Extending your time outdoors in your Greater Chicago area home landscape can be done with landscape lighting.

In fact, illuminating your trees, hardscapes, and home with landscape lighting also creates great glow and amazing ambiance. It can give your landscape a whole new look during evening hours.
As you seek to light up your nights, you might just want to go to the local hardware store, grab a kit, and get going. But you might want to stop for a second and think about your lighting goals first.

What’s the trick to a truly great landscape lighting design vs. a mediocre one? Proper outdoor lighting placement. A professional layout and installation with an eye on your property specifics, details, and lifestyle can seamlessly create illumination without the obvious visual of seeing the actual fixtures.

Let’s review some of the reasons that where to place landscape lighting makes all the difference in a lighting scheme that works vs. one that fades into the background, fizzling out before you can even enjoy it.

4 Keys to the Proper Placement of Outdoor Lighting

When lighting up a Chicagoland landscape, there are some key fundamentals that shouldn’t be ignored.

There’s certainly a creative aspect to lighting design, but part of installing a beautiful and well-lit yard includes precise landscape lighting placement that matches the specific needs of your lighting fixtures. Everything should work in harmony and look natural. You may not always see exactly where the light is coming from even as it illuminates an area perfectly, and that’s the goal. The fixture is not your focal point; the light is.

family sits under pavilion with landscape lighting

Lighting is not only installed in your landscape, but it’s also directed. In fact, that’s where both the terms uplighting or downlighting come from.

Here are 4 reasons why where to place landscape lighting can ensure that high-end, high-quality look and feel you’re after.

1. You Don’t Want to Blind Yourself or Your Guests

So, you want to light up your landscape. We can agree on that.

What you don’t want to do is place a light where it’s pointing directly at people’s faces, blinding them and causing an immediate hazard.

pathway and pavilion with outdoor lighting

Your goal with proper outdoor light placement is to direct you and your guests along pathways safely. This means avoiding direct glare via spotlights or flood lights that include glare shields.

A professional home landscape lighting designer can position lights correctly that ensures blinding isn’t an issue.

2. Natural Pathway Lighting Increases Safe Movement

Many people think the best way to line a pathway is to line up landscape lights in a symmetrical and straight pattern, and, voila, instant illumination.

While this may work OK, it breaks a cardinal rule in landscape lighting. It should never look like you’re entering an airport runway. You’re not landing airplanes; you’re just trying to light a path to ensure safe passage.

landscape lights lining paver walkway

The correct placement of outdoor lighting works best for you when you design the proper fixtures in a more natural pattern that alternates along the path from side to side, following curves. You should see the path to ensure solid footing first before you see the actual light fixtures.

3. Proper Placement Matches the Right Lights to the Right Needs

You know how they say you have to put plants that love sun in your sunny locations and plants that prefer shade in your tree-lined, shadier zones?

Landscape lighting works in the same way. For a small, skinny pathway, for instance, you would use fixtures that fit the size and scope of the project.

landscape lighting in flower beds and on pergola with outdoor kitchen firepit and patio

Your home architecture comes into place with outdoor lighting placement as well. You want light fixtures that blend into your yard seamlessly. Edgy, smooth light fixtures will blend with a modern home, while antique fixtures will pair best with old world or traditional homes. Decorative light fixtures might coincide with a home that has artsy details.

In addition to matching your home and using the right sized lights for your space, you also need to use the right type of illumination to bring light to an area. Floodlights cast light on larger, wider areas like patios, full landscape beds or wide walls. Spotlights, on the other hand, will illuminate single objects, plant material, or architectural elements.

4. Correct Landscape Lighting Placement Doesn’t Under- or Over-Light a Space

You want a nice balance of light across your entire yard, with some focus on key, highly usable areas.

For instance, you shouldn’t see bare or black zones as you look at your home and front yard from the street. The left side should match the right and there should be an overall even weight of illumination. This doesn’t mean it has to be a mirror effect on one side to the other, but there should be some sort of balance – maybe a tree is lit on one side and your home architecture is highlighted on the other, for example.

backyard patio with landscape lighting, grill, and pergola

But just as you don’t want too little light, a bigger problem could be too much light as you navigate the proper placement of outdoor lighting.

You just need guiding light and an ambient feeling. You don’t need it to feel like a fluorescent overhaul where your landscape is a giant beacon of light when the sun sets. The way the moon casts it light down can be thought of as the perfect amount of light, for instance. You want to create safe walkways and inviting illumination, not a stark, blinding array of lights.

Light Up Your Evenings With Proper Placement of Outdoor Lighting in Naperville, Elmhurst, or Hinsdale, IL.

Landscape lighting can do so much for your home landscape – from increasing safe passage to preventing trip and fall hazards to boosting beautiful ambiance to creating a gorgeous evening setting.

But without precise and correct landscaping lighting placement, you could lose all these great benefits.

Landscape lighting is an art form. It can be overwhelming to balance all of your lighting needs into one cohesive and pretty design. We get it. Our experts have perfected this art over years and years of study and practice.

If you need some help getting a long-lasting, professional, pleasing landscape lighting design, give KD Landscape a call. We have landscape designers who create and install high-end landscape lighting in a way that gives your Greater Chicago area yard the perfect amount of light for your needs.

Ready to see how KD Landscape can help you enjoy your Naperville, Elmhurst, or Hinsdale, IL landscape beyond sunset? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a plan that works best for you.

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