Common Outdoor Lighting Mistakes

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Outdoor lighting can be deceptively tricky. Part of the difficulty is that it can seem so easy. How hard is it to light some flowerbeds? Frankly, it may not be hard to light, but it is hard to light well. Since no one wants their outdoors to look like an adolescent tossed up some holiday lights, it's best to keep in mind some common mistakes.

Lack of a Goal

When creating an outdoor lighting scheme, your first consideration should be what you want to achieve. Safety, security, spotlighting, overall artistry � there are many different goals for outdoor lighting. Make sure yours is firmly in mind before you start. Knowing your goal will allow you to plan more effectively, saving time, money, and inevitable frustration.

Lifeless Placement of Lights

When lighting a pathway, don't fall into the trap of an even row of lights. It's visually uninteresting; you're not lighting an airport runway. Place lights at irregular intervals, making sure to both light the way and be pleasing to the eye.

Hide landscape lighting fixtures unless they're meant to be a focal point. The eye should be drawn to the features lit, not the source of the lighting.

Incorrect Quantity of Lights

While more does not equal better, you also don't want to leave pronounced dark areas. Spots of darkness draw the eye to the lights instead of the things being lit. Don't overdo it � you don't want your yard to look like a car lot � but don't under do it, either.

Unwise Direction of Lights

Improperly aimed lighting can create glares, distract passing drivers, or even shine into the eyes of people outside. It'd be a shame to ruin an evening garden party because your lighting blinded your guests.

Wrong Type of Lights

It's not the most exciting topic, but the type of lights you use greatly affects the overall look. A vertical difference of 10 feet could require you to go from a 20 watt to a 30 watt bulb. Halogen bulbs emulate moonlight's bluer color. Low-voltage bulbs can illuminate without overpowering. Garage and porch lighting may need to be adjusted so their bright lights don't ruin an effect. These considerations are important to achieve a unified look. Learn about them.

Wrong Colors of Lights

Take great care with colored lights or filters. You don't want your lighting scheme to look like something more appropriate for a Ringling Bros. circus than your backyard. You may want to avoid colored lights altogether since they can often look garish. Filters can be used to good effect, but only if done subtly. Never use a different color filter in every fixture.

Every property offers its own canvas on which professional landscapers can create distinct looks to best flatter the property. The slightest wattage variations, changes in lighting angles, and relocation of lighting fixtures will reveal a whole different look. If it all seems overwhelming, look into contracting a professional landscaper. They will handle all these intricate details and get the job done right, making your outdoors look its very best.

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Author: is a leader in landscaping for several reasons. First, their service. Second, their wonderful and colorful blueprints. Not chintzy, vague drawings, but architectural renderings where you see what the end result will look like. This article powered by

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