The landscaping of any home shouldn’t just focus on how the area looks during the daytime. Especially at nighttime, it is important to illuminate the outdoor gardens and house to help amp up the beauty and drama of the living space. Illumination is key, and how to achieve this can be tricky.
Good lighting is everything, and knowing how to play with light and shadow on a good landscape will help make any home look even better. There are three types of lighting that one should take note of: ambient, task, and accent.
Ambient lighting, or general lighting, is the most common type of lighting and is generally how the interiors of the home are lit up. It is soft lighting that brings a certain mood to the room. Often referred to as the natural light, ambient lighting helps give the space enough light without the harsh glare. This can be achieved by using track lights, chandeliers, wall sconces, and the like.
Task lighting is a smaller concentrated light typically used for working, hence its name. It is sometimes called office lighting since it helps you work better when used. Items considered as task lighting include desk or floor lamps, vanity lights, pendant lights, and other medium-sized lights.
Accent lighting is an even smaller concentrated light that helps the eyes of the onlooker to focus only on where the light is directed. Its purpose is to create more drama and establish a focal point in the area. This is used for bookcase displays, artworks and pieces, collections, and the general architecture of the home. Accent lighting is the go-to light type when it comes to landscape lighting.
Now that these lighting types have been explained, it’s time to put this information into use. You can follow these four creative ideas of landscape lighting to finally get that dramatic backyard.
Light Up Pathways
Accent lights that light up pathways toward the home or around the gardens are a great way to beautify the outdoor areas of the house. Use tiny lamppost-like accent lights on the patios, decks, and entryways. Not only do these function as a safety measure by illuminating dark spots during nighttime; they also bring beauty to unnoticed tiny corners during the daytime.
Play with Silhouettes
Silhouette lighting is all about drawing attention to unusual shapes in and around your home. Play with the trees and shrubs that line the outdoors, and backlight them against the walls of the house to fully emphasize the foliage shape.
Illuminate the Waterscapes
Homes with beautiful waterscapes and water features can achieve dramatic lighting quite easily. Pools are the best at giving a landscape more flair and aesthetic. Light fixtures underneath the pool are usually placed in a fixed or standard manner, but they don’t have to be so.
Plan with the contractor to have a creative lighting setup for all the water features in your home. The water-wall or water-curtain structure is a good place to start when trying to mix and match lighting. Use different-colored LED lights to help maximize the drama the flowing water creates.
Waterscapes that are integrated into the backyard to create a mini waterfall can be spotlighted with accent lights where the water flows down. Take advantage of the waterscapes in your home, and use them with accent lighting. Take note of the rule of thumb of placing two parallel lights on the surface of the main attraction, and let the crossing beams floodlight onto the surface, creating a beautiful focal point where desired.
Create a Larger Space with Shadows
The lighting technique of playing with shadows is typically used to emphasize the shapes and differences between the trees, shrubs, and plant bends that line the area around the house. However, putting accent lights underneath the sides of the doorway helps create the impression of a larger space. The shadows that area creates around the structures help sell the impact. Generally, lower light placement brings the most drama to any piece.
There are more techniques and lighting tips that one can play around with. Don’t be afraid to experiment and ask lighting experts to help achieve the most dramatic kind of backyard lighting.