You’ve got a beautifully-landscaped lawn to marvel at during daytime. But, when dusk and sunset come, it becomes a lot harder to appreciate the beauty of well-arranged plants when it’s too dark. This is when your outdoor landscape lighting comes into the picture. Technically, it’s not something a home always needs to have. But, it’s a nice aesthetic touch, in the name of having a more pleasing façade.
When you start researching more and preparing to have your very own outdoor landscape lighting system, it’s also not surprising that you’re going to come across horror stories of homeowners who’ve had a terrible experience. Installing all those lights can be expensive, so the last thing you’ll want is to have a poorly-installed one. Your backyard lighting system should be as effective as it is pleasing to look at.
Here are seven ways to avoid a bad landscape lighting system, and check out https://housefrey.com/index.php/2022/06/28/12-reasons-to-choose-led-home-landscape-lighting/ to learn the top reasons why you should choose an LED home landscape lighting system.
1. Get To Know The Landscape Lighting Basics
Ideally, you should leave the task of installing your outdoor lights to the experts. Doing so is the best assurance you can have that the result is going to be a well-designed and top-quality system.
This isn’t to say, however, that there should be no room for you to actually learn the ropes of landscape lighting basics. You don’t have to be an expert, but, at least, have a basic background on what it entails, so you can also play an active role in its maintenance as the homeowner.
To give you an idea, here are some of the basics of landscape lighting, starting with the different classifications based on function:
- Overall lighting, which provides illumination to the whole space
- Accent lighting, like flood lights and spotlights, which has the purpose of drawing attention to an object or an area
- Task lighting, which is used for specific tasks or purposes, as its name implies, like lighting up a path
Along with those different classifications, it’s also worth knowing some of the main types of lightbulbs that can be used for outdoor fixtures. These include:
- LED landscape lighting, which is a more expensive option, is also the better choice in the long run because of its low energy consumption and longer lifespan
- Incandescent bulbs, usually the ones that emit the most pleasant lights, but also consume more electricity, and generally have a shorter lifespan
- Fluorescent bulbs function quite like LED landscape lighting in how they can also last longer and with so many modern options to choose from
- Halogen bulbs, which are a more efficient choice than incandescent bulbs
2. Hire A Professional
Even if you’ve been the master of DIY projects at home, this is something you may want to leave to the hands of the experts, like Oregon Outdoor Lighting. Outdoor landscape lighting systems are quite complicated, such that they entail a lot of electrical work to ensure safety and proper positioning. There are expert contractors that do this job well, so trust them to do it for you.
With that, be very certain that the company you’re trusting is truly an expert. Take the time to compare at least three different quotes, so you know you’re getting the best price. Moreover, go through recommendations from family and friends who also have had outdoor landscape lighting installed, for that higher assurance of quality work.
Likewise, here’s a list of questions you may want to ask, to help you decide whether or not a certain company really is a professional or an expert:
- Is lighting a core focus of your company? This is very important to ask, as if lighting isn’t their company’s focus, then it’s likely that their experience and knowledge on outdoor lighting may be limited.
- How long has the company been in business? The general rule to apply here is that the longer the timeframe is, the more experience that company has.
- Do you also do after-installation repair and maintenance? It’s an advantage to have to call on only one company for the installation, repair, and maintenance. Should any problem arise, you immediately know whom you have to call.
- Do you have a portfolio of previous work to show? This portfolio can help you decide whether or not you’ll also be pleased with the lighting results on your landscape.
3. Use Well-Constructed Lighting Fixtures
Obviously, you wouldn’t want to construct or erect any lighting fixture that’s positioned poorly. The goal is for you to have a lighting fixture that can withstand the toll that outdoor conditions have on those lights. That way, you can be certain that they’ll last through the weather. The last thing you’ll want is to have guests over for dinner, and then find out many of your outdoor landscape lights have succumbed to the recent rain.
The best lighting fixtures are usually those that are made of copper or brass. Those materials are designed to protect the sockets and lamps from any moisture. With this, you have that layer of protection to convince you that your landscape lighting fixtures are going to last you for years to come.
4. Keep The Bugs Away
Apart from the natural elements of the weather, bugs can also be a common enemy of your outdoor landscape lighting fixtures. If you use LED lights, however, then you’re lucky in a way that you’ll have cooler lights. Bugs are typically attracted to warmth, so they may not feast on your lights as they would on other warmer types of light.
However, the likelihood that bugs may eat on your fixtures is still present. So, you have to be sneaky enough to try and deter those bugs. A simple strategy is to add bird houses and feeders on your property. When you attract more birds, you’re also potentially cutting the insect population that can stay in your garden.
5. Study The Basic Lighting Placement Ideas
Landscape lights aren’t just something that’ll be installed in random placements. Experts will explain to you that there’s actually a proper or ideal placement, based on the type of light, purpose, and even the plants that you have.
Like the first point above on the basic principles of landscape lighting, placement-related concerns are something that’s been mastered by professionals. So, you can rely on them to be able to apply those in your home. But, it’s an added plus for you to have background knowledge as well. That way, should the lighting go caput, for instance, you know what to replace it with, perhaps, without calling the experts. Those small repair jobs can be something you can easily do as a homeowner, for as long as you’re confident about what you’re doing. Carry out such tasks on top of the regular backyard maintenance you’ll be doing.
To wit, some of the basic landscape lighting ideas are:
- Steps: Usually, outdoor stairs should be illuminated for safety. Either the risers or the treads should be lit for this purpose.
- Paths: Lighting up pathways can be both inviting and welcoming. Downlights work well to prevent glare, as well as individually-lit pavers.
- Decks or patios: Lighting can be used to illuminate certain key areas of decks or patios, like the grill, seating areas, and even the washing areas. Uplighting can be used to send light to the deck overhang, for a more pleasing indirect lighting effect.
- Entries: You may also place lights on both sides of entryways.
6. Consider Using Solar Lights
One of the reasons why many homeowners may still not consider installing an outdoor lighting system is the fact that it may unnecessarily spike up your home’s electricity consumption. Yes, outdoor lighting can also serve as a deterrent for thieves, but there are other more cost-effective ways to accomplish such a purpose.
With the advent of technology, solar lights came into being. And, if you happen to live in an area where sunlight is abundant for most of the days and year, then make use of solar lights. They’re effective at doing the job of lighting up your landscaped lawn without notoriously increasing your home’s electricity consumption.
7. Protect The Wires And Their Connections
Solar lights may be a good choice, but if you’re working with a big garden or if the availability of sun isn’t as good, then you’ll still have some parts of your outdoor landscape lighting system that’s dependent on wires.
While the lights themselves and the lighting fixtures made out of copper or brass can withstand outdoor elements, the same can’t be said about the other delicate parts, like the wires and their respective connections.
When your lighting system is reliant on those wires, then be sure that they’re also well-protected upon installation. A good start is to have those wires buried at least six to eight inches deep. Then, if you’re working with an expert contractor, they’ll know what best to do, based on your specific garden condition.
Whatever the size of your garden is, there’s no denying the fact that installing outdoor lighting can be an expensive pursuit. From its aesthetic value to the functional aspect of having a well-lit garden, there are so many good reasons why homeowners should invest in outdoor landscape lighting. Remember, however, that unlike indoor lights, landscape lights are exposed to the harsh outdoor elements of the weather. This fact alone proves why it’s a must not to skimp on the quality. The tips above can lead you in the right direction, so that you can also avoid falling into the traps of a poorly-installed and haphazardly-designed outdoor landscape lighting system.