How To Use Lighting Effectively In Landscape

By Jeff Skierka

The benefits of using low-voltage lighting systems.

Charlton Lighting

Now that the days are getting shorter, the value of an outdoor lighting system increases significantly. However, installing lights in your landscape should not create the look of an airport landing strip.

A well-designed low-voltage lighting system can add both safety and dramatic beauty to the home and outdoor spaces. While you might not think a low-voltage system can provide adequate lighting, remember that your car’s headlights are run off a battery. To create a magical and enchanting landscape at night, adhere to these principles:

 

    • It is always more dramatic to enhance a desired area by uplighting an element such as a tree or rock than to make the lighting fixture the focal point.
    • When designing the planting layout, choose plants that will add drama to the landscape and home when lit up.
    • Properly installed downlighting can give the effect of a “moonbeam” light.

Only after exhausting all possibilities for up- and downlighting to create a dramatic effect should you turn your attention to using path lights creatively to further illuminate walkways.

 

The only requirement for installing a low-voltage lighting system is access to a 110-volt outlet where a transformer can be plugged in. The transformer will convert 110-volt power to low-voltage current. Using low voltage will make the cost to dramatically light your landscape and home minimal. These systems can be set to go on using timers, photo cells, or switches.

The difference that a quality low-voltage lighting system can make in the enjoyment and safety of your home is like day and night.