By strategically illuminating your outdoor spaces in the West Bloomfield and Superior Township, MI areas, you can have an inviting atmosphere, extend the usability of your landscape, and highlight key architectural features. However, to achieve the desired effect, there are certain dos and don’ts when it comes to outdoor lighting.
DO: Use Layered Lighting Techniques
Layered lighting involves combining different types of fixtures and brightness to create depth and dimension. Start with ambient lighting, which provides overall illumination and sets the mood. This can be achieved using fixtures such as wall sconces or post lights. Then, incorporate task lighting to illuminate specific areas, such as walkway or seating areas, ensuring safety and functionality. Finally, add accent lighting to highlight key features like trees, architectural elements, or other landscaping features.
While it is often viewed as important to have sufficient lighting for practical purposes and aesthetic appeal, excessive brightness—or over-illumination—can create a harsh and uninviting atmosphere. It is usually best to strike a balance between functionality and ambiance.
Your landscaper may consider the purpose of each outdoor area and direct the design and placement of lighting fixtures accordingly. For example, soft and subtle lighting can create a cozy and relaxing ambiance for outdoor seating areas, while brighter lighting may be more suitable for functional spaces like pathways or driveways.
DO: Consider Lighting Control Systems
Lighting control systems allow you to have greater control over your outdoor lighting, providing convenience and flexibility. With the ability to program timers, dimmers, and sensors, you can automate your lighting to turn on and off at specific times or in response to certain triggers. For instance, you can set your outdoor lights to automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn, ensuring a well-lit environment during the evening hours. Motion sensors can be utilized to activate lights when someone enters a specific area, providing enhanced convenience and safety.
DON’T: Neglect Energy Efficiency
By choosing energy-efficient fixtures, you can reduce your carbon footprint and save on energy costs in the long run. Look for fixtures labeled with LED or reputable energy-saving certifications, as these are designed to consume less energy while providing optimal performance. LED lights, in particular, are an excellent choice for outdoor lighting due to their longevity, sturdiness, and low energy consumption.
DO: Opt for Low-Glare Fixtures
Glare can be disruptive to the overall ambiance and may cause discomfort for both residents and neighbors, so it is crucial to choose fixtures that minimize glare. Select fixtures with shielding or diffusing properties to soften the light and reduce glare. Shielded fixtures direct the light downward, providing effective illumination while minimizing light pollution and unwanted glare. This way, you can create a visually appealing and comfortable outdoor environment without causing any disturbances.
DON’T: Neglect Proper Maintenance
Regular maintenance throughout the years ensures that your lighting system functions optimally and extends its lifespan. You could have your fixtures cleaned periodically to remove dirt, debris, and any potential obstructions that may hinder their performance. They could be checked for any loose connections, damaged wires, or burnt-out bulbs, and be replaced or repaired when needed.