If you have a smaller property, you may be debating how much of an impact landscape lighting can have. With the right lighting design, homes of any size can be transformed. The key to lighting small outdoor spaces is understanding how to strategically place fixtures to accentuate a property’s unique features.

Lighting Small Outdoor Spaces: Getting the Balance Right

During the day, the natural light that outdoor spaces enjoy is one of their most attractive qualities. However, once daylight fades it presents a real challenge: it is surprisingly difficult to illuminate an outdoor space. It can seem like a tradeoff between gloomy and foreboding or harsh and glaring. Lighting a small outdoor space is not an easy balance to achieve. It takes a careful combination of proper product choice, precise planning, and placement, but most of all real-world experience.

Believe it or not; small to middling outdoor spaces can be among the most challenging places when it comes to lighting. We need the illumination of these spaces to be versatile; they should be able to communicate mood and emotion, while not overlooking vital details like safety and efficiency. This is where a professional lighting design can help.

Here are some of the most common pitfalls people encounter with lighting an outdoor space.

Common Outdoor Lighting Pitfalls

  • Illumination Overkill – Using indoor lighting techniques in an outdoor space will often lead to a space that is too bright and washed out.
  • Poor Visibility – One of the most important aspects of an outdoor lighting scheme is safety. It is vital to avoid dark corners and properly illuminate areas such as walkways, stairways, exit paths and doors.
  • Lighting Direction – Light pollution is a real problem that is easily overlooked. “Dark Sky” compliant lighting directs outdoor lights where they are needed – down on the ground. This reduces the amount of light that escapes upwards, reducing glare. After all, you don’t want to miss out on mother nature’s own outdoor lighting – stars.
  • Weatherproofing – Proper outdoor lighting products and installation procedures are designed to be weatherproof. Sadly, this is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of lighting an outdoor space. This puts the space and its occupants at extreme risk of injury or even death from accidental fire and electric shock.
  • Inadequate Flexibility – Flexibility is a forgotten keystone of lighting design. Nowhere is this more vital than in an outdoor space. For example, a residential backyard or courtyard should have several unique individual lighting schemes. Examples include lighting for: dining, games and children’s activities, relaxation, social gatherings or cocktail hours, emergency illumination, security lighting and continuous safety lighting that provides low-level illumination of walkways and stairs so they are never obscured by darkness.
  • Lack of Central Control – A modern, properly planned outdoor lighting system should be designed around a centralized control mechanism. This allows users to cycle through different modes and configurations instantaneously while eliminating the hassle and danger associated with manually switching or plugging/unplugging fixtures one by one. There are a wide number of different options for lighting control available – including wireless-capable systems that enable all components to be controlled using a smartphone.

Get a Free Consultation with Houston Lightscapes

At Houston Lightscapes the art of illuminating outdoor spaces is something that we have dedicated ourselves to for more than 30 years. Every one of our installations is custom and completely unique while being backed by our quality workmanship guarantee. Our experts will work with you to curate the perfect lighting solution for your home or business; bringing your outdoor space to life with lighting that is everything you imagined it should be. Don’t wait; call our friendly and knowledgeable staff at (713) 461-3600 today and schedule your own free, no-obligation consultation. Our professionals are happy to travel anywhere in the greater Houston area. With the help of Houston Lightscapes, there’s nothing more beautiful than nightfall.

The team at Houston Lightscapes takes pride in their many years of experience in the landscape lighting industry. They've been serving the greater Houston area for over 30 years bringing innovation and elegance to their designs. Learn more about Houston Lightscapes here.