An updated, trendy lighting plan is one of the most effective ways to breath new life into a State College, PA, landscape without extensive renovation. With summer almost here, here are some stylish lighting ideas to brighten up your landscape projects:
Uplighting is in vogue for the summer, as it offers both effective lighting, as well as great security for a home. Wall wash lights are an excellent example of uplights that can allow control of both the brightness and the angle of the lights. This makes it possible to light up the front facade of a home in a way that is subtle and does not blind the occupants. Recessed uplights or uplights with a small form factor are more popular given their low-key appearance. Uplighting can also be used to draw attention to the more striking features of a landscape design such as fountains or waterfalls. They can also be used to highlight trees to make the vertical dimension of your design more prominent at night.
Many people love the idea of solar lighting solutions. The promise of easy installation is very alluring to DIYers. The problem is that there are not yet solar landscape lights that produce enough light to achieve the proper effects that you are looking for in a professional lighting design. You have probably seen many solar lights around your neighborhood, and they are typically very dim or not lit at all not very long after sunset. Solar lights are also made from the very cheapest materials and often will begin to break, fall apart, and fade within months of installation. Do yourself a favor and invest in quality low voltage landscape lights and skip the step of being disappointed by solar lights.
Small, bright path lights
We have heard that small, bright path lights are a new trend for this summer, stepping away from the more subtle path lighting that has popular in recent years. The brighter lights can be installed in smaller fixtures with shades to minimize over-spillage. Fixtures with a minimalist design, made of metal and with clean lines, can complement landscapes that have a modern design, while more curvaceous designs complement more traditional landscapes. The brighter lights also reduce the number of dark areas around the paths which can be a security concern in some landscape designs. Moreover, the brighter bulbs also mean that the lights can be spaced further apart, minimizing the total number of lights required to cover the area.
Recessed lighting along edges
Recessed lights are still the go-to solution for sitting areas such as patios and outdoor kitchens. They provide an unobtrusive source of light and can be installed under ledges, coping, or sills. Direction and brightness control coupled with LED technology further enhance their usability. An emerging trend is installing recessed lights in the brick or concrete edging along the walls of paths, driveways, and walkways, as an alternative to path lights. These prove to be a more unassuming solution and do a more effective job of outlining the outer limits of the path which can be an asset for pedestrians or drivers navigating the path or driveway.
Lighting in softscaping
Integrating the lighting with the softscaping of a landscape design is another popular trend for this summer. Around gathering areas, such as patios, recessed and wall mounted lights can be installed in planters and retaining walls, lighting up the space in an unassuming way. Around the landscape, brighter lights can be installed in the middle of shrubs and hedges. This style of lighting not only highlights the greenery of a landscape at night, but also does a more effective job of eliminating dark areas of a yard. Moreover, brighter lights can be used, as their dazzling effect will be minimized by the surrounding leaves and branches.