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So you want to enjoy your landscape at night also huh?!!! Have you considered lighting up your landscaping to create a night time attraction?  Some simple accent lighting done right may be just what your landscape needs and can be also really impressive to see.

 If you're installing a new landscape, adding the lighting is really the finishing touch.  Without it, you are depriving yourself and your neighbors of a simple appealing aesthetic for viewing night after night.

There are 5 common applications of landscape lighting:

  • Uplighting

  • Path lighting

  • Down lighting

  • Wall lighting

  • Stair lighting

The most common of these are uplighting and path lighting.  Uplighting trees, shrubs, walls, and columns add a great sharp accent to the outside of your home. With uplighting trees & shrubs, one can really take notice of the unique branching structure of the given specimen. Also this can create some very artistic shadow patterns onto a wall or a particular facade of a home.  Not only does this generate art in your garden but it also provides some visual clarity to areas around them that are commonly navigated at night.

Incorporating path lights in conjunction with uplighting is when your landscape really starts to illuminate boldly.  Path lights are just what they are described as.  They light up a throughway for navigation, safety, as well as aesthetics.  Whether it's walkways, drives, patios, stepping stones, around planter edges, etc., path lighting is almost mandatory for completing a landscape.

Next, there is down lighting.  Down lighting as you can already guess, provides one of the best angles of light.  Down lighting a tree is very unique in that it provides a different accent of the specified tree while distributing light on the ground around it. 

Other down lights are more typically used in trellises and other overhead structures.  Another factor to consider when down lighting is the wiring.  Instead of it all being directly buried, tubing or PVC conduit located up and behind a post is what is used to run wiring to the light.  With down lighting a tree, staples pins, or straps can be used to secure the wiring.

The last two applications for landscape lighting are for walls and stairs.  Options such as square, circular, or slit type of openings for lighting are most often seen.  This type of lighting is really unique in that it also adds a solid aesthetic feature to the landscape.  Whether it's a seatwall, planter wall, retaining wall, or a partition wall, adding a custom light into it is going to look captivating.  Either showing some plants in the fore front with back lighting or displaying a bare wall in the landscape with lights set in will both create tremendous awe.  Stair lighting is a very important application since it provides safe viewing of significant elevation changes.

While using uplighting, path lighting, down lighting, wall and stair lighting, you need to balance these accents in the landscape accordingly.  Using too little or too much lighting can deter from the overall coherence of the landscape.

In conclusion, lighting is a great commodity to have within your landscape.  Safety, aesthetics, and convenience are really the main benefits you will gain when applying light. Of course it will make your yard super cool also!!

McDaniel Yardscapers...Waco and Clifton's leading landscaping and lawn care experts!