Designing outdoor landscaping is exciting but part of the design must include the lighting and many homeowners dread this part of the planning process. If you take the time to consider certain issues, installing outdoor lighting is not as difficult as you may think. By researching the different types of landscape lighting, the designs and styles of outdoor lighting and the cost and the installation involved will provide the homeowner with the knowledge required to design and install proper outdoor lighting. Below are some tips for choosing and installing outdoor lighting that will make the process as easy as flipping on the light switch.
Consider the size of the area: First, consider the size of your home as well as the size of the area you will be lighting. Both dimensions are relevant when planning outdoor lighting but for very different reasons. For example, the size of your home should dictate the height of your lighting. If you have a one-story home, an extremely tall hanging lantern that is almost as tall as your home might look a bit silly; however, the same exact tall light works perfectly with a two-story or tri-level home. The same applies when planning the lights around gardens, walkways, shrubs and trees. Your outdoor lighting should enhance your home and landscaping décor rather than dwarfing or overpowering it.
Type of lighting: The second consideration should be the type of lighting you need for your landscaping and garden. If reliable outdoor lighting is your main concern, you should use electric lighting, which will require electric lines but is far more reliable than solar lighting. Some homeowners prefer to use solar lighting to avoid the necessity of electrical wiring. LED lighting is available in both solar powered and electric models depending on your lighting needs. While LED solar lights provide more convenience in placement and installation, they do not provide the reliability and brightness of electric powered LED lights. If you need a compromise, try battery powered LED lights that hit somewhere in the middle between fully wired and solar powered lights for convenience and reliability. To be fair though, changing batteries is inconvenient and can be costly as well.
Set your budget: Once you have noted all of the different sizes and styles (hanging, mounted, ground, etc.) of outdoor lights that you need, the next step is to determine and set your budget. With the many styles and designs available, it is far too easy to spend beyond your budget if you have no set figure in front of you. Keep in mind that the materials used to construct outdoor lights determine the price. For example, wrought iron and aluminum will cost more than plastic and fiberglass as will tempered glass verses Plexiglas. Furthermore, the type of lighting itself will make a difference in price with solar garden lights costing far less than electric powered LED outdoor lights.
Choose design and style: Once you have a budget set in stone (no pun intended), you should turn to design and style. Outdoor lighting should complement and be consistent with the exterior of the home – – medieval sconces will look quite silly on a vinyl-sided ranch-style home but goes well with a two-story home with a slate rock finish. Browsing different styles and finishes will help you determine the “look and feel” for your outdoor lighting. Silicon Solar, Inc. has a large variety of outdoor lighting and is a great source to help you begin to design an outdoor lighting scheme for your home.