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!