You’ve driven by them hundreds of times and they’ve always caught your eye. They are those homes in the neighborhood that just scream ‘cut above the rest’. The entire mantle of curbside grass is a deep, even-toned and lustrous green. The cement sidewalk area is crystal clean, immaculately trimmed and there are no telltale cracks of neglect. A few floral beds are spaciously and appropriately placed. The light fixtures seem perfectly placed no matter where you look. And interestingly enough; it makes no difference whether you drive by during the day or the night. The property is beautiful no matter what time you pass by or what angle of view you take in. In fact at night, the location gleams with a warmth so inviting, you simply want to pull over and go meet the people who live there.
Just what constitutes the difference between generally well kept lawns and those which stand out as stellar icons of neighborhood beauty? What is that one element of stardom that makes that property dazzle so brightly over all others? Sometimes what the eye sees, the eye doesn’t really see at all. Sometimes the illusion of beauty is created from that which can’t be easily detected.
Take landscape lighting for instance. Much of what the eye visually sees is light emitting from hidden fixtures embedded into side walls or in the ground. Well contoured bushes are illuminated from side posts and lanterns. A singular statue might be illuminated from the ground up, casting interesting dimensions not seen during the day.
Anyone can create a lush landscape with light, and it does not necessarily mean that to do so requires extensive planning or the hiring of professionals. Sometimes, just taking some time to review what is on your property with a small sketchbook in hand, can help to create a wondrous dream-scape before it actualizes. Sometimes, it’s not all about figuring out transformers and counting and voltage requirements. One can start, simply with an artist’s eye. What specifically needs light? Where would you like extra light? What specific parts of your yard would you like to highlight and why?
With a little sketchbook planning, and a little online fixture shopping, you can gain mastery over your landscape with just a few easy to install outdoor fixtures. Outdoor lighting is not the great mystery everyone thinks it is. To think like an artist, one must begin to see in a different way. Artists take in their entire environment before they begin a painting. They choose what they want as a focal point and build a painting around it. Begin by making note of your existing lights. Are they properly placed on the building? Are they ready for replacement? Do they need supportive light and if so, where could you place on the building, that additional support light?
Visually inspect the surrounding trees and shrubs. Are there any exiting garden decorations and could they use some illumination? Decide whether you want these items to reflect or absorb light. Estimate loosely, the height of your foliage. Do you have an illuminated walkway anywhere on the property? If not, perhaps it’s time to consider lighting up the walk. Transformers are not always needed. There is a huge array of solar path lights now available on the market. It is the easiest landscape lighting to install as there are no cords to be hidden, nor transformers to rig up. With careful positioning, solar fixtures can be an instant additional to any lawn-scape. Just one string of path lighting can reflect immeasurable change to the overall look of the property.
Sometimes it pays to take a few moments to dream, to think and to plan. It’s not hard. It can be fun. And part of the beauty of landscape lighting is that you can do it in bits and pieces – all throughout the summer season. Dressing up your property should be an activity of love. We all know how good it feels to start an project you know you can finish in a short amount of time. We all know the satisfaction of completing a task. So go fixture by fixture. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to make great change.