Landscaping Lighting Techniques

Landscape lighting adds to the beauty and décor of your home. You may have spent a fortune on buying a gorgeous house but if your surrounding landscape is not illuminated it’s like you bought a birthday cake with the candles missing. Apart from the aesthetic functionality, landscape lighting is often recommended by home safety experts. A good lighting system is one of the best deterrents to nocturnal crimes, including burglaries, vandalism and peeping toms.

There are many lighting styles available to suit your aesthetic tastes and landscape setting. In downlighting, lighting units are installed on a high position such as a tree or roof to provide illumination over a broad area. If you want to highlight flowers, pathway or steps the lights are positioned close to the ground.

In uplighting, we focus lights upwards creating a theatrical setting. These lights are kept low to the ground or sometimes underground and can be used to light trees, plants, statues or textured wall surfaces.

Moonlighting is similar to downlighting except that the lights used are dim. This simulates the lovely effect of moonlight and if certain objects are in its path cast attractive shadow patterns.

In Grazing, known as side lights, these lights are positioned very close to an interesting surface which has a unique texture. It wonderfully brings out the texture in case of a tree bark, a masonry wall, wood shingles or an attractive door.

In spot lighting, an intense light beam is focused on a small area such as flowers, shrubs or statues. It immediately snatches the focal attention of an observer and creates islands of interest in your landscape.

In silhouetting, lights are concealed behind a tree or a bush and it produces the same wondrous effect as seeing a tree on a ridge silhouetted against the sky at dusk.

In crosslighting two or three lights from different direction are focused on a tree or a statue to reveal a striking three dimensional form.

These are only some of the basic techniques discussed. They can be used either in isolation or can be combined in permutations with other lighting styles. In landscape lighting, analyze your terrain and then let your creativity loose. Who knows, you might even create the 9th wonder of the world in your backyard!

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