Posts Tagged landscape lighting

Summer lights

It’s officially summertime!  The time of year when you entertain friends and family, relax outside, or eat outdoors.  It’s lanterns hangingstaying light late at night, but with the warm nights, we tend to want to stay out past dark.  Instead of sitting on a bright porch looking at a pitch-black yard, think about the lighting you’d like to install in your yard.  Here are some ideas:

  • Float tea candles in a water-filled birdbath.
  • Hang Japanese lanterns from trees and trellises around your property.
  • Surround your eating area with pillar candles for a fine dining feel.
  • Go vintage with kerosene lanterns.
  •  String lights through trees and trellises.
  • Install LED lights that accent walks and beautiful flowers or trees.
  • Brighten your walk or your front porch with luminarias.
  • Install a lamppost a la The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
  • Brighten up an area with a firepit. This is a nice gathering space and a way to brighten up your yard.
  • If you have tables with table cloths, try putting a camping lantern under each table.  Try using LED lights.  If you use electric lights, keep the fabric 2 feet from the bulb.

These are just a few of our ideas to brighten up your yard.  It’s an important safety precaution to install some permanent lighting fixtures on pathways, around a pool or along steps.  Be sure to add these year-round fixtures to your lighting to-dos.

Here’s to a bright and fun summer!

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Making a Small Yard Look Larger

No matter the size of your yard, chances are you would likely like to maximize the space, making it feel larger than it actually is.  Here are some ideas on how to do just that:

Plant a variety of small trees through your yard. 

This has two functions:Small Fruit Tree

1. It creates the illusion of more space as there is hidden space behind the trees.

2. It allows you to create little hideaways.

Additionally, there are some great fruit and nut tree varieties that are breed small so they are easy to pick.  This is a great option for small, yet useful trees.

Decorate your gathering space.

It’s easy to give up if you have just a little cement patio or pad for your friends or family to gather.  But, if you decorate the space with a central piece, like a wrought iron table surrounded with hanging plants or vines, or by installing a firepit with comfy chairs all around it, you can fit more people than you may imagine, and relatively comfortably.

Create spaces from which you can enjoy your yard.

You may have a small yard, but by installing a bench surrounded by flowering plants, or a hammock between two small trees, you can enjoy your space from new angles.

Install strategic lighting.

Lighting is useful for many reasons.  The most obvious reason is that you can see where you are going when walking up a pathway at night.  However, you can use lighting to highlight your favorite parts of your yard, or to light up a gathering space.

Add texture to your yard.Bird on a birdbath

Even if all you can fit is a small bird bath among a patch of flowers, try adding different levels and types of features.

For example, in a very small yard, you could have a small tree with a bird bath beneath it.  Or you could cover up unsightly fencing with grape and rose vines, while also cultivating a small vegetable patch.  Or you can install a firepit at one end of the yard, circle it with comfortable chairs, and install a tier of garden behind or beside the gathering space.  Or – if your yard is all hardscape – install a water feature as a central piece and place pots of flowers strategically around the rest of the space.

Another easy way to add texture is to simply pick a signature color or plant that will pop.  For example, if you grow grapes, you may want to plant a bright rose at the far end of your vines.

Make it yours.

Finally, and the most important part of any of this is to make the yard your own space.  If you have your own dreams, make them work for your yard.  No one else has to live with it except for you!

Here’s to a beautiful and enjoyable yard!

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All About the Lights

Once again, it’s getting darker earlier and it’s a good idea to take a look at your outdoor lighting.

Here are some ideas for lighting up your landscape:

– Walkway lights.  You can get LEDs or low voltage lighting professionally installed by a landscaper to both enhance your walkway, as well as light your step.

– Lights positioned to enhance certain points of your landscape.  Installing spotlights to show off parts of your landscape can both make your yard look wonderful and keep your space nice and bright during the early night.

– String lights in trees and bushes are a delicate way to keep your yard softly lit.

– Overhead lighting – like traditional street lamps, traditional lanterns or Japanese lanterns can defuse the darkness with overall light.

– Holiday lights – for Halloween, Thanksgiving and other holidays are always fun for the family – but can be a bit tough to string up and take down again.  You can also put up temporary decorations which light up a part of your yard.

No matter what choice you make, make sure your home is well-lit for these early dark hours, so both children and adults can have a safe and happy holiday season.

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Light it up!

I know I’ve said a few times that it’s getting darker, earlier – but with daylight savings time in full swing, it’s black by the time most of us get home from work.  It’s not only a safety hazard to have dark walkways, nighttime landscapes can be gorgeous when the lighting is installed correctly by a professional landscaper.

It’s definitely time to look at exterior lighting options.

One of the more popular options are LED lights.  I think this is because the bulbs last for a really long time and they require very little power.  The downside is that the fixtures themselves cost quite a bit.  But, in the long term, you save quite a bit of money on power. 

Another popular option is low voltage lighting.  The fixtures on these are less expensive, however, the voltage usually isn’t quite as low as the LED lights and they don’t last as long.

An additional option is high voltage lighting.  This is sometimes necessary for large light fixtures or for lighting up large areas.  For example, if you have a large patio you’d like to light up and/or be able to dim with dimmer switches, higher voltage lighting will be needed than lighting up a pretty fern.

Finally, there’s seasonal lighting.  It’s the time of year many homes add string lights and other light displays to their yards and landscapes.  You don’t have to celebrate a particular holiday to add beautiful string lights to lighten up your yard.

So, here’s hoping your landscape stays bright and beautiful!

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