Let there be light (in the garden)!

By Pam Roy | Nov 28, 2012
Courtesy of: Pam Roy Use landscape lighting (though not candles, as illustrated) to blend the inside of your home with the outside and see your garden in a new light this winter.

Need an antidote to ward off the winter gloom? Sure, there’s vitamin D, full spectrum lights and frozen berries, full of antioxidants.

But what about out in the garden, your landscape? The first thing you see when you leave the house in the morning darkness and return home in the same darkness?

Landscape lighting can take off some of that winter visual chill. With many low-voltage lighting options to choose from, this is and easy and fun way to brighten up the winter.

Adding lighting to your landscape has many benefits along with making the arrival at your home more cheerful. Imagine driving up to the house and being greeting by a warm glow that cuts through the misty fog that envelops the neighborhood.

With some planning and thoughtful placement, the yard doesn’t have to be dark and uninviting for five or six months of the year. Why install low-voltage lighting?

Landscape lighting is a good investment. A well-lit landscape adds curb appeal and improves the neighborhood. Brighten up your yard and start a trend on your street.

Low-voltage lighting allows homeowners many creative solutions to those darkened parts of the yard while minimizing electrical usage.

A transformer box is mounted which turns the standard house current into a lower voltage. Because of the low voltage, the wiring does not have to be buried as deep as necessary with standard voltage, making installation easier. Good quality low-voltage light products often carry up to 10-year warranties.

Besides the psychological benefits of that warm glow of well placed lighting, there is the ability to reclaim or add space in the yard that is lost during the darker months of the year.

Use an uplight to illuminate the sculptural appeal of the branches of a Japanese maple in a corner of the garden. Install the uplight so that that beam is directed away from where you will be viewing it.

Hang a compact can light from a tree canopy for the effect of soft moonlight shimmering down onto the patio.

The company FX Luminaire has several beautifully styled lighting choices that blend well with the surroundings.

Situate a couple of can lights between the overhead rafters of a garden arbor to add to an outdoor sitting area and any architectural features or to put a spotlight on a container full of winter color.

Low-voltage lighting provides illumination to pathways, and can be placed so as not to create a runway effect, rather a pleasing and safety enhancing experience. Outdoor lighting also allows one to illuminate transitions, such as from concrete path to flagstone pieces.

LED landscape lighting does all the above while using less electricity and bulbs that last for years, as well as the ability to add filters for a variety of colors and moods of lighting.

Use low-voltage landscape lighting to blend the inside of your home with the outside and see your garden in a new light this winter.

Pam Roy, owner of Planscapes, has been a landscape designer and horticulturist for 30 years in the Northwest. Contact her at 425-252-9469 or go to www.planscapesdesign.com for more information.

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