Everything you need to know about landscape Lighting accents.
Updated: Jul 27
Accent lighting is an effective way to create a unique and beautiful landscape. It can be used to highlight trees, statues, water features, and other architectural features.
It's essential to understand the significance of accent landscape lighting when you are looking to transform your home's exterior lighting scheme. While bright outdoor lighting and cozy ambient lighting are necessary, accent lighting is the icing on the cake, highlighting the best features of your home and making them stand out. It's a type of light that doubles as a functional fixture while adding an artistic element to your property.
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What is Accent Lighting?
Accent lighting is designed to emphasizes certain features , both indoors and outdoors, but in this article we will be focusing on how to accent the exterior of your home and property. It's used in a way to draw attention to particular elements such as trees, statues, or water features. The lights themselves are small but powerful enough to cast shadows and create visual interest in the area they’re illuminating. While accent lightings purpose is not to provide illumination for safety, it does enhance the aesthetic appearance of your home by creating drama and drawing attention to featured elements in the landscape.
Benefits of Using Accent Lighting
Using accent lighting outdoors has many benefits that go beyond just adding visual interest. One of the top benefits of accent lighting is enhancing the beauty of your home's exterior. By highlighting trees, statues, or water and other features, accent lighting help them stand out and become interesting focal points. It adds depth and dimension to the space, creating a stunning visual effect that draws the eye and captivates the viewer. "Numerous studies have illustrated that most homeowners prefer a house with a customized, well-designed landscape lighting system. These systems can increase your property value up to 20 percent" ~Hudson Street Lighting
Accent lighting also adds a layer of safety to your outdoor space. By highlighting pathways, steps, and other potential hazards, accent lighting can help prevent accidents and injuries. It makes your outdoor space more accessible and safer for guests.
In addition to safety, accent lighting also creates a welcoming atmosphere. It can be used to illuminate outdoor dining areas, patios, and other areas where you entertain guests or spend time with family. By creating a warm and inviting ambiance, accent lighting will make your outdoor space more enjoyable and comfortable, especially during those late night summer parties.
Accent lighting is also an eco-friendly and cost-effective which use significantly less energy than traditional lighting, which leads to significant cost savings over time. LED lights also have a longer lifespan than traditional bulbs, reducing the need for frequent replacements and maintenance.
Types of Outdoor Features to Illuminate
There is no shortage of outdoor features that can be highlighted, including trees, statues, water features, even architectural features like columns or walls. Each feature will require its own unique approach when it comes to positioning the lights to maximize the effect – from highlighting interesting shapes or textures on trees or statues to emphasizing motion in water features – there are endless possibilities for creating intriguing accent light displays!
Highlighting Trees with Accent Lighting
Highlighting trees with accent lights is an excellent way to bring them into focus while also creating interesting shadows on surrounding areas. When determining where best to place these lights try experimenting with different angles until you find one that casts just the right amount of light – too little may not be enough for people passing by at night and too much could detract from other elements in the landscape such as plants or pathways.
Why Do You Need Accent Lighting?
A layered decorative lighting scheme ensures your lighting responds to the different uses of a space, making it adaptable and versatile to how you use the space. Before designing your accent lighting, we learn about how you use the space, then asses the features or focal points within the area that you want to highlight It's essential to use dimmable accent lighting to control the effect it has in an area, allowing you to create different moods and emphasize different areas within a space. You can learn more about smart lighting scenes here.
When selecting accents for your landscape, there are several options to consider. Some common fixtures used for accent lighting include:
Spotlights: These are designed to shine light in a specific direction, making them ideal for highlighting a single object or area. They are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and often come with adjustable heads to allow for easy repositioning.
Floodlights: Similar to spotlights but are designed to cast a wider beam of light over a larger area. They are ideal for illuminating larger features, such as trees or walls, and can also be used to provide general lighting for a space.
Path Lights: Path lights are typically used to provide illumination along walkways and paths, but they can also be used for accent lighting. These fixtures are low to the ground and provide a subtle glow that can be used to highlight nearby plants or other features.
In-Ground Lights: These are installed directly into the ground and are ideal for illuminating statues, trees, and other vertical features. They are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and often come with adjustable heads to allow for easy repositioning.
When it comes to selecting the appropriate lumens for your landscape lighting fixtures, it's essential to consider the specific space and object you want to illuminate. As a general rule we recommend Landscape lights: 50-300 lumens. Path lights: 100-200 lumens. Landscape spotlights: 120 lumens.. For accent lighting, it's best to avoid opting for a light with high lumens as you want to softly showcase something, so keep it subtle but striking.
The angle and aperture degrees are also important considerations for accent lighting. The angle refers to the width of the beam of light, while the aperture degree refers to the width of the light beam at the point where it leaves the fixture. A narrower beam angle, such as 15 degrees, will provide a more focused and intense light, while a wider angle, such as 60 degrees, will provide a softer, more diffuse light. Similarly, a smaller aperture degree will provide a more focused light, while a larger degree will provide a softer light that is more evenly spread.
When installing your accent lighting fixtures, it's important to consider the positioning and angle of the light. For example, when illuminating a tree, you may want to use a spotlight with an adjustable head to ensure you can position the light at the right angle to highlight the specific areas of the tree you want to showcase. Similarly, when using in-ground lights to illuminate statues or other vertical features, you'll want to consider the angle of the light to ensure it provides an even and attractive illumination.
In conclusion, accent lighting is an essential component of any lighting scheme, both indoors and outdoors. It helps draw attention to specific areas, highlights unique features, and creates a dramatic effect that enhances the overall aesthetic appearance of your space. By using the right fixtures and carefully positioning them, you can create an ambiance that is both inviting and visually appealing. So let HiDEF help plan and design your accent lighting scheme, and you will enjoy the stunning results it will bring to your home.
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