Your lightscape is your complete outdoor home illumination. It’s pathway lights, spotlights, wall washes, deck lights, post cap lights, security lighting and decorative lighting.

Lightscaping is simple, effortless and adds instant curb appeal. Depending on the size of your landscape and the scope of your project, laying out the pre-ground work will tremendously reduce the stress of your lightscape project. Here’s where you need to start.

Purposeful. Intentional. Inspirational. Before you begin to design your lightscape, ask yourself: what’s the purpose for the illumination? Is it for entertaining guests, security, general lighting, highlighting a unique feature of your home, special occasion? Determining the purpose of your lightscape will make your project a whole lot easier to design and choose lighting fixtures.

Design your layout. Layout a design that’s functional, practical, and creative. Sketch out your design and layout where you want to install your lighting fixtures. This sketch serves as your visual guide but remember it’s not permanent and you can always make changes.

For the front yard, you may want to design a welcoming pathway lightscape to safely guide your guests to doorstep. Add spotlights and wall washes to your design for multi-dimensional lighting. Keep in mind that there are also many festive color changing pathway lights and decorative stake lights that can dress your landscape year-round.

The backyard and garden areas are another great place to stage your lightscape. For these landscape areas, it’s all about the feel and creativity as this is where you’ll be entertaining your guests on those long summer nights. Design a layout that is functional and inviting.

Choose the right light. Now for lighting. There are many types of landscape lighting products in the market: solar, low voltage, line power, and battery operated. Once you decide on the type, decide on the color temperature, brightness level, style and design of your lighting fixture to create the feel.

For warmth and inviting living spaces, you’ll want to choose lighting between 2700K – 3000K in color temperature with 20 – 30 lumens. For more subtle accent light go with a lower lumens output. If the purpose of your lighting is security or for providing extra light coverage, go with a lighting fixture that has a bright white 5000K color temperature with 100+ lumens. Do your research and choose a light that fits your design needs.

Stick to your budget. Decide on a budget and stick with it! Prices vary depending on the fixture’s body material, lens material, and power. Compare the different types of landscape lighting products online to get a general idea of what it costs to upgrade your lightscape. Make a list of your top picks and start narrowing it down to fit your budget.

One way to help you stay on budget is to make a check list and enlist the help from someone you know and trust. Make your budget available to this person and have this person present when you’re shopping to prevent you from overspending or impulsive buying.

Make it effortless. Now that you’re designing with purpose, you’ve decided on the type of lighting, and are fixed on a budget, let’s talk about making this an effortless project. Let’s face it, upgrading your lightscape can become quite laborious. If you like convenience, online shopping is the way to go and takes very little effort. However, in-store shopping also has its benefits. Sometimes it’s better to see the product first hand to judge the product for quality and durability. So, taking a little effort to drive to your home improvement store or lighting retailer may go a long way in this case.