decide Where the Lights Will Go

The first thing you’ll need to do is mark the parameters where you want landscape lighting. For instance, if you want lighting on the walkway, offset lights are ideal, especially if they are spaced out. This allows to see clearly as you walk down the path and illuminate other plants in your yard. You can also place lights around your most colorful or elaborately groomed shrubs. The lights don’t need to be too bright, because natural moonlight will help to bring more attention to your landscape as well.

Combine Lighting Styles

When you mix various styles of lighting in the same space, your lights won’t look overly uniform, which is ideal if your lawn has a minimalist or modern look. For example, position tall lights that shine over shrubs mixed with shorter lights. Make sure that lamp surfaces are clean, so you can get the most out of your lighting. Also, check to make sure the bulbs aren’t burned out. You may also need to relocate the lights as your plants and flowers grow so that the stems aren’t blocking the light and you can showcase your beautiful garden.

Use Less Light for More Appeal

If you’re using path lighting, less is usually more. Don’t outline the entire path with lights, and don’t use too many lights when you want to showcase the largest tree in the yard. Even if you’re using outdoor lighting to showcase furniture or a fixture, like a stone outdoor oven or fireplace, one or two medium-sized lights work best. Medium-sized lights provide sufficient lighting for you and your guests when you’re entertaining outdoors at night. Or, you can select one main feature light for these fixtures to give the yard a warm glow.

Use Texture and Color

Make sure that your lighting is both fashionable and functional by adding color and texture to the outdoor space. Position your lights near the most attention-getting plants in your yard, so you can show off your colorful blooms, garden plants and fruit trees even when the sun isn’t shining. Keep in mind that you can also forego pathway lighting and light the largest trees in your yard or position the lights on top of your home so that they will shine down on your landscape and walkway. Every part of your yard doesn’t have to be lit, so focus on making sure people can see clearly while drawing their eyes to the things that make your yard unique.

Work with the Moon

If you want the lights to be positioned in trees instead of on the ground, moonlighting is a great choice. When the lights are 30 to 40 feet up, they give the illusion of moonlight, so it’s best to hide the fixtures well so your yard can look especially enchanted. Moonlighting is also a cooler light in terms of color, since it has more of a blue tint than warmer lights, and blue can give a relaxing feel to your yard. The pathway will still be well lit and these lights can work with the natural soft lighting of the moon, so you’ll enjoy spending time outdoors even more. To achieve this look, the lights you select should be about 5500 kelvins.

Use Indirect Lighting

It’s best to use indirect lighting when you want to highlight seating areas. The lighting isn’t too harsh and helps everyone to see clearly when you’re socializing outdoors. Overhead lighting is best for this because it’s effective but not too harsh. In contrast to the cool lighting that you may want to use to light your plants, you may want to use warm lighting to make the area feel more welcoming. Yellow lighting is inviting and, if this is the tint you want to use, you should choose lighting that is at about 2200 kelvins. Candlelight is also a great choice if you’re eating outdoors at night. The candles can be placed directly on the table or you can use electric candles so that you can turn the candles on and off when you want.

Fireplace Lighting

If the trees in your yard aren’t that tall and you still want the moonlighting effect in your yard, you can use your fireplace as a lighting source while you’re spending time in the yard. The light from the fireplace is also warm and comforting if you’re outside on a cool night. Also, there are electric fireplaces that you can time to power on and off according to the settings you choose. Lighting for your hardscape is a great idea as well and can make the area more functional. If you’re cooking or entertaining in an outdoor kitchen, LED lighting is ideal for this type of space.  Also, consider using lights with silicone casing because moisture is sealed out. This keeps the lights from being ruined from moisture, so you can cook safely while you’re spending time with friends.

Water and Natural Beauty

The uplit effect is one that only truly occurs in nature, but if you want to replicate this look on your landscape, you should add lights on the solid structures around your fountains. This lighting scheme adds a bit of a glow to running water features. This is especially appealing at night and makes the fountain or waterfall the main feature of your yard. Down-lighting works well when you want to display the natural beauty of your yard. Warm lighting that focuses downward makes landscaping and outdoor furniture more visible and makes the colors of your garden flowers stand out.

Lighting for Objects and Wide Areas

If you have flowers lining your walkway or a bench near your fountain, create a balance in the outdoor space with lights that are wide enough to evenly light the entire area. If you want to make your trees and green look even greener, balance the hue by using blue lighting to illuminate this part of your yard. Smaller lights in yellow or orange help to spotlight smaller features of your lawn. These types of lights are best for elaborate plants or pretty accents to the landscape like a birdbath or bench.

Add Balance

Finally, use balanced lighting throughout the entire area you’re bringing attention to.  If you have a garden that is a few feet long, lighting in the corners of the garden space will bring the eyes to the center of the garden. Balance your exterior lighting with the lighting features inside of your home as well. For instance, if you usually turn the porch light on or the lights above the garage, make sure the lighting for the garden or walkways matches the same level of intensity. Be sure to use a pairing of warm colors (i.e. yellow and orange-tinted lights) or cool colors (i.e. green and blue-tinted light) to make your exterior décor come together.