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5 Things to Know Before You Buy Landscape Lighting

Sep. 25, 2023

Landscape lighting can transform your outdoor spaces, adding both beauty and functionality to your home's exterior. Before you embark on buying landscape lighting, there are several essential factors to consider to ensure you make the right choices. Here are five things you should know:

1. Lighting Objectives and Design

Before purchasing landscape lighting, define your lighting objectives and create a lighting design plan. Consider the following aspects:

  • Highlighting Features: Determine what features you want to highlight, such as trees, pathways, architectural elements, or garden sculptures.

  • Functional Lighting: Identify areas that require functional lighting for safety and navigation, such as paths, steps, and entryways.

  • Lighting Effects: Choose the desired lighting effects, such as uplighting, downlighting, moonlighting, or wall washing, to create the ambiance you want.

  • Lighting Zones: Divide your outdoor space into zones and consider different lighting techniques for each zone based on its purpose and aesthetics.

    LED Pole Light

LED Pole Light

2. Lighting Types and Fixtures

There are various types of landscape lighting fixtures available, each designed for specific purposes. Common types include:

  • Path Lights: Ideal for illuminating pathways and walkways.

  • Spotlights: Used to highlight focal points such as trees, statues, or architectural details.

  • Deck and Step Lights: Designed for safe illumination of decks, stairs, and other outdoor structures.

  • Well Lights: Installed flush with the ground for discreet uplighting of trees or walls.

  • String Lights: Create a festive and cozy atmosphere in outdoor seating areas or gardens.

3. Lighting Technology

Consider the type of lighting technology you want for your landscape lighting:

  • LED: LED (light-emitting diode) lights are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and available in various color temperatures to suit your preferences.

  • Halogen: Halogen lights provide warm, bright illumination but consume more energy and have a shorter lifespan compared to LEDs.

  • Solar: Solar-powered lights are eco-friendly and easy to install but may not provide consistent brightness in all conditions.

    LED Fence Light

LED Fence Light

4. Power Source and Wiring

Consider the power source and wiring options for your landscape lighting:

  • Low Voltage: Low-voltage lighting systems (usually 12 volts) are safe, easy to install, and allow for DIY projects. They are suitable for most residential applications.

  • Line Voltage: Line-voltage lighting (120 volts) is more powerful and suitable for large outdoor spaces. Professional installation is often required due to higher voltage levels.

  • Solar: Solar-powered lights use energy from the sun and require no wiring, making them a convenient and eco-friendly option.

5. Budget and Maintenance

Set a budget for your landscape lighting project, considering not only the initial purchase costs but also ongoing maintenance and energy expenses. LED lighting, while slightly more expensive upfront, offers long-term savings due to its energy efficiency and durability. Regularly inspect and maintain your lighting fixtures to ensure they remain in good working condition.

By carefully considering these factors and planning your landscape lighting project, you can create a well-designed and functional outdoor space that enhances the beauty and usability of your property.