Insider Tips: Developing a Landscape Lighting Plan


Insider Tips for Developing a Landscape Lighting Plan

Strategically placed landscape lighting creates a welcoming, yet subtle, atmosphere each night - one that you can enjoy for years to come. In the previous posts, we shared different ideas for adding landscape lighting to creating nighttime curb appeal by highlighting your home's architectural features, landscape, and outdoor living areas. Now that you have ideas for lighting your property, here are some of our insider tips for taking your landscape lighting to the next level and developing a comprehensive plan.

Determine Use of Space:

Before we start creating a design for our clients, we always ask, "Why light?"

What do you hope to gain from your lighting design? Do you want to prevent trips and falls when walking up to your home, increase your home's security, its curb appeal, or all of the above? Considering your reasons for adding light will help you develop a strategic plan.

Cover the Basics:

Consider the following elements of your property to determine what is your must-haves and want-to-haves (download this handy checklist to use as a guide) when it comes to developing your lighting design. This will help you determine what is most important, and what would be nice to have down the road.

  • Pathways and Entryways
  • Steps
  • Driveway
  • Garage
  • Trees
  • Deck or Patio
  • Water features or unique architectural elements

Use a Combination of Landscape Lighting Techniques:

The use of several different lighting techniques creates interest and ensures that your property is evenly lit. Some lighting techniques will work better in certain situations than others. See our cheat sheet to lighting techniques and effects.

Don't Settle for Solar:

While solar lighting might be an easy and popular option, it might not create the effect you want to achieve. Solar lights are powered by the sun often producing a dim glow. On cloudy days, they won't soak up enough sunlight to work. You have no control over when they actually turn on or off.  Most solar products are made of inexpensive plastic, which doesn't hold up well in Nebraska's extreme weather conditions -- look for fixtures made from corrosion resistant materials like copper and brass.

Opt for LED Outdoor Lighting:

The two most common types of low-voltage landscape lighting systems are halogen and LED. While the initial cost of LED is higher than halogen, LED lighting can actually save you money in the long run, with long bulb life, as well as reduced electricity and less energy consumption.

Use of Astronomical Timers:

We highly recommend having your lighting system controlled by a timer. The timer allows your lights to automatically turn on and off when you choose, so you don't have to worry about it. In addition, you can have your system set up so that certain areas stay on throughout the night, while others turn off at a specified time. There's even an app for controlling your lights from your smartphone.

Developing a comprehensive plan for your landscape lighting will help you focus on what matters most when it comes to lighting your property. From there, you can create interest by using different types of techniques and using quality fixtures (to withstand the Nebraska weather).

Hire a Landscape Lighting Professional:

Finally, consider hiring a landscape lighting designer or specialist to develop a comprehensive landscape lighting plan for you.  A professional will have the experience and knowledge for considering safety, security, and beauty when creating a custom lighting design for your home or property.

Looking to Enhance Your Property?

Our dedicated team at McKay Landscape Lighting works with you to create a custom landscape lighting design that's unique to your property. From design to installation to service, you can count on our team of experts to make sure you are happy with your lighting system for years to come. 

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