Outdoor lighting has come a long way in a short period of time. Not only is landscape lighting available as LED in a variety of colours, beam spread, and intensity, by creating zones that are controlled with smart technology controlling individual fixtures all right from your phone or tablet, there’s never been more options for style and versatility.
Want your landscape lighting to fit different moods, gatherings, or purposes? You need to create zones in your property!
Creating Zones With Landscape Lighting Maximizes Versatility
Zones are groupings of fixtures placed close together on a single line from the transformer, all controlled with smart technology. Each zone then can be controlled independently depending on any number of factors.
Outdoor lights used for security can be programmed to turn on at dusk and off at dawn, and that control is independent of the programming for the lighting in the rest of your yard.
Need lights for special events or just while you’re outside on patio, set those to automatically turn of at 11PM. Create a timed light show to music if you want.
By using zones, you’re going to get maximum flexibility and versatility on your outdoor lighting investment.
Level Up Your Outdoor Landscape Lighting With Independent Zones
When we talk about a lighting zone, we’re talking about fixtures that are grouped together on one electrical line. You can create multiple electrical lines that all go to one transformer, allowing for individual control of each line or “zone.”
You might create zones based on the proximity of the fixtures to one another or a particular feature (a fence line, a building, a feature in the yard), or based on their function (security, pool, cooking). If creating zones based on function for example, you might want to create a design where you can leave your security lighting on all night long, but be able to shut off your garden lighting before you go to bed.
Draw a rough diagram of your yard and make note of any features you want to highlight at night such as a fountain, pond, statue, etc. Those individual items you want to light up at night will need their own electrical lines if you wish to control them separate from other zones. Identify which parts of the yard require specific kinds of lighting. Pathway lighting for safety. Downlights in the tree for entertaining. Uplights along the foundation to highlight the house façade. Spotlights for the garage for security. This allows you to conserve energy and only use the lights you want when you need them.
Just remember, the more zones you have the more complicated the design becomes and sometimes simple is best!
Maximum Flexibility With Simplicity
You can now decide which parts of your yard you light up at night, which landscape lights you only turn on for special events or specific uses and which ones stay on all until the sun comes up. You can program zones to turn on and off with the different seasons, or to coincide with your own sleeping patterns. Prefer to stay up late on Fridays and Saturdays, but have the lights turn off earlier the rest of the week? You can do that. You’ll also have the option to turn the lights off manually.
With the range of smart technology now available, this maximum flexibility is available with a tablet or phone. Smart equals efficient.
Conserve Energy With Landscape Lighting Zones
Wasted energy leads to higher utility bills, which in turn take a toll on your wallet. If energy consumption is a top-of-mind matter for you, creating lighting zones adds more control (and efficiency) when lighting your home, yard, and landscape.
While flexibility and convenience are great benefits, the best part of lighting your outdoor space in zones is the ability to limit your energy consumption. Without zones, you may put yourself in an “all or nothing” situation.
If all your outdoor lighting fixtures are on the same electrical line, you may not have the ability to turn on the pathway lights without also turning on the garden, gazebo and patio lights as well. Similarly, if you have to turn your lights on and off manually, you may find yourself turning on the garden lights and forgetting to turn them off.
You will be able to control which zones remain on all night and which turn off early. You don’t need to completely light up the front yard to deter thieves.
Be Environmentally Conscious With Landscape Lighting
LED lights are now affordable and in popular use among landscaping lighting companies. These lights are more efficient and last longer, and they come in a wide array of colours and fixtures.
Be considerate of neighbours and of light pollution in general. Zones allow you to turn off the majority of your landscape lighting 11PM if you want. You can choose to put the lights that are closest to your neighbour’s house on a separate zone so they only come on when you’re entertaining for instance.
But where do you start when designing zones and choosing fixtures?
Basic Design Principles To Enhance Custom Landscape Lighting
Cohesion: Usually the home is the focal point of the landscape lighting design, but other areas of focus can be included. A good design will tie these separate elements together to establish a cohesive appearance.
Depth: By only adding outdoor lighting to the front of your home, the effect flattens the viewing experience as the gaze starts and ends with the house. Instead, create a three-dimensional viewing experience by adding depth and contrast.
Quality and Direction: Just because you have lights near your front door doesn’t mean you’re maximizing your home’s nighttime potential! Many builders incorporate minimal lighting so the effect is utilitarian rather than aesthetic. Lights installed improperly point in the wrong direction or are too harsh. Instead, highlight the architectural features of your home and landscaping with their best side forward day and night!
Security: Lighting only the house neglects the yard and gives intruders places to hide. Strategically placed landscape lighting aimed at the shadows in your yard can increase the security of your home. Don’t forget pathways, driveways, walks and stairs that also need adequate lighting to provide safety for guests and family. If you have a pool or some other feature that poses a safety risk, proper lighting is a must!
Functionality: Different aspects of your home are used for different purposes. You not only want to highlight the architectural details at the front of the house, but you also want the deck and patios adequately lit. Why not create compelling and inviting lighting throughout your entire property! Many of these fixtures can pull double duty and provide light for multiple purposes to maximize your investment. Never accept a light fixture that’s only functional, search for the fixture that’s functional, looks great, and provides just the right kind of light.
Beauty: When you invest your money in some landscape lighting, you expect the result to look good. You shouldn’t have to compromise aesthetics, ambiance, or thematic elements in order to have functional lighting in any part of your yard or landscape.
Nite Time Decor Oakville can create a unique-to-you landscape lighting plan with zones that make sense for your home and how you like to enjoy it at night. Let us show you how simple changes can improve the aesthetic and functionality of your system. Contact Nite Time Decor today at 1-800-952-3006 and we’ll be sure to leave your home or business looking better than ever!
When you drive down a nice street in Oakville, your eye is probably drawn to the house with professional outdoor lighting that not only highlights the home, but the landscaping as well. Wouldn’t it be awesome if your home looked that amazing at night! It always feels great to have friends and company comment on how your house looks, even if they visit at night.
Creating dramatic curb appeal isn’t as hard as you think! In fact, your daytime curb appeal might be just fine, but no one can see it at night! Don’t settle for just safety or security with your outdoor lighting, create an effect you love, that’s welcoming, and gets noticed for all the right reasons.
We’ve put together a short list of our best tips on how outdoor lighting can improve curb appeal below.
How Landscape Lighting Can Improve Curb Appeal
Most homeowners put a lot of time and effort into the curb appeal of their home. They work on gardens, lawncare, porch decorations—but all that effort goes unnoticed at night. Professionally designed outdoor lighting will accentuate your home’s architecture and landscaping as well as improve security and safety. Gables, symmetrical pillars, stone facades, don’t lose any of those fabulous features because the sun went down!Good landscape lighting design is understated and subtle (the opposite of flood lighting) but still points all the attention to the features of your homeyou’re most proud of.
Outdoor lighting ensures your home has its best side turned to the street day or night!
Increases the Security of Your Property
Thieves search out darkened lanes and doorways, but effective landscape lighting makes your home less attractive to them because there’s no longer any dark spaces to linger in and neighbours can see clearly what’s going on. A well-lit home or business is far less likely to be targeted by criminals.Burglars and vandals look for the easy targets, entry points they can get to and from without being noticed.
Thieves aside, outdoor lighting also helps prevent minor injuries from slips and falls due to unseen walkways or paths, changes in elevations such as on stairs or porches, and guides guests directly to your door in a way that’s warm and welcoming.
Look out for family and friends’ safety and have them convinced the outdoor lighting is just there to make things look nice—how clever are you!
Outdoor Lighting Adds Value
According to the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, professional landscaping can increase the value of your home by a minimum of 15%. This often equates to the homeowner recouping 100% to 200% of their investment!
Imagine the value added by being able to see the landscaping and architectural features that make your home stand out morning, noon, and night all year round!
Your front door is the focal point for your home. It needs to be functional, yes, but it can also be stylish and a reflection of your taste and personality. You need more than a fancy wreath on the door to make it a focal point! Don’t skip adding the perfect lighting to your front door or porch. You need to ensure there is adequate lighting simply to ensure you can see to get the key in the door or punch in the code after dark, but outdoor lighting draws the eye and can be either stark, ineffective, or WOW your guests and neighbours.
Old or dated fixtures don’t put your home’s best foot forward when it comes to curb appeal. For instance, a single door entrance would be served well by a single fixture that functionally illuminates the door and house number, but don’t forget to choose a style that fits the look of the home. For a double-door entry, symmetry is a great effect with matching fixtures on each side to highlight not just the house number but any decorative touches you might add.
By updating or adding fixtures, your front door can create visual appeal to make your home pop from the street.
Good design is all about balance and many homes have front porches that are too small to create an eye-catching focal point on their own. Add some fantastic outdoor lights and BOOM! Suddenly your neighbours are commenting on how nice your home looks.
Consider replacing tiny fixtures with larger pieces to make a great statement. Eye-catching pendant lights are growing in popularity. Post lights can functionally light up stairs and still look amazing. Recessed lighting (lights flush with the surface they’re mounted into) can cast subtle light from under a railing, bench seat, or stair treads.Lighted plant containers and planters are growing trends. They highlight not only the plant in them, but cast ambient light that’s not glaring or harsh—and can be a great conversation piece.
There’s so many great ways to effectively light up your porch, you’ll just want to stare at the front of your home!
We love our flowers and trees and shrubs, and outdoor lighting can ensure you enjoy them at night too. Whether the fixture is flush with the ground and pointing up through the leaves and branches, placed behind to cast shadows and highlight shapes and movement, or placed among tall branches looking down to mimic moonlight, your landscaping won’t go unnoticed at night any longer.The eye is drawn to the landscaping details without overpowering the other aspects of your outdoor lighting for curb appeal.
Remember, a lighthouse makes no noise but everyone notices it.
Every home has unique architectural features worth highlighting that add character to your curb appeal. Century homes often have peaks, scroll work, or other unique features. Modern homes have sharp angles and clean lines. Lights looking down from beneath the eaves highlight columns, pillars, and other symmetrical details.
We made fun of flood and wash lights earlier, but they have their place in outdoor lighting because they can maximize the perception of height and can make even plain walls looks attractive at night.
The best outdoor lighting design often maximizes simplicity to draw the eye to the details of the home and not the light itself.
Pathways and Sidewalks
No one wants their front walkway to look like an airport runway. Add some style and class to you outdoor lighting—even lighting meant primarily for safety, by using recess lighting to provide subtle up light. Place lights among the foliage in walkway gardens to cast ambient light that highlights the garden and guides your guests’ feet on the walkway.Post and stake lights come a variety of styles, power needs, and can highlight unique features like stone pathways and ground cover plantings. Add a romantic feel by placing lights in the shrubs and trees along the pathway to cast shadows on the walkway that still provide safety light but create an ethereal effect at the same time.
Pathway lighting is really versatile so don’t aim just for utilitarian—reach for a style that makes you smile whenever you’re walking that path or walkway.
The easy way to light up a driveway at night is to place lights at evenly spaced intervals down the length of the drive. Ho-hum. Can you hear the drone of airplanes in your ears looking for your runway? *grin* Neighbours walk or drive by and nod – that’s a driveway. Instead, use outdoor lighting on your driveway to draw the eye right up to the house and make them go WOW!
Try staggering the lights on alternating sides so that drivers can see clearly but the lighting isn’t overpowering or intrusively bright.
Focus lighton places where there are bends or curves in the drive, and highlight close obstacles such as trees, walls, fences, boulders, or a hillside. A lamppost or entry pier at the entrance to your driveway can add curb appeal, provide safety lighting, and also illuminate an address marker. This style of light would require a little extra work (underground wiring), but this means they’ll shine bright no matter the weather or season.
Let your personality and the character of your home shine by choosing a fixture that draws the eye.
Solar lights are a great option and have come a long way in terms of reliability, holding a charge, and storing power for cloudy days. Solar lights are incorporated into a wide variety of fixtures now, and the stake lights offer interesting versatility if desired. Ask one of our experts about solar lighting because they are not all created equal.
We want your home to shine from the street day and night! Why not chat with our expert team at Nite Time Décor Oakville for a professional evaluation of your home and yard. We’ll take care of the details to ensure everything is done right the first time, and then sit back as the compliments from neighbours and guests pour in!