If you’ve been working on your landscaping, you deserve to show it off at all hours of the day. Installing outdoor landscape lighting is an excellent way to illuminate your beautiful yard work! Before you run off and buy any lights, it’s important to do your research. Designing landscape lighting is something to add to your list of DIY projects. It requires proper design, the right bulbs, and perhaps a team of lighting professionals.
Don’t worry—the team at JellyFish Lighting is here to help! This guide covers what landscape lighting is, the types of lights you should use, how much it will cost, and more! So, let’s get started creating the outdoor living space you’ve always wanted!
What is landscape lighting?
To start, we need to understand what landscape lighting is. Simply put, landscape lighting is outdoor lighting that is used to illuminate gardens, landscapes and other types of residential lighting. Landscape lighting is also referred to as garden lighting, since that’s what it’s typically used for. When it comes to landscape lighting, it has two main functions:
First, it looks good and will add to your home’s aesthetic. Why bother putting in all of that hard work in your landscaping if you can only see it at certain hours? Some people may even design their landscaping around the fact that it will be illuminated at night.
Installing landscape lighting can create dramatic contrast and shadows that will wow your neighbors and guests. Sometimes all it takes is a few path lights or a wall sconce to change the entire look of your home once the sun sets.
Second, on top of making your home aesthetically pleasing, landscape lighting offers a layer of security. A strategically placed outdoor light can be the difference between a break in or stopping it before it happens. In fact, data shows that outdoor lighting can cut crime by 39%.
Landscape lighting will look good and keep you and your loved ones safe. The great thing about starting a landscape lighting project is that there are plenty of options to fit your outdoor space, no matter your preferences.
Creating a landscape lighting design
Before you dive into shopping for lights, you’ll need to have a landscape lighting design figured out. This will help you make the proper choices for DIY outdoor lighting. When you’re making landscape lighting decisions, ask yourself these questions:
- What areas and objects do you want to light?
- What lighting techniques will you use?
- What is the purpose of your landscape lighting? Aesthetics? Safety?
- Are you going to hire lighting professionals to install them?
- What will the power supply be?
- What type of bulbs will you use?
Answering these questions will help you narrow down your design plan and start making decisions.
Tips for designing landscape lighting
Create a Layout
Creating a layout will save you time during the installation process. You won’t be wondering where lights on your list go, and everything will look concise once in place. Take some time to browse other landscape lighting designs like your neighbors and online. This will give you some good ideas of what you like and what will work with your landscape.
Use Dark Corners and Walkways
Since you’re working on a landscape lighting plan, you’ve probably thought of this. The areas that will benefit the most are darker areas. If you have a lot of shrubbery in front of your house, it can darken up the porch and walkways. Using landscape lighting such as spotlights can illuminate the area.
Dark areas can also be blind spots for security systems, so lighting them will help keep your home safe. Your home will also look very nice from the street at night.
Set a Budget
The world of landscape lighting and design can be overwhelming. Setting a budget will narrow down your choices to get you started. Once you set a budget, be sure to stick to it.
Best types of lights for landscape lights
When it comes to choosing your outdoor lighting system, you have several options. Each type of landscape lighting serves a different function, so you’ll have to find the perfect combination for your needs. It can get confusing, so we’ve broken down the common landscape lighting designs:
Spotlights are one of the most common types of landscape lighting you’ll find. They’re a versatile option if you’re planning to use different types of bulbs and wattage throughout the year. You can also use them to uplight trees and other points of interest in your yard. Spotlights are also great for deck lighting and step lights.
Path lights are the opposite of spotlights in that they aim downward. They’re great for walkways and can light up areas very well. Path lighting is not only used for walkways, but can also light flowerbeds and other low areas.
The flood light is another common outdoor light option. The name comes from the fact that they are “flooding” the area you’ve chosen with light. These lights are not made for aesthetics. Flood lights act as helpful lighting along with a security feature. While similar to spotlights, floodlights will usually have a higher wattage.
String lights aren’t just for Christmas time. They are an easy addition to your landscape lighting plan that won’t break the bank. You can hang them almost anywhere and customize them for holidays and parties. If you’re looking for patio or Christmas lighting, they’re the best option.
Spotlights, path lights, and flood lights are typically the most popular choices when it comes to landscape lighting. Other types of landscape lighting designs include:
- Well Lights
- Deck Lights
- Hardscape Lights
- Wall Sconces
What are the best bulbs and voltages for landscape lighting?
While the types of lighting and design are important, you’ll need to decide on voltage and installation for the lighting fixtures. Many people go with low voltage and solar landscape lighting.
Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
One of the most popular options for landscape lighting fixtures is low-voltage lighting. Low-voltage landscape lighting is safe, energy-efficient, and easy to install. Low-voltage lighting systems use a transformer to reduce the voltage from normal. Since you’ll probably be using your landscape lighting every day, low voltage lowers the risk of shock and is safer. When you’re figuring out what to choose for landscape lighting, the recommended voltage is 12 volts.
If you don’t want to mess with wiring during installation, solar lights are another option. Solar lighting works exactly how you think it would: with power from the sun. They typically require 6-8 hours of sunlight to charge. Since you won’t need your landscape lighting during daylight hours, they can charge all day until nightfall.
LED lights are another energy-efficient option for landscape lighting. They are a very common energy-efficient source that will be great for your outdoor lighting.
How much does landscape lighting cost?
Now it’s time to answer the question on everyone’s mind: how much will landscape lighting cost? According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost of outdoor lighting is around $4,000. A budget-friendly estimate puts the cost at about $2,000-$3,000.
It’s important to look at landscape lighting as an investment. Adding landscape lighting to your home will not only add elegance, but it adds value to your home. If it doesn’t add actual value, it will add curb appeal, which is valuable if you’re trying to sell.
How can JellyFish Lighting help with landscape lighting?
Ready to get started with an outdoor landscape lighting project? Jellyfish Lighting is here to help! We’ve got you covered, whether it’s a commercial outdoor lighting project or a home DIY project. Our team of lighting professionals is ready to answer your question. Contact JellyFish Lighting today to get started!