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Landscape Lighting: 30 Bright Ideas We often plant our backyards based on what we look at during the day, but then at night they disappear off into the darkness. By using light to emphasize a specific tree or to a row of planting, it defines the space and adds drama that otherwise would've been shadows.

Particularly if you have a walking path made from varying textures or sizes, you want to make sure it's illuminated well so guests can see where to step safely. Running them along stair treads in equidistant lines gives an aesthetically pleasing balance of light and design. Flash Up Your Fountain You can hear a water feature bubbling away in the dark, but you lose the visual appeal after sunset. To fully appreciate the beauty at night, add a waterproof pond light on a particular element, be it a fountain, a stream or a particular stone.

Placing fixtures close to the wall, either as uplight or downlight, coats the area with light and emphasizes the textural details that fade into the background in the dark. Hardscape strip lighting works well in this scenario, as its low profile lets it hide under overhangs. Don't Be a Square Pull out the features of a strongly angular house with a series of similarly shaped bollard lights and sconces.

You could consider matching the finishes of the fixtures to those of the house, be it trim or a front door, or take the opposite approach with contrasting tones and complementary shapes.

Light Up Danger Zones It's always a good idea to illuminate any areas that could be difficult to see, and potentially unsafe, in the dark. Small steps, areas of transitional height and any other places that could potentially be pitfalls (particularly for visiting guests) would be smart to notate and include in any lighting design plan.

Go Both Ways Bidirectional wall sconces, with both uplight and downlight, are a great solution for any area that needs multiple types of lighting. A large illuminated panel placed against a wide expanse of wall gives a gallery feel to the space, while at the same time providing practical area lighting.

Brighten the Night LED wall sconces are a great way to add a significant amount of light with an insignificantly sized fixture.

The bright light not only illuminates dark spaces, but LED fixtures are also extremely energy efficient, have great longevity and take up way less room in many designs.

When the sun goes down, your deck goes on parade with strips of outdoor tape lights carried along the entire length of the railing. Many manufacturers make multiple styles of lights—post and path lights, sconces, deck lights—in the same design but for different purposes.

Modern angular LED path lighting designs provide interest on their own but also can emphasize similar elements of the house itself.

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