Landscape lighting should add visual interest to your landscape design while illuminating your outside space, making it safe to navigate while creating an inviting space to entertain and relax. Landscape lighting also creates drama by creating shapes and shadows at new angles that you can only see at night — a different perspective from daytime views.
A budget-friendly choice, solar lighting is available in a wide assortment of sizes, colors, textures and styles, and is one of the easiest landscape elements to add. The downside is that solar lighting does not put out much light unless you use a hybrid that uses backup battery power.
The best choice for darker areas is low-voltage landscape lighting. This option is brighter than other options and creates safer walkways and entryways. The downside is that low-voltage fixtures are not permanently installed, often just staked into the ground. They are also expensive, and the number of lamps that can be attached to one transformer is limited.
As functional as they are beautiful, up-lighting, down-lighting and spread lighting are the best techniques for illuminating foliage. Using separate switches and dimmers allows a greater variation of lighting effects. Placing up-lights and down-lights inside a large tree highlights foliage, creating shadows and movement as the wind blows.