A smartly-lit outdoor space offers the much needed respite in a natural oasis that you can enjoy after hours. Vikas Gandhi, Head & Senior Vice-President – Lighting and Premium Fans, Tisva.
So you have beautifully landscaped gardens and lawns and patios which all gets highlighted by natural light during the day. But what about after sundown? For that’s the time you want to unwind after a hard day’s work or that do some entertaining and want to feel house-proud. This is but a given since you have put your heart and soul into creating a space meant to be loved, lived, and appreciated. So here are some easy ways to bring all that hard work to life.
The best way to envision the aura you want to create in your outdoor space, is to venture out in the night and carefully calculate which areas need to be lit up and how this amplifies the beauty. Here are a few basic tips can help you add drama and dimension as well as security to your outdoors.
Three is the Key – Ambient, Task, Accent
It is important to incorporate all three types of lighting layers when it comes to landscape lighting. Basic lighting, which can be done through post lights, hanging lights and wall lights can be the first layer, which in architectural terms is known as ambient lighting. Next comes task lighting, which is important as its integral for enhancing security and utility in areas which require attention and are dark/ dimly-lit, such as pathways, deck and other areas that need security lights. Accent lighting, the last and final layer, is used to beautify and add warmth to the area. It also allows you to get really creative – from small budget string lights, LED candles to extravagant landscape kits and spotlights. Accent lighting can also be used to light trees, rocks, beautiful bonsai’s, fountains anything that needs accentuating in your garden.
It’s all about the Light in play
It is extremely important to determine how much light a space requires. An over-lit area can create glaring brightness and unpleasant shadows all around. On the other hand under lighting can make the space uninviting. The best way to get a quick idea of what you need, multiply the square footage of the area that needs attention by 1.5 to get a rough estimate of wattage required. For example, every 100 square feet would require 150 watts of lighting.
Conserve energy, and money
LEDs have been a saviour when it comes to energy conservation. They use far less energy than halogen and incandescent bulbs and also emit lesser heat, keeping the environment cool. They are almost maintenance-free and don’t need bulbs to be replaced frequently even with prolonged use. Another great idea for landscape lighting is solar lighting, especially in India where the sun is bright and solar power friendly. Solar panels can be easily charged during daytime and can be efficiently used throughout the night.
Subtle and inviting does the trick
If you have an outdoors, you will definitely want to be using it for entertaining alfresco, patio bars, and sunset barbeques. When you have guests over, they definitely would not enjoy being under the spotlight, literally, while enjoying their evening. Aim for softer lighting that creates a welcoming yet restful environment with a warm glow. You can use simple outdoor paper lanterns to pendants, string lights with dimmers and fixtures to set the mood right.
Stay Safe, Stay Secure
One of the main features of landscape lighting is to provide security to your home/ dwelling. It is important to ensure all entry/exit areas are illuminated adequately. Placing spotlights on the eaves of your house is a great way to light up areas that would otherwise be in the shadows. Additionally one also needs to light up secure areas including all pathways, steps, deck areas or any area which could be accident prone. They definitely need to be lit up to avoid any mishaps.