To create an effective backyard lighting design it is important to know a little bit about the basic types of outdoor lighting and how to use them effectively to achieve the look you want. In most cases you will want to blend a couple methods of outdoor lighting to get the desired effect, while being mindful not to over light any single area.
Outdoor Accent Lights
Accent lighting is used to highlight specific features in your yard. Accent lights are often used to highlight structures like a statue or a gazebo. They are used to highlight water structures like a fountain, waterfall or Koi pond. They can also illuminate design features like a curved walkway leading to the front door, patio, deck or garden, or to illuminate a driveway. Accent lights can be used to create a cozy and more usable space on your patio or deck as well.
When using accent lights to highlight a specific feature, like a statue or a fountain, the lights should be brighter than the other lights in the area, to make the feature stand out. But always be careful not to over light anything outside, both for aesthetic reasons and for consideration of your neighbors.
Garden Lights & Landscape Lights
Garden and landscape lighting can often refer to the same or similar things. Both garden and landscape lights are used to showcase landscaped areas of your yard or specific plants and trees. They can be used for flower gardens, terraced landscaped areas or stone paths through your yard. They can also be used to highlight potted plants on your patio or deck. There are also some styles of decorative garden lights that simply add some life and fun to your gardens or landscaped areas like flower or butterfly lights.
Good use of garden lights and landscape lighting techniques will provide additional light that will make your yard more fun and easy to use during the nighttime hours after the sun has set. Garden and landscape lighting can help create a cozy place to spend time in the evenings. For backyard lighting ideas look through home magazines and pay attention to what friends and neighbors are doing with their yards.
Outdoor Security Lights
Security lighting helps illuminate areas of your yard that could look tempting to a potential intruder. They are most commonly used near entryways like the front door, a patio door or the garage door. But security lights can also be used in dark spaces of the yard where there is easy access to a window or a detached shed in the backyard.
Because security lights tend to be brighter than other landscaping lights you may not want them on all night long; consider motion sensor lights if this is the case. Another option is to put them on a timer so they automatically turn on and off at certain times of the day. This way they will turn on and off making it look like you are home even if you aren’t. Read Backyard Lighting Tips for additional ideas.
Good backyard lighting design and use of backyard lights can help transform your yard into a beautiful and safe environment that you can admire and enjoy during the night time hours._____________________________________