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Lighting Your Backyard

a great example of backyard lighting

One of the most visually appealing and thrifty ways to improve your curb appeal is installing low-voltage lighting outside your house. It gives your house friendly, welcoming energy and encourages potential burglars that your home is occupied. Outdoor lighting is essential for outdoor parties, and low-voltage lighting also makes rooms look larger from the inside once the sun goes down. How is this possible? By lighting the outdoor spaces creates a visual extension to your indoor space at night; basically, the farther you can see, the bigger the room looks. Have you ever been to an outdoor party without lighting? A well-lit landscape under the stars gives your landscape design a resort feel. Lighting your backyard is something you can do yourself (with a little help). Valley LSP can offer guidance about how to make your outdoor lighting accent your landscaping.

Most houses have outdoor receptacles (outdoor power outlets) in the front and rear of the house. Any poles in the yard should also have a receptacle installed (no more than 6 feet above the ground). All 15-amp, 20-amp, and 120-volt receptacles must be GFCI-protected (to help protect people from electric shock).

Backyard Lighting

Backyard lighting serves many purposes. It can help people see in the dark by illuminating pathways and trees. It can also make your backyard feel more cozy, festive, and welcoming. Unlike in downtown Baltimore, many Catonsville homes have backyards with room for playgrounds, patio installation, gardens, and outdoor dining areas. Sitting out on the porch in the evenings is so much more comfortable with backyard lighting.

How to Install Outdoor Lighting

Plan out your lighting layout. Use a diagram or lay the main wire out on the ground ahead of time to ensure you have the right lengths and plan out the placement of each light. This is an excellent time to decide how far away from each subject (plant, wall, fence, etc.) you want to place each light. The farther away from an object, the wider the beam will appear, but the dimmer the light. For bright light and a dramatic effect, place a light 4 feet away from the intended subject, and pointed upward. When selecting light bulbs, it is helpful to discuss the following aspects of backyard lighting with your Maryland landscaper:

  • Beam spread
  • Watts
  • Luminosity
  • Hours

Electrical codes are put in place to protect people and property. Most local building codes follow the National Electric Code (NEC) for your landscape lighting, but if your local codes are different, stick with the local codes (over the NEC). There are many kinds of outdoor lights, including:

  • Up and Accent Lights
  • Path Lights
  • Spread Lights
  • Floodlights
  • In-Ground and Well Lights
  • Specialty Lights
  • Step and Brick Lights
  • Path Lights
  • Bollards and Beacons

There are many popular outdoor lighting fixtures to choose from. They are designed mainly around how they are mounted to surfaces. Some weather-resistant light fixtures light the outside of your house itself, emphasizing architectural detail and lighting entryways and driveways. Outdoor light fixtures include outdoor wall lights, string lights outdoor post lights, and ceiling-mounted lights. Free-standing outdoor lamps and outdoor string lights are also available to make your outdoor lighting more entertaining. Backyard lighting has the potential to transform the exterior and hardscape features of your home.

Maryland Lighting and Landscaping

The landscaping specialists at Valley Landscaping, Stone and Patio can offer advice about outdoor backyard lighting. We offer free consultations and estimates. Whether you already have your layout planned or need some advice, we will be happy to meet your individual needs. Our Maryland landscapers have the experience and vision necessary to transform your backyard. If you’re ready for your home to take on a whole new look in the moonlight, give Valley LSP a call at 410.983.6261.