How to Choose Landscape Lighting to Fit Your Home and Lifestyle
Landscape lighting -- whether highlighting home accents or providing a welcoming glow -- has the ability to be transformative. From the driveway entry to unique gardens or fountains, well-placed landscape lighting adds emphasis to the most beautiful features of your home and gives a luminous quality to any property. At night, it creates an elegant atmosphere, especially for outdoor living areas. Spacious decks, firepits, and pools are no longer cast in shadow, but remain functional works of art, even after the sun sets. More than that, landscape lighting offers safety in the yard, preventing small threats, like tripping, to bigger ones, like burglaries. Here are tips to choose the right landscape lighting to fit your lifestyle and aesthetic.
Q: What are the first steps a homeowner should take when beginning a landscape lighting project?
A: Determining style, placement, pricing, where to purchase, and whether or not to install it yourself, or hire a contractor, can be very overwhelming. The first step is assessing your property and where you would benefit from lighting. Once you have an idea, pay a visit to a reputable retailer with experts on hand. Online and big box stores might seem like a good option, but the lack of customer service and quality options can leave you feeling frustrated. Quality retailers can help you determine if you should do the installation yourself or seek out a contractor, plus help with the right selection for your property, while keeping in mind the atmosphere you want to convey.
Q: How should a homeowner or property manager best determine where landscape lighting should go?
A: There is such a thing as too much landscape lighting. The best layout strategy is to highlight a few features or living spaces. For a walkway or driveway, you want to avoid creating a runway look—usually 2-3 path lights is plenty for this area. You can also choose to highlight a shrub or tree, columns on the house, or a fountain—anything to create a welcoming ambiance. Some homeowners also like to highlight specific architectural features to show definition of the house and differentiate from others in the neighborhood. In the back of the house, it’s best to illuminate deck and firepit areas, allowing continued use of outdoor living spaces after dark.
Q: Do most homeowners install landscape lighting themselves?
A: With the new LED lighting, you don’t need a contractor. The wire itself is much more manageable – thin, and very different from the thick, heavy wire of older technology – and it only has to be placed six inches below mulch. That means it’s easier for homeowners to dig, run, and place the wire than it was years ago. The LED transformers are also much smaller and simpler to install. The experts at Denney Electric Supply have extensive experience and are well-versed in installation and technical requirements. We’re a good resource if homeowners need a little DIY help after making a purchase. If the job is too big or uncomfortable for a homeowner to try it themselves, we also maintain a list of preferred contractors that we know to do quality work at fair prices.
Q: What are some different landscape lighting styles available?
A: Once a layout is created, then you can select the types of landscape lighting fixtures you want to purchase. There are a wide variety of fixtures that fall under the landscape lighting category: path lights, spotlights, and uplighting are common. Water-friendly fixtures—incorporated into ponds, fountains, and waterfalls—are also a growing trend. There are also small step lights or wall lights that can be mounted to fencing or decking. And in the decorative lighting space, more wet- and damp-rated outdoor pendants, chandeliers, and fans have become available, making it easy for homeowners to capitalize on the outdoor living space trend.
Q: What types of landscape lighting provide safety and security benefits?
A: Any fixture can add safety and security; it’s really placement that offers these benefits. Many homeowners choose to add uplighting around a window, which eliminates easy-entry opportunities for intruders. By adding robust lighting controls like timers and app-controlled switches, you can have lighting turn on and off in different areas at different times, giving the appearance that someone is home. From a safety standpoint, adding lights to deck steps and pathways prevents trips and falls. And of course, it’s important to properly illuminate any areas that already pose safety risks, like grills or pools.
Q: How can a homeowner visualize how the landscape lighting fixtures will look in their yard?
A: Seeing landscape lighting fixtures in person is the best way to get an idea of their size and scale. At Denney Electric Supply in Ambler, we have a landscape lighting lab that lets homeowners interact with fixtures and controls to see how they would work at their homes and get a feel for how their design choices will come together. The internet can also be a great resource. Going to a manufacturer’s website, like Kichler.com, offers gallery images of how their fixtures look once installed at a home.
Q: What are common landscape lighting mistakes to avoid?
A: Over lighting is likely the most common mistake; less is more when it comes to landscape lighting. Another common mistake is installing too many path lights. Installing path lights every 2 feet on both sides of a walkway to create a runway look is a mistake—you’re inviting people to your home, not landing an airplane! Another common mistake is choosing the wrong light source. At this point, there’s no reason to buy incandescent lights over LED, which have significantly better longevity and won’t attract bugs. Some manufacturers have even developed LED fixtures that allow you to adjust color temperature or beam spread—giving you different lighting options for winter and summer.
Q: What’s the best source for landscape lighting fixtures? Should I buy online or in a store?
A: One of the things people are most surprised about when they come to Denney Electric Supply is the volume of fixtures and selection—and it’s only a fraction of what we have access to. It gives customers an option to identify what style they like and what size and texture/finish best suits their home – that’s something you can’t really do with online stores. Also, customer service is a huge difference between brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. The specialists at Denny Electric Supply are there when customers have questions or problems, and we stand by our product. That means if you have something defective or if a fixture doesn’t live up to its warranty promises, we’re here to correct that issue. Plus, our pricing is very competitive. We buy quality products and extend them at a fair rate. You don’t always know what you’re getting from online retailers. So for quality products and expert consultation, a trusted store is the best resource to purchase landscape lighting.
The experts at Denney Electric Supply, which has eight locations in Pennsylvania, can offer their expertise for achieving the perfect setting. They have a plethora of landscape lighting options, styles and price points to choose from, and can guide customers through the best installation process. Whatever your landscape lighting needs, the experts at Denney Electric Supply can help make it a reality. For more information, visit Denney Electric Supply at www.denneyelectricsupply.com, or on Facebook and Instagram.
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