Serving the Naperville Community
Great outdoor lighting techniques have the ability to transform even the most mundane landscapes. In fact, no matter what features and amenities your landscape has, it matters very little after dark, without decent outdoor lighting. There are a few key places around your property with which outdoor lighting is essential and others where it can make a huge difference in the overall feel of your landscape. Here are four places to include outdoor lighting to enhance your Naperville, IL property.
Related: Increase the Safety of Your Driveway With These Outdoor Lighting Tips in Naperville, IL
The Driveway and Garage Area
The old-school technique was to mount a floodlight on the garage, to illuminate part of the driveway and the area in front of the garage. However, a single bright light source above the garage provides strong illumination immediately below the garage, but it can also provide a significant amount of glare that can interrupt the driver’s vision. It’s an unattractive and unappealing way to light the area. Instead, opt for lights that are placed closer to the ground. Walkway lights are a great solution because they illuminate the ground for safety, without causing glare or stark shadows.
Placing a sconce on either side of the garage door, with light emanating both directly up and down, will add ambient light but in a much more welcoming way than a floodlight.
Walkways and the Entrance
Ensuring that the walkways are adequately illuminated will greatly enhance safety. Once again, focus on using walkway lights. Remember that the higher the lights, the bigger chance that objects can interfere and create shadows. Choose walkway lights that are low to the ground to maximize their energy efficiency as well as their effectiveness in lighting your way.
Some people choose solar powered walkway lights although keep in mind that snowfall and extended cloudy weather will quickly deplete their batteries, which could leave your walkway very dimly lit or entirely in the dark. We recommend hard-wired lights for the walkway, which won’t fail because of the weather.
Outdoor lighting can also be integrated into masonry features such as a retaining wall, or even directly into the walkway surface.
Your front entry should be well-lit and welcoming. Again, keep in mind the angle of the light: directly up and directly down is best for light fixtures mounted on either side of the front door.
Outdoor Living Spaces
On the patio, use a mix of lighting strategies to create ambient light as well as task lighting for your outdoor cooking area. For the perimeter of your patio, you can use walkway lights and overhead task lighting in places such as a covered outdoor kitchen and bar area or pergola.
Use masonry surfaces to disguise light fixtures: a fire feature, water feature, outdoor kitchen, pillars, steps, and retaining walls are excellent spots to integrate lighting.
Within the Landscape
To give your landscape a more dimensional feel, consider placing a few “random” light fixtures such as spotlights or walkway lights in a few spots such as under a shrub or tree, to add dimension and reduce the contrast between the dark landscape and well-lit outdoor living spaces. Add silhouetting and moonlighting techniques to add interest.
You’ll notice that most of these lighting strategies don’t use one bright fixture to try to illuminate a space: instead, a multitude of small, dimmer fixtures placed below eye level will create a much more pleasing atmosphere.
Related: Creative Outdoor Lighting Solutions for an Active Patio in Hinsdale, IL