Give Your Home The Light Touch

By: Kara Kennedy, Times Correspondent

Both functional and attractive, outdoor landscape lighting extends your ability to enjoy your yard into the night and allows for you to highlight the beauty of your home. With a few simple guidelines and a little creativity, your yard becomes not only better looking, but also safer for your family and guests. There are five main elements that companies like The Decorating Elves look to cover when creating a lighting landscape for their customers: beautification, usability, safety, security and value.

Beautification is arguably the biggest aspect of the process. “The goal is to accentuate the elements of the outdoor environment that already look attractive during the day and have that extend into the evening,” says Nick Schriver from the Decorating Elves. With the help of carefully placed lighting, key features of a garden, a tree, or an architectural object will draw attention long into the night. Unique textures that are not visible during the day become prominent with the right illumination. Crucial in a successful outdoor lighting landscape, is the ability to use and enjoy the outdoors during the evening, to the same extent as you would any other time of the day. A certain ambiance is created with the right lighting around an outdoor environment.

In regards to safety, an illuminated pathway or highlighted steps, for example, can make all of the difference. When changes in terrain or a certain plant are emphasized, the risk for tripping is drastically decreased. A well-lit landscape eliminates shadows or dark corners that conceal movement and often attract unwelcome guests. More than anything, outdoor lighting allows you to feel at ease and comfortable with the security of your property.

When these four elements above are successfully accomplished, the value of your home inherently rises.

Creating the ideal lighting landscape for your home can be done by planning out what you wish to spotlight and what you wish to conceal. According to The Decorating Elves, “a good place to begin the process of landscape lighting is at the entrance of your home.” From there move outwards, possibly to the corners of the property to provide a scope of the property. Generally, the last step is to fill in this distance, from the entrance to the edges, by illuminating trees and specimen between the two.

A simple, yet powerful technique for singular trees or specimen plants, is up lighting. This gives visibility to the top of plant but also ties it back to the base. For trees and plants surrounding a property near the edge, it is common to use only a single illuminating light. In comparison, an architectural work or plant that holds a lot of space more central on the property may warrant two spotlights. This way the feature is visible not only from the road or front yard but also from inside the residence. With the addition of a third light, the feature would be visible from virtually all angles. Ideal for ground lighting, are path lights. Not only are they useful in lighting steps and paths, but they also are necessary for creating that picturesque view of your home.

Create a home that feels like a resort under the illumination of landscape lighting and enjoy the added security and beauty to your home.

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