Landscape lighting illuminates home features at night
The days of a single floodlight over the garage and a porch light constituting a home’s entire outdoor lighting display are long gone for many.
The popularity of landscape lighting continues to burn brighter and more creative than ever before, lighting experts say.
“Before, it was more safety-driven,” says Micah Dennis, president of highly rated Paradise Restored Landscaping in Happy Valley, Ore. “That’s still a big part, but not the focus. Now the lights are a focal point to draw you out of your home in different ways.”
Homeowners are spending thousands of dollars on landscape lighting to give their home — and their outdoor living spaces — that extra “pop” at night and, perhaps, make their neighbors a little jealous.
“Outdoor lighting is supposed to grab your attention and make a statement,” Dennis says. “It’s so enormous right now. People want to see their outdoor spaces.”
Current trends in outdoor lighting
Landscape lighting ideas are almost endless, and the trends continue to push the envelope for creativity, Dennis says.
Homeowners are increasingly using low-voltage LED lights to accentuate focal points outdoors. They’re estimated to consume 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Those areas include adding lights around swimming pools, gazebos, streams, patios or fire pits. Lighting up fountains, fish ponds, seating areas and retaining walls is also popular.
Anything that looks good during the daytime can look just as good, if not better, at night.
“Lighting up a pond or moving water looks amazing at night,” Dennis says. “Another trend is lighting up underneath seat walls. It creates a space of its own and looks so nice at night.”
Dennis adds that using colored LEDs such as blues, greens or pinks is also a popular trend. Some people use holiday-themed lights, such as blues and reds on July Fourth and continuously switch out the bulbs depending on the holiday. Oil and natural gas lamps are also popular.
Another trendy idea is installing fixtures on trees so light can shine down and accentuate areas such as gardens or flower beds. Dangling lights above patios or porches or hanging from trees and decks is also in demand.
“You get to choose what you want to light up,” says Navid Derakhshan, owner of highly rated Outdoor Makeover in Atlanta. “It makes homes even prettier than they are during the day.”
Lighting the exterior of a home also remains a popular choice because it makes your home visible in the dark, increasing its curb appeal and value.
“The lights set you apart,” Derakhshan says. “At night, it all looks the same, whether it’s a mansion or a shack. You can see the driveway and the address on the mailbox, and that’s about it. Landscape lighting makes your curb appeal 1,000 times better.”
The cost of landscape lighting
Just as the ideas for landscape lighting are endless, so are the prices.
Dennis requires a $2,000 minimum purchase to work at a home and has installed lights costing up to $10,000 or more. Derakhshan says the average job will consist of installing 15 lights for about $4,500, but adds his most expensive outdoor landscape lighting project was $55,000.
Derakhshan says once a homeowner has paid for landscaping lights, neighbors usually follow suit.
“It’s a domino effect,” he says. “One customer buys it, and three others buy it in the neighborhood. It just makes an instant effect on each house. Back in the day, we used to have to tell our clients about landscape lights. Now they’re asking us about them.”