Once the sun goes down, your landscape changes as focal points shift, shadows lengthen, and your outdoor living spaces become cozier. With the right outdoor landscape lighting, you can set the ideal mood, accentuate plants, highlight patio features, and make your yard shine.
Plus, as we spend more time outdoors this summer, carefully placed landscape lighting can help extend the use of your outdoor living space for outdoor entertaining. It safely illuminates pathways and provides added security.
However, with so many options for outdoor lighting, it can be confusing when you’re trying to decide what’s right for your yard. Start by asking yourself, “what should my new lighting contribute to my home?” Is it curb appeal, to add functionality to your outdoor living space, or to increase security?
Still unsure? Our key piece of advice is that you want to see the effects of the lighting, not the light themselves. The landscape design experts at Rock Solid can provide guidance on how to light your yard in order to balance aesthetics, safety, and security. Below, we’ve provided a few of the latest landscape trends that will stand the test of time and increase your yard’s functionality at night.
The Latest Landscape Lighting Trends
Trend 1 — Lawn Bollards and Path Lights
Lawn bollards are low voltage, steel light fixtures that run along your walkways. They are stylish and cast gorgeous shadows on the ground. Like traditional path lights, they create small ground level pools of light to illuminate your walkways so you can walk safely from one place to another. These fixtures look striking during the day or night.
We’ve observed two common design mistakes with the use of path lights. One is to line a pathway up both sides like an airport runway and the other using them to line flowerbeds around the perimeter of the yard. Path lights are just that, meant for paths. We suggest using downlights or up lights in your flowerbeds, to capture their beauty or to highlight stunning landscape features. And for pathways, the lights should alternate from side to side.
Trend 2 — LED Linear Lighting
Linear lighting is created by running a strip of LED lights under an overhang such as a step or outdoor countertop. They’re great for softly illuminating and adding visibility to elevation changes and staircases. Also, linear lighting adds a splash of modern design while complementing your other traditional fixtures. It’s an easy way to enhance the look of your hardscape or outdoor kitchen.
Trend 3 — Down Lights and Recessed Lighting
To create a larger pool of light or to increase nighttime security around your driveways, we suggest using down lights or recessed lights. Down lights or moonlights are hung from higher elevations such as a mature tree or overhanging porch roof. They can add a whimsical mood by casting shadows from your plants’ foliage.
Recessed lights are exactly like they sound, fixtures that are built into your walls or overhangs. They are more versatile than downlights as they can also be used as up-lights when affixed to a deck or landscape wall. When used around the edge of your patio, pool, or outdoor kitchen, they provide pleasant mid-level lighting that sets a welcoming and safe atmosphere.
Trend 4 — Smart lighting
The most exciting and practical trend in outdoor lighting is smart control systems. With a click on your phone, you can conveniently adjust the brightness of your lights or turn them on even when you’re not home. Not only does smart lighting add extra security to your yard, it uses energy-efficient LED bulbs which help reduce your energy costs.
Landscape Lighting Makes a Difference
By installing elegant landscape lighting, you add value and curb appeal to your home. It enhances your architecture, increases safety, and extends your relaxation time outdoors.
A quick word of caution for those considering installing outdoor lighting: it’s always good practice to consult a landscape professional or experienced electrician for safety and design reasons.
The professional team at Rock Solid can help you bring out the right moods, shadows, and effects that you’re looking for. Contact us at 763-398-0739.