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Outdoor Landscape Lighting Tips

By Botanical Decorators
November 28, 2017

Landscape lighting can instantly transform the look of your outdoor space with the flip of a switch and, at this time of year when daylight hours are significantly reduced, provide a safe path to your door. Increase curb appeal and maximize your investment with the thoughtful planning and placement of lighting components around your home’s exterior.

Exterior Lighting Placement

There are no rules about where to place outdoor lights, but there are a number of areas of particular benefit, including:

  • Pathways – Reduce the risk of injuries and provide a welcoming path to your home for guests and family.
  • Entryways – In addition to the convenience of entryway lighting, it enhances the safety of your home by preventing would-be thieves from working under the cover of darkness. Choose overhead or dual side lights for all exterior doors and consider adding motion sensors to save energy.
  • Driveways – Low level lighting can assist guests getting in or out of their vehicles.
  • Stairs – Risers or treads should be lit for safety.
  • Patios or decks – Placement and quantity of lighting will depend on your particular needs and configuration.
  • Focal points – Highlight interesting architectural or landscape elements with spot lighting.
  • Water features – Enjoy the beauty of your water feature day or night. This includes swimming pools, ponds, and hot tubs.

Types of Outdoor Lighting

Different types of bulbs and fixtures produce different types of lighting. Choose from a combination of the following outdoor lighting options for your DC, MD, or VA home:

  • Bullet – Compact fixtures supply a narrow beam of light, perfect for highlighting individual structures, trees, or design elements on your home’s exterior.
  • Downlight – Typically situated high above on tree trunks or nestled among the branches, this type of lighting can be directed straight downwards, or out towards a path or garden, to create the effect of moonlight.
  • Flood – A bright beam of light best suited to illuminate large sections of your home or landscaping.
  • Garden – Downcast lighting is ideal for gardens or pathways.
  • Wash – Soft, diffused lighting works to cast a wide swath of light on garden walls or privacy fences.
  • Well – Housing sits below ground to maximize the effect without seeing the fixture. Suitable to uplight foliage or highlight a wall or architectural feature.

Outdoor Lighting Design Tips

Whether your goal is to enhance security and safety, create special effects, or illuminate your outdoor entertaining space—consider the following tips:

  • Mix things up – Add variety to your landscaping with a combination of these three types of lighting:
    • Accent – Used to highlight a particular area or architectural element.
    • Task – Used for a specific purpose, such as entryway lighting or to illuminate your grill or outdoor kitchen.
    • Overall – Used for larger areas, such as a lawn or garden.
  • Use timers. For enhanced safety and security, set lights on a timer. During the fall and winter months, homeowners are more likely to arrive home at the end of the day after the sun has gone down.
  • Pick a direction. Choose from:
    • Cross-lighting – Eliminate shadows and add depth, crossing lights from two angles.
    • Down-lighting – Give the illusion of moonlight.
    • Up-lighting – A dramatic effect used for highlighting.
  • Beware of outdoor light pollution. Avoid the following:
    • Shining your lights towards a neighbors home or windows.
    • Shining light towards your own windows.
    • Overusing landscape lighting and causing a glare—or dulling the night sky.
    • Directing lights at eye level.

Outdoor Landscape Lighting in MD, VA & DC

The experts at Botanical Decorators will help you transform your outdoor space into a luxurious oasis of comfort and style, with professional landscape lighting design services and installation.

Call Botanical Decorators today at 301-948-6625 or contact us online to get started! 


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Botanical Decorators
5011 Olney Laytonsville Rd, Ste B, Olney, MD 20832