The first step to creating a beautiful outdoor lighting system is the design. Here are a few techniques that we like to use and how to apply them. Although, with a little imagination there is no limit to the number of ways you can add magic and beauty to your nighttime yard.
Highlighting is perfect for illuminating those beautiful trees that add character to your house. This technique lights a tree from the ground up to show off its canopy and trunk structure. It’s created by placing a spotlight or two at the base of the tree and pointing them towards the leaves. By varying the distance and angle of the light fixture, you can experiment with different lighting outcomes.
Want to add drama to a sculpture, fountain or plant? Silhouetting is the answer you’re looking for. The object is shadowed against a lighted background to really show off its shape. You create this technique by placing a spotlight behind the feature, aimed towards an adjacent wall.
The play with dark and light can be very intriguing, especially when there’s a breeze. Accomplish this by the shadowing technique; Place the lighting fixture at the base of the feature, and aim through the feature towards an adjacent wall. This works perfectly with a tree that has open, delicate foliage.
Bathe an entire wall or row of bushes in a soothing, even glow with wall washing. Accomplish this by placing the light fixture a few feet away from the wall at a sideways angle. It will create an even and somewhat subtle ambient lighting for the surrounding area. A wide-angle floodlight with low wattage is recommended for this, as opposed to a spotlight.
There are so many different, beautiful lighting techniques that we had to break this post into two! Read about more lighting techniques here.