Exterior Lighting Techniques

There are several things you need to consider when choosing exterior lighting for your home. Remember that your yard is the extension of your house so you would want to have them properly illuminated.

Exterior lighting can make your house look good and stand out from its surroundings. Choosing the appropriate lighting could not only make your house attractive especially at night, but a well-lit house is less likely to be intruded by burglars. These two are the critical reasons why exterior lighting are important – for aesthetic look and for safety issues.

You may want your yard to look natural even at night. In order to do so, you need to observe the effects of natural light in your yard during different parts of the day. You may try to recreate these using artificial lights. Focus on certain focal points only that need to be illuminated during the night. You may put outdoor lighting on the pathways and certain parts of the garden that you want to accentuate. It could be the little pond, particular trees or flower beds. It is important that you are installing sufficient light – not too bright and not too dim.

There are times that you need to use several kinds of lights to reach the desired lighting effects. Here are some of the different ways on how you can illuminate your yard.

Moonlighting. It is one of the most popular lighting techniques used for outdoor lighting. It is a lighting design wherein you are able to reflect the unique and exquisite qualities of your house and your landscape. You need to put your lights high, one good choice would be tall trees, and should be properly angled. As the light diffuses on the leaves, it creates a soft, attractive shadow and lighting patterns on the ground below just as the bright moon at night.

Up Lighting. This lighting technique is usually used if you want accentuate certain architectural design of your house and focal areas on your landscape while creating dramatic shadows on the walls. Lightings are installed below the object of choice facing upward. It creates some sort of a spotlight, drawing people’s attention to the object being illuminated. It could be boulders, sculptures, certain plants or trees and other garden structures.

Silhouetting. Silhouetting is placing spotlights directly behind sculptures or plants or any garden accessories and angled to an adjacent wall creating dramatic outlines of the object being silhouetted. This lighting technique is also knows as backlighting.

Shadowing. This technique is very much similar to silhouetting but instead of placing the lights directly behind the object, lighting fixtures are installed in front of them. Shadowing can create more attractive and dramatic lighting effects that silhouetting as the shadows are greatly enlarged, evoking strong moods in the garden at night.

Step Lighting. One of the most important lighting methods used is the step lighting. This technique is used whenever you have stairs, be it a single step or an entire staircase. It provides sufficient illumination of possibly dangerous step areas to ensure safety while producing aesthetic lighting effects.