Outdoor Living Series: Illuminate your Landscape
As the sun begins to set, your outdoor living space takes on a new glow. The mood softens, and the areas that were lit up in the blazing heat and brightness of the sun become more enchanting. You can keep the magic of dusk long after the sun goes down – as long as you are intentional with lighting.
Todd Director, Vice President of Connecticut Lighting Centers explained that people are using their outdoor areas longer with energy efficient lighting.
“With LED lights looking so good, and the energy costs so low, people are leaving their lights on longer, sometimes even all night,” Todd said.
Outdoor lighting adds curb appeal and safety to your property. Similar to interior lighting, different lighting techniques create an ambiance that sets the tone for all of your outdoor living needs. These basics can turn your backyard into a whimsical evening landscape.
Area lighting, also called downlighting, is accomplished by mounting light fixtures above the area you want to be illuminated. This can be mid-level brightness for an entire patio or deck, or brighter for flood lighting in the driveway or entrance. By lighting up the space you are entertaining in, area lighting feels welcoming and safe.
For a dramatic glow, place fixtures on ground level with lights aimed upwards. Uplighting is used to highlight a sculpture, trees and plants, or a textured patio wall. If you want to highlight a tall feature in your backyard, uplighting will make it stand out.
With outdoor living areas, people are completing more tasks outdoors – from grilling to watching TV to mixing drinks. Task lighting gives a brighter glow to the areas where you need the most light.
Accent, or spotlighting, allows you to highlight parts of your landscape in the dark. A spotlight casts an intense beam of light to draw the eye to the illuminated object, whether that be flowers, shrubs, or architecture.
Path lighting is essential for safely making your way around your property in the dark. Lights along either side of a stone path, around the edges of a patio, and under steps are all examples of path lighting. When soft lighting is used, the path takes on an elegant glow.
Similar to uplighting, the shadow lighting technique is accomplished with light fixtures place on ground level. Shadowing happens when there a backdrop behind the object you are illuminating. For example, a shrub against a patio wall, or a statue on the backside of the house.
With lights shining on an object from behind, it creates a silhouette to the viewer. This type of lighting adds mystique and drama to the landscape feature.
Trends in Lighting
“We are doing more low-voltage landscape lighting than ever before,” Todd told us, with “black and bronze fixtures making up the majority of the sales for outdoor lighting.”
When LED lighting first started growing in popularity, people predicted the bulb would eventually go away as well. But people still like the look of a light bulb, especially in lanterns. And that is a trend that isn’t going anywhere soon.
“Outdoor lanterns are still extremely popular,” Todd said.
By incorporating a few of these lighting techniques or styles to your outdoor living space, those endless summer days turn into endless summer nights surrounded by those you love.