Jeff Emerson, lighting expert from the Lamps Plus Professionals trade pricing program, offers these tips to achieve a professional look.
Positioning the light close to an interesting surface can bring out the texture of tree bark, a masonry wall, wood shingles or an attractive door. Grazing of smooth surfaces is not usually recommended.
Landscape spotlights focus a controlled intense beam to highlight the focal points in your garden: flowers, small shrubs, and statuary. This creates sparkling islands of interest in your landscape lighting plan.
Illuminating side and rear entries to the house, as well as walls with easy access widows, can discourage prowlers and thieves.
We hope you enjoy your experience on our new web site. If you have a VOLT account, and have not changed your password since 1/2/2017, please click here to reset it now. If you have any difficulties, please call Customer Support at 813-978-3700.
Uplighting on the palm trees creates a sense of drama and casts shadows across the landscape. “You can see the palm trees reflected in the water,” says Wilcoxson. Subtle downlighting is used on this structure to highlight the architecture.
Pillars, columns, and stone veneer can all be lit to excellent effect. Crosslighting is when you light both sides of a focal point to eliminate shadows. Any tree with a strong character, colored bark, or other feature can be crosslit effectively.
This example of crosslighting shows how one tree can light up an entire area of the garden. By using lights on both sides of the tree, you eliminate shadows and create a bold, bright effect. Uplighting plants with a stick-like or other bold form makes for a dramatic, sculptural entry.
The lighting takes an attractive plant and turns it into a work of art. Pop-up lights in the putting green allow this homeowner to put when he arrives home after work. The design of outdoor lighting should always follow how the owners want to use the space.
Downlighting stone veneer casts craggy shadows which give a sense of depth to this outdoor bar. Underwater lights are set beneath the stones in this water feature to highlight the rippling water and craggy shadows of the stone.
The pathway above even has slits in the stonework so as you walk over, you can see the light dancing on the water below. Two downlights set in the trees above cast ambient light onto the fire pit and make this a great spot for conversation and entertaining.
Snyder chose to use downlighting instead of uplighting in this location, because there’s a gorgeous view beyond the trees. Uplighting would have created drama and detracted from the view beyond, while downlighting enhances the enjoyment of the view.
Like downlighting, but using soft light sources positioned very high up, this technique simulates the lovely effect of moonlight filtering through branches, casting attractive shadow patterns.
Mounted at entry doors, over garages and on porches, these chain-hung lantern style units cast light outward—either direct or diffused.
Ample lighting over the garage will enhance both safety and security, particularly when other lights are not on.
Pathways are important both for safety and for beauty, but you don’t always need to use path lights right along the side. DuBreuil suggests mixing directional path lights with ambient lighting within the landscaped bed for a more natural look.
Patios are where we spend time with family and have conversations, so diffuse downlighting from above gets that moonlit effect without blinding people. Trees are an ideal candidate for uplighting or crosslighting.
“When there’s a unique branch structure or colored bark, it makes an ideal focal point,” says Snyder. You can also create downlighting effects by placing lights within tree branches and aiming them downwards at a patio or garden bed.
Water features can be lit as well. While we don’t think of electricity and water as natural partners, in fact many landscape lights are meant for underwater use. “We nestle lights in between rocks so you see the effect of the light without seeing the fixtures,” says Barton.
Architectural elements on the home can also be lit to great effect. “If you have a $500 tree and a $500,000 home, why would you focus only on the tree?” says Wilcoxson. “I like to light up pillars, stacked stone, or other architectural features.
” Driveways don’t need a lot of lights, as most people using a driveway will have their headlights on. But you can beautify the journey to the home by lighting the landscape nearby.
Designing your landscape lighting always starts by considering how you intend to use the space. Do you like to entertain and need good lighting on pathways, patios and decks? Do the kids want to play soccer on the lawn after dusk? Or do you simply want to enjoy a beautiful view as you drive up to your home each evening? Here, landscape contractors share their pro tips for designing with lights.
If you’ve purchased from us before, please login with your email address and password.
These low-level units are designed to cast illumination in a broader pattern for; flower beds, perimeter plantings, driveways, steps and paths.
It may seem obvious that bulbs which deliver more light and are more efficient generally cost more. Some cost considerably more, but you must also compare the rated lamp life, since some lamps costing several times more usually last several times longer.
Company Name Company Website URL On an annual basis, how much does your company spend ($) on landscape lighting? Where do you currently purchase your lighting? What Brands do you currently buy?
Find a Local Concrete Contractor See contractor photos & info in your area on ConcreteNetwork.com Search by city/state or postal code
Finally, don’t overlook landscape light bulbs. The wide variety of available bulbs means that you can tailor your choice to your needs. You may prefer soft illumination in some areas, bright in others. Watts are a measure of electricity consumed, but some bulbs yield more light than others of equal wattage. Remember the longer the distance of light throw, or the greater the intensity desired, the more light output will be required.
These standing fixtures light pathways, steps, garden walks, deck and pool areas. They also provide attractive light patterns for driveways.
Provide a warm welcome after dark. Select a wall bracket which casts adequate illumination on front steps, as well as lighting the keyhole and house numbers.
I want to receive emails with offers and information from VOLT ® Lighting Sign Up
Conceal the landscape lighting source when possible—except where the fixture itself is a decorative element. Don’t overdo it! A little light goes a long way at night. Be creative in using a mixture of lighting techniques.
Arrange for an automatic device like a timer to turn lights on and off. Be considerate of your neighbors. Aim lights so they do not shine into their windows. Outdoor Light Bulbs
Lighting strategiesThere are three main ways you can aim lights to get a particular result in the landscape.
Before you start purchasing items, it’s best to get a few things in order to avoid extra headaches, trips to the store, or worse—incompatible components. We recommend first grabbing a notepad and pencil and doing a walkthrough of your property to get a sense of how you envision your system.
Where you require circular patterns of light on flower beds, larger shrubbery or ground cover, spread lights cover a wider area with low-level illumination. Some units, such as these bollards, cast softly diffused lighting for patios, decks, driveways and pathways. Wall brackets provide a similar lighting function. The path or flower bed should be more illuminated than the actual fixture.
What areas should you light?There are many benefits of landscape lighting, it helps improve the safety and security of your home and adds functionality and beauty. Here are the most common areas to light:
Mount lighting units high up in trees or on the house to cast broad illumination over wide areas. Landscape flood lighting enables you to entertain in your backyard or outdoor area after dark, and does double duty for security and safety. For highlighting flower beds, paths or steps, the downlight is positioned close to the ground.
Find out how landscape lighting will increase your home’s security and help you get more enjoyment out of your property. McKay Landscape Lighting, the market leader in the Omaha region, shares their insights on LED technology, lighting patios and paths and more
Lights aimed upwards (sometimes buried in the ground) create a highly dramatic effect akin to the theater. Use it with interesting trees, a statue or textured wall surfaces. Autumn leaves or swirling snow provide spectacular views. Focus the light on the key plants or objects in your yard.
Light the object from the front and below to project intriguing shadows on the wall or other vertical surfaces.
This family, known as high-intensity discharge, provide intense light at low energy cost. Their color renditions limit use, and they do not go on immediately—they must warm up. Note: Most of the above types are available for either 120-volt or 12-volt systems, but you must specify the system. Fluorescent, Mercury Vapor and High Pressure Sodium are for 120-volt only.
Layout considerationsIn addition to thinking about how you plan to use the space, there are design considerations as well. Lights can help you safely travel down a pathway, but they can also provide a gorgeous view and allow you to enjoy your landscaping even after dark. The design elements of your layout are every bit as important as the function of your layout. Keep in mind:
Get more inspiration from the Lamps Plus YouTube channel, including a video on our new Super Duty collection of large and tall landscape lights (see video below).
Versatile/adjustable fixtures used for uplighting, crosslighting, accenting and grazing; when mounted high up provide focused downlighting and moonlighting.
NOTE: You must enter the same e-mail address that you used to register with us.
Some types are more efficient than others. Low voltage, for example, can save energy by concentrating light beams, but it generally lacks the equivalent beam throw of line voltage. Newer 65- and 120-watt incandescent bulbs yield up to 25% more light. New compact fluorescent bulbs provide soft lighting and the highest energy savings. Mercury vapor bulbs offer strong illumination with energy savings, but project a cool color suitable only for greenery.
These designs help focus and direct the light beams. Some also cut off glare and protect the lamp and socket from debris and moisture.
The front of this home is beautifully accented by various wall lights and landscape lighting. Getting Started with Landscape Lighting
The landscape lighting in this scene complements the outdoor fountain.
Special effects with lighting There are a lot of ways of playing with light and shadow to create special effects in the landscape. Dubreuil suggests filtering light downwards through the canopy of an oak, pine or maple tree to get a lacy shadow effect on the patio. Barton amplifies the effect of a focal point by using it to cast a dramatic shadow on the home. And Wilcoxson aims shadows from palm trees or fireplaces onto the rippling surface of a water feature. The effects you create will depend entirely on your own landscape and architecture.
Landscape Lighting Design Professional tips for designing your landscape lighting
If this is your first purchase with us, please proceed by clicking the following button to continue first-time registration
You can now apply to be a VOLT PRO. If accepted, you will qualify for product discounts and exclusive deals!
Reflector type, either flood or concentrated spotlight. About twice the light output of A bulbs.
Installing an exterior landscape lighting system is a great way to add beauty, curb appeal and safety to your home garden, walkway and entrance areas. Plus, if you have an existing system, it can easily be enhanced or adapted to reflect new layouts, styles, or landscaping updates. In this article, you’ll learn the basics of how to design your landscape lighting.
Frequently neglected, but also important to avoid accidents in dark locations, are low path lights, post lanterns and lights attached to the house.
Call 800-782-1967 to speak with one of our friendly, professional Lighting & Home Decor Consultants or visit a Lamps Plus location near you. Whether via phone or in person, we’re happy to assist you in completing your project.
Packed with design ideas for your backyard and front yard, each issue features amazing gardens, beautiful plants, bold products, and insights from the world’s best designers.Subscribers get up to $36 off the cover price.
Views from indoors – “I’ll look out of every window in the house to make sure our design is integrating the lighting with the landscape,” says Edward Snyder of Greenleaf Services, Inc. in Linville NC.
“We want to capture a beautiful scene from every window.” Focal points – Choose one or two elements in each area to draw attention to. “Hemlock trees, with their reddish-brown bark and dark green foliage, make a great focal point when lit from below,” says Gerry DuBreuil of Belknap Landscape Company, Inc.
in Gilford, NH. “Think about what will have the best shadow effect.” Sense of depth – “We use some lights along pathways, some on the house, and some within landscaped beds to provide a feeling of depth in the landscape,” says Matt Barton of Coppercreek Landscaping, Inc.
in Mead, WA. Ambient vs. spotlighting – Ambient lighting creates atmosphere by gently lighting an entire area, while spotlighting draws strong attention to a particular feature. “We use both broad and focused beams within the landscape,” says DuBreuil.
Downlighting creates diffuse, gentle light by aiming lights downward, usually from a tree. “Like I tell my clients, if I could give you a full moon every night, wouldn’t you want to do that?” says TJ Wilcoxson of Alexon Design Group in Gilbert, AZ.
“Moonlight is romantic and great for conversation.” Uplighting is all about the drama of bold shadows and strong effects. By aiming the lights upwards into a tree or onto an architectural feature, you emphasize the contrast of dark shadows with bright light.
Crosslighting is when you eliminate shadows by lighting a focal point from both sides. “Saguaros, agaves, and boulders look incredible when crosslit,” says Wilcoxson. “You can even light up the entire canopy of a tree this way.
Landscape Design Landscaping Ideas Small Yard Landscaping Landscaping for Privacy Landscape Design Styles Backyard Features Patios Swimming Pool Design Outdoor BBQs Outdoor Fireplace Fire Pit Designs Front Yard Features Driveways Walkways & Paths Porches & Entryways Outdoor Structures Decks Pergolas & Patio Covers Retaining Walls Fencing & Gates Hardscapes & Lighting Concrete Flagstone Pavers Landscape Lighting Plants & Lawns Plants for Landscaping Sprinklers & Drip Irrigation Lawns
White long tubes are primarily used for walls, banisters and signs, compact fluorescent bulbs provide a soft light quality and the highest energy saving. (Some temperature restrictions apply.)
Highlighting your driveway with light also improves safety and security, while the delineation creates an attractive pattern.
General ideas to keep in mind as you plan Decide what exterior areas or objects you want to light. Select the appropriate lighting techniques. Choose the fixtures and accessories that give you the desired effect.
Choose the power supply, either line or (more commonly) low voltage. Select the appropriate bulbs. Landscape Lighting Techniques
Please enter the email address you use to sign in to your account and we will send to you a secure password reset link
Illuminating a tree or statue from two or more sides reveals the three-dimensional form in a striking perspective.
Compact light source which provides a consistently bright light. Also available as a reflector (MR) and as a projector (PAR) type. These fit into smaller and less obtrusive fixtures.
Burying these fixtures flush with the ground conceals the light source. Use for uplighting trees and shrubs, and grazing textured walls.
These fixtures are installed in sides and at ends of swimming pools and bottoms of fountains. Wet niche fixtures can be removed for lamp changes, while dry niche fixtures require access to the back of the pool shell. Colored lighting is popular for this application.
Underwater lighting creates dramatic effects in pools and at fountains. Install a dimmer for turning lights up to add excitement. Note: Water may be used as a mirror by lighting the area behind the reflecting surface.
An outdoor area is accented with appropriate outdoor lighting for a complete look.
Standard type commonly used around the home. Inexpensive, but yields less light than other incandescents.
Landscape Design Ideas Style Sheets Landscape Photos Landscape Products
Can’t remember your password, or need to change it now? Enter your e-mail address and we’ll send you a code to reset your password.
Automatic timers, photocells, or motion sensors which turn lights on at dusk and off at dawn make landscape lighting convenient and energy saving. See manufacturers catalogs for other accessories which may be required.
When you conceal lights behind and below a tress or bush, you achieve that same wondrous effect as seeing it on a ridge silhouetted against the sky at dusk.
Floodlighting from house or trees helps discourage intruders and vandals. Where you can’t conceal the light source, select units which look attractive—not industrial. Arrange for automatic timers, photocells or motion sensors.
Best of all are LED bulbs or lights with built-in LED arrays. LEDs are the future of landscape lighting are fast becoming the standard lamp of choice for the industry. They last for years, eliminating the need for time-consuming bulb changes, and they use very little energy, allowing you to place more lights on the same transformer, or use a smaller, less expensive transformer.