Diy Outdoor Lighting

Diy Outdoor Lighting

Diy Outdoor Lighting

Eye-Catching Light Thoughtful landscape lighting is a treat for the eyes. “You want people driving by to take a second look because what you’ve created is interesting,” says Chris Mitchell of landscape lighting firm NiteLiters in Owensboro, Ky. Mark Parameters On this walkway, the offset lights have considerable distance between them, leading the eye naturally down the path. Some are located entirely in the garden bed while others cast light onto the path. “They give you just a little bit of information,” says Jeff Dross of Kichler Lighting in Cleveland. “You simply need an idea of parameters so you can navigate through the area. Keep in mind that there will be a fair amount of natural moonlight at night to help you as well.” Mix Styles Using different styles of path lights in the same scheme can help you avoid the “good little soldier” look. Be sure to clean the lamp surfaces and check for burned-out bulbs at least once a year, and relocate the stakes if plant growth has blocked their light output. Less Is More Path lighting is something that is rarely done well. Whether you opt for inexpensive stakes or pricier fixtures, placement is critical. Think of them as gentle hints for where to go next, not outlining tools or runway lights for an airplane landing. Fewer is usually better. Add Color and Texture Path lights are visual aids in a dark space, but they also add color and texture if you place them near interesting plants. This way, you can retain pieces of your garden’s charm long after the sun sets. Work With What You’ve Got Another approach to path lighting is to forego it altogether. In this scene designed by Chicago-area lighting firm Night Light, Inc., uplit trees and downlighting from the house cast ample light on the walkway. “You don’t have to light every inch of your landscape,” says vice president Dean MacMorris. “There’s a place for path lights, but we use them sparingly.” Moon Lighting Night Light, Inc. specializes in moon lighting, placing lights high in trees to give the effect of real moonlight. According to MacMorris, you want to climb 30-40 feet or higher to get the most natural look and to keep the fixtures hidden from view. Here, uplighting on trees near the house and moon lighting in the taller trees beyond preserves a woodsy feel and illuminates walking areas so that no path fixtures are needed. Cool Light In terms of color temperature, moonlight is on the cool end of the spectrum — it’s “bluer” than artificial indoor lighting. Night Light, Inc. uses lighting with a color temperature of 5500 kelvins for a natural moonlit look. This patio at the end of the pathway is illuminated softly with just two moon lights overhead. Indirect Lighting Seating areas benefit from moon lighting or lighting installed high overhead because there are no harsh bulbs at eye level and it creates a cozy, intimate feel. “No one likes to feel as if they’re on stage when they’re sitting outside,” says MacMorris. Warm and Cool Lighting Candlelight is at the other end of the spectrum from moonlight — compared to the cooler 5500 kelvins, yellow has 2000 kelvins. That means in combination with overhead moon lighting, warm tabletop candles really pop. Fireplace Lighting If you don’t have tall trees, you may have to get creative to achieve moon lighting. This outdoor fireplace is spotlighted from a three-and-a-half story eave. The pergola in the background is lit brightly because it’s viewed from the house most of the time; however, it can be made more inviting with a dimmer switch. Hardscape Lighting The hardscaping in this outdoor kitchen is lit with outdoor LED tape, which is a flexible strand of LEDs encased in silicone and designed to keep moisture out. Although the back is adhesive, the tape requires support from clips to stay in place. You need some electrical experience if you want to install this yourself. Water Features According to Mitchell of NiteLiters, many clients want water features to be lit from within and also uplit — even though that effect never occurs in nature. “But if you want KAPOW, that’s the way to go,” he says. This water feature is the focal point of the client’s front yard. Natural Beauty Another approach for water features, says Mitchell of , NiteLiters, is to let the ear be your guide. “When you’re walking in the woods, you hear water first — you don’t see it,” he says. “You don’t have to make your water feature a visual focal point. You can let someone take it in as they come near it, and that can be a spectacular effect in itself.” Soft downlighting is the best choice for this natural look. Lighting Wide Areas This scene is lit with the entire view in mind, not just the water feature. Uplit trees across the viewing area provide balance; the designer used more lumen intensity and a wider lamp spread on the tree in the middle, which is the focal point. A bonus tip for lighting evergreens: Using a blue lens intensifies their green color. Lighting Objects When you’re uplighting objects such as statuaries or trees, a good rule of thumb is to use warm (yellow/orange) light on man-made objects and cool (white/blue) light on plants, says Night Light, Inc.’s MacMorris. It’s also best if you plan the lighting before you actually install the object itself. Statues, for example, are typically best viewed from a particular direction, but once you get hardscape and plants in place, it can be difficult to locate the light exactly where it needs to be to get the right effect. Balanced Lighting This pergola stands on an island in the middle of a pond and is viewed from a distance, so rather than just lighting the structure itself, designer Dave Marciniak of Revolutionary Gardens uplit the crape myrtles on either side to spread the light across the entire feature. This way it looks balanced, not stark. “It’ll be even better as the crapes get bigger,” Marciniak says. Add Depth to Exterior Lighting Balance is important when you’re lighting a home’s exterior. Lighting only the house can look unnatural — even bleak — but uplit trees and statuary add depth and softness. Creating Shadows Shadow can be just as interesting as light. The spotlights on the front of this house were placed very close to the foundation so that the light would catch the edges of the beautiful stonework and create an intricate shadow pattern. To avoid a dead dark spot at the peak of the roof, the designer placed one spotlight on a stem in the flower bed (at left) that sends light all the way to the top. Highlighting Hydrangeas This exterior is also uplit to highlight the stonework, and a path light in front spreads its beam over a bank of hydrangeas. “Hydrangeas love landscape lighting,” says Dross of Kichler Lighting. “They should be stage actors.” They reflect light dramatically when they’re in flower, but they also create dancing shadows in winter because they retain their faded leaves and blooms. It’s smart to think about what any plant looks like in all seasons when you’re deciding where to place your lights, especially if you’re using the plant to hide unattractive fixtures. Creating a Silhouette The warm bath of light on this house is created with a mix of down and up lights. The chimneys and dormers are also lit, as are the large trees behind the house which prevent the “lit shoebox effect,” says Mitchell of NiteLiters. Soffits tend to trap light and make the whole house look like a white-hot square. The extra elements add visual height and softly silhouette the roofline so you get a true sense of the space. Dramatic Doors To generate a sense of drama for the front door of this house, which is set in a very narrow porch, Mitchell of NiteLiters chose to backlight the pillars instead of spotlight them. “It creates depth and leads your eye past the pillars to what’s behind them,” he says. An amber lens makes the dark wood of the door look even richer.
diy outdoor lighting 1

Diy Outdoor Lighting

There’s nothing better for adding an elegant, magical ambiance to your backyard or deck than outdoor lighting. It’s great, too, for enhancing curb appeal in the front of your house. Landscape lighting increases your home security, too. Installing your own DIY landscape lighting is pretty easy, too. DIY blogger Robin Gay of All Things Heart and Home has done some pretty amazing things with outdoor lighting in her yard. Here she shows up how to set up a DIY  outdoor lighting system. Outdoor living before the sun goes down is lovely. But add a little landscape lighting and moonlight to the mix and you’ve got an enchanting backdrop for all your outside celebrations! If you’d like to add some DIY landscape lighting to your outdoor living area, I’d love to show you how we did ours! Adding DIY Landscaping Lights First, decide on a plan- Consider what you’d like to accent. Some questions to get you started… What part of  your yard, flower beds, water features or trees would you like illuminated?  Do you want a light mounted in a tree shining down onto a particular area? (These give a moonlight effect and are so pretty when shining onto a garden area.) Do you have a space (eating area, fire pit) that would benefit from string lights? We decided to uplight a few trees and add lighting to the garden area surrounding our water feature. We also added a giant criss-cross of string lights over the fire pit. Let’s start with the up-lights… Materials for this DIY Landscaping Light Project LED Spotlights Low Voltage Power Pack Low Voltage Electrical Wire (the amount depends on your lighting plan) Electrical Wire Strippers Phillips Screwdriver Cement Anchors or Wood Screws to Mount Your Power Pack Step 1 Assemble the lights according to the directions. Step 2 Place the lights in the locations that you’ve chosen in your plan. Step 3 Find an outdoor electrical outlet close to the space you’re working on, and mount the power pack close to the outlet. We used cement  anchors  for brick, but you can use wood screws for mounting to the side of your house. DO NOT PLUG POWER PACK INTO POWER SOURCE YET. Step 4 Take one end of your wire and lay it at the farthest light from the power pack. Now, lay the wire from light to light until you make your way to the power pack-don’t pull the wire tight. (Keep in mind you’ll want to bury or cover the wire later, so keep the wire in pine/mulch islands or around the perimeter of your lawn.) Step 5 Connect wire to the power pack by taking the power pack off the wall … Using wire strippers, strip the wires as shown. Attach the stripped wires to the terminals on the back of the power pack.  Now put your power pack back on the wall. DO NOT PLUG POWER PACK INTO POWER SOURCE YET. Step 6 Connect the wires at each light location according to your instructions. Step 7 Stick your lights back into the ground! Step 8 Plug the power pack into power source and set automatic timer according to instructions. Step 9 Go back through your yard and cover the electrical wire with pine straw or mulch if it’s located in a bed, or you can dig a  shallow trench to bury the wire. Once your lights are working, wait till dusk and make sure your lights are pointing in the right direction. Adjust as necessary! Adding String Lights Now for another layer of ambiance using string lights! Materials needed to add string lights Screw Eyes Wire Rope (1/16 inch) – The amount depends on how many lights you’ll be hanging. The rope serves as support for using multiple strings of lights over a large area.You won’t need wire rope if you’re hanging just a few lights. Turn Buckle With a Hook and an Eye Wire Rope Clip Pliers String Lights Zip Ties If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to decide where you want your string lights. Also consider exactly where you’ll attach them. We decided to attach ours onto our decking and a few trees, creating a  criss-cross pattern over the fire pit and waterfall. If you don’t have trees or decking available, you could easily install poles or for a temporary solution…like maybe if you’ll be throwing a bunch of parties this summer, you could put poles into weighted buckets! Step 1 When you decide on where and how you’ll hang your lights, add screw eyes and connect the cable to the eye. Secure with the wire rope clip. Tighten the nuts. Step 2 Take the other end of the cable to the corresponding tree or pole you’re using to attach your lights. Extend the turn buckle by spinning the center and run the cable through the eye. Place the wire rope clip on the cable but don’t tighten. Attach the hook end of the turn buckle to the eye you put in the tree or pole, then pull the slack out of the cable to tighten. Secure the wire rope clip. The turn buckle can now be adjusted to tighten the entire length of the cable. (Ours was 70 feet, so we needed extra tension to keep the lights from sagging in the center.) Step 3 Now it’s time to hang your lights! Plug the first set of string lights into your extension cord to test and begin hanging the lights on the cable with zip ties. Continue to connect your lights and hang them with the zip ties.  Remember,  don’t connect more than the recommended number of strings. I like them even in the daylight, but when the sun starts to go down… …these little string lights…  …add a whole lot of atmosphere! Adding another easy layer of outdoor lighting can be fun, like these beautiful lanterns from Home Depot. (When you use a battery operated candle, the candle can be set to come on at the same time your landscape lights flicker on!) It’s easy to give your outdoor space a soft inviting glow that will keep you spending your nights under the stars right up until that first freeze! Browse The Home Depot’s Outdoor Lighting Department for everything you need to install landscape lighting.

Diy Outdoor Lighting

Diy Outdoor Lighting
Diy Outdoor Lighting
Diy Outdoor Lighting
Diy Outdoor Lighting
Diy Outdoor Lighting



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