How to hang backyard lights
Planning to make outdoor lighting in your garden, but don’t know where to start? We can help you understand what landscape lighting design is, what to choose lighting fixtures and what technical points to pay attention to.
Landscape lighting changes the appearance of the site and increases its safety at night
Landscape and facade lighting – what is the difference
Both the first and the second – a kind of outdoor lighting on the site. For the facade (architectural) lighting fixtures are placed above the entrances or two meters from them, as well as on the front of the house. They light up the entrance and emphasize the architectural merits of the building at night.
Landscape lighting has wider tasks.
To illuminate the area of the site to comfortably and safely walk through it at night.
Get an opportunity to relax in the fresh air in the evening.
Highlight attractive areas in the landscape.
Prevent intruders from entering the area.
Landscape lighting is best done in moderation, to create a special atmosphere of charm and mystery from the softly flowing light from different corners of your garden.
Types of landscape lighting
Based on the tasks, there are three types of landscape lighting.
- Functional. Used in the entrance area, on garden paths and paths, in a gazebo, on the terrace, in the area of barbecue.
- Decorative. Illumination of landscape compositions, separate trees, bushes, flowerbeds, garden decor elements.
- Security. Installed on high poles around the perimeter of the site and in areas of video surveillance.
In practice, often the same lights perform several tasks. For example, a light that illuminates the shrubbery, at the same time illuminates the nearby path.
How to plan exterior site lighting
Start with a diagram. On millimeter paper, draw the boundaries of the plot, the contours of all the buildings, mark the entrances, garden paths, flowerbeds, large trees and shrubs, ponds, other elements of the garden. Drawing everything, adhering to the exact scale, is not necessary. It is enough to observe the approximate proportions.
Mark on the scheme the areas you want to illuminate. Mark different colors for functional, decorative and security lights – it will become clear how many and what kind of lights are needed and which ones can be combined.
To know where decorative lighting will look best, use this technique. Go out with a helper in the garden in the evening with a lantern. Take turns illuminating trees, bushes, flowers and determine the most spectacular areas.
Which lights to choose
The choice of lights depends on their location in the garden and the tasks they solve.
For patio and garden paths
For paths and outdoor areas, functional lighting fixtures that provide safe movement around the site will be suitable. The main thing is that they should not glare.
For example, lights up to 1 m high with a protective hood so that the outgoing light does not dazzle, but falls under your feet. It can be bollards, lanterns on a leg, lamps in the form of wrought iron floor lamps.
On outdoor areas, at the entrance to the house you can install classic lanterns on a stand at a height of 2-3 meters with a soft diffused light.
Stairs, terraced paths can be lit with recessed lights.
For seating areas
To comfortably spend the evening on the terrace, gazebo or patio, you need bright lighting. Here, wall and floor lamps, pendant lamps are used. In the open space, you can install lanterns.
Convenient lighting fixtures with dimmers (dimmers): You can dim the light and create a cozy atmosphere of gloom.
For water features
Swimming pool, decorative pond, fountain in the light of night lights look very impressive. For shoreline lighting, recessed lights or ball-shaped lamps that are installed on the ground are suitable. When installing a light near water, choose waterproof models.
Add some magic and charm to your evening landscape by placing floating lights on the water – they will make a lasting impression on your guests.
For decorative lighting
Use small floor lamps, rock or balloon lights or Japanese stone lanterns to light floral arrangements or beautiful shrubs. You can hang Chinese lanterns, round lights on trees. Add a play of light by choosing blue, green, orange lights.
Technical nuances of landscape lighting
What do you need to pay attention to when arranging for landscape lighting?
- All street lights should be protected from dust and moisture (IP rating at least 65-66). Have a sealed and corrosion-resistant housing.
- Energy-saving lights – LED, battery-powered and solar-powered – will save money and time on installation.
- Install incandescent lights no closer than 1.5 m to the plants so as not to burn them.
- Use low-voltage 12-volt equipment as much as possible – it’s economical and safe. Especially if you install lights near water.
- Split your lights into several self-contained systems, powered by different circuit breakers.
- Choose how you will control outdoor lighting – on your own or buy lights with a motion sensor, light (with the onset of darkness) or a timer.
If you’re planning to beautify the site from scratch or change the design, include outdoor lighting in your landscaping project. This is a guarantee that you will get a professional lighting design and enjoy relaxing in the garden in the evening.