Designing An Outdoor Lighting System
What all goes into designing an outdoor lighting system? In the video above, Kyle McKelvy takes us through his approach to transforming a property with stunning results. We also have provided additional insight below in the breakdown. Check it out!
The concrete benches around the pool area of this home were broken into different sections rather one one long bench. We decided to enhance this unique feature with LED strip lights that run underneath the bench creating an unforgettable impression at nighttime. Typically, we like to work with the construction company to have them build a lip underneath the bench to easily hide the strip lights. Although thats an ideal situation, that’s not always how it works out but the end result still gives off that “floating” glow effect. In this specific design, the highlighted bench helps continue the perimeter lighting around the property and gives a nice balance of light to an otherwise dark wall.
To set the scene of the rear of the home, we used perimeter lighting. Using various fixtures we highlighted the palm trees and banana trees, the concrete benches that run along the back wall, and we put some lights on the kids play structure in the back corner as well.
Pro tip: You can add some spot lights to the trees behind the fence to give the space some height and make it appear larger.
One notable feature of the home was the covered outdoor structure. When sitting inside the structure, the trees in the back were really dominant so we highlighted them to create an impressive focal point. Next, we installed strip lights underneath the fireplace to enhance the warm feel of the structure. Couple those with the overhead can lights from within the structure and it really brings out the welcoming atmosphere that the clients wanted out of this space.
We see a lot of missed opportunities on landscape lighting designs. For example, we lit the bamboo that is in front of the fence on this property, which is what most people would do, but we like to take things a step further. We also added lights to highlight the trees behind the fence – something a lot of designers typically miss. This really allowed us to grow the space and add height to the sidelines, creating more of a dramatic feel — as opposed to just illuminating the bamboo.
This client put in a lot of time and energy into the design of their side yard, including the concrete stairs and landscapes. It is also a heavily traveled area to get from the front of the home to the pool in the back yard. So, naturally we wanted to ensure that the stairs were properly lit and we accented the trees along both sides of the path. The P10 path light from Garden Light LED was our go-to for these stairs.
As you walk up to the front of the home there is a water feature that had no light on it at night. To enhance the waterfall, we ran a strip light underneath the lip where the water shears off which ended up creating a nice subtle glow of light.
To further balance out the entrance way, we use Garden Light’s P10 LED Path lights on the steps and added a few more landscape lights, wall washers, and spotlights for the other landscape elements around the front of the home. It was really important to the client that we created an entranceway that is really warm and welcoming.
Last but not least, there is an outdoor sitting area with an incredible view that incorporates a mature Japanese Maple that was a major focal point from the street, the sitting area, and even from inside the house. Because the tree is a major focal point from many viewpoints it was our aim to draw your eyes to the Japanese Maple tree and we did that by installing a couple strategically placed spot lights at the base of the tree to uplight it.