When it comes to backyard renovations or improvements, what comes to mind? Planting a new garden, flowers, or maybe buying new patio furniture and a wicked BBQ. Your backyard space should be stylish, functional and aesthetically pleasing. The last piece of the puzzle: outdoor lighting. Here’s what you need to know about illuminating your space to create a relaxing outdoor oasis.
Why do I need outdoor lighting?
Whether you’ve spent a lot of time and money improving your backyard, or simply updated the look of it with accent pieces here and there, every good backyard needs a little bit of outdoor lighting. And for good reason! A study published by Remodeling Magazine revealed that outdoor renovations are in the top 5 list of home improvement projects for the year. They’re overtaking typical home renovation projects, such as kitchen and bathroom remodels. Outdoor lighting is a fun and inexpensive way to improve, update and jazz up any backyard. Here are other reasons why you should budget for outdoor lighting:
- It’s one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to add both beauty and security to a home.
- Some fixtures are weather-resistant, making them durable and perfect for the outdoors.
- They can highlight those landscaping pieces you’ve spend money on.
- Illumination will make darker areas around your home safer for you to walk around.
- Lighting prolongues any outdoor party – it’ll set the tone for late-night parties and let you enjoy the outdoors long after the sun is down.
Get started on your outdoor lighting project today! Contact one of our electrical contractors for help.
Need some inspiration? This video features beautiful front and backyards complete with landscape lighting:
Ok, but where do I begin?
Homeowners, before you bring in the experts to do the electrical wiring, you’ll want to do some research to find out what kind of lighting your space needs and what will fit your budget. We’ve done half the work for you! The first step in designing your backyard to include landscape lighting includes figuring out what the purpose is for your landscape lighting. You know why you should have it, but what is the main function? Do you picture your backyard as a relaxing, tranquil space in the evening? Perhaps you’ve invested good money in your new garden or landscaping and want those areas to be highlighted by lighting. Another thing to consider: safety. Landscape lighting can be built to illuminate pathways in your backyard to keep you safe while walking around.
Deciding what you need from your landscape lighting will help you determine how to proceed with your outdoor lighting project. An electrical contractor can help you out with that.
Put your drawing skills to the test
Now that you’ve decided how your outdoor landscape lighting should function for your space, it’s time to determine where you visualize your new lighting pieces. If you have impeccable drawing skills, start sketching out an image of your yard. Be sure to include any existing lighting, benches, trees, gardens, decorations and building pieces. If drawing isn’t your forte, spend some time outdoors and evaluate the space. Thinking about where you want or need lighting and actually visualizing it in your backyard are different things. At the end of the day, you want to have a strong sense of where you want your new lighting pieces to go.
What lights go where?
Are you starting to visualize what your backyard will look like? Can you picture how the landscape lighting will set the tone or mood of any outdoor get-together? You’ve done your research and given it some thought. Knowing where you want your lights to go is one part of the planning process. With so many lighting products on the market, how do you know which one is appropriate for which area outside? Here’s a guideline:
Home Security and Safety
- Path Lighting – You guessed it. These lights are perfect for illuminating pathways along the sides of your home or walkways in the front/backyard. They come in a variety of styles that will complement your individual style and backyard’s decor.
- Flood Lights – These lights are designed for safety and security purposes. They should be used in stairways, dark garages or entry areas. They help discourage intruders from entering your property since the light is so bright. Plus, they can be installed up to 9 feet off the ground, so they’ll cast a wide light across your property.
Accent and Decorative Lighting
- Wall & Ceiling Lighting – The name says it all! These lights are typically installed on the wall or ceilings of a deck or patio. They will provide great light for those late-night outdoor get-togethers, while highlighting some of the best parts of your backyard. If you have a cedar deck, place lights along the interior of it to highlight the deck.
- Post Lighting – The great thing about post lighting is they come in a variety of heights and styles. It’ll be easy to find one that suits your backyard and taste. Place them along your patio, pool or driveway.
- Walkway Lighting – Sprinkle these pieces of lighting across the ground to illuminate any pathways or steps. They too come in a variety of styles.
- Deck Lighting – Decks are expensive, so be sure to choose a fixture that will show it off! Plus, it’ll make your deck safer while entertaining, improving nighttime enjoyment.
- Spot Lights – Want to show off your blooming flower or vegetable garden? Spot lights are the way to do that. Have them installed around your flowers, shrubbery and trees to give your landscaping extra depth. It’ll also help create a focal point in your yard.
These options sound great! But how much will they cost me?
The cost of buying your fixtures is based on your style choice and the number of fixtures your backyard needs. An electrician will be able to sit down with you, assess your backyard space and help you determine how many fixtures you need and where.
Here’s a guideline of how much each fixture could cost. Please note: this is merely an estimate!
The great thing about landscape lighting is you have a lot of choices when it comes to light fixtures and styles. Plus, they come in a range of prices, which means it’ll be easy to incorporate this outdoor living project into your budget.
Ready to talk to a professional? We have a large directory of electrical contractors who can make your outdoor living spaces more safe and enjoyable for the summer ahead.