How to Add Ambient Lighting to Your Backyard
Brighten your garden by taking advantage of sunlight
By Cathy McClellan
Adding ambient lighting to your landscape will create a warm and inviting atmosphere to your home and yard, as well as make you feel more safe and secureInstalling solar lighting can be accomplished expediently without tools in one afternoon. The lighting is available in several different styles to suit your needs.
- What You Need to Know
- Ambient lighting outdoors entails making the best of the natural light available to you while enhancing special sitting areas or landscaped walks and specimens.
- Exterior landscape lighting uses low voltage lights to minimize energy use. By contrast, the bright bulbs used indoors would be out-of-place in the darkened landscape.
Study your lawn, driveway and deck area. Choose the areas where the lighting will work to its fullest advantage. Select certain plants or trees to highlight along with your other lighting areas. Consider small disc lights at the base of steps or solar lanterns on the corners of the deck or at the top of handrails to highlight walking paths and enhance safety.
Draw a diagram of your landscape. Draw a circle or X on the diagram where you want to place lighting. Once you actually see it on paper, decide what type of solar lights to purchase and how many. Solar lights will not require any wiring because they are placed directly into the ground and are charged by the sun's rays. To mimic the natural lighting effect of the sun, place the solar lights around the perimeter of the area, facing inward to reduce distracting shadows.
Follow the diagram, and measure the correct distances. Remove the red insert covering the connectors to the light before installing the solar light. Most solar lights will come equipped with the red insert to protect the battery until the light is used. Insert the solar light into the ground at the correct spot. Continue placing the solar lights in strategic places.
Revisit the landscape after dark to study the lights and to see if any need to be adjusted to a different spot. If you have highlighted plants, look at the them as well. A particular plant or tree might not look as spectacular as you thought. Simply adjust or move the solar light to another plant.
Replace the batteries in the solar light as needed. Although solar lights work with the sun, they also have a small battery inside the light which the sun charges. It is a good idea to put fresh batteries in the lights in the spring andfall to give yourself continuous lighting.
About the Author
Cathy McClellan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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