Anyone who’s tripped over a garden hose in the dark or circled the neighbourhood looking for an address late at night knows the value of having at least a little landscape lighting… but did you know it can also increase your property’s perceived value?
We’re not talking about the solar lights you get for a few bucks from a big box store, or even the string party lights you get for your patio. When we refer to landscape lighting that makes a difference, we mean a lighting system that has been professionally designed and installed.
Why install landscape lighting?
Landscape lighting is both functional and beautiful. Landscape lighting:
- Extends the time you can spend outside so you make better use of your outdoor spaces
- Highlights your home’s architectural features or draws attention to specific plantings, trees or other elements, like fountains or sculptures
- Increases safety by lighting up paths, walkways, stairs, entrances and driveways
- Keeps your home safe from trespassers and less vulnerable to theft
- Deters animals from approaching your home
- Gives your home an ethereal ambiance that is warm and inviting
- Makes your home look as good at night as it does during the day
What kind of landscape lighting do I need?
Since all properties are different, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to determine the kind of landscape lighting that’s right for your home — that’s why it’s helpful to have the services of a professional designer.
The designer knows exactly where to place your lights and how many are needed for maximum effect — and they also have access to fixtures that are higher in quality than the ones available to the mass market. Even though the initial cost of these high-end fixtures is slightly higher, they actually save you money in the long run because they last a lot longer.
Here are some of the lighting you might include in your landscape:
- Bullet lights or spotlights can be used to light up the outside of your home, or to light up a tree trunk or the underside of a tree's foliage. Take care if you intend to direct the light upwards… some municipalities have bylaws against “light pollution”.
- Undercap lights are designed to shine down from under a wall to define a specific space, such as a walkway or patio area. They provide a subtle ambiance as well as added safety.
- Post lights are similar to the solar lights you might find at a big box store, but they are much sturdier and are connected with a low-voltage wire, so you can use them in shady areas too.
- Inground “pot” lights are another popular choice for lighting a path. They’re less obtrusive that post lights because they’re inserted level with the ground, and can be used anywhere. They’re made with galvanized aluminum so they won’t rust and look great with any landscape style.
- Step lights are installed just where you think you’d find them… under the risers of stairs or steps to keep people from being injured from trips and falls.
- String lights add ambiance to any outdoor space and make every night feel like party night!
- You can highlight special water features, like a fountain or waterfall with custom lighting. It’s even possible to change the mood by using different colour combinations.
Do I really need to have landscape lighting professionally installed?
As with any home reno project, you always have the option to DIY. However, there are a few things you need to consider before you take on a landscape lighting project that is more involved than adding a few solar lights to the front garden.
- There is no room for error when working with electricity, so if you’re not comfortable working with it, it would be prudent to hire a professional.
- A professional lighting installer would make sure not to disturb gas and cable lines or water mains by locating and marking off their locations (if you do DIY, make sure to “call before you dig”)
- If you’re considering constructing a new patio, outdoor kitchen or other feature it’s important to think about where to place the lighting components and wires before construction begins. A lighting professional will make sure everything is in place before concrete is poured or stones are laid.
- Manufacturer’s warranties may not cover damage caused by improper installation, so if something goes wrong you could be out of pocket to fix the issue yourself.
- Lighting professionals have access to higher-end fixtures and components, so they last longer than the typical fixtures you can pick up at a big box store.
Ready to add some light to your outdoor life?
Good landscape lighting will instantly make your home stand out from the rest of the properties in your neighbourhood while allowing you and your guests to enjoy magical evenings under the stars — and having someone install your lighting is more affordable than you imagine.
If you’d like to speak with one of our team members about landscape lighting, give us a call or contact us using our online form. We’re happy to discuss upgrading your current lighting system or designing and installing a new one.