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Enhance Your Landscape with Outdoor Lighting

You’ve pulled out all the stops to make your house and yard look first-rate. So why let that hard workci-bryan_leazanby_water-feature-at-night-boulders-niteliters14_s3x4-jpg-rend-hgtvcom-966-1288 disappear at nightfall when, with a flick of a switch and some strategically placed landscape lights, you can roll back the darkness and put it all on display. Once you have determined the purpose and placement of the lighting for your yard, now it’s time to choose what light fixtures are appropriate for each area. Here are a few lighting options and where to use them:

  1. Garden Lighting: Canopies on top of 18- to 24-inch posts reflect light down into planting beds. Can also be used as pathway markers. Unlike other lights, their style and finish are on display.
  2. Wash Lighting: Throws out a soft, diffuse light ideal for brightening flat facades, privacy fences, and garden walls.
  3. Bullet Lights: These versatile, compact fixtures are often fitted with bulbs that project a narrow beam—good for precisely lighting house features, tree trunks, and garden structures.
  4. Well Lighting: The bulb hides inside a waterproof housing buried in the ground, so you get light without seeing a fixture. Use well lights to illuminate the underside of plant foliage or graze the base of a facade or wall. Available with either fixed or swiveling bulbs.
  5. Down Lights: These fixtures, often located high on trunks and branches, can be aimed at lawns, paths, or the tree’s own foliage to create a moonlit effect. A long, cowl-shaped shroud around the bulb eliminates side glare. Choose durable copper and brass housings with LEDs—you don’t want to be climbing to make repairs or replacements.
  6. Flood Lighting: Typically casts a wider beam than a bullet—40 degrees or more—and is brighter than a wash light. A collar minimizes side glare. Use sparingly to light up tall trees or wide house facades.

Done right, landscape lighting makes the best of what you’ve got by highlighting your home’s architectural features and drawing attention to prized plantings and trees.


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