If you’re making your own outdoor landscape lighting plan, there are three things that you need to address before you attack the monumental task of designing the lighting schemes, picking out the light fixtures, and installing the lights. These are what to light, how to light it, and how to control the light.
The first thing that you must do is pick out what in your garden you would like to light. This is where your creative side really comes into play as there are multiple objects you could choose to light. Popular targets for lighting are large trees, statues, fountains, ponds, and any special or interesting plants that you may have. The walls of your home may even work great as a focus of lights if you do it correctly. Use your imagination and try to come up with a plan unique to your landscape.
Next, you need to figure out how to light it. There are numerous different lighting effects that you can use. The most popular are up lighting, back lighting, down lighting, and silhouetting, but there are numerous different effects that you can use. Each effect comes with its pros and cons so make sure you know what it does and tailor them to fit the plants and landscape that you have on your property. No two gardens are exactly the same so what worked for a neighbor may not work for you.
Finally, you need to figure out how to control the garden lights. This is commonly done through putting hoods on the light fixtures to point the light in a certain direction. In landscape lighting, less is more so always try to contain the lighting to the object that you want the person to look at and avoid spilling it over into unwanted areas. Garden lighting also creates light pollution that can adversely affect wildlife in your area, so you should try to minimize this as well.