Major Considerations when Mapping Out Your Landscape Lighting

May 21, 2018

Lighting is just as essential to making your outdoor spaces usable as landscaping, fire features, and patio spaces.  When you’re looking to turn your Sioux Center, Iowa backyard into a swanky entertaining space that keeps the party going long after sundown, you’ll have to map out a suitable landscape lighting design.  Here are a few things to consider in the process.

Practical Lighting Concerns

The first thing you have to consider when creating a map of outdoor lighting for your property is how it will make your space more functional when the sun goes down.  If you want your family and friends to be able to traverse your yard at night, the right lighting can provide for safe passage.

You’ll want to start by adding practical lighting features to entryways on buildings and at gates, as well as along pathways.  This will ensure that no one gets lost or trips trying to reach your door or get to the garage, for example.

If you have seating and eating areas, they should be well-lit so that after-dark diners can get a good look at the food they’re cutting up and eating.  Safe and practical usage of outdoor spaces should be the primary concern when planning the layout of outdoor lighting.

Highlighting Outdoor Features

Lighting can be used in both a practical and an aesthetic manner, so once you’ve got your functional lighting taken care of, you can start to think about ways to use illumination to highlight notable features around your property.  Lighting can be used to showcase landscaping like trees or shrubbery.  It can draw attention to water features.  Or you might use lighting to point out attractive architectural features.

Illuminating in Style

In design, the primary rule is that form follows function.  When it comes to outdoor lighting, this means that practical concerns come first, but you have a lot of latitude to select lighting that also suits your sensibilities and the type of usage you have in mind for your yard.

For example, if you host a lot of events that utilize a massive patio space, you might want to string lighting in a grid overhead to ensure that there’s plenty of illumination for dining, dancing, or other activities.  You could add sphere lights to trees around the perimeter of your property to encourage intimate groupings of guests apart from the main gathering space.  The style of lighting you choose could be just as important as placement when it comes to getting the greatest use from your yard.

Mood Lighting

In addition to installing traditional lighting for practical considerations and aesthetic purposes, you might want to consider novelty lighting designed to set a mood or add wow factor to events.  You could, for example, add colored lighting to create a specific mood, or you might consider using novelty LED lights that project onto blank exterior walls to create effects like rain or snow falling.

Some of these light show projectors create a starry night on the side of your house while others display holiday patterns and colors.  Some offer a multi-colored, kaleidoscopic effect.  They’re not right for every home or every occasion, but they can be a way to add some fun to your Rock Valley, Iowa exterior with lighting.