A little goes a long way when it comes to lighting the outdoors. That’s because the light doesn’t have to be strong. In fact, it’s best for it to be subtle and you can use this characteristic to create some really interesting effects by highlighting particular elements in your landscape and exterior design.
Position your outdoor lights strategically and shield them to prevent glare. Make sure the light is not too bright or too powerful and keep in mind that our eyes need less light outdoors than they do indoors and can better adapt to the outdoor environment.
Walk around your yard at night and try to figure out where you’d need lighting, what type and how powerful. Try to imagine how you’ll most likely be using that space. This can help you come up with an ideal configuration.
Use accent lighting to highlight something particular in your landscape such as an old tree you really like, the fence you’ve just installed or your stone pathway.
You can use outdoor lighting to highlight certain structures such as a gazebo, a pergola or a trellis. The lighting will make the structure more interesting.
Light up the walkway in a subtle and magical way by highlighting elements in its vicinity. For example, light up a flower bed, a tree or an interesting rock and naturally draw the eye down the path.
If you have a pool, then make it stand out at night. You can either make it light up at night and glow with a beautiful blue hue or you can add a bunch of floating globe lights and let them illuminate the water.
Place outdoor lights near interesting plants or landscape accent features to add color and texture to the darker areas. Try to hide the lights themselves for a more interesting effect.
If you have tall trees in your yard, place lights high up there to give the effect of natural moonlight. To get a natural look, you’d have to install the lights at a height of 30-40 feet and to keep the fixture hidden from view.
Use a similar strategy to light up the seating areas. You don’t want the light bulbs at eye level so install light fixtures high overhead to create a pleasant feel.
The fireplace is a good source of warm light outdoors so take it into consideration when planning your outdoor lighting strategy.