Top Seven Points To Consider When Designing A Landscape Lighting Plan

So you’re thinking of enhancing your home’s curb appeal by adding some low voltage lighting. This article will address the seven most important details to consider when designing a landscape lighting plan to illuminate your home at night.

1. Include Even Lighting Across The Entire Front Of Your Home

Many homeowners are excited about accentuating their home’s appearance with new lighting, and think only of adding it to the lower level. It is not until they see they’ve left the upper level out of the plan that they realize something is missing.

Firstly, lighting the second level is important to make your home look more complete at night. Secondly, you may have some prominent features that would otherwise disappear. Illuminating windows, roof peaks, trim work and other structural details can make a big difference. The image below shows a home that is not well lit on the upper level. This is a missed opportunity as you can see that it remains in darkness and will gradually disappear from sight as the evening progresses.

2. Put Landscape Lighting Into Dark Corners And Pathways

Remember to look for dark areas within the front of your home’s appearance and mark them as a good spot to add lighting. Some areas will not become illuminated with path lighting or lights against your home’s foundation. These dark areas can include front gardens with larger bushes or small trees. They may also include large inside corners of the foundation’s outline, sidewalks around your front door or above protruding window areas. Including these areas in your lighting plan will ensure an even amount of light distribution. By doing this, you will add a more finished look to your home’s appearance at night.

3. Illuminate Trees Or Interesting Features With Uplights And Area Lights

Do you have a large tree or bush on the side of your house? Perhaps you have an interesting feature such as a landscaped garden, a flower bed, a flagpole or a tree. Adding uplights or area lights to these features will further enhance the look of your property by widening its overall appearance. This can have the effect of making your home front look more substantial.

4. Accent Your Home’s Architecture With Landscape Lighting Grazing Effects

The “Grazing Effect” with lighting is the best way to illuminate your home’s exterior. By installing uplights against the foundation of your home, the architecture will stand out and become more interesting. This type of lighting will create interest by casting shadows and highlights throughout interesting areas. Brick and stone work, a stucco facade, windows, peaks and trim work features will suddenly become more interesting.

5. Brighten Upper Levels With Lighting In Gutters

When uplighting positioned at ground level is blocked by protrusions, one solution is to install an uplight directly to the gutter. When gutter lights are installed, they are completely waterproof and pose no hazard during torrential rainfalls. To illustrate, the home pictured above shows a gutter light that illuminates the upstairs level of the home. Otherwise, the front porch blocks any of the ground level lighting from reaching upward.

6. Accent High Points With Low Voltage Peak Lighting

Peak lights installed where the soffit meets the roof line can add a dramatic effect and lead the eye upward to take in the full view of the home. High peaks without gutters beneath them can be a challenge to light from the ground. In this case the peak light is the perfect solution to complete the full lighting effect.

7. Don’t Forget To Illuminate Landscaping

You may choose to use the grazing effect to illuminate your home. But when you have thick, lush landscaping that remains in the shadow of nightfall, you may wish to include some additional lighting in front of those areas. Area lights can cast a wide angle of light across an expanse of your bushes and plants. Uplights can provide greater focus on individual plantings. The choice is up to you and really depends on how extensively you want to showcase your property.

In conclusion, the important thing to remember when creating any lighting plan is that you can always make changes. If you want to stick to a certain budget, you can postpone the installation of certain lights until a later time.  As your landscaping grows, lights can be easily relocated. What’s more, when it comes to the actual illumination, the strength of the light beam can also be adjusted depending on your lighting preference.

Need Help Designing The Perfect Lighting Plan?

The professionals at The Illuminators Outdoor Lighting are experts at designing outdoor lighting plans! Find out more by visiting us at or text/call us at 630-584-3800 | 847-495-8275. The Illuminators provides a free, no-obligation lighting plan and quote for any residence or commercial establishment.