landscape lightingOver the last few weeks, we’ve brought you a lot of information on the technicalities of outdoor lighting. We won’t send you off without some guidelines on how to pull it all together. By following these Do’s and Don’ts, you’ll soon be lighting your own landscape in style:

DON’T over-light. You don’t want to light up the sky like a football field on Friday Night. That much light will not only annoy your neighbors, it will also put a strain on natural resources, and on your budget.

DO start with a single, primary lighting source for each area, and add accent lighting in layers to highlight special garden features and create ambiance.

DO think about how you will use each space. Will your patio be used a lot for entertaining and cookouts? Then consider fun party lighting, like Chinese lanterns or strings of holiday lights. Flameless candles and soft solar-powered lighting provide a softer, more intimate glow; outdoor-rated decorative lamps are just right for if you just want a spot to curl up and read while enjoying the night breeze.

DON’T leave bright flood lights burning all night, and take special care not to shine them into your neighbors’ windows.

DO consider using security lights with light and motion sensors. This way, they’ll only come on after dark and if someone is moving around your property. This will save energy and money, and will be much more considerate to your neighbors if you can’t avoid pointing the light in their direction.

DON’T turn your pathways into runways by spacing lights evenly on each side.

DO stagger path lights so that they don’t run in parallel lines, or consider lining only one side of a path.

DO conceal non-decorative fixtures, either in the ground, in trees, or behind rocks or bushes.

DO consider your home’s architectural style when selecting decorative lighting fixtures.

DON’T be afraid to experiment! The advantage of low-voltage and plug-in lighting is that it can be easily rearranged if you don’t like how it looks. By adding your own creativity to these guidelines, you’ll be certain to develop a unique lighting plan that conveys your homes personality.

Our summer landscape lighting series is coming to a close, but summer is still going strong. There are still several weeks left until the days grow noticeably shorter and the temperature starts to cool. This gives you plenty of time to put all that you’ve learned here into practice. By starting now, you’ll have your landscape lighting set up just in time for football parties and crisp autumn nights gathered around the fire pit.

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