Lighting For Shrubs

Lighting For Shrubs

When considering where to place outdoor lighting features, it may be tempting to skip over shrubs and focus on trees, flowers and garden art. If attention is given to the size and shape of a shrub, as well as the style and angle of the light fixture, illuminated shrubs can have as much dramatic impact on an outdoor space as their more prominent garden companions. Softly lit shrubs can provide subtle illumination if that is the desired effect, or they can become a strong focal point of an outdoor space. It all depends on the lighting design and the size and shape of the shrubbery.

The most common type of shrub lighting is a spotlight-type fixture, placed in the ground near the shrub and positioned toward it at a 30-45 degree angle. This draws the eyes to the overall shape of the greenery without casting a harsh glare on the garden space or into the eyes of the viewer. If the shrub is tall and narrow, the best choice is a spotlight with a slender focus. This directs most of the light to the base of the plant, allowing the light to expand slightly at the top, similar to an open umbrella. For shrubs that are short and squat, wide spotlights work best to illuminate the plants at their bases, with the light tapering off as it moves up the shrub.

It is important to note that outdoor lighting should be kept soft and low. Some customers worry that low wattages will make their outdoor spaces too dark, and they make the mistake of overlighting their gardens. The human eye adjusts even to very little light outdoors, so the addition of accent lighting can become overpowering if the lights are too bright.

It’s also important to consider the fixture style when planning outdoor illumination. Look for lights that are indirect, meaning the bulb is covered by a cutwork pattern, latticework, a metal hood or something else that will allow a small amount of light to spill out. If the bulb is visible in the fixture, the light will be too harsh in the darkness and it can cause a glare that makes it difficult to see stairs and garden pathways.
When choosing lights for an outdoor space, remember these key points:

  1. Focus on the size and shape of the shrubbery
  2. Use low levels of light
  3. Be sure the fixtures are indirectly lit to prevent glare

By following these suggestions, you can transform a boring outdoor area into a beautiful, relaxing, welcoming space that is perfect for entertaining family and friends. Contact Touchstone Accent Lighting to begin the transformation today.