Pittsburgh nights are known for their charm, and landscape lighting plays a pivotal role in enhancing the charm of the city’s outdoor spaces. From illuminating architectural features to creating a cozy ambiance, a well-thought-out lighting plan can transform an ordinary property into an extraordinary one. Beyond personal space, the right lighting doesn’t just improve your curb’s appeal; it’s a gift to the entire community.
This article will provide a comprehensive landscape lighting checklist to help you create the perfect outdoor lighting setup.
The Ultimate Pittsburgh Landscape Lighting Checklist
1. Planning Your Landscape Lighting
Defining your goals
Start by figuring out your goals when kicking off your landscape lighting checklist. Think of it like mapping out your journey on a lighting roadmap. Here are three main goals to think about:
- Enhancing security: Consider your lights as protectors, guarding your outdoor area at night. Subtle lights near doors, paths, and dark corners can enhance safety without compromising style.
- Highlighting landscape features: Every outside space has standout elements – a big tree, charming fountain, or distinctive architecture. Picture those highlights stealing the show after sunset.
- Creating ambiance: Whether you’re throwing a party or just chilling under the night sky, the right lighting can turn your place into a cozy and mood-filled spot.
Surveying your property
Go for a walk in your outdoor space. Identify the trees, pathways, and exciting features that could benefit from some lighting. Also, check the current electrical outlets and determine where you might need extra wiring or solar fixtures. Being familiar with your space is like having a game plan for your light display.
Budgeting for Landscape Lighting
The Landscape Lighting Checklist isn’t just about making things pretty; it’s about not burning a hole in your pocket while doing it. So, knowing your budget upfront is crucial. Having a budget isn’t just about limits; it’s a guide for selecting fixtures and designing your outdoor space to align with your vision while staying practical and wallet-friendly.
2. Choosing Lighting Fixtures
Choosing the correct fixture is key to creating fantastic outdoor lighting. Regarding types of fixtures, spotlights and floodlights allow you to accentuate key features such as gardens or architectural elements. Bollard lights brighten up walkways and steps, ensuring safety and visibility. In-ground well lights provide a subtle mood-enhancing glow, while string lights contribute a dreamlike quality above your patio or in your trees.
By curating the perfect combination of fixtures and wattages, your landscape can look like it’s coming straight out of our portfolio.
Being environmentally conscious is not only a trend but a responsibility. Explore energy-efficient options like LED lights to minimize your carbon footprint. This point on the Landscape Lighting Checklist is a win-win – not only do you illuminate your space effectively, but you also contribute to a sustainable environment.
3. Designing Your Lighting Layout
Creating a lighting plan
A lighting plan is like an architect’s sketch before constructing a building. It lays out where to place lights. The plan highlights areas deserving illumination, like accenting important features and lighting walkways. If you take the time to think through the lighting plan, you can ensure the whole space gets lit up nicely and thoughtfully, leaving no space in the dark.
Zoning and layers
Break down your outdoor space into zones, each with its lighting scheme. This scheme could include task lighting for functional areas and ambient lighting for entertainment spaces. Layering lights adds depth and texture, creating a dynamic atmosphere. Following this aspect of the Landscape Lighting Checklist ensures a visually appealing and well-balanced design.
4. Installation and Wiring
DIY vs. Professional installation
Figuring out whether to DIY it or hire pros is a big decision on the Landscape Lighting Checklist. Some people like to roll up their sleeves and DIY, while others would prefer the expertise of professionals like Eichenlaub. However, when you’re faced with complicated wiring and intricate fixtures or want the reassurance of a pro, it’s time to hand over the reins to the experts.
Whether doing a DIY project or hiring a pro, the key is ensuring all the electrical stuff is done right and safely. Double-check that wires are connected tight with no loose ends and that everything’s in tip-top shape. It matters because messing up the wiring can lead to some serious hazards.
Refer to the National Electrical Code (NEC) as your go-to guide for electrical safety. It has all kinds of essential rules to follow, such as burial depth for underground cables, outdoor-rated wires and boxes, appropriate conduit sizing, and the need for GFCI outlets. For extra safety, consult your local permit office for other codes specific to your region.
5. Timers and Controls
Welcome to the future – your outdoor lighting can now match your smartphone’s smarts! With the tap of an app, you can adjust the brightness to set just the right mood as you stroll into your garden. Or, your lights suddenly turn on with a wave of your hand. It’s magic! Timers, motion sensors, and advanced controls give you wizard-like power over your lighting.
On top of all the magic, smart lighting controls can save around 35-70% on total lighting costs. Yup, that’s the real game-changer. Picture your lights know when to shine and when to take a break. It’s like having a genius switch that keeps things cozy and eco-friendly.
6. Maintenance and Care
Regular inspections are a must on your landscape lighting checklist – consider it the health checkup for outdoor lighting! It’s as crucial as designing and building your setup. Take some time to look over things periodically to catch any damage, loose parts, or other issues. See any scuffs or wear on the fixtures? Stop problems early before they get bigger. By staying on top of maintenance, you can keep your lighting system longer and brighter.
Cleaning and bulb replacement
Cleaning and swapping bulbs may be boring, but they’re vital for keeping your lights looking their best. Giving your fixtures a regular wipe-down stops dirt buildup so your lights can shine brightly. Also, you must know when to put in new bulbs since each type lasts a different time. For example, an incandescent bulb might only make it about 1,000 days, while a new LED could keep going strong for around 25,000 days. That’s like one year versus 23 years – a huge difference!
This Landscape Lighting Checklist will help you create an outdoor oasis after dark. However, if you feel overwhelmed or need a hand, remember that Eichenlaub has your back. We cover everything from design and build to keeping your lights in shape. Our team knows how to make outdoor spaces look great, and we’re here to make it happen for you.
If you’re ready to make your outdoor space look fantastic, reach out to us. Let’s get your outdoor space shining bright together!