Lighting to Enhance Your Home
Our homes are one of our biggest investments – we invest our time, our money, and our emotions to making our homes perfect. They’re where we create a comfortable nest for our families and a welcoming retreat for our friends. While there are many trendy, costly upgrades that seduce homeowners yet provide little lasting return, well-executed landscape lighting brings out the best in a home every time. Whether improving the safety of your family and visitors, highlighting the beauty of your home’s architecture, or showcasing the structure of specimen plants, landscape lighting is a hassle-free way to enrich your home’s curb appeal and livability.
Quality Exterior Lighting is Worth Considering
Think about the ways you and guests enter and exit your home and move around your yard. Chances are there are some spots that would be made safer and more secure with carefully placed outdoor lighting. The down and dirty fix is to buy a few flood exterior lighting fixtures at the hardware store, attach them to the house, and call it a day. While it may seem like a functional solution, we would argue that ultimately, it’s not. Flood lights do fill an area with light, but it’s usually a harsh – at times blinding – quality of light. Instead of gently illuminating where surface heights change or seating areas are, flood outdoor lighting creates bigger shadows that are harder to read as our eyes try to negotiate the extreme brightness.
Instead of using harsh flood lights in your landscape lighting design, incorporate subtle fixtures such as path lights and garden lights which will enhance the atmosphere of your outdoor living space. Gentle washes of exterior lighting with fixtures that hide the bulbs from direct view offer the kindest, most useful, and most attractive outdoor lighting. Our tread landscape lighting fixtures are tucked under the overhang of the steps we install, making grade changes safer and visually steering people to the safest path (as seen above). For large stone steps without an overhang, downward path lights effectively illuminate without detracting from the beauty of the natural stone and surrounding landscape (as seen below).
Show Off Your Home’s Beauty
When a client has a house with spectacular architecture, our inclination is – of course – to feature it within their outdoor lighting program. That could mean an uplight on a stone chimney, brick wall, or the flared wood column of a front porch. In addition to softly illuminating the features of the home, the plants in front of the house are gently backlit as well. Combine this with a few thoughtfully lit trees in the landscape and the effect is one of luxurious beauty.
Is there any point in highlighting your home if it doesn’t have stunning architectural features? Of course! Outdoor lighting can soften and beautify the exterior lighting just as interior lighting does. In fact, well-placed landscape lighting on a plain house can actually transform it from one that’s overlooked to one everyone in the neighborhood admires – it’s all in the design and execution.
In addition to adding nighttime curb appeal, exterior lighting – even artistically designed landscape lighting – can make your home and property more secure. This can be especially appealing for those living in more remote and/or wooded neighborhoods. When an aesthetic upgrade improves our comfort and sense of security at home, the value of adding outdoor lighting is immeasurable.
When planning landscape lighting, it can be tempting to get heavy-handed with the number of fixtures. The idea with thoughtful outdoor lighting design is not to use so much that the subtle effects are lost and the elements to feature are washed out because an area is over-lit. You wouldn’t want every tree in a semi-wooded landscape to have a light; choosing a scattered few to offer depth and softness is a far more pleasing look (as seen the picture below). In a formal or semi-formal setting, a more symmetrical approach is appropriate (as seen in the pictures above).
The Benefits Add Up
Thoughtful landscape lighting adds beauty, curb appeal, security, and safety to a home. It also provides additional interest and function. Highlighting the exfoliating bark of an ornamental tree with an uplight or lighting a bank of shrubs that have spectacular fall color brings out the lovely characteristics of your home at night when they would otherwise go unnoticed without landscape lighting. Exterior lighting also allows you and your family to comfortably spend more time outside (a timely thought as our days get shorter).
Know When to Hire a Professional!
When done correctly, landscape lighting is effective, easy to maintain, and enhances your biggest investment - your home. The added safety, security, and functional outdoor living time created with exterior lighting makes it a worthwhile upgrade. We use durable brass fixtures with long-lasting LED bulbs and include programmable timers so our clients can spend more time enjoying their landscape. The talented designers at Bruss Landscaping will use their experience and knowledge to create a truly custom Outdoor lighting palette to enhance your landscape. To consult with one of our landscape designers, visit us here.