How to Use Landscaping Lighting

One of the great things about living in Sarasota, Florida is the wonderful weather. Even during the winter months, temperatures rarely dip so low as to preclude enjoying the outdoors. With such stunning sunrises and sunsets, along with all kinds of natural beauty, it’s part of Florida living to enjoy all the Sunshine State has to offer. For homeowners with an outdoor deck or a patio, you can make certain improvements to get more function and enjoyment out of the space.

Of course, you can install a fire pit, put-in an outdoor kitchen, and arrange outdoor seating for your family and friends to enjoy. Another thing you can do is to install deck lighting to be able to use the outdoor space for hours after the sun goes down. In addition, you can also opt to install landscaping lighting in your front yard, as well as your back yard, and even on the sides of your home. It’s how to use landscape lighting that presents the biggest obstacle to most homeowners.

Benefits of Landscape Lighting

In addition to creating beauty, landscaping lighting does quite a bit more. There are definite benefits to landscape lighting, of which, some of the most notable are: safety, security, and aesthetics. Landscape lighting provides safety for your family and guests. They’ll be able to see obstacles and tripping hazards when it’s dark outside. Landscaping lighting also provides an added layer of security, helping to ward-off potential intruders.

Landscape lighting can turn a visitor from feeling wary to welcome. It can change the rest of the yard from Nightmare on Elm Street to Some Enchanted Evening, all with the flip of a switch. The first step in this transformation is to educate yourself about the possibilities. Because photos rarely do justice illustrating the amazing possibilities of landscape lighting, keep an eye out for good examples when you’re out for an evening stroll or drive. —Bob

In the aesthetics department, landscape lighting can be used to highlight features, such as a pool, pergola, or waterfall. It can also be used to highlight softscaping. In addition, it can be directed to shine onto outdoor decor. This creates improved curb appeal in the front yard and makes backyard spaces more functional and welcoming. So, there’s definitely a number of benefits associated with installing outdoor landscape lighting.

How to Use Landscaping Lighting

Where some homeowners go wrong is how they “use” landscaping lighting. Which means not having a realistic and workable plan in-place to achieve the results they want. Too often, the installation is based on supposition and few contingencies are taken into consideration. This causes frustration because what was supposed to be doesn’t materialize and that means having to move and rearrange lights in order to get the right look and feel. To avoid this conundrum and unwanted extra work, use the following suggestions for the best results:

  • Know the purpose for your landscaping lighting. Before you do anything else, know the purpose for your landscape lighting. For instance, if you’re wanting to illuminate your back yard to highlight a pool or to light-up a path, it should do precisely that. Know the mood and style you want to create and go forward with this in mind.
  • Draw a rough sketch of your yard. Everything will be a factor when you install outdoor lighting. The height of a hedge, the exterior walls of your home, any covers such as a pergola or awning. When you do this, you’ll likely find blockages and other obstacles. In addition to this, you should contact your local utility providers to know precisely where lines are buried so you don’t accidentally cause yourself a heap of trouble.
  • Plan where lights will go in the outdoor space. Expounding on the above suggestion is to plan where the lights will go. You need to take into account brightness and breadth of the lights. You don’t want to windup having to replace a light because it didn’t have the power to illuminate an entire tree or water feature. Also, you don’t want to stage the lights in a way that causes shadows in odd places or shines directly into someone’s eyes.

Two More Ways to Use Landscaping Lighting

  • Understand how much effort the project will take. It’s very easy to underestimate how much effort it will take to get the results you want. There’s a lot involved in any installation and you’ll need the time, tools, and effort to get the right outcome. If there are things which are out of your skill level, it’s best to hire a contractor, such as a landscape designer or landscape architect to do the job for you.
  • Determine your budget and include a contingency cushion. If there’s one thing about landscaping, it’s poor budgeting that causes the most problems. Don’t just ballpark what it will cost to get what you want, itemize everything and then, add-in a contingency cushion of at least 15 to 20 percent.

When you’re ready to install new landscape lighting and want the best results for the biggest impact to really improve your curb appeal and/or to transform an ordinary entertainment space into something spectacular, give us a call at 941-923-0333 or 727-998-1977, or, visit us online. We serve the entire Sarasota area, from around Lido Beach, over to North Beneva Road, and across to Bradenton Road.

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