Setting Up Decorative Lights In Your Yard

Posted on: 27 January 2015


Once you start a landscaping project, you realize how much more than simple gardening it can be. Once you get your plants, trees and lawn looking perfect it's time to start thinking about other additions, like walls, stone accents and lights. Lights are a unique addition to your yard, and you have plenty of options to play with. Before adding lights to your yard, you need to decide what kind of look you're going for and what types of lights can help you accomplish it.

Kinds of Lights

There are three main types of lights that serve three different purposes.

  • Overall Illumination: These lights are designed to provide light over a whole area. If you're going for a particular aesthetic rather than trying to make sure your whole yard is lit evenly, you may not use many of these.
  • Task Lights: Task lights fulfill a specific function, lighting a driveway or pathway. They are usually less powerful than other lights, and are thus placed closer to where people can walk and can see them more easily. Instead of providing much illumination, they act mostly as decoration.
  • Accent Lights: Accent lighting is more powerful than task lighting, but still focused enough to draw attention to specific areas of your yard. Accent lights are most often flood or spotlights, and are used to light trees or plants or parts of your house.

You can use any type of light you want, but you'll need to consider more than just appearance.

Position Considerations

Where you place your lights and how powerful they are is important given that you'll be setting up lights right next to you and your neighbor's houses. Poorly positioned lights can shine through windows and create a glare. To help avoid this problem, consult a landscaper instead of trying to install the lights yourself. However, if you're determined to make this a DIY project, there are additional tools you can use to help you out.

When installing bulbs, make use of shielding and reflectors to position the lights exactly where you want. Being able to modify an existing bulb, rather than searching for something incredibly specific, gives you a lot more flexibility. However, you should at least look for bulbs that let you dim and brighten however you want.

In addition, when setting up your wiring, take the time to set up a timer system, controls and motion detection. It's much easier to set this up at the start, rather than adding it in later. If you're feeling creative, set up different control systems for different areas of lights, so you can turn different lights on and off rather than going all or nothing with your lightning decoration.

Finally, consult your neighbors during the installation process to make sure they're comfortable. This can save you a lot of do-over work. Hire a professional landscaper, such as Budget Landscaping, to help you with the installation process.