It never fails. You take a weekend stroll through your neighborhood, gazing right, and gazing left, and then you come across something that almost makes you stop in your tracks. It is the over illuminated front yard that qualifies to light the way for an airplane in its landing pattern. Here is how homeowners can limit their landscape lighting, yet still give it a dazzling nighttime impact.
People are drawn to various landscape lighting options with the thought in mind of improving security, safety or functionality. But did you know that the image of your home beautifully lit at night in an online ad can both improve your chances to sell and add to your asking price? Most never even think about it because landscape lighting isn’t something you can really show off during the day when potential buyers are most likely to visit your home.
So how can you turn what should be a sales-boosting feature to your advantage? As already mentioned, be sure a nighttime picture of your home, garden or landscape beautifully illuminated is included in any sales literature. My recommendation is that it be a professional photograph, but if you are a talented shutterbug, you might be able to get away with your own work.
If your home is being shown while furnished, consider having photos of your home at night, bathed in beautiful light, strategically placed in places where they are likely to be seen. You might include pictures of family gatherings on the mantel or an artistic print on the wall near the front door. Don’t be shy about going big, here. I have a huge print of my own lit home hanging in my hallway. It was an accidental soft-focus shot of some out-of-town visitors lounging comfortably and drinking Pina Coladas on my patio. There’s lush foliage and it’s all painted in tasteful light from my landscape lighting. Guests and visitors always comment on the picture and are delighted to discover the scene reproduced in real life just outside my back door (minus the out-of-towners who had the courtesy to depart after a few days).
Once you have decided on your macro lighting needs, it is time to look at it from a micro point of view, or basically, take a finger count of how many lights you may need, and whether they will broadcast a downward spray of light, an upward light stream, or a combination of both. Note: You do not have to actually use your fingers to count, unless you use your toes as well. Try a pad of paper and pen. I guarantee it will be easier. Here is the key: Be cautious not to over illuminate your yard, for the benefit of your electricity bill if you go with electric lights, and because you do not want to go over the top with your lighting. For that matter, there is no need to. Your lighting should be subtle, yet add enough of an impact for safety reasons and to supply a nice glow to your property overall at night. You will appreciate the results, and so will your neighbors.
We finally come to the reason for assessing your needs both at night and during the day. You need to remember that not only does your lighting serve a purpose, but it also becomes an intricate part of your landscaping decor. That is unless you have an incredible knack for camouflaging it from view. Be sure to take that in to account and remember that most of it will be in view. Follow this pre-lighting assessment and you are sure to make the right landscape lighting choices. Happy lighting!