Outdoor Lighting Makes a Difference
Just as indoor lighting can change the style and effect of rooms inside a home, outdoor lighting can add style, extra interest, and safety to a yard. Today, the large variety of outdoor lighting fixtures makes it simple to match the type of light you want with the style, design and architectural details of almost any living space.
When considering what outdoor lights you need, first look at the most common outside areas requiring good lightings, such as sidewalks, entrances and doorways and even ponds or fountains. Lights in these areas are mainly for safety, so placement is very important.
Brightening an entryway not only helps in showing the door at night but also makes recognizing visitors to your door much easier. Lighting the steps for an entryway or porch can help prevent stumbling and falls. A sidewalk light adds both safety and convenience, and the extra brightness can help prevent crime, intruders, and predators.
Other outside areas can also benefit from landscape lights. Adding lights to a patio or deck make them even more useful and comfortable for barbeques or family gatherings.
Landscape lighting can showcase the beautiful results of spending the time and effort of growing a garden or adding a dramatic fountain or pond. Even a few well-placed lights add extra style to small gardens, as well.
Outdoor lighting fixtures come in a large bouquet of design styles, sizes, and types, making it easy to coordinate with the exterior style of a home. You can find wall-mounted, post-mounted, hanging or landscape lighting fixtures in pretty much any color or finish.
Besides choosing lighting fixtures for a specific area or in a certain design, there are also different lighting techniques you can incorporate into a landscape to create a variety of effects:
- Spotlighting – highlight a statue, fountain, trees or exotic plants. Usually, you will only want to spotlight one or two items, as this creates a very strong focal point in the landscape.
- Grazing – shining a sharply angled light across a surface to spotlight the texture. This is a very effective backdrop technique when used on stone, stucco or plaster walls.
- Silhouetting – a concealed light source reflects off a vertical surface behind a chosen object, creating an outline surrounded in light.
- Uplighting – the light source is in the ground or angled upward at the foot of an object. A very dramatic effect for accenting a tree or statuary.
- Cross lighting – two or more light sources from below are angled to shine on an object from different sides.
- Downlighting – a fixture has the bulb angled or the shade designed to shine a light down towards the ground. This is a subtle effect that imitates natural moonlight.
- Shadowing – placing a light source in front of an object to cast a shadow on a vertical surface behind.
Light a simple front walkway or brighten an entire landscape plan of gardens, pathways, and patios. New outdoor lighting designs and techniques will make things safe, add some style and let you turn a dull backyard into something extraordinary.
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