11/05/2020

Landscape Lighting in Seattle Washington

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exterior home lighting

Landscape Lighting In Seattle Washington

We all love spending our evenings in areas filled with eye-catching lights. There’s something exciting and satisfying about walking on enchantingly lit pathways and well-lit garden, or having fun in a warm, beautifully designed pergola with friends or family members.

Some of us who have invested time, effort and money on our houses and yards in Seattle Washington yearn to see them look just as first-rate at night-fall as during the day.

But where do you start?

How do you simply flick a switch and turn your home into a magical place- especially if you don’t have a large compound to work with?

I have seen simple homes turn into glorious places at night courtesy of strategic landscape lighting. I’ve seen their owners marvel at the breathtaking sight of their newly illuminated landscapes, including accentuated architectural features, after installing a few outdoor house lights.

As an ardent fan of immaculate, low-cost landscaping in Seattle Washington, I’d love your home to be part of the transformation. Here’re some of the tips I believe you need to take up to power up your landscape:

Understand the different types of lights

I always recommend getting familiar with the different types of fixtures before getting started with the installations to avoid making mistakes. There are many types of lights that are used in landscapes, but the following are the most important:

Floodlights and spotlights

Spotlights usually project a narrow light beam that’s often about 45 degrees wide, making them the perfect choice if you want to highlight very specific display points, such as landscape features or architectural details.

On the other hand, we use floodlights to cast light over wide or general areas, like driveways, because they tend to have a wider beam spread.

Common examples of floodlights and spotlights include the following:

  • Sodium vapor lights
  • Incandescent lights
  • Halogen lights
  • Fluorescent lights
  • High-density discharge lights

I prefer sodium vapor lights because of their low-maintenance cost and energy efficiency.

Post lights

I prefer these kinds of lights when it comes to accenting pathways. Besides highlighting the paths and guiding guests, you can expect them to set a nice ambient tone without necessarily overpowering the floodlights. We use post lights to illuminate long stretches such as driveways; paths work well with shorter posts.

Common examples of floodlights and spotlights include the following:

  • Electric post lights
  • Solar post lights
  • Gas post lights

I prefer solar post lights for open outdoor areas like garden paths because they are the most cost-effective.

In-ground lights

I don’t think you’ll find something that brings out the sophistication of a yard like a well-positioned in-ground light. Often used to illuminate driveways and walkways, these lights create drama and visibility, while silhouetting characters standing around the yard flawlessly. I also like the result when they’re blended with spotlights, although they are amazing lighting solutions by themselves.

Since these lights are usually fixed and hidden in the ground, the light effect they have is what I find outstanding.

Step, hardscape and deck lights

These types of light are often installed into decking and steps. We use them to highlight different architectural details or as an addition to dark stairs- for safety. The step lights in particular sit beneath the step risers either in the middle of the tread or to the side. I also find them very amazing when used to wash light down the exterior walls. We generally attach the deck lights anywhere on deck railings.

The hardscape usually work well with brick walls, boulders, fence posts or other similar permanent features.

String lights

I prefer string lights subtly strung through trees, on top of a hardscape or across decks. They have a gentle, warm yet subtle effect especially when they contain those beautiful Edison bulbs.

How to get started

Create ideas for your layout

Before you install any lighting, take a walk around your landscape and select the most outstanding focal points. I would look for features like a tall, nice-looking palm, a bunch of shrubs, an oak tree, hardscape features, stone walls, well-crafted facades, a pool or even a fountain. Carefully select similar focal areas of your landscape and then select the lighting that suits them.

Determine the landscape lighting techniques

Depending on your landscape, you can go with:

Grazing

If your landscape contains rough or irregular surfaces, such as masonry walls, veneers, trees and wood shingles, I would suggest positioning your light source near the surface. This would work well in bringing out the texture of the bark, the rough wall or even a door. I would not recommend grazing smooth surfaces.

You also have to consider the color of the surface before grazing to select the right level of light. You don’t want to shine too little light on very dark surface or too much light on a shiny surface.

Shadowing and Silhouetting

We usually prefer to create beautiful shadows on objects like trees, pergolas or unique fixtures. If you have pergola, for instance, you can use directed downlighting to form a nice geometric shadow on the ground, which, depending on the design of the pergola, should give out a certain pattern. The shadow complements the light you shine, creating very dramatic effects.

We use silhouetting in landscaping to create a focal point with a hint of romance and drama. Trees and shrubs with unusual structure and bark work well with this technique. To achieve a silhouette effect, you need to install an uplight behind the object while ensuring it is hidden. The object casts a shadow on the designated surface, such as a wall, behind it.

Area lighting

Is your landscape filled with empty spaces or wide areas? If so, I would recommend mounting lights in raised points such as on top of trees, and houses to illuminate the area. I prefer this kind of lighting during backyard occasions because it lights up a large area that would otherwise remain dark besides offering a sense of security. You can use the light to highlight shrubs, flower beds or paths too by placing the downlight near the ground.

If you are interested in outdoor lighting and live in the greater Seattle area, be sure to reach out to Washington Outdoor Lighting in Seattle (https://washingtonoutdoorlighting.com/landscape-lighting-seattle-washington/).

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