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How to Plan Your Landscape Lighting Project

Every great project starts with planning. If you’re thinking of adding lights to your landscape, you’ll need to consider everything from the fixtures you use to the wiring needed for the final design.

Decide Which Areas You Want to Illuminate

Landscape lighting lets you brighten certain areas of your yard and highlight decorative features to create a dramatic effect. The first part of your lighting plan should be deciding which parts your home should be emphasized with outdoor accent lights.

In general, you should add lights to walking paths, seating areas, and primary landscape or architectural features. Fences, pavilions, boulders, and garden areas are all excellent candidates for decorative lighting.

Map Out the Electrical System

Outdoor lighting systems connect multiple light fixtures to a single transformer. Fixtures are laid along circuits, and multiple circuits may be used to cover the entire landscape. If two areas do not connect easily, a second transformer will need to be used.

Although the details of your electrical system should be left to the professionals, understanding the basic layout will help you determine the viability of your lighting plan and the overall scope of the project. Consider where the wires will need to be buried to place lights in your desired locations. If you are unsure whether an option is viable, bring it up with your installation team.

Choose Fixtures and Bulbs

A system is the sum of its parts, and lighting is no different. The fixtures you choose and the lights you place within them will completely alter the appearance of your landscape.

Part of selecting fixtures is deciding the type of lights that will be used in each area. Accent lights, task lights, string lights, and flood lights are all viable options. Next, you will choose the style for each fixture; look for variations in material, shape, and the pattern of light that is cast.

Lights bulbs tend to vary in color and brightness. As with indoor lighting, you can create various atmosphere effects by working with warm, neutral, or cool light. Brightness will decide the intensity of the light in your yard; it will also impact your electrical bill.

Add a Timing Mechanism

As the final step of customizing your lighting system, you will need to decide how you want to control the lighting schedule. Standard mechanisms will turn your lights on at a set time every night and turn them back off every morning. More complicated systems can be weather-sensitive and may even be able to be controlled by your smartphone.

For a truly creative lighting display, consider installing a mechanism that turns lights on and off in a pattern. This effect is frequently used for fountains or public gardens, but it can also be applied to residential systems or commercial accent lights.

Call the Professionals

From design to installation, Lights Over Atlanta can help you realize the outdoor lighting system of your dreams. Contact us to discuss your ideas; we’ll help you create a landscape that truly shines. Click 'Get Started' below.

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