Beautifully landscaped gardens, lawns and patios get highlighted by natural light during the day. But have you ever thought about what happens after sundown? For that’s the time you want to unwind after a busy day and enjoy some ‘me-time’ in your space. The best way to highlight your outdoor space is to venture out in the night and carefully calculate which areas need to be lit up. A smartly-lit outdoor space offers the much-needed respite in a natural oasis that you can enjoy after hectic work hours.
Here are a few basic tips that can help you add drama and dimension as well as security to your outdoors, says Vikas Gandhi, senior vice president and business head – Tisva.
Three is the key – Ambient, Task, Accent
It is important to incorporate all three types of lighting layers when it comes to landscape lighting. Basic lighting, which can be done through post lights, hanging lights and wall lights can be the first layer, which in architectural terms is known as ambient lighting. Next comes task lighting, which is integral for enhancing security and utility in areas which require attention and are dark/dimly-lit, such as pathways, decks. Accent lighting or the final layer is used to beautify and add warmth to an area. It also allows you to get really creative – from small budget string lights, LED candles to extravagant landscape kits and spotlights. Accent lighting can also be used to light trees, rocks, beautiful bonsai, fountains or anything else that needs accentuating in your garden.
It’s all about light in play
It is extremely important to determine how much light the space requires. An over-lit area can create glaring brightness and unpleasant shadows. On the other hand, under-lighting can make spaces uninviting. To get an idea of what you need multiply the square footage of the area that needs attention by 1.5 to get a rough estimate of wattage required. For example, every 100 square feet would require 150 watts of lighting.
Conserve energy, and money
LEDs are a saviour when it comes to energy conservation. They use far less energy than halogen and incandescent bulbs and also emit lesser heat. They are almost maintenance-free and don’t need replacements even with prolonged use. Another great idea for landscape lighting is solar lighting, especially in India, where the sun is bright and solar power-friendly. Solar panels can be easily charged during daytime and can be efficiently used throughout the night.
Subtlety does the trick
If you have outdoors, you will definitely want to be using it for entertainment purposes, patio bars, and sunset barbeques. Aim for softer lighting that creates a welcoming yet restful environment with a warm glow. You can use simple outdoor paper lanterns to pendants, string lights with dimmers and fixtures to set the mood right.
Stay safe, stay secure
One of the main features of landscape lighting is to provide security to your home/dwelling. It is important to ensure all entry/exit areas are illuminated adequately. Placing spotlights on the eaves of your house is a great way to light up areas that would otherwise be in the shadows. Additionally one also needs to light up secure areas including all pathways, steps, deck areas or any area which could be accident-prone. They definitely need to be lit up to avoid any mishaps.
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