Lighting is More Than Just for Looks – It's Safety and Security
When you design your landscape lighting, you can beautifully highlight fountains, trees, gardens, ponds, walkways, water gardens, and the other intriguing features of your landscape.
It also makes your outdoor space much more usable at night. Obviously, these are awesome reasons to install landscape lighting, but even more importantly...
...landscape lighting can provide security, comfort, and safety!
Landscape lighting for your backyard or front yard creates an environment that your family, pets, and friends can enjoy and walk around without any worries of tripping or falling.
It's especially important when having your grandparents and/or grandchildren over: feel confident and comfortable that everyone is safe when they check out your outdoor space at night!
How Landscape Lighting Helps Keep Your Home Safe & Secure
A properly lit outdoor space acts as a deterrence for trespassers and intruders, but how can you achieve this?
It’s strategically planning and using low level lighting to create cohesion, or smooth shifts of light throughout the property. In fact, it does two main things:
It prevents glaring light that can be fatiguing to the eye of a homeowner scanning the property for intruders.
It eliminates what we call “black holes” or dark spots where intruders can hide.
Not only does outdoor landscape lighting provide safety and security, but it also makes it easier for your visitors to view your backyard or front yard. Low level landscape lighting will cause less strain on your guest’s eyes when they are checking out your outdoor space from inside your home, which brings the outdoor atmosphere to your house’s interior.
Landscape lighting also discourages predatory animals who prowl around at night looking for easy prey, such as a pet like a small dog.
All landscape lighting projects should be done with safety in mind: the lights themselves, power cords, controls, and everything else associated with outdoor lighting is done with safety in mind.
Tips When Planning Your Landscape Lighting
It’s a good plan to divide your property into two sections, public space (front of the house) and private space (backyard).
We recommend designing these areas independent of one another and operating the two spaces separately using their own transformers and timers. Here’s why:
It’s more energy efficient.
Public and Private spaces have different needs.
Public and Private spaces have different usage times.
Convenience and cost when it comes to initial wiring.
Convenience and cost when it comes to regular maintenance.
For example, you may have street lighting, so additional landscape lighting for security may be unnecessary; the ability to turn your public space lighting off would be more energy and cost efficient.
The first strategy to keep intruders out is to light the perimeter of your outdoor space. Often times, this is enough deterring the trespasser from entering your living area in the first place.
It depends on your landscape, but we recommend using one of two techniques: moonlighting and uplighting. Use these techniques whenever lighting the property border – whether that be a tree, hedge, or fence.
Uplighting: Placing fixtures on the ground and illuminating the border from the ground up.
Moonlighting: Uses fixtures in trees to illuminate the tree and other border features below it such as driveways, ponds or patios. (See picture below)
When using the moonlighting technique, it’s best to place the fixtures higher up to get a wider light beam spread, which is a better bang for your buck.
As mentioned before, it’s important that you’re able to see out your windows and doors with minimal strain. Another component of this issue is the mirror effect – when you try to look out a window at night and you see your own reflection. Here’s how you can avoid blinding glares and the mirror effect:
Create a landscape lighting design that projects light between your windows (as opposed to directly into them).
Graze the walls instead directing light into windows.
For a more intense effect, use spotlights. For a wider and softer effect, use wash lights.
At the end of the day, landscape lighting safety is the ability for your residents and visitors to safely navigate your property and avoid otherwise unseen obstacles. You can achieve this by illuminating entranceways, walkways, and any place where the elevation changes, like a stairwell or step.
It’s also important to illuminate texture changes, like when moving from a concrete path to a slippery bluestone patio, or even from a paved driveway to grass.
Because stairs and texture changes can be particularly hazardous, they should be well lit with path lights, area spot lights, area wash lights, and moonlights. This allows visitors to navigate your property with ease.
Developing a landscape lighting system that achieves a safe and secure environment for homeowners requires planning. This is why it’s important to work with a professional with an eye for aesthetics to conceptualize a great design while producing a safe environment. Using top-quality products, like our CAST Landscape Lighting, will ensure that your backyard will be beautifully lit for years to come.
Our CAST Landscape Lighting can be found at PondSupply.ca