Landscape lighting is often an afterthought in the grand scheme of landscape design. Homeowners are willing to pay thousands of dollars for shrubbery and spare no expense to install beautiful features—yet they balk at spending a few hundred dollars on a couple of good lighting fixtures! Unfortunately, cost isn’t the issue. Most people have trouble seeing the value of landscape lighting.
There’s actually a lot of utility in landscape lighting! Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean your landscape needs to bathe in darkness. A little bit of light goes a long way! A fixture here, some extra wattage there—slowly but surely, your property becomes more and more familiar after the sun goes down. The better you can see it, the more you can use and enjoy it.
Here are six practical benefits of landscape lighting and why a few well-placed, properly-coordinated fixtures are well-worth the cost in a landscape redesign project.
1. Enjoy an evening outdoors.
Without lighting, your landscape is all but useless after dark! Try hosting a get together on a porch that’s totally dark—and don’t even think about swimming after the sun goes down. Hardscape lighting, path lighting and outdoor lifestyle lighting are the keys to enjoying your outdoor spaces after dark. They give you the ambiance and utility you deserve—whether it’s a big backyard BBQ or date night with your partner under the stars. Numerous lighting styles and effects allow you to set the mood and dictate the atmosphere.
2. Light the path back home.
Whether you’re walking the trash out to the curb or getting home after a long day away, you don’t want to have to feel your way blindly in the dark back to your doorstep. Simple path lighting and some well-lit features are enough to get your bearings and get back home—even if you’re just a short walkup away. This type of lighting is great for everything from front and back walkups, to paths around the home, to walkways leading to outbuildings, pools or a detached garage.
3. Show off your green thumb.
You spend a lot of time tending to your lawn and garden—or you spend a lot of money to have someone else maintain it. Either way, it deserves attention. Lighting your landscape at night is a practical way to show it off, attracting the eyes of passersby. Bonus points if your home is on the market for sale! Landscape lighting is a practical way to bring notoriety to your home in a positive way. You’ll very quickly become “that house with the beautiful lighting.”
4. Deter unwanted guests.
While it’s unlikely bandits and ski masks will come creeping around your home, unlit properties are still prime targets for vandalism and theft. Landscape lighting is a great deterrent that can keep wrongdoers away and make them think twice about trespassing. A flood light here, perimeter lighting there—coordinate lighting that enhances your property’s appeal, while protecting it from unwanted guests. This can even include nighttime critters averse to light, like raccoons!
5. Make the delivery guy’s job easy.
How frustrating is it to watch the delivery guy drive past your house two or three times, simply because he can’t see the address clearly? A little uplighting goes a long way—especially if your address is on a retaining wall or decorative rock. For homes set back off the road or amongst trees, driveway lighting and tree lighting can let delivery persons and guests know exactly where your home is. There won’t be any confusion next time you order a pizza or welcome guests to a Christmas party!
6. Keep everyone safer outdoors.
Safety is a big part of enjoying the great outdoors. Even in your own backyard, safety is a paramount concern. Illuminate your landscape after dark to avoid trip and fall hazards, slips or unwanted encounters with landscape features. If you’ve got kids or pets running around, lighting is even more important! This is doubly true for any water on the property, such as an in-ground pool or dock down by the lake. Use light as a safety tool to avoid any accidents that may turn your enjoyable evening into an unwanted trip to the emergency room.
Think of landscape lighting as the key to enjoying your landscape after dark. Without various types of lighting and fixtures, you can only enjoy your property as long as the sun is up. With the right lighting strategy to illuminate it, your landscape becomes accessible, beautiful, safe and enjoyable at all hours of the night.
Don’t be deterred by the cost of landscape lighting. Instead, look at the value it offers. If you’re willing to pay for quality sod and seeding, beautiful shrubbery and noble features, why not also spring for lighting that illuminates these features?