Thinking up a few good landscape lighting ideas may be a bit challenging for some people. However, it need not be that hard, and it can actually be a pleasant if not fun experience. These 7 easy tips will show you how to use your creative imagination to easily come up with your own great lighting ideas for your landscaping.
Think About Any Unique Features That Would Benefit From Lights
During the daylight hours when the sun is shining bright, some landscape features may look rather unremarkable, if not mundane. But at nighttime, tastefully placed lighting can bring out a spectacular variety of colors, hues, and effects.
Places that can benefit from lighting include driveways, walkways, walls, steps, statuary, water fountains, trees, shrubs, patios, decks, and borders.
Use a Flashlight to Simulate Nighttime Landscape Lighting Effects
When nighttime falls, get a flashlight, put in some fresh batteries, then take a walk through the landscape areas such as lawn, garden, and pathways that you would like to light. The reason for bringing the flashlight along is to simulate different lighting effects.
Point the flashlight at objects you would like to light, and shine a beam of light on it. See how the beam of light creates various lighting effects, contrasts, and shadows on the wall of your house, on trees, shrubs, and other elements of the landscape. If your flashlight has variable settings, change the width of the beam between floodlight and spotlight, and make note of positioning and angles that you think look best.
Visualize Effects Mentally
Next, try to visualize in your mind a few different ways you can re-create the flashlight simulated effects with common lighting methods.
Some of the popular lighting methods include path lighting, wall-wash lighting, shadow lighting, floodlighting, spotlighting, backlighting, downlighting, and uplighting. See your landscape come to life at night after you install some low voltage light fixtures in a few strategic locations onsite.
Write Your Ideas in a Notebook
When you have some good lighting ideas, write them down in a notebook or personal organizer as soon as possible. You shouldn’t assume you will remember all of those ideas you have in your head, because you may forget something important.
Draw a simple map of your landscape layout, and plot each point where you want to place a light fixture. When you are ready to purchase your light fixtures at the store, take your notes with you so you can refer back to them if necessary. This holds true if you buy online as well.
Use Online Search to Find More Ideas
For even more ideas, go online to conduct a search. You will find a virtual goldmine of information online about many different topics, including that of landscape lighting. Performing a few quick searches online is a good way to find more ideas.
Search Online With Specific Keywords
A generic phrase like “landscape lighting” may return some results that are not completely relevant to your search, such as product sale pages. Do a search with targeted keywords, like “landscape lighting methods” or “outdoor lighting ideas.” Home improvement sites, DIY sites, forums, and answer sites such as eHow, Yahoo Answers, and Google Groups are good places to search for more ideas.
Books and Magazines – Take a Look!
Besides searching online, don’t forget about home-and-gardening books and magazines for even more helpful landscape lighting articles and advice. So be sure to check out the books and magazines in the self-help section of your local home improvement store or landscape nursery.
The things you can do with lighting are virtually limitless, given the endless number of landscape lighting ideas available today. Let your creative juices flow, use your imagination, and go for it with gusto! By lighting your landscape at night, you will increase the beauty of your outdoor areas and improve the level of security and safety.