Landscape lighting is an essential element for maximizing the curb appeal of your home. It can also improve the safety and security of your home. Landscape lighting does not always need to be hard-wired into your home’s electrical system. It does not have to be difficult or require the expertise of an electrician. Here are a few simple ways to install lighting in your landscape that can remain there permanently, but is easy to adjust if necessary.
Rope lights are some of the most versatile lighting sources available. They can be used indoors or outdoors. However, if you plan to use rope lights in an outdoor setting, make sure that you use a product that indicates that it can be used for outdoor applications in your climate conditions. The main consideration when using rope lights for outdoor settings is to make them inconspicuous. You’ll want to hide the source of the light without hiding the light that it gives off. Some examples of ways to use rope lights in a landscape setting are:
- Under Eaves. Tuck and fasten the tube of lights under a lip or along the crevice between the roof and the outer wall of the home. With the tube lights in this location, the outer architecture of the home and landscaping near the walls of the home will be softly lit.
- Around front edge of flowerbed. Rope lights can be used to light up flowerbeds. This is easy if the flowerbed border has a lip that you can tuck the rope lights behind, without blocking the light that is emitted by them.
Putting candles in windows is another way to add to the appearance and improve the safety of your home. The important consideration here is that the window candles must be flameless than live flame candles. Putting a live flame in a windowsill is extremely unsafe.
Installing walkway lights is usually fairly inexpensive and easy. These lights are staked into the ground along the edges of sidewalks, flowerbeds or wherever you decide to put them. They come in a variety of formats, from battery or solar powered to wired lamps. Solar powered lamps are the easiest to install because there is no power cable to worry about, and no batteries to install or replace. A wired version of walkway lamps that plug into an outdoor outlet is also easy, and gives more consistent, reliable light.
“Up Lights”, or directional lighting for outdoor use can be solar powered or wired for outlets. This type of light is more like a floodlight. These lights can give off a much brighter light than most walkway lights. They are often dimmable, and may come with different colored lenses for different lighting effects. They may also be adjustable to give a wide beam of light or a narrow beam. The head of the light usually pivots so that you can aim the light in exactly the right spot. They are often mounted on stakes that are driven into the ground. The nice thing about up lights is that they are very versatile. They are easily hidden by bushes and shrubs, and can even be mounted in the upper branches of a tree depending on the desired effect.
Putting It All Together
These are projects that only take 1-2 hours to complete. If the idea of adding landscape lighting seems overwhelming just do one thing at a time, and save the next outdoor lighting project for next year.