Light Up Your Landscaping!
Exterior lighting is an excellent way to enhance the elegance of your home and to draw attention to your professional landscaping. But many homeowners don’t know where to start. Here is a helpful guide to landscape lighting do’s and don’ts.
DO keep it simple: A few sets of lights on a timer that automatically turns on the lights at dusk and turns them off at bedtime is the ideal setup for many homeowners who want a low-hassle experience.
DO invest in high-quality, professional lighting for your landscape and home. When it comes to exterior lighting, you really DO get what you pay for. Inexpensive lights and fixtures sold by the big box hardware retailers probably won’t last more than a season or two. You want something that’s durable and reliable, year after year.
DO have a clear vision for your landscaping and lighting project before you begin work on it. First, you must decide what lighting effects you want to create in your front and back yards. For example, your home may have some architectural details to which you want to draw attention. You may also want to illuminate a walkway or steps to improve safety and security. Finally, you may be want to accent some specialty plantings. There are many types of lights available, each designed to do a different job. We can help you put together a plan that achieves your objectives, yet stays within your budget.
DO create a detailed plan for the types of lighting and the power and wiring they will require. First, must know where buried utilities are located – before you start to dig. Next, you need to bury your wiring where it’s least likely to be accidentally damaged. Transformers and timers need to be protected from the elements.
DO learn what’s new in landscape lighting and design. In addition to incandescent and halogen bulbs, you can now purchase LED lights that open up a world of possibilities – including programmable colors that can be changed remotely. LED lights also use less electricity than their older counterparts.
DON’T get carried away by adding too much to your landscape lighting design. Less is more. Many homeowners want to add accent lighting to the front of their homes, but also to trees and plantings in the front yard. If you try to do both, your illuminated plantings may fight for attention with the house. For best results, pick one or the other, but not both.
DON’T try to run too many lights off of a single transformer, or the lights at the end of the line will appear to be dim. Typically, a 75 watt transformer can run up to 12 LED lights.
DON’T go it alone. The bottom line is that lighting is equal parts art and functionality. We can help you achieve what you envision for your home and landscape, and can walk you through the pros and cons of various design elements. We can even simulate your proposed lighting design on a computerized 3D model of your house. Contact us today about your landscape and lighting needs.
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