Outdoor lighting has endless benefits for us Dutchess County residents. From more quality time outdoors, to safety, and even the incredible difference in your home’s beauty, outdoor lighting is an obvious landscaping essential.
And with all these benefits, the return on your investment is higher than ever. Today’s outdoor lighting solutions provide hundreds of choices in fixtures, longer lasting bulbs, and minimal maintenance. So where do you start? Here are five places that are a must for outdoor lighting in your landscaping.
1. Driveway Lighting
The first thing that your guests see when arriving at your home, and indeed the first thing that you see yourself, is your driveway. Lighting up your driveway will not only provide safety and security, but can also identify your home as something out of the ordinary.
Consider outdoor lighting at the entrance to the driveway on pillars or posts. Then, provide additional lighting along the edging or through hardscaping ground lighting. For the finishing touch, use up-lighting on a tree or shrub as an attractive introduction to your home. Use motion-detecting bright lights on a driveway to minimize usage to only when necessary.
2. Walkway Lighting
Lighting up your paths and walkways is one of the most important things that you can do for safety. Walkway lighting should be bright enough to show the way, but not produce an overpowering effect. The best way to use walkway or path lighting is to install the lights on alternate sides, rather than directly opposite each other.
Of course, lighting up the pathway can be achieved in many different ways, such as with overhead lighting or low lighting on each side of the pathway itself. It can also be a good idea to use one or two lights in the beds on each side of the path rather than exactly on the edges of the path itself, creating a more gentle effect.
3. Pond Lighting
You can use pond lighting in one of two ways, either along the edges of the pond, or underwater. Somehow, there is nothing quite like light emanating from below the depths! As with other areas, using a variety of lights will provide the most in terms of function and beauty.
4. Deck Lighting
The key with perfect deck lighting is thinking about the space as you would with a living room; you need different amounts of light based on the occasion and space. In other words, function comes first. Dim lighting for casual conversations in areas where you expect the mingling to occur and brighter lights for areas like near your grill. You also need the option to turn off the brightly lit areas when not in use and instead use dim lighting in those areas.
For ambiance, consider lighting that is further out in the yard. For example, lights projecting from high up in a tree, on a wall, or even on a garage or shed. Some other dim lighting ideas include string lights, deck flooring lights, and step lighting.
Unlike your other outdoor spaces, your patio needs the most variety in types of lighting - for all the different occasions that you find yourself, your family, and friends out there. For dining, you'll obviously need just enough light to enjoy the meal and mingle as well as light for the adjoining areas. (e.g. outdoor kitchen). For times in which you're lounging around in the late evening hours, you might need less light. A great place to begin with planning for patio lighting is outlining the various functions it will (or already) serve(s) and then plan your lighting needs.