How to Make an Outdoor Lighting Plan
Ready to cast some light on that outdoor lighting project you have been thinking about? It starts with planning. Here is everything you need to know to make your outdoor lighting plan shine.
6 Steps To Make an Outdoor Lighting Plan
- Evaluate the outdoor space thoroughly
- Note the specific exterior areas and objects on which you want to cast light
- Decide the best lighting technique for each identified area and object
- Choose the correct outdoor lighting fixture to achieve the desired effect
- Decide how to power the lighting and determine electrical requirements
- Create a ‘Parts Lists’, including all needed accessories
1. Evaluate the outdoor space thoroughly
The very first step is to take a good look at the space and be specific about your lighting goals for the area. Make a thorough walk through of the property you want to light in the morning light, midday sun, and evening time to ensure you have an understanding of where the sun hits and shadows fall. Also take a close look at the terrain. Note obstacles such as exposed pipe covers, uneven ground, or low-hanging branches that can be hazards in poor lighting.
2. Note the specific exterior areas and objects on which you want to cast light
Next, note the specific exterior areas and objects where you want to cast light. These areas can be those that are dark and require lighting for safety reasons, such as entryways and stairs. Lighting can also be placed for drama and interest, such as highlighting a tree, or architectural elements, or a flag. Outdoor lighting is also a clever way to extend outdoor living space and recreational areas. Use drawings or photos to help make your plan clear.
3. Decide the best lighting technique for each identified area and object
Once you have a good understanding of the elements you want to light, decide which lighting techniques are the best for functionality and design. My next blog will go into depth about different outdoor lighting techniques.
4. Choose the correct outdoor lighting fixture to achieve the desired effect
Next up is choosing the right fixtures and accessories to produce the desired effect on your outdoor space. Mark the fixture locations on your sketch or photos.
5. Decide how to power the lighting and determine electrical requirements
Then you will need to decide how to power the lights, line or low voltage line. Low voltage landscape lighting uses 12 volts and thus requires a transformer to reduce the 120-volt output from your home electrical system. Mark the transformer locations on your sketch/photos, and then estimate the length of wire needed from fixtures to hubs and transformers. This can be tricky, it is a good idea to enlist the help of a professional. An electrician experienced in outdoor lighting installation will determine the correct size transformer, wires, fixtures, and all other accessories required for the job.
6. Create a ‘Parts Lists’
Create a ‘Parts Lists’