How to Avoid a Bad Landscape Lighting Experience in Your Yard

Oct 1, 2018

There are only two real reasons to add landscape lighting to your Sioux Center, Iowa yard: to create a safe outdoor space after dark and to add ambience to the setting.  What you want to avoid is creating a landscape lighting experience that is insufficient or off-putting in some way.

You’ve probably spent a lot of time tweaking indoor lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, as well as ensure a functional element to your lighting fixtures.  You should take the same pains when it comes to choosing and installing outdoor lighting.

After all, you’ve gone to the time and expense to create a beautiful outdoor living space, complete with lush landscape design, essential paver patios and walkways, and site structures like pergolas or pavilions for added shade and protection from the elements when lounging.  Perhaps you’ve added a focal point like a fire pit or a water feature for added beauty and relaxation.

Now is the time to focus on properly lighting your outdoor space, not only for functional purposes, but also to add the style and ambience you prefer when the sun goes down.  Here are a few tips to avoid a bad landscape lighting experience.

Don’t Skimp

It’s tempting to cut costs by installing the bare minimum of fixtures needed to illuminate seating areas or walkways, but this is a mistake.  This space is meant for enjoyment, and while you certainly want to consider safety and other practical concerns first, you also need to think about how lighting contributes to the overall dynamic of your outdoor space.

If you’ve gone to the trouble to create a beautiful and inviting lounge space from which to enjoy nature, you want to get the most out of it.  With ample lighting possibilities, you can have the illumination you need while also creating the mood you want, increasing overall use value and enjoyment for your family and friends.

Consider Light Color/Temperature

Your first impulse is probably to use bright, white lighting that is as close to neutral in temperature as possible.  While this is fine for task lighting, such as over a cook space in your outdoor kitchen, it’s not necessarily ideal for landscape lighting or creating a relaxing atmosphere for lounge areas.

It’s always best to lean toward the warm side when highlighting flora because it actually tends to look more natural and inviting.  As for lounge spaces, golden lighting is going to offer the warm and welcoming aesthetic you prefer.

Highlight Appropriately

There are so many options when it comes to fixtures for your outdoor spaces, from up-lighting for trees, shrubs, or architectural features, to downlighting for pathways, to sconces that add ambient light, to strings lights for a festive mood.  It’s always wise to have options available that help you to set the right tone, but be careful not to go overboard with an unnecessarily high volume of fixtures that become an eyesore.

Hire Professional Help

Chances are you’re not a lighting specialist, especially not one with a background in outdoor landscape and architecture lighting.  This is why it’s important to team up with reputable, reliable, and experienced landscape design professionals to plan and execute the best possible lighting configuration for your Rock Valley, Iowa outdoor spaces.