Of all the elements of excellent design, lighting is perhaps the most mysterious to the average person. Most homeowners have a clear sense of what they like when it comes to architectural styles, and many people already have favorite trees and flowers that they know they want to incorporate into their landscape. It’s also easy to envision the “fun” parts of your backyard when you incorporate your favorite hobbies like swimming, lawn games and entertaining.
But lighting? The average person isn’t trained to understand what goes into a full lighting design. You’ll know great lighting when you see it in action, but it’s very hard to describe what you want if you don’t have experience in the field.
That’s one reason hiring professional landscape lighting contractors is important for homeowners — they can bring your landscape to life in the dusk and at night in ways you didn’t even realize were possible.
More than that, the right landscape lighting contractors can also save you money.
How the Right Landscape Lighting Pays You Back
Like any investment in your home, it pays to have landscape lighting done right the first time. When you install the right lighting in the right ways, the money you spend up front will come back to you with a return on your investment in several ways. Here’s how:
- Safety: Proper lighting along paths and patios means that your family and any guests you host on your property will be less likely to trip and fall while making their way around your yard at night. Good lighting can also keep nocturnal animals at bay for your pets’ safety. This isn’t just a nice thing to do — it can also save you money on medical bills, veterinary costs and keep homeowners insurance claims to a minimum.
- Security: Great lighting helps deter criminals. When outdoor lights are properly focused on the most vulnerable areas of your property—and possibly attached to motion detectors—they scare away burglars looking for an easy mark. You may even get a break on your insurance rates.
- Curb Appeal: The right lighting design highlights all the best features of your home so that it looks stunning from the street at night. Real estate experts know that first impressions are everything, and the right lighting can set the mood to help your house look like a million bucks — maybe even literally. Investing in a professional lighting design can boost your home’s resale value and attract buyers.
- Energy Efficiency: Smart lighting choices will ensure that you aren’t spending more than you should on your electricity bills once your exterior lighting plan is installed. The right combination of timers, light sensors and efficient bulbs will cut your energy usage in ways that are good for the environment and your wallet.
- Maintenance: Having professionals install your lighting means never having to worry about fixing mistakes. They’ll make sure all electrical wires are handled safely to minimize the need for future repairs.
LED lighting is much more cost effective than the older high voltage lighting systems that used to be installed for outdoor lighting. The lighting will provide you with a gorgeous look that improves your home’s value and helps you reduce costs in other areas in the long run. When you care about your home, the value exceeds the price and provides an excellent long-term return on your investment.
LEDs: The Key to Saving Money on Landscape Lighting
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are the key to making any outdoor lighting plan work harder for you. LED lighting is highly efficient, using up to 25 percent less energy than the incandescent bulbs of the past. That means that a lighting design calling for 20 lights will add less than $30 to your electricity bill when those lights are on for about five hours per night.
With a 20-year Manufacturer’s warranty on all fixtures and a Lifetime Manufacturer’s warranty on the transformer, you no longer have to change any light bulbs! This is in stark contrast to all other lighting systems that are not LED.
Getting Started on Your Landscape Lighting Plan
As always, excellent landscaping work begins with a site consultation. Once your landscape lighting contractor observes your property, understands your wishes and sees the overall plan for your property, he or she will help you decide on the right area lighting and path lighting for your landscape. There’s also a whole range of aesthetic lighting options to consider, such as spotlights on key garden features, silhouetting and uplighting of trees, and other options that can bring out the best features of your home and garden.
Because lighting is somewhat intangible, a great designer will be happy to show you lots of photographs and portfolio examples so you can see exactly what to expect from different lighting techniques. Whatever you choose, a compressive light design is guaranteed to transform your home’s looks at night and make neighbors and future buyers take notice.