Top 10 Outdoor Lighting Projects to Incorporate in Your Backyard
Outdoor lighting projects can transform your backyard into a magnificent attraction during the night. Lighting also creates a pleasant ambiance for your space. Outdoor lighting highlights the most visually stunning aspects of your backyard. With proper installation and careful planning, lighting in your backyard will enhance the natural beauty and illuminate critical architectural features.
Outdoor lighting serves a functional purpose beyond its aesthetic value. It improves your sense of security and safety and peace of mind during the night. Outdoor lights illuminate pathways, making them safer to walk on when it is dark out.
Before you start your outdoor lighting project there are a few things you should consider. They include the type of lighting, method of lighting, power source, landscape lighting design options, cost, and budget.
Type of Lighting
Choosing the right type of outdoor lighting will dictate the rest of your outdoor lights project. It will help to narrow down your options for lighting method, layout, style, and controls. They also determine the power source and installation methods. The main types of outdoor lights include the following.
- Path Lights
- Flood Lights
- Deck Lights
- Hardscape Lights
- Step Lights
- Postmount Lights
- Pond Lights
- Bollard Lights
- Well Lights
Method of Lighting
The fixtures used should be compatible with the lighting configurations. The configuration is usually set with a specific goal in mind. The goals can be aesthetic and functional, as well. Common methods of lighting include the following:
- Moon Lighting
- Path Lighting
Landscape Lighting Design Options
When starting outdoor lights projects, you must consider the fixtures’ style, including shape, color, finish, and the overall landscaping layout and plan. You should also consider the best controls for visual effect and functionality. All these factors give you an overall outdoor landscape lighting design.
The lighting fixture style influences the overall look of your landscape. The main factors that influence the style are materials, shape, and color. The design element can make your fixtures appear rustic, modern, or a mixture of both. It is crucial that you choose a style that works well with your overall landscape design and home exterior.
The color and finish of the fixtures are determined mainly by the type and style you choose. You can still customize the color and finish to your personal preferences. You can choose from a wide array of available colors, including polished copper, antique copper, black pewter, and antique brown. The color and finish should also complement the rest of your landscaping project.
The shape of your outdoor lights is mostly based on the style you go with. There are limited choices when it comes to shapes as you can either choose either round or square. On the other hand, you get a lot of options when it comes to size. There are an unlimited variety of fixture sizes and mount sizes.
The lighting layout determines the function and style. The layout you choose should match your needs and preferences. You should consider your power source as battery and solar offer a lot of flexibility, unlike an electrical grid. You can choose to use a simple switch for lighting control or opt for motion sensors and timers.
Cost and Budget
Your location influences the overall price of installing landscape lighting. For example, outdoor lighting in St Louis is different than in other parts of the country. The fixture prices may be all the same, but installation costs vary. Hiring professionals gets you better results and easier-to-maintain landscaping. The complexity of your project also influences the cost. Elaborate lighting plans like LED fixtures cost more to install, but they last much longer.
Planning and Installation
A lot of factors determine the scope of the planning and installation stage of your project. One of the main factors is the style and amount of lighting you plan to use. Other factors are the power source and layout. Getting professional help will ensure that you get your lighting in the right position. If you don’t get it right, you will have haphazard lighting with many shadows. Fixtures like post mount and column mount fixtures require professional installation.
Here are ten ideas for your outdoor lighting project in your backyard
1. Security lighting
Security lighting is generally used to illuminate large areas to scare off destructive animals or would-be burglars. It is usually the brightest backyard lighting, and it is installed on elevated spots such as above a garage or the eaves to cast down wide beams of light into the backyard fence or onto main walkways.
Motion-sensing floodlights are an excellent idea for security to mount on the surface of walls facing the exterior. They usually have bulb housing units that light up when the backyard sensors detect movement. They have intense light that exposes prowlers and fools them into thinking you’re home, even when you are away.
You can look for outdoor lights that blend in with your backyard. Lights with motion sensors lighten up your landscape for up to 100 feet depending on your preferences.
Path lighting is outdoor lighting meant to guide you on the walkway while highlighting their aesthetic value. They are soft, moderately bright lighting installed above ground along the two sides of the main walkways in your backyard. Path lighting is also installed around flower beds to illuminate their contours and stepping stones from the walkway to backyard features like pools or fountains.
Path and step lighting help you to create a glow in your area. The light reflects off the ground to create an ambient, soft, and bright light effect. Bollard lights are a type of heavy-duty path lights that are popular for their decorative elements. They are slightly larger than path lights and usually involve more complex designs and ornamentation. Large bollards are ideal for framing entrances while smaller bollards are perfect for lighting paths.
3. String Lighting
This outdoor lighting type offers soft lighting to bring up a warm and intimate atmosphere, perfect for entertaining. You can hang string lights on commonly used spots in your backyard like on the outdoor posts of a gazebo or pavilion to light up the patio furniture or on the eaves of your home to illuminate an outdoor kitchen.
It is advisable to use waterproof, rechargeable, solar-powered, or traditional battery-powered outdoor lights. Long-lasting string lights are an excellent option to go with since they eliminate the need for installing extension cords across the yard. This enables outdoor lighting in all corners of the backyard without electrical outlets and makes sure that the lighting is protected even in rainy seasons.
String lights are also used to decorate trees, especially during the holiday to create a romantic glow. This makes your home feel like an extension of your home. LED lights are long-lasting compared to incandescent options and cost-effective in the long run.
4. Outdoor Wall Lighting
Outdoor wall lighting is used to light up and improve navigation in small fitted areas of the backyard with a lot of shadows. They are moderately bright, low-voltage safety accent lighting that you can mount on any vertical surface.
Wall sconces where the bulb housing is covered at the bottom are a good option since they project the maximum amount of light down onto recessed areas. Semi-flush mount sconces where the light is connected to a narrow arm attached to a plate on the wall are ideal if you have exterior walls with scarce space.
Lanterns provide a soft low-voltage accent for a small extension of an outdoor wall to act as architectural detail or decor. They are usually placed near a door to accent a window, transform and arch, or illuminate a wreath. Most lanterns consist of a glass-and-metal exterior linked to an arm attached to a plate on the wall. Battery-powered tabletop lanterns offer the same aesthetic value at eye level.
Lanterns with translucent glass are preferable to clear glass covering since they provide diffuse, glare-free outdoor lights at night. There are various types of lanterns that you can incorporate into your outdoor lighting in St Louis. Some have a strong design presence and can create a specific ambiance while others are minimal and offer light without making much presence on your design.
Lanterns can be placed along the perimeter of a deck to highlight the edge. Tall lanterns are ideal for lining a driveway or a path and guide people through space. They help to bridge the gap of light from one well-lit area to another. Lanterns can cast enough light to illuminate things that may need to reach when outside and don’t need to be close together to be effective.
6. Deck Lighting
Deck lighting offers moderate to high-intensity lighting with standard voltage. It is designed to help people navigate the deck during the night to avoid hazards and visual clutter. They also highlight nearby garden features in your backyard. They are commonly used outside of the deck area and usually flushed with decking material.
Deck lighting is installed in a series of LED outdoor lights attached to grooves in the surface. You can walk over them without feeling them underfoot. They can also be installed around the deck surface’s perimeter between each step of stairs and along deck stair railings.
7. Spot Lighting
This type of outdoor lighting also known as landscape lighting or up-lighting and use standard-voltage to cast narrow, moderate to high-intensity lighting. Spotlights are usually used to showcase an ornament or a plant feature. They can be installed above the ground level below a tall tree to make it appear more statuesque. Spotlights are a versatile type of outdoor lighting and very common outdoor lighting in St Louis.
Spotlights are mounted to the ground to illuminate taller objects like trees or man-made features like buildings, sculptures, or other architectural elements. They can also be used for security lighting due to their powerful illumination. Bullet-shaped lights have a head that can be adjusted or placed above the ground and cast bright rays of light over long distances at any angle that you set.
Well lights are round lights installed below the surface and cast light over shorter distances to light shorter features like shrubs. They have a minimal profile which makes them ideal in situations where you want to conceal the fixture.
Floodlights are a type of heavy-duty spotlights that feature a wider beam of light. They also cover a larger area with the same wattage. Floodlight can go over an entire backyard or specific landscaping features.
8. Pond Lights
Pond lights are quickly becoming one of the most sought after backyard components. A pond, waterfall, or fountain increases the aesthetic and resell value of a home. Moving water offers a relaxing nature sound to your home. Special underwater pond lights light up these water features during the night and day. They are designed to stay underwater to highlight certain design features.
Underwater lights illuminate your pool by reflecting the lining of the pool. The light is deflected by the pool’s water, making it glow. This can make the pool a big attraction during the night. Underwater and well lights can be combined to light up your backyard and give a glowing effect. This makes it look like the light is erupting from the ground.
9. Hardscape Lights
Hardscape lights use LED lighting and very small lighting bulbs to produce a lot of light. They can also be installed in places where they would otherwise be incompatible. You can install them directly onto or into your landscape elements to light up decks, handrails, and patios.
10. Step Lights
Step lights help you to avoid tripping and stumbling on dark outdoor stairs and steps at night. They are installed directly into the steps or just nearby to offer safe passage. They also improve the aesthetic value of the steps and stairs.
The outdoor light options are unlimited, and you can always come up with your creative ideas. Outdoor lighting in St Louis is becoming more popular and more people are incorporating these ideas in their backyards. Illuminate your world by installing landscape lighting in your home, and open up a world of endless beauty.