Serving the Naperville Community
A driveway should be a safe place to park, and landscape lighting is essential not only for safety but for ambience and curb appeal as well. In fact, landscape lighting is the best way to increase beauty as well. You can increase the safety of your driveway with these outdoor lighting tips in Naperville, IL.
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Avoiding Glare and Shadows
With landscape lighting, putting lights overhead can actually do more harm than good. Using single light sources up high creates lots of negative opportunities for obstructions. Glaring lights up high can easily become annoying or dangerous if you’re moving toward them. The distance between the light and the intended target is long and there are plenty of ways where movement in between casts harsh shadows that obscure obstacles. Avoid this glare and shadow risk by placing safety lights low to the ground and angled away from potential eye contact.
The most important place to target lights is the ground surface. At night, a driver needs to have full vision of the driveway; and headlights shouldn’t compete with house-mounted lights. You can get amazing results by using low-lying lights that hug the perimeter of the driveway. Since they are much closer to the ground surface and cover a smaller area, they will direct light energy where you need it: on the ground. If you have a paver driveway, low-lying lights will also call attention to the textural details and color of your driveway, letting masonry beauty shine at night.
Using Vertical Spaces
Another great way to enhance safety on a driveway at night is by illuminating vertical surfaces. This allows for a much greater sense of depth perception around the space, especially when a driveway is confined between obstacles. Spotlights angled upwards along the vertical space of your retaining wall, trees, rock outcroppings, and other large landscape features will create interest, highlight these features, and add to the ambient light around your driveway. By the time your guests reach your house, they will have a good appreciation of the beauty and function of your front yard landscape and driveway.
Upgrading to LEDs
Modern lighting technology has been expanding rapidly through the evolution of light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. These tiny light fixtures, when grouped together, can create a stunning amount of light from a surprisingly small amount of energy. They can last more than 10 years without replacement and the newer generation is showing even greater promise. This is in contrast to traditional incandescent or halogen lights that can burn out every 6 months or so. Some LEDs can also be programmed to change color and switch on and off according to timers, giving you much better control of the appearance of your front yard landscape and driveway.
Creating Ambience Through a Layered Effect
When most of your lights are targeted to a specific space - namely, the driveway - they end up creating too much contrast between these well-lit areas and the landscape beyond. Adding some more low-lying lights in various “random” places in the landscape will reduce uncomfortable dark patches and make the area around your driveway feel much more safe and welcoming.
Layering means putting most of your light energy where you need it, and then gradually diminishing the number and intensity of light fixtures as you move outward. This creates depth perception as well as a pleasing lighting theme.
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