As more and more homes are incorporating outdoor living areas into their homes, outdoor lighting has become more sophisticated. It has also become in high demand to extend the usability of the outdoor space. After all, who wants to have an outdoor party with guests awkwardly navigating dark pathways?
Why is Outdoor Landscape Lighting Necessary?
For one, it is a safety issue. One cannot have elder family members or friends take a nasty spill because they could see where they were going. Lighted pathways help guide visitors and family members to where the action is.
Another reason for landscape lighting is to provide security. Well-lit properties deter criminal activity. It also will keep unwanted wildlife from going to town on your vegetation.
Finally, outdoor lighting adds curb appeal. It also gives your family an outdoor area that they can enjoy any time of the day.
What are My Outdoor Lighting Options?
As technology progresses, so do the various outdoor landscape lighting fixtures and features available. Many of which have become very affordable to homeowners nationwide. In fact, with so many options, it can be overwhelming when designing an outdoor lighting plan.
Pathway Lighting: While there are still the traditional options of pathway lighting, there are a number of ways that lighting engineers are using traditional fixtures in a novel way. Check out this article by YLighting on ‘Path Lighting Ideas’.
LED Technology: LED lighting is perfect for outdoor lighting as it allows you to adjust your CCT (correlated color temperature). That way you can create the ambient lighting for one area, while creating brighter lighting for safety or security reasons. The outdoor spaces where you want to entertain could be a warmer temperature for more intimate feel, while those areas you want to light up for security reasons could be set at a cooler temperature.
Discreet Fixtures: With LED lighting technology there has come some innovative ways to light the landscape and your home’s exterior. Now that the light does the work, the fixtures are smaller and no longer the focal point. This allows for a variety of effects; up lighting, silhouetting, shadowing, moonlighting, grazing, washing and path lighting.
Color Changing Lights: These are becoming popular, as color changing lights caste a full spectrum of hues. They are great for adding an accent for showcase trees or structures.
Smart Technology: Homeowners can control their outdoor lighting from anywhere there is Internet. Landscape lighting experts are capable of designing lighting plans. They can establish zones of lighting so that you can turn on, off and dim certain sections of your lighting from anywhere.
Outdoor Lighting Ideas
String Lighting: These are an easy and affordable way to add light and ambiance to your outdoor living area. Many homeowners switch up their string lights to reflect the time of year or most current holiday.
Lanterns: Lanterns are easy source for outdoor lighting and are very mobile, allowing you to change up the ambiance depending on the needs and mood of your event.
LED Strip Lighting: Strip lighting along the base of stairs or furniture is a simple way to light up areas to keep safety front and center. It is a more modern look than tradition outdoor lighting solutions.
Up lighting: Lighting tree bases, sculptures, shrubbery and focal pieces is an effective way to make your outdoor lighting more dramatic and cozy.
Orbs and Spheres: Hanging single or a series of round fixtures will create an ethereal look, adding the ambient effect many are looking to achieve.
As the weather starts to warm and the outdoor living season begins, those of us at DiSabatino Landscaping are using this time to connect with our clientele to see if they have any needs we can fill for them. This growing season presents unique challenges as communities across the nation fighting the spread of COVID-19 are social distancing and working from home. Not to mention the kids home 24/7.
Thankfully, the landscape industry is considered an essential business and we are busier than ever preparing to install some impressive outdoor living spaces. Our landscape designers are adapting to the current climate by video conferencing with clients, supplying detailed 3-D renderings and virtual designs that can easily take a project from the design stage to full implementation.
With so many families finding themselves quarantined at home, there is a sudden desire to create outdoor living areas to extend their home’s square footage. If you are considering investing in a ‘staycation’ project this year, consider some of this year’s latest hardscaping and landscaping trends.
Top Landscaping Trends for 2020:
1) Fire features: Whether it is a tradition wood burning fire pit, a tabletop fire bowl or a full brick fireplace, fire features are considered a must in today’s outdoor living spaces. Not only does this add ambiance or a central focal point, it extends the use of outdoor spaces to cooler temperatures.
2) Intricate geometric hardscaping patterns: The latest interior design patterns are starting to emerge into the outdoors — even walkways can now have flair. Geometric shapes, like trapezoids, the chevron pattern (a repeating V) or hexagons now adorn patios, raised beds, benches and stairways.
3) Textured elements: Whether through pillows, textiles, rugs or even faux rug inlays, textured materials are adding big statements to outdoor living areas.
4) Outdoor living rooms: In today’s world, connecting with nature is a great stress reliever. That is why many families are moving to the outdoors to share meals, exercise and even relax after a long day. A living area covered by a pavilion, gazebo or pergola is a perfect way to make your outdoor living space livable.
5) Water features: The sound of water is relaxing. It can bring you to a meditative state. In a world full of a cacophony of sounds, a simple water feature, such as a waterfall, pond or fountain can be the de-stressor you never knew you needed!
6) Front porch living: The return to sitting on the front porch on warm summer evenings started trending last year and is expected to continue throughout this one. Homes with square footage at a minimum can maximize outdoor living space by creating a functional gathering space. Using a mixture of materials, such as hardscaped walls that double as planters, pavers to provide a pathway to the front door and plantings will add great curb appeal to any property.
7) Smart irrigation, controlled remotely via smartphone app: Smart tech is now escaping the walls of the home to make outdoor living easier to maintain. Why not? With the simple touch of a button, homeowners can control their irrigation system to provide their landscapes the right amount of water at the right time of day. This saves time, energy and water … it’s a win/win!
8) Blue accents: Whether through plantings, sculptures, textiles or water features, shades of blue are being used to accent outdoor living spaces. In gardens, blue fortune, delphinium, hydrangea, hyacinth, and globe thistle are adding rich highlights.
9) Low-water landscaping: Climate change is front and central nowadays and the idea of dumping gallons of water onto lawns each season is starting to make no sense to many homeowners. Ornamental lawns are the single most irrigated ‘crop’ in the Unites States … a crop that feeds no one. This has spurred on a search for better alternatives, such as landscapes that require minimal amount of watering.
10) Mainstream Sustainability: “Low-maintenance gardens, drought-tolerant plants and less turfgrass have become the norm in landscape design. Homeowners now assume sustainable design will be a major part of the plan — both for economic and environmental reasons.” ~ HGTV