Thoughtful outdoor lighting design is more than shining direct light on a walkway or up a tree. Creatively making use of light and shadow can make a professional design stand out from a DIY project. Especially for high-end homes, outdoor lighting can almost pay for itself in increased value and curb appeal. Lighting the architectural details of your home can give a sense of depth and scope, and blend into the landscape lighting to create an inviting outdoor space after dark.
Our design experts consider a wide variety of factors when planning a unique-to-you outdoor lighting design, but below find a few tricks of the trade and imagine them in use around your own home. Some of these ideas can be implemented fairly easily as a DIY project, but we would love to save you the time and effort and create something truly stunning you’ll enjoy for years to come.
3 Things To Consider In Design
Architectural lighting has three main considerations for designers. The first is aesthetic appeal, we want your home or business to really stand out and catch people’s attention. Second, we want to consider the function of the space. A pub will need to be lit differently than a soccer field than a country estate. Third, we want to make sure we are efficient in our use of light so that we don’t illuminate vacant spaces unnecessarily or create light pollution.
Symmetry is employed by architects and home builders a lot, so it makes sense to also employ it when designing your outdoor lighting plan. Consider lighting trees on each side of a wall or feature to create a longer or more expansive appearance. Lighting only the house and excluding the landscape can create an unnatural look, but also include some uplit trees or statuary to add depth.
Shadow can be just as effective as light in highlighting architectural details. Moving the fixture closer to or further from the wall creates different looks with the shadows. Craggy or uneven surfaces such as stone veneers can provide unique shadows and patterns.
Where the light is aimed can dramatically change up the atmosphere of the lighting. Placing a fixture at the base of an exterior wall aimed toward another wall highlights the façade or expanse of the feature. Placing a fixture close to the base of the wall pointed up can highlight the edges of beautiful stonework or angles. Placing the fixture a few feet away from the wall or feature aimed at another wall provides a subtle light and the shadows can create visual depth.
Mix Up and Down LightsWhether you want to highlight a feature or hide it should be considered. Mixing up and down lights helps draw the eye in predictable ways. Pillars and columns, unique peaks, chimneys and dormers should all be considered. Soffits and eaves commonly trap light which could be useful if your goal is to reflect light or accentuate height, but could create the opposite effect depending on whether you’re using up or down lighting.
We’d love to answer your outdoor lighting questions or help you design a truly unique lighting plan form you home or business. Contact our lighting experts to learn more about our lighting services or view our gallery of one-of-a-kind designs.