When To Install Landscape Lighting

When To Install Landscape Lighting

A landscape, in itself, is already an aesthetic addition to your property. When the sunlight hits it, you see the strategically-placed greeneries, the sparkle of the leaves, and the healthy blooms of flowers. It’s truly a sight to appreciate as if you have your own safe haven right in your backyard. It’s a shame that all that beauty isn’t visible after the sun sets and the surroundings become dark.

A landscape emits a different kind of peace and beauty after dark, which is why it’s always recommended that you supplement it with landscape lighting solutions. A lighting design can bring more life to your landscape and allow you to enjoy it even at night, but only if it’s well-thought-of and properly installed.  

A common inquiry that most homeowners have is when they should install landscape lighting. Is it best to add lighting fixtures on a new landscape before the entire project takes place or should they be incorporated as final touches on an already existing landscape? 

Lighting a Brand New Landscape: Factors to Consider

While it may seem like a minor concern that can be decided based on preference, you should know that lighting a brand new landscape takes a different set of skills compared to incorporating lights into an existing landscape. 

When lighting a brand new landscape, designers would have to consider the following factors:

Weight and Size of the Lighting Fixture

This is because a new landscape would have new trees, plants, and greenery instead of fully matured fixtures. For example, it would be a tad more challenging to install moonlights on a tree that isn’t tall or sturdy enough to support it. So instead, a designer would recommend a different area to mount the lights, such as your landscape’s gables or soffits. 

Lumen Output of the Bulb

You may want some bright lights to illuminate your entire backyard. But when lighting a brand new landscape, designers have to consider the bulb’s lumen output or brightness. A bulb that is too harsh or bright would overwhelm a delicate new tree, so lumen outputs of 450 watts and above are off the table. It’s best to opt for a softer brightness, such as a 150 or 200-watt lumen bulb. 

Type of Lighting Fixture

To create more depth and drama in a landscape, lights have to vary in design and brightness. It’s good practice to have different types of light bulbs with varying degrees of beam spread situated on top of trees. This accentuates the landscape even more and creates a more artistic result. 

But with a brand new landscape, it can be a difficult endeavor to install two or three lighting fixtures in a single tree. There may be size, strength, and weight limitations involved that hinder a lighting design that is too broad. However, there are also ground lighting options that can help overcoming such challenges.

Lighting an Established and Mature Landscape

On the other hand, landscapes that are more mature and have strong, fully-grown trees may be easier to work with. The limitations that were present in a brand new landscape are completely resolved, and a designer would have more liberty to situate lights where they work best. 

A worry that homeowners have is that the installation process would ruin their already beautiful landscape, but that shouldn’t be a concern with a trained and experienced landscape designer. For example, most property owners are worried about ruining the aesthetics with all the wires around. However, these professionals can work with what they have and come up with solutions that will yield the best results such as burying the wires. In short, they install lights and bring your landscape back the way they found it! 

Engaging a Landscape Designer: When Should They Join the Project?

With all things considered, the question remains of when exactly you should engage a landscape designer to install lights. We think they should be involved both at the beginning of designing a brand new landscape and later when the greeneries have fully matured. 

Involving them in the planning phase allows them to get an idea of your vision and make adjustments to your initial landscape design to suit the features they need to install the lights. For example, they can request tunnels underground to bury lighting wires so that they don’t have to bore through the already existing groundwork in the future — saving you labor costs! 

A landscape designer can work in conjunction with technicians and carpenters to create the foundation of the lighting work early on. That way, when they come back to make installations later, it will be a much faster, cheaper, and efficient process. 

Let American Landscapes Turn Your Vision into a Reality

Looking to add lighting solutions to your landscape? Reach out to us today and let’s turn your vision into a reality.