landscape lighting mistakes

You’ve decided it is time to invest in some landscape lighting. Whether to improve safety at your property or help you enjoy your beautiful outdoor space longer, installing lighting will help bring beauty and ambiance.

But where do you get started? You know you want some lights near the walkways, but how many is too many? Your favorite tree is begging for some light at night, but which light is a good choice and how exactly do you feature it?

Landscape lighting that lasts and looks great can be tricky to install. Let’s dive into the top four mistakes we commonly see homeowners make when installing their own landscape lights.

#1- Too Many Lights

When selecting landscape lights from the hardware store, it can be easy to buy a whole bunch. The more light the better, right? Wrong!

In order to improve safety and properly illuminate your space, not all that many landscape lights are needed. Think of how much a full moon lights up your space. It is a gentle, dim lighting feel, yet it effectively lights your space. The goal for landscape lighting is not to light your outdoor property like it is an indoor room. You want guests to feel that they can safely navigate throughout your space and be able to find their snack and drink in the nighttime, but you don’t want to blind them with too many floodlights.

too much landscape lighting

Too many lights are not aesthetically pleasing, and overdoing lighting can also disturb your neighbors and ramp up your electric bill. Remember less is more when it comes to landscape lighting.

#2- Cheap Products and No Plan

Your typical hardware store products can not stand up to the quality of professional-grade lighting. Cheaper products will not be able to withstand our harsh Northern Michigan winters and may need to be replaced frequently. A good way to tell if a product will last is simply by looking at the material it is made out of. When purchasing landscape lighting that is not professional grade, we recommend avoiding anything aluminum or composite (plastic) if possible.

luxor cloud outdoor light management

Along with the lights themselves lasting longer, professional-grade lighting usually comes with other bells and whistles. Our favorite, FX Luminaire, has an app that can control different lighting patterns, dimming, color, and more all at the touch of a button!

Cheap products become not so cheap when you go into the store without a plan. Many approach landscape lighting by purchasing the fixtures they like and then placing them throughout their yard. But really, the right light needs to be put in the right place. You should have a plan for what type of light you want in exactly which place and then purchase the lights you like.

#3- Creating an “Airport Runway” Look

This is one of the biggest mistakes we see in landscape lighting. When lining a driveway or pathway, avoid placing lights lined up perfectly one after the other. Lights should be installed in a zig-zag type pattern, alternating from one side to the other. For curved paths, follow the curve and alternate from one side to another.

landscape lighting lights in row

#4- Poor Positioning and Glare

Positioning your landscape lights can be a really tricky task. One of the most important landscape design concepts to remember here is balance. If you are lighting your backyard outdoor living space, both the left and right side of the space should be equally lit and provide a cohesive look. A type of tree that is lit one way on the right side of the home should be lit in a similar way on the left. For more ideas of how to light your outdoor space, check out this blog.

glare protecting landscape lights

Another aspect of positioning your landscape lights relates to glare. This pertains to how and where your lights are pointed when they are placed. If care is not taken with this step, glare can result. Direct glare is when lights point directly into your guests’ eyes, blinding them. Consider glare when walking through a space and in both standing and sitting positions. Certain lights can come with glare shields to assist with this issue.

Considering Professional Landscape Lighting Installation

As you can see, there is a whole lot more that goes into an effective landscape lighting plan than just buying some lights and sticking them in the ground. Landscape lighting can be a big investment, especially if you have to replace lights year after year or need to call a professional to fix an issue with install.

Working with a professional to illuminate your outdoor space can take the worry out of landscape lighting. Designers can create a plan customized to your needs and space. Professional grade lights can be installed by experts, allowing you to have a beautifully lit and usable outdoor space that lasts for years to come.

Ready to design the landscape lighting plan of your dreams in Grand Traverse or Leelanau County, MI? If so, meet with our team of experts, choose a solution to improve your property, and get ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautiful outdoor space.

Get started today with a consultation!

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