Over a period of many years, outdoor landscape lighting has evolved from simple fixtures that lit the exterior doors of a house, to spotlights and low-voltage pathway lighting, and most recently to unified landscape lighting systems that are designed to highlight both the exterior features of a building as well as trees and other outdoor ornamental elements that are integral to the building’s overall appearance. Exterior LED lighting has led many of the advancements in landscape lighting, and building owners now have a broad range of options for that lighting.
Landscape Lighting Design
Landscape lighting design begins with a building owner’s survey of building’s outdoor areas, which should lead to a coordinated plan for highlighting specific landscape features, providing areas that are more well-lit if those areas will be utilized during evening hours, and minimizing spillover and light pollution that might affect neighboring structures. With that plan in hand, a building owner can select the best types of LED lighting that will satisfy each of the plan’s elements.
Different types of LED pathway lighting can be used for safe nighttime ingress and egress. LED’s give a building owner more versatile and varied options than the typical solar pathway lighting standards that had once been the standard for pathway illumination. LED pathway lights are available with different forms of caps and diffusers to direct all of their illumination onto a path without disturbing other landscape features that are lit with separate fixtures. If the building owner prefers to illuminate both a path and adjacent architectural elements of a building, LED lights mounted on waist-level posts will perform that dual function.
Steps and stairs can present hidden dangers during evening hours. To avoid trips and falls on stairs and steps, incorporate built-in stair riser lighting to focus illumination on steps without distracting from other landscape features. Hardscape LED lights are a similar form of built-in stair lighting that are used to emphasize exterior features of a building’s walls and eaves.
Landscape LED Lights
LED lights can also be used to better define boundaries between different landscape spaces. Lights built into bollards or posts between spaces can provide different types of illumination on either side of the posts, particularly if different colors of LED lighting are utilized. The posts then form a physical barrier that is accented by the variegated lighting on either side of the posts.
Enhancing the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space is made possible with landscape lighting. Whether you want to highlight architectural features, create a warm ambiance, or improve safety and security, choosing the right landscape lighting options is key. In this article, we will explore various options available for landscape lighting, allowing you to transform your outdoor area into a captivating and inviting environment.
- Path Lights:
Path lights are a popular choice for illuminating walkways, driveways, and garden paths. These fixtures are designed to cast a soft, subtle glow, guiding guests and ensuring safe navigation at night. Available in a range of styles and finishes, path lights can complement your landscape design while providing practical lighting.
Spotlights are ideal for accentuating specific focal points in your outdoor space, such as trees, architectural elements, or sculptures. These powerful fixtures direct a concentrated beam of light, drawing attention to the desired areas and creating a dramatic effect. Adjustable spotlights allow for flexibility in highlighting different objects or adjusting the lighting angle as needed.
- Well Lights:
Well lights are recessed fixtures installed flush with the ground or hardscape surfaces. These lights are perfect for uplighting trees, shrubs, or textured surfaces, adding depth and dimension to your landscape. Well lights can be discreetly placed, ensuring that the focus remains on the illuminated elements rather than the fixtures themselves.
- Deck and Step Lights:
Enhance the aesthetics and safety of your outdoor living spaces with deck and step lights. These compact fixtures are installed into stairs, decks, or other raised surfaces, providing subtle illumination and preventing tripping hazards. Deck and step lights come in various styles and finishes to seamlessly blend with your outdoor décor.
- String Lights:
Create a charming and inviting atmosphere with the whimsical glow of string lights. These versatile lights can be draped across trees, pergolas, or outdoor seating areas to add a touch of enchantment to your landscape. String lights are available in different bulb shapes and colors, allowing you to personalize the ambiance according to your taste.
Floodlights offer wide and powerful illumination, making them ideal for illuminating large areas or providing security lighting. These fixtures are perfect for lighting up expansive outdoor spaces, driveways, or backyard sports areas. Floodlights are available in various brightness levels and can be equipped with motion sensors for added convenience and security.
- Pond and Pool Lights:
Enhance the allure of your water features with pond and pool lights. These submersible fixtures add a captivating glow to fountains, ponds, waterfalls, or swimming pools, creating a mesmerizing effect. Waterproof and specially designed for underwater use, pond and pool lights can transform your outdoor oasis into a stunning nighttime retreat.
- Solar-Powered Lights:
For an eco-friendly and hassle-free lighting option, consider solar-powered lights. These lights harness energy from the sun during the day and automatically illuminate your outdoor space at night. Solar-powered options include path lights, spotlights, and string lights, offering flexibility and convenience without the need for wiring or electricity.
Options for Landscape Lighting
Landscape lighting allows you to extend the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space long after the sun sets. By exploring the various options available, including path lights, spotlights, well lights, deck and step lights, string lights, floodlights, pond and pool lights, and solar-powered lights, you can create a captivating and inviting ambiance that complements your landscape design. Select lighting fixtures that cater to your specific needs and desired aesthetic, and transform your outdoor area into a captivating retreat that can be enjoyed day and night.
Landscape features that call for more focus and attention, as, for example, old-growth trees or sculptures, will benefit from LED spotlights. A building owner can use LED spotlights for this purpose with dispersal patterns that more tightly focus illumination on the specific landscape feature without affecting other parts of an overall landscape lighting design. LED spotlights can be recessed into sunken wells in the ground to better blend with the design, and LED pond lights can be submerged in fountains and other water environments to create otherworldly pond illumination.
Lastly, LED floodlights will brighten larger outdoor spaces and landscapes with uniform illumination that eliminates shadows and dark spots that can distract from other landscape features or that can present hidden dangers when people are unable to see outdoor hazards during evening hours.
All types of LED landscape lighting include the technology and features that have made LED lights the illumination choice for all modern applications. A building owner can save operating costs with LED’s because they provide superior illumination with a substantially lower energy input than is required for traditional outdoor lights. LED landscape lighting can be controlled with timers and ambient sensors that turn the lights on and off automatically. Moreover, once an LED landscape lighting system is designed and installed, it will provide continuous operation for several years with minimal maintenance.