Once you have the picture of your dream landscape in mind, you’ll want to be able to enjoy that picture-perfect backyard both day and night. However, when designing your nighttime lighting, it’s not just about putting some bulbs in some sockets and placing them randomly around your yard.
Creating proper nighttime lighting involves thinking about both safety and aesthetics, which form the overall visual comfort of the space. Despite what you might think, safety and aesthetics definitely go hand-in-hand. If you focus on one more than the other, you’ll be sacrificing part of that dream nighttime atmosphere you’re aiming for.
If you don’t plan properly, you could be creating more hassle than comfort (and paying money to do so!). Here are some things to think about when designing your backyard lighting plan to help achieve optimal visual comfort.
Top Three Ways to Create Visual Comfort + Safety in Your Yard
1. Avoid direct glare.
This first tip may sound simple enough. But for some, their first instinct is that strong lights mean more safety. The opposite is true. You want your backyard lights to be strong enough to provide safety, but lights that are too bright and/or incorrectly placed can cause an annoying glare, which can actually also decrease the safety in your yard.
In fact, there’s a direct connection between your eyes and your brain, and lights that are too bright can cause eye fatigue and actual real pain in some cases, and those glaring lights can even disable your vision for a few moments. So, make sure your lighting fixtures help alleviate glare and focus correctly on plants, textures, trees, structures (both water and fixed), pathways, play structures, etc., instead of directly in the eyes of those who are enjoying your backyard.
Here are two important things to remember to avoid unwanted glare:
- Less is more—you need less lighting than you think when compared with indoor lighting
- Focus lights downward in most cases.
2. Make your lights part of the design, not the stars of the design.
While the correct lighting fixtures can be beautiful in and of themselves, you really don’t want your fixtures to be the first thing people see when they’re enjoying your nighttime backyard. So, make it a point to choose fixtures and lighting methods that highlight the real stars of your backyard—the plants, trees, structures, and other things we talked about in #1 above.
CAST lights are designed to offer even and inconspicuous lighting throughout your yard, ensuring your favorite parts shine without sacrificing the overall feel and look of your backyard.
3. Match technique with proper lighting.
Here’s where lighting design can get fun, but maybe a bit overwhelming too. To ensure your backyard is visually comfortable and safe, think about these lighting techniques:
- Uplighting focuses light upward on objects like trees and structures, and directional lights and well lights work well here.
- Moonlighting provides soft, natural lighting (like the moonlight) over large areas and helps to eliminate dark areas, which can be safety concerns. Tree lights are great options for moonlighting.
- Pathway lighting helps to not only provide safety for paths and stairways, but it can also add to the overall ambiance of your yard when placed correctly. We have a variety of path lights to meet your needs, ensuring both safety AND beauty.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you create your dream—and visually comfortable—backyard lighting design. But if you need some assistance, we’re ready and happy to put our expertise to work for you and help make your dream backyard come to life. Contact us today!