Choosing Your Style
It's important that the outdoor lighting design that you choose for your outdoor area has the right feel. Every yard is going to be different, as well, so there aren't any true template designs that can simply be picked up and applied to your specific setting. If your home and property has a central theme, be sure to make sure your outdoor lighting design strengthens that sensation.
The Best Approach - Utilize a combination of outdoor lighting techniques to showcase your home and landscape. Use a few 20 watt wall washes, as well as some spotlights to highlight any key architectural features of your home. Showcase any specimen trees or any plants you wish special attention to be paid with a few 35 watt spotlights. Good outdoor lighting is a work of art, and as such should be designed to draw the eye to key parts of your outdoor area; an additional benefit of outdoor lighting is increased safety and security, all while looking aesthetically pleasing.
Minimalist Appeal - Provide enough outdoor lighting to identify the home and see the property. Minimalist lighting requires the least amount of fixtures, and is a functional, if not understated, approach to landscape lighting. By adding a few 20 watt wall washes on each side of the home, spotlights to illuminate any large trees, and a few path lights to lead the way, you have a well-lit and functional lighting arrangement.
Statement Approach - If you wish to draw more attention to the home, then you may want to utilize what is sometimes called the "statement approach." Use a few low voltage outdoor spotlights to brightly illuminate the front of the home, feature many spotlights, flood lights, and path lights, to showcase the yard.Symmetrical Approach - For some very no-nonsense designs and commercial designs, consider a very even and symmetrical approach, or provide lighting that is only for safety and security. For a symmetrical lighting design, feature evenly spaced path lights, matching spotlights, and calculated positioning. This is not very creative, but may fit in certain settings like traditional homes.
Safety Approach - If you wish to only provide safety and security, simply place low voltage outdoor lights- floodlights and some spotlights on parking areas, driveways, and walkways. This is typically seen in more commercial settings than residential spaces.
High Contrast Approach - Create high-contrast areas by placing emphasis on strong areas with dark areas around them. This effect utilizes mainly spotlights, close to the feature or home, to accentuate specific areas. This leaves the rest in the dark.
Full/Natural Approach - Find a natural balance by positioning many light fixtures onto feature points of the home. Do not create a large amount of symmetry but make sure to highlight important areas of your property. Use lower wattage bulbs for a natural feel.
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