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How would you landscape light the front of my house?

Posted by TheSteadyRight Pennsylvania (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 20:25

Hey folks,

I'm in the planning stages to illuminate the front of my Garrison Colonial home and would greatly appreciate any input. I realize the phrase "landscape lighting" is a little lost considering we don't have much in the way of landscaping, but, ya know, baby steps. We've only been here a year (and if you'd only seen the before photos...).

My current plan is 4-5 pathway lights spread evenly across the house, and staggered on each side of the walk way. I'm also considering uplighting/wall washing the front. The face of the house is 32', so I figured 2-3 would do the trick. Yes, our little neo-colonial doesn't have much in the way of interesting features, but in the future we're considering a nice, traditional brick 1st floor that may be uplight worthy.

What I'm questioning most is how the uplighting would look with the window boxes. The lights would need to be sufficiently in front of the boxes so as to illuminate the front of them avoid nasty shadows, but I don't want them on the wrong side of the walkway to avoid blinding guests.

So, think 5 path lights is overkill for 32'? Would downlighting (via the overhang, which we see a lot of in our neighborhood) be better than uplighting? Or should I focus on accenting a specific area, like the door? Or forget that all together?

And to throw a major wrench in things... I'm open to less modern landscape lighting such as a small light post at the start of the walk way. Decisions, decisions...

Appreciate any input as I'm a first timer. :) Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How would you landscape light the front of my house?

Low intensity downlighting mounted on the overhang, and a few lights along the path to diffuse the shadows would work better.

Uplighting will give the house the classic halloween monster flashlight face effect.

RE: How would you landscape light the front of my house?

don't stagger the lights on the pathway. It will look better if they're all on one side. Can't actually see the walk, but lights would likely look better on the landscape bed side, than on the lawn side. However, (and I agree with the low intensity downlighting suggestion) I'm thinking that with downlighting the front, you very likely would not need path lights. Less clutter and a cleaner look. I would focus on lighting the steps area very well. With that and downlighting on the house, it may be all you need. Take a shop light on a long extension cord out at night and explore the different effects of light shined on various things.

RE: How would you landscape light the front of my house?

Thanks for the input!

As I mentioned, we do see a decent amount of neighbors using downlighting from the soffit. However, everything I've seen is most likely direct line voltage as they are very bright.

I'd like to still keep this as a low voltage install, preferably DIY, so I may need to do quite a bit more research if I'm going the soffit route. Would need to figure out how to discreetly wire these from the soffit to a transformer.

I suppose the other option is running an inline install, maybe with a dimmer and timer switch, but again that's probably less than desirable.

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