Light the night

The process of installing outdoor residential lighting is a little like getting dressed up for a big night out. You select just the right clothes and the perfect shoes to accentuate your best features. Similarly, a landscape lighting designer carefully studies your home and the trees and gardens around it before placing lights that call attention to—and even enhance—the most awe-inspiring aspects in the landscape. “The proper decorative lighting in the right location will make your home pop and create a whole new outdoor environment for entertaining,” says Mary T. Wiley, owner of Artistry of Light. Wiley’s 30-plus years of experience in the lighting field help her immediately pinpoint what areas can bring out the biggest wow factor in any yard. Here, she shares the basics of beautiful and functional outdoor lighting.

Evolution of illumination

Outdoor lighting has come a long way from simple lines of lights along a sidewalk. These days outdoor lighting has become an art, a process that requires skill, talent, knowledge and the ability to utilize them this to create a perfect outdoor lighting portrait. All of my projects are one of a kind and very special to me.

Serenity and safety

Outdoor lighting can provide an enchanting ambiance that promotes relaxing conversation. It is also one of the most practical methods of discouraging burglars. Some of the different kinds of lights we employ are downlights and uplights, track lighting and shadow pattern lighting. All are low voltage and low maintenance.

Out on a limb

When carefully planned and installed, exterior lighting can turn trees and other landscape features into dramatic focal points. Natural textures get a new look when illuminated by different types of lights. When working on a lighting installation project, we don’t use spikes in the trees or trench diggers—it’s important to protect the trees and landscape as they are beautified.

Land and water

By highlighting unique water features such as ponds, fountains and waterfalls, outdoor spaces find a second life beneath the moonlight. Ambient light from the landscape lighting also makes paths and driveways both beautiful and safe. Good garden lighting also allows homeowners to work in the garden without worrying about the hot sun shining overhead, and it can be an effective deterrent against animals who like to feast on flowers and shrubs.

Architectural accents

A house that is beautiful by day will shine even brighter at night with landscape lighting. You can control Mother Nature at night but not by day!