The first step to creating a beautiful outdoor lighting system is the design. There are many techniques to use to make a beautiful outdoor paradise- see Lighting Techniques Part 1 for more examples that we like to use.
To highlight an interesting texture, place up-lights at the base of the wall with beams directed upward. The texture of the wall will create shadows that will really make it pop. This technique is terrific to show off stonework or pilasters.
Create the moonlighting technique by placing a large fixture high up in a tree, and angle it downwards. This effect looks like moonlight shining down through the branches. Leaves will cast interesting shadows on pathways and patios to mimic the effect of a full moon lit sky.
The down-lighting technique is similar to moonlighting, although it is brighter and less subtle. Place a fixture high up, inside a feature like a trellis, tree, or eave, and cast downwards over a large area. Use down lighting to show off flowerbeds, or to add safety by illuminating doorways, paths, and patios.
Does your garden have a centerpiece; maybe a flag, statue, or fountain that you want to be the focal point of your lawn? You can really make the feature pop by using accent lighting- Specifically angled up lighting or down lighting to point out an architectural design, plant, or other feature. Try using a narrow beam spotlight from a hidden fixture to add a flair of mystery to your accent lighting.
At most basic, path and step lighting is used to keep the walker safe. It can also add a sense of romance and adventure to your garden- it should make the viewer want to go wherever you want to lead them. Path lighting is created by placing small fixtures along the borders of walkways, driveways, and patios, although you must be careful that they aren’t in the way of being tripped over. Don’t feel you have to completely cover the path with light. Occasional pools of light will provide guidance and make the pathway interesting.
Add some extra magic to your water feature by adding light. Every glint, ripple, and fish swimming by will fascinate your visitors. One cool techniques is to bounce light off the surface of the water and onto nearby features for a neat shimmer effect. You also can’t go wrong lighting a waterfall from underneath. Plus, water features are a great place to utilize color changing lighting for a magical effect!
We hope this post inspired you to make an outdoor nighttime wonderland! As always, if you have questions just contact Creative Outdoor Lighting. We are experts at designing beautiful lighting systems and installing them!