How to Create Natural and Sustainable Decorative Outdoor Lighting

Decorative outdoor lighting is often added to houses in order to augment the property’s beauty while at the same time increasing its value. But aside from increasing the beautiful aura of the house, it can also increase overall safety. Lights can be well positioned in such a way that dark areas will be illuminated.

Given a variety of materials to choose from, decorative outdoor lighting will not only enhance the beauty of one's house but can also be a means to effectively use and perhaps cut on energy usage. Aside from these reasons, artistic ideas of the homeowners can also be expressed through manipulation and combination of whatever materials are available in one's house. But in order to get the best outdoor lighting, here are the steps that you must follow:

Step 1 - Choose the Design of the Outdoor Lighting System

The best part about outdoor lighting system is that it can always be a reflection of what the homeowner would like to project, thus it is important to start with the selection of the design as well as the type of lighting material you want to install. To help you accomplish this, you can create a scaled sketch of your lawn  based on the blueprint of the area on a graphing paper.

You may include specifics of the area such as walkway, steps (if present), driveway, and even spots where plants or trees are situated. All these can serve as focal lighting points but it is advised that you select the two best spots. It is also important to bear in mind which spots need to be illuminated the most. Identify the amount of light necessary to make these spots brighter. This can be done with a simple test such as using flashlight during late afternoon and spotting these to various areas to measure amount of light.

Step 2 - Select the Type of Fixtures Suited to the Landscape

Once you have your design, leaf through outdoor lighting catalogs or search online for fixtures available. Select ones that will fit the best with your design. Consider appropriate wattages and lighting radii.

Step 3 - Identify Positioning as Well as Spacing of Lighting Fixtures

Base on the type of fixtures as well as the amount of light that you want, identify the locations where you plan to station your fixtures. Alongside this determine as well the distance of one fixture to another. This will not only satisfy the requirement you want on the amount of lighting but will also help you identify the number of fixtures you have to buy. Plot the locations of your fixtures on the sketch plan of your outdoor lighting design.

Step 4 - Identify Location of Power Source and Location for Transformer

Determine the area where your main power source will reside. Ensure that it will not interfere with the natural design of your landscape or obstruct with pipes or existing cables. Identification of power source will also determine if you need to buy extra wirings and also the length of additional wirings if necessary. The position of transformers and controllers should be as much as possible situated close to the main power source or somewhere that is accessible. The type of transformer to be used should be based on the total wattage of the fixtures to be used. In most cases, more than one transformer may be required. For appropriate wattage and transformer pairing, you can go to your local hardware store for specific information.

Step 5 - Purchase of Materials and Installation

Once you have completed preparation and selection of fixtures, you can now purchase materials and install the fixtures. It is most important to consider whether to leave wires above ground or to  bury them slightly below the ground. Protective covers placed over the wires and fixtures may help lengthen the endurance of the materials while at the same time ensuring safety to the household members. It will also be very convenient if you can flag stations of the light fixtures to avoid damage especially during mowing the lawn or shoveling the driveway.