Your home is likely the most significant investment you’ll make in your lifetime. While most people focus on making the inside of their home look magical, it’s the exterior that makes the first impression on visitors.
Beyond nicely manicured grass and colorful doors, your landscaping choices speak volumes, and lighting can be a big part of that. Read on to discover five of our favorite simple landscape lighting ideas to make the outside of your home look beautiful… and impress your new neighbors!
Our Five Favorite Landscape Lighting Ideas
Lighted pathways add beauty and warmth to your landscape, creating a welcoming and inviting exterior to your home. Such lights help guide your guests to your door, marking path boundaries and protecting your plants and grass from heavy-footed walkers.
The best pathway lights are gentle and mild, providing a soft glow without giving off a distracting glare. There is a wide range of ways to light your walkways. You might use garden lights, downlights, bollard lights, or flush lights. One type of light that is becoming increasingly popular is the recessed tread lights. These lights, because of their soft touch and low profile, are perfect for lighting steps and staircases. Lighting steps prevents trips and falls, as well as looking beautiful.
Water Features Lighting
Do you have a water feature, such as a pond or fountain, as part of your landscape design? You can make this feature stand out by adding lights.
Because water diffuses light, you will need to use bright lights to get the right effect. You can play with light and water in so many different ways, making this type of landscape lighting a dream for the creatively inclined. For instance, you can use submersible lights to give your fountain a beautiful glow. Depending on the lights' position, the water may provide a variety of shades and colors or a glittering effect.
However, you’ll need to be careful when choosing lighting for ponds. Lights, especially underwater lights, can change the temperature of the water, which can be harmful to fish. Additionally, light installation may come with toxic materials like zinc or copper. It's best to use polycarbonate materials and stainless steel.
Fire Features Lighting
Outdoor fire features are perfect for fall or winter gatherings. You can enjoy the cozy atmosphere in the glow of the fire. Although fire produces a certain amount of light itself, you can achieve better results by adding additional landscape lighting.
Outdoor fire features come in a variety of forms. For example, you can build a traditional wood-burning fire pit. These pits depend on the burning of dry logs. Alternatively, you can get gel-fueled fire features that mimic dry wood. You can achieve the effect of wood-burning without having to worry about embers and ashes in your backyard.
Natural gas fire features make the process even simpler. At the push of a button, you can have stunning flames that light up your landscape and create an ambiance at night. Propane fire features are another great option. You don’t have to dig up anything or make significant changes to your landscape to accommodate propane fire features. The only challenge is that you have to keep remembering to fill your propane tank.
Once you settle on the kind of fire feature you want, you can move forward with adding lighting to achieve an enhanced effect.
String lighting is most associated with the Christmas season, but it can be a beautiful landscape lighting addition all year round. Whether you are looking to add an inviting glow to your patio, porch, or gazebo, string lights can do the job perfectly.
The great thing about string lights is that they’re cheap and tremendously versatile. You can hang them over a porch or drape them around the trees in your yard. Even if you don’t want them to be up all the time, these accent lights work well for holiday seasons, celebrations, and parties.
String lights give off a warm glow that is welcoming and inviting. You can choose from a wide range of colors and styles based on your theme and preferences. Because the LED bulbs are impact-resistant, they do not break easily and can be reused for many years.
Porch or Patio Lighting
Porch or patio lighting is one of the most popular styles of lighting up outdoor places. If you have a porch, patio, or any outdoor seating area, consider making it more comfortable with outdoor lights.
You could start with a lantern or even an eye-catching outdoor chandelier. Outdoor pendants hanging over a seating area create an ambiance and cozy atmosphere, even in the dark. You can also add floor lamps, scattering them about or arranging them in visual symmetry.
The right lighting can complement any furniture you have on your patio. Your patio can be transformed into the perfect place to sit, relax, watch the stars, read a book, or even host a party.
A Word of Caution: Avoid Outdoor Light Pollution
While anyone can come up with ideas for lighting a backyard, things can go south pretty quickly if you don’t have expertise. Too many lights, or the wrong type of landscape lighting, can create outdoor light pollution. Too much light can become a distraction indoors and can have harmful effects on people’s eyes, not to mention annoying your neighbors - the opposite of your intended effect! The wrong lighting can also obscure the beauty of your landscape. Here are a few tips to light your landscape properly.
First of all, position lights carefully. Don’t aim them in such a way that they shine directly into people’s eyes. If you find that a light is excessively bright, tilt it upwards or downwards away from onlookers. To be certain, use light fixtures with reflectors that shield and direct light where you want it to go.
Another smart way to do landscape lighting well is to use lights with low wattage. If the wattage is too high, you run the risk of creating a harsh light that is not friendly to visitors and onlookers. Low wattage lights will give you the right amount of illumination and save energy at the same time, ensuring your landscape lighting is eco-friendly and reducing your energy bill.
Finally, you can use timers, controls, and dimmer switches to manage your landscape lighting. To do this well, zone your lights into different groups. Another creative way of having more control over your landscape lights is to use motion sensors. This means that the lights will only come on when a person is in the vicinity.
Let There Be Light!
Do you love seeing the glow in the eyes of your neighbors when they look at your front yard and your beautiful exterior landscape? Well, you can even get more of those impressed looks when you add lights to the outside of your home.
There are tons of ways to play with light to enhance your landscaping design. Experiment until you find the best style that works for you. We hope we have made your work easier by outlining some of the best landscape lighting ideas!
Hiring a landscape lighting expert will save you a lot of headaches. The best professionals will work with you to bring the ideas you have in your mind to life. So, if you are thinking about giving your landscape a touch of lighting, feel free to get in touch and our friendly team will help you find everything you need.