How Should I Design My Outdoor Tree Lighting Plan?

outdoor tree lighting planOutdoor tree lighting isn’t as cut and dried as it appears. Throwing a ton of lights on a property doesn’t make it safer or more attractive. It has to be precisely placed for the sake of visibility, aesthetics and thoughtful energy usage.

Here are the basic steps to creating an outdoor tree lighting plan that works:

Location, Location, Location

Assess your lighting needs. There’s a fine line between adequate and excessive lighting, and the types and locations of your fixtures make a big difference. When do you need lighting in different areas of your yard? Where is it needed?

Any hazards in your yard should be fully illuminated during dark hours to prevent accidents. Make sure lighting isn’t inadvertently casting shadows over these areas. Next, you want your address, your walkways and entryways to be easy to locate. That doesn’t mean you want a floodlight pointed at your front door, but a soft light placed in a tree near the front of the house can both light and frame important features of your home.

In addition, lights should point toward the ground and be located as low to the ground as possible. It’s better to install more lights with narrower fields of illumination than a few which flood the yard. This prevents different fixtures from interfering with one another, causing shadows that hide dangers. Similarly, you should be careful to keep interior lights contained to the indoors.

Gauging Intensity

Lumens are a measure of how bright a light appears to be. Residences in the city have a recommended lumen cap of 100,000, while those in suburbs have caps half of that. This helps prevent light pollution and greatly reduces your bills.

Fixtures have incredible impact on this number. Shielded, fully-covered lights are recommended to prevent glare. Bright, misdirected beams of light aren’t just a nuisance to your neighbors. Glare creates blind spots, creating security and safety risks. You can’t see people or potholes with a light shining straight in your face, and neither can anyone else.

LEDs and CFLs are energy-efficient light bulbs, and conveniently, they’re measured in lumens. Using them in all your outdoor applications makes it easy to cut down on costs and to keep track of your outdoor tree lighting intensity.

Controls and Timing

Ten years ago, if people had outdoor tree lighting, it was all usually controlled by one single switch. When we consider our indoor lighting systems, it doesn’t make much sense. Your yard is likely much larger than one room, and the lights have multiple purposes. Make sure to design a system you can fully control.

Along with multiple-switch control, automation solutions help you save energy while protecting your guests and securing your property. Automated controls can be as simple as a timer attached to a plug in or as complex as a whole-home smart application.

Find out more about your outdoor tree lighting plan options. Call Showcase Outdoors at (470) 251-2033 for a free estimate on outdoor tree lighting.