A Guide to Exterior Spotlight Design and Landscape Lighting

A Guide to Exterior Spotlight Design and Landscape Lighting

Are you considering using landscape lighting in your outdoor space? Spotlights can help to not only create a fantastic alfresco atmosphere but also to help secure your property. It is not just essential to find the best lighting available – but to also know how to set it up!

At Arrow Electrical, we’re proud to supply a wide variety of different spotlight solutions. However, it’s an excellent idea to learn more about where to use them to your advantage before you buy. Below, we’ll carefully guide you through the process of creating a unique, stunning landscape lighting array.

Illuminate Your Pathways and Patios

Of course, one of the first points to consider when setting up landscape lighting is your routes and social zones. If you are likely to create a landscape garden or outdoor area to entertain, you need to use spotlights to your advantage. Multiple lighting options work wonderfully well in landscaping, but spotlighting is excellent for ‘leading the way’. We will focus on spotlights more below.

By gently illuminating your pathways, you can help to ensure your safety after dusk. Landscape lighting serves a purpose to not only create beautiful aesthetics, but also to guide. A handful of carefully positioned lights at low voltage can gently glow your pathways to and from your patio or back garden. This is extremely useful, too, if you have a designated entertaining area. You could create a low-lit path winding around to a barbecue or seating zone. What’s more, this style of lighting could help

to create a romantic atmosphere. Therefore, you might be interested in using spotlights for landscape lighting even if you aren’t likely to entertain much!

Lighting used in this way can also be used to help people navigate stairs and dips. In these circumstances, you may also consider deck lighting or wall lights. However, spotlights can easily guide you up and down obstacles providing they are well spaced apart.

Your landscaped garden may look easy to navigate in full sun. However, things change after dusk. If you have a complicated garden or patio, it pays to have a walkway of sorts bolstered by lighting. In addition, you can also expect these pathways and walkways to look all the more stylish with the best fittings.

You may consider twin spotlights, such as the spectacular Adjustable Twin Outdoor Wall Light. This option provides double the illumination in one unit. However, it never overpowers the aesthetic and can blend in wonderfully with your exterior decor. These units also use low power LEDs, meaning there is little chance for glare or squinting!

Spotlights are excellent at leading the way and won’t stand out to spoil the atmosphere.

Frame Your Entrances and Doorways

Spotlights are also hugely popular with landscaping homeowners who want to mark their doorway points. This is an excellent idea from both a security and design perspective. From the design side of things, carefully placed spotlights can add shadows and highlights to grand entrances.

This also works well if you have plant life on either side of your doorway. You could use spotlights to draw attention to or away from trees that flank your entrance. Or, you could use them to signpost where to head to.

Security, as mentioned, is also another factor that you are likely to boost with careful landscape lighting. Ultimately, spotlights used in landscape lighting can help highlight aspects of your exterior design. That may be to draw attention to features you particularly like or ensure that people know exactly where they are going.

At the same time, gentle spotlights can show that you are home. You could install them to point upwards or downwards to illuminate a front door. You don’t have to possess a grand entrance or porch for this to work well. The fact that spotlights are so low-intensity means you put across a strong message without going over the top!

Framing your entrance is a great idea. However, it is essential to avoid using lighting that is either too intense or too focal. The aim of framing is really to showcase a central feature or facet of your landscaping. In this case, it’ll either be an entrance, a door into your home, or plants and artifacts around the edges.

Thankfully, there are plenty of great spotlight options out there you can use to incredible effect. For example, we highly recommend the Adjustable Outdoor Wall Light in Antique Brass in our collection. This simple spotlight fitting is powerful enough to create a statement but never to draw attention to itself.

It is also built for porches and entrances, so you will not have to worry about adjusting it too much. Again, low voltage here means you’ll give just enough light away.

Why Choose Spotlights?

As may be easy to expect, there are many different outdoor lights and techniques out there. However, time and again, spotlights and floodlights have proven to be evergreen choices. Spotlighting is simple and effective, never drawing too much attention, and is widely used to highlight focal points. Moreover, spotlights are likely to weather trends and styles for years to come – they’ve never been out of fashion.

It’s vital to consider spotlights if you want to draw attention to specific areas of your landscaping. Unlike floodlights, spotlights give you a gentle spray of light at a low voltage. This won’t travel as far as floodlighting standards, but it is certainly advisable as a choice if you want to delicately distract.

Spotlights are not lighting choices to go far if you want your lights to be the focal points. You’ll need these fittings if you have trees, plants or artwork that you’d like to draw attention to. Again, as mentioned above, you may wish to use spotlights to help guide the way towards entertaining areas. As for safety and security measures, spotlights are highly versatile and practical.

They are also very low maintenance. We retail a huge range of different spotlights in colours and finishes to fit your needs. However, overall, you will find that these lights are about as demanding as they are overpowering. That is, hardly at all!

Simple spotlights such as our Bayville Single Spot blend in well at dusk. You could choose to hide these lights close to greenery or high up to create a path of sunlight. Or, you could choose to create a simple door framing for security purposes. These particular spotlights are some of our most straightforward – however. You’d be surprised at what they can do.

Many people will likely fall back on decking and tricky lighting for more advanced landscape lighting jobs. However, spotlights are generally loved by all – as they are affordable, easy to arrange, and as flexible as you’d like them to be. If you’re considering different types of landscape lighting already, don’t overlook spotlights any time soon!

Top Landscape Lighting Techniques

Of course, spotlights are fantastic at highlighting and creating focal points. However, did you know outdoor lighting can make more than attention alone? It is worth carefully considering different lighting and setups to create the full effect you’re looking for.

For example, you may wish to set up a small spotlight to ‘accent’ a feature or focal point. This is a little different from highlighting as it is the art of simply shining a light on a single aspect. For

example, you may wish to accent the green parts of a tree or shrub that’s potted. Therefore, you are giving the natural features the stage and aren’t highlighting the pot beneath.

You could also ‘shadow’ aspects of your landscaping. This is where you would typically beam lights towards objects so that they create unique shadowscapes. This can be an intricate process. However, it can also be a lot of fun. You can effectively create a whole new mood or look for your outdoor area by illuminating objects head-on.

You might even wish to enhance the silhouettes of certain items and objects. To do this, you can place spotlights behind plants or features to create unique outlines. This is an enduring choice for people who want to transform the look of their outdoor space after sundown. The fact is, your garden looks very different in the dark – meaning it’s time to take advantage of those beautiful new shapes.

Landscape lighting, much like planning a garden, can be tricky. This may undoubtedly be the case if you have a specific look in mind and are constantly tweaking! That said, again, landscape lighting can be fun. If you are a self-described perfectionist, it may be worth considering keeping an open mind, however!

Spotlights, again, are great at creating a wealth of different looks and styles. You might be surprised at how much your garden can change with a few well-positioned bulbs! The start, of course, is finding the best lighting options for your garden – and that’s where we are always here to help.

Things to Keep in Mind

As always, there will be a few points you should keep in mind before starting with landscape lighting. Unfortunately, you can’t expect to get the perfect look right away – unless you are lucky or are an expert! That said, you can arm yourself with the best fittings and fixtures and learn how to create specific looks.

What we’d first recommend is to consider voltage and beam strength. When it comes to delicately highlighting and accenting a garden, never opt for floodlights. The clue is in the name! Floodlighting effectively floods your space with light. Ergo, you are always at the mercy of completely overfilling your areas with glare.

Spotlighting is a lower-intensity option that arrives with less of a beam. It’s also great for highlighting specific garden areas, rather than just splashing light all over. There’s also a real risk of you overlapping lights, too, if you use options that are far too strong.

This may even occur if you have lights too close together! Therefore, be careful to choose low-intensity lights, but at the same time, space them out. It’s far easier to overdo lighting effects than to undergo them, so act with caution.

It’s also worth remembering that modern bulbs are, by and large, LEDs. That’s because they are cost-effective, low-energy, and are much safer compared to traditional lighting. That said, halogen lighting is still popular! LEDs, however, have come on a long way over the decades and are just as powerful as the alternative.

You should also think carefully about other types of lighting. Just because we have mainly focused on spotlights in this guide doesn’t mean you should shy away from hard lighting. The same applies to deck lighting. The fact is, spotlights are very easy to mix with others as they are so low-intensity.

We’d recommend taking a good look at ideas across Instagram and Pinterest, too – if you’re unsure. The perfect look for you will take time to bring into reality – so don’t fret if it takes a while!

Conclusion

Every garden and outdoor space is slightly different. However, there are more than a few tried and tested ways to highlight and enhance your outdoor spaces. It all boils down to you finding the best lighting, setting it up in the right way, and keeping an open mind.

It is tempting to wash your outdoor areas with light. However, the best landscape gardens benefit from lighter, more delicate touches. Why not consider spotlights to help you highlight the elements that mean the most to you? In a short time, you could have a spectacular night-time display that’s stunning to behold.

Arrow Electrical is here to help with all your outdoor lighting questions. Take a look at our guides, and explore our online store for more ideas!

Every garden and outdoor space is slightly different. However, there are more than a few tried and tested ways to highlight and enhance your outdoor spaces. It all boils down to you finding the best lighting, setting it up in the right way, and keeping an open mind.

It is tempting to wash your outdoor areas with light. However, the best landscape gardens benefit from lighter, more delicate touches. Why not consider spotlights to help you highlight the elements that mean the most to you? In a short time, you could have a spectacular night-time display that’s stunning to behold.

Arrow Electrical is here to help with all your outdoor lighting questions. Take a look at our guides, and explore our online store for more ideas!

12th Oct 2021

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