All About Outdoor Lighting
You’ve done it. You’ve created what can only be described as outdoor oasis. With perfectly placed plants, shrubs, trees and flowers, the effort put into your landscaping has been worth every moment spent on the design. The only thing left to do, is to determine how to illuminate your work as beautifully after dark, as it shines during the day. It’s time to focus on outdoor lighting.
Determining which outdoor lighting products will best showcase the beauty of your garden, porch, patio, deck, pond, waterscape, walkways and landscapes can initially seem daunting. Afterall, options abound, ranging from spotlights and flood lights, to attached gooseneck barn lights, pathway lights, and deck lights. Equally as important as where to place the lights, is choosing the best type of outdoor lights.
Types of Outdoor Light Fixtures
This guide will serve to provide you with the information you need to choose the best outdoor lighting products to achieve a look of elegance and beauty after the sun has gone down.
Spotlights & Floodlights
Spotlights and flood lights are best used for uplighting, spotlighting, and downlighting. Because spotlights and flood lights are available in dozens of finishes, styles, and weights, along with fixed or flexible positioning, these LED outdoor lights provide limitless design capabilities.
Pathway Lights, Area Lights, and Garden Lights
Pathway lights, area lights and garden lights offer superior choice when it comes to customization. These lights may be mounted to the home’s exterior, staked in the ground, or available as inground lights. From whimsical to modern, garden and pathway lights offer countless options when it comes to type and color of shade, type of finishes, style of product, and effect produced.
In-Ground Well Lights
Inground lights and well lights offer enormous versatility when it comes to achieving the perfect outdoor lighting look. These outdoor lights include in-ground pavers, marker lights, and open face style well lights. Designed to be unobtrusive, LED inground lights and well lights tend to steer your eyes to focus on the lighting effect they produce, rather than on the light itself.
Gooseneck Lights, Barn Lights and Sign Lights
Perfect for downlighting or to illuminate the door to your home, gooseneck lights, barn lights, and sign lights give you complete control over the design aesthetic, as they are available in soft, swooping curved designs, or in sharp modern and angular designs. Options on arm length allow you to determine precisely what you want illuminated, and how noticeable you want your lights to be in the daylight. Available in myriad finishes ranging from subtle cast brass, to bright red metal, gooseneck lights, barn lights, and sign lights are available to help you achieve your dream look.
Wall Lights and Wall Lanterns
Wall lights and wall lanterns including sconces, and adjustable lights mounted to the exterior walls of your home accomplish multiple goals, in terms of being attractive and practical. Serving to illuminate doorways, frame garages, or welcome guests to your home, there is no overall look you can’t achieve with sconces, lanterns, or adjustable wall mounted spot lights.
Underwater Lights, Pond Lights, and Fountain Lights
To bring your waterscape, pool, pond or fountain to life after dark, spend time deciding how brightly you want it lit in the evening, and how noticeable or subtle you’d like the actual lighting product to be. From there you will be able to determine which type of underwater, pond, or fountain light will help to achieve your objective. Waterproof, rustproof, and leak proof, underwater lights can help add dazzle to your outdoor water features.
Industrial Pendant Lights
Hanging industrial pendant lights are completely weatherproof, and can add an retro feeling to your outdoor lighting look. When hung from eaves, in gazebos, or above a patio or porch, industrial pendant lights’ wide range of colors, finishes, and designs add a touch of “wow” to your outdoor lighting efforts.
Step Lights and Deck Lights
To showcase your deck, and ensure all steps are clearly lit for safety, flush mounted LED step and deck lights, along with pier mounted or surface mounted lights serve to bring ambient lighting to seating areas, multilevel decks, and the stairs connecting them. Fully weatherproof, and available in numerous finishes and styles, these accent lights ensure you remain safe and softly lit, while enjoying your outdoors.
Popular Outdoor Lighting Effects
Outdoor lighting products are designed to offer the ability to create various lighting effects. Some of the most popular effects include:
Uplighting is an effect created by strategically placing outdoor lighting fixtures on the ground, aiming upwards. For example, if you have a particularly eye-catching plants, shrubs, or trees, you may choose to highlight these features, with LED spotlights, well lights or flood lights. As an added bonus, choosing to create and uplighting effect can provide subtle safety and security, without being obtrusive.
As this landscaping lighting effect’s name implies, pathlighting is used to ensure that walkways, paths, patios, and porches are illuminated for both aesthetic and safety purposes. Types of outdoor lights used to best achieve ambient pathway lighting include the aptly titled pathway lights, garden lights, and area lights. In addition, striking gooseneck lights, barn lights, sign lights, wall lights, and wall lanterns are used to light paths and walkways.
Silhouetting produces an unquestionably dramatic look through placing smartly positioned well lights, and inground lights behind a specific feature of your landscaping, such as a tree, shrub, or other architectural feature. This creates a silhouette, with the object appearing dark but clearly outlined due to the soft lighting behind it.
In contrast to uplighting, which places an outdoor light on or below the ground, the effect of downlighting requires placement of industrial pendant lights, gooseneck lights, flood lights and spotlights to be mounted from above, directing the light downward over doors, gazebos, waterscapes, garden beds and more.
3 Tips for Designing Your Outdoor Lighting
When it comes to choosing the perfect type of outdoor lights, it’s smart to keep three design tips at the forefront of your plans.
Focus on functionality
Be sure that any areas that need to be lit for safety are considered before making other outdoor lighting decisions. This includes making sure steps, paths and doorways are all adequately lit to prevent injury.
Choose Your Favorite Outdoor Features
After you’ve settled on lighting for safety, it’s time to focus on your favorite aspects, and choose appropriate lighting. Whether you’re lighting a pond, or silhouetting shrubs for a dramatic look, choose your favorite features, and design your lighting plan to highlight.
Add Accent/Decorative Lighting
Finally, look for areas that may benefit from not only illumination, but from the added appeal of beautiful outdoor lights, such as gooseneck garden lights which turn a lovely garden during the day, into a virtual wonderland at night.