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Functional Outdoor Lighting Plans: The Do’s and Don’ts

Lighting can really make or break a room — the same applies for outdoor lighting and the exterior of your Milton, MA, home. A well designed outdoor lighting plan increases safety and security, besides providing amazing curb appeal and ambience for your outdoor gatherings.

Outdoor lighting involves more than just focusing lights on trees or along walkways. A well planned functional outdoor lighting system provides benefits far beyond its immediate visual impact. It also sets the tone for a relaxed mood. Mood and environment are equally set by what is in shadow, light, and the interplay between the two.

Below are some outdoor lighting do’s and don’ts to help you get the ambience you’re looking for in your outdoor areas, but remember you don’t have to go at it alone. Contact us for assistance with the design and installation of your outdoor lighting system.

Outdoor Lighting Do’s

  • Do opt for LED Fixtures. LED lighting uses much less energy than regular bulbs. LEDs also last longer and are available in a variety of colors. The choices are many when it comes to LED fixtures.
  • Do use Multiple Layers. Make use of multiple layers, but avoid overdoing the number of fixtures. For example, you can place spotlights at different angles to light up a garden statue or create silhouettes. The intention is to avoid drawing attention to the light themselves, but rather to add more detail and effects, staggering lights as opposed to grouping several in a single bunch.
  • Be Concerned about Shadow as Well as Light. A relaxing atmosphere is established through the interplay of light and shadow. For garden walls, for example, consider using well lights positioned at the base to shine upwards. The interplay of light and shadow on the wall’s face will highlight the stone’s texture.
Related: Capturing the Timeless Aesthetic of the Stone Wall

Outdoor Lighting Don’ts

  • Don’t light only patios, walkways, and trees. Doing so isolates these elements and surrounds them with darkness. This is unflattering, especially if you’re trying to relax on your patio and can’t see beyond the darkness at its edge. Instead, position lights at the edge of the property in plant beds and trees. This helps ground these elements within the larger landscape design and provides a sense of depth.
  • Don’t forget to light other features of your landscape. This includes pillars, peaks and overhangs. They are unique and illuminating them not only enhances the beauty of the home, but also casts an ambient glow over the yard.
  • Avoid selecting fixtures based on aesthetic only. Even though aesthetics is important, you still need to factor in light output and performance. Take into consideration how much wattage you need and the type of bulbs you prefer besides finding a look you love.
  • Don’t employ bullet lights for every aspect of your home’s exterior. Even though they are versatile and can be fitted with different bulbs and beams, they are still essentially spotlights. Limit bullet lights to corners and architectural details instead.