Stylish and functional residential exterior lighting makes outdoor living spaces feel like a real part of your home. Done right, outdoor lighting both highlights your Sonoma County home’s best features and extends the time your family can enjoying being outside.
Trends in Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting has not only become a more common design element in yard, in recent years it’s taken on new shapes and forms as well.
- Path lights are great for guidance along outdoor walkways, but they can also be used to highlight features like rock gardens and other creative landscaping. They also help with home security. Path lights now come in a variety of options, including solar, low voltage, and LED models that are less expensive to operate than older versions.
- Linear lighting is an excellent choice for homeowners who love a minimalist look. These sleek light fixtures are hidden from view and are often found illuminating steps, fire pit rims, and flowerbeds.
- Shapes are shifting from the traditional flower and mushroom designs to lights that are more in tune with a home’s architectural style. Geometric shapes mimic windows, for example, and sleek black matte light fixtures are being paired with the hard angles of concrete pavers.
- Smart security lights have been around for quite a while, but newer versions use even more advanced technology including wireless setup, easy scheduling, and models that seamlessly integrate with nearby smart cameras and other devices.
- Movable lanterns are a perfect portable outdoor lighting option that can be moved to wherever the action’s taking place. Cluster them on a patio dining table for outdoor dining or place them throughout the backyard during a party to illuminate seating areas.
- Uplights and downlights can be used to enhance front and back wall textures while highlighting interesting architectural details of your home.
Outdoor lighting has also joined the digital revolution. Bluetooth-controlled lighting makes it easy to schedule the timing, brightness, and even coloring of your exterior lighting with just a click on your laptop or mobile device. Many homeowners consider the expense of setup well worth the benefits it provides.
Tips for Placing Outdoor Lighting
Most outdoor lighting professionals agree: less is more when it comes to illuminating the landscape. Here’s how to get the light you need without overdoing it.
- Trees lit with bullet, flood, or downlights should bathe the trunk in light while illuminating the foliage above. Otherwise, the leaves will look like they’re hovering in space. Downlights should be placed as high up in the tree as possible and the beams should not cross.
- Garden planting beds should have fixtures that are at least 20 feet apart. The goal is to create pools of light that guide the eye, not a stream of continuous illumination.
- Home façade lights should have bulbs with 12 degree beam spreads. Aim the fixtures at your home’s corners or interesting architectural details. If you want to fill in the space between, use softer wash lights.
- Garden wall fixtures should be positioned close to the wall’s base so the light beams bring textures into sharp relief.
- Focal elements like fountains, water walls, and arbors look best when highlighted with multiple lights as the crossbeams reduce harsh shadows.
Want to learn more about putting your Sonoma County property in its best light after the sun goes down? Contact us today for more terrific outdoor lighting ideas that are guaranteed to make your home shine.