Once you have decided that you want to indulge in a landscape lighting project and you have also decided the type of light you are going to use, the next important thing you need to decide on how many lights you need and how you are going to wire them. Additionally, you will also need to be certain about the spacing between landscape lights.
Understanding the spacing between different lights is very important in any light-related project. In this blog, let’s also learn how far apart should patio lights be and how far apart should solar lights be placed.
Spacing Between Landscape Lights
There isn’t any definite rule about the spacing between landscape lights. This space will mostly depend on the brightness of your lights and on the portion of space you want to light up. In the case of ambient lighting, the lighting is more relaxing which is why it’s better to opt for less light. On the other hand, the security and pavement lighting needs to illuminate the space without gaps and thus it needs to be spaced.
To thoroughly understand the spacing between landscape lights, you’ll need to dig deeper about-
- How to Space Out Path Lights?
- The factors determining the spacing between landscape lights
What Determines The Spacing Between Landscape Lights?
These are different factors you should consider about spacing between landscape lights-
How Bright Do You Want an Area to Be?
Before determining the spacing between landscape lights, you need to decide on the type of lighting effect you are aiming for. This will vary for everyone.
You may be aiming to illuminate some specific parts of your garden to best show them. You may also be aiming to use lighting to mark out dangers. In such a case, you’ll need something brighter to make sure you can see any path edges or steps.
When you have decided on the brightness you want, you can start to look for lights that will achieve that.
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Size and Lumen Output Per Light
The size as well as the lumen output of the lights you are buying have the biggest impact on the number of lights you need and how far apart they should be.
Keep note that lumen output (often called light output) is different from lumens.
The lumen is related to the bulb’s brightness whereas the lumen output is stated as a percentage. It defines how much luminosity is given off by a particular light fixture.
For instance, you buy a light that is said to have 400 lumens and a light output of 80%. This means you are only getting the visible benefit of about 320 lumens and the rest 20% is being absorbed by the fixture.
You are required to look at the fixtures you are buying and also their lumen output. If the output is a low percentage, you should space the lights closer together to have better coverage.
This information is usually available on the packaging or in the product description (if you are buying online).
There is no exact science because the luminosity is different for different lights. The form factor of light determines how much distance the light then shines.
Compared to a wider, all-rounder stake light that disperses its light in all directions, a single beam can light up a further distance. The same goes for size. Although larger lights look less attractive, they spread light quite further compared to the smaller ones. In this case, you’ll also need fewer lights to give you the same effect.
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Budget is a crucial factor in planning one’s lighting setup. You can only go for things that are within your budget. The cost of the lights is one of the major issues when you are installing your lights.
If you go for bigger lights, they are expensive. However, they can be spaced out further and thus you won’t need a lot of them.
On the other hand, smaller lights are cheaper but you’ll need a lot more of them. So, you need a budget to work out what’s best for you.
If you are thinking of hiring a professional, go for fewer bigger lights. This will save you money as there will be less work. Likely, the professional will charge you an hourly rate. With fewer lights to wire into the circuit as well as install, the work will be completed faster.
If you are aiming for smaller landscape installations lighting up a patio or decked area, it will roughly cost you around $200 to $500. If you are planning to illuminate a small garden, including some feature lighting, you’ll need to spend up to a couple of thousand.
In short, the less light and the smaller the distance needed to wire them up, the more affordable the project cost. With this, you should have understood what determines the spacing between landscape lights.
How To Space Out Path Lights?
It’s a little different to light a path as the whole point here is to ensure that you can see the entire paved area.
If you place the lights too close together, it looks too gaudy, kind of like a catwalk. On the other hand, if you place them too far apart, you’ll leave the risk of dark spots that can conceal hazards. You will be walking on these paths and you want to make sure that you can see anything that could trip you up.
The brightness of the lights determines the distance between them. However, a generally accepted distance between the lights is 6-8 feet apart. For narrow paths, you’ll only need lights along one edge, otherwise, it can be overkill. So, in this case, the spacing between lights should be less than 5 feet. If it’s anything wider, it’s better to have lights on both sides.
You can also alternate the distance. For instance, after 3-4 feet, place a light on the right, then after 3-4 feet have a light on the left, and so on. On each side, this placement keeps the distance at 6-8 feet.
However, in the case of wider paths, this kind of arrangement will leave dark patches. So, most people prefer to go for the uniform look of lights facing each other.
You should also consider leaving ample space between your home and the end of the path lights. You wouldn’t want the path lights to shine through your window and disturb the lighting inside your home. You will surely not need redundant path lights that lead up to the door.
However, if your pathway has steps, ignore all the above. You’ll need to position the lights to avoid steps casting shadows. This means you will need the lights closer together.
If you leave them far apart, the shadows can mask the edge of the step and create a hazard when you’re walking. To avoid this, place the lights close to the vertical point of each step. This will illuminate the place where the edges are. After this, let’s tackle another question-Where should solar spotlights be placed?
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Where Should Solar Spotlights be Placed?
Solar lights should be placed in places where they are visible and won’t get in the way. Of course, they are solar-powered lights so they need sunlight to function, so you also need to place them in a location where they get the maximum amount of direct sunlight each day. Note any shadows from your roof, nearby homes, or trees that may provide shade to your yard. Solar lights work best when they get sufficient sunlight, which allows them to use the collected energy after the sun goes down. After understanding where should solar spotlights be placed, let’s also see where to place solar lights in landscaping.
Where to Place Solar Lights in Landscaping?
These are a few places where you should place your solar lights in landscaping-
1. Along a Walkway or Driveway
Place the solar lights along your walkway as it will make it easier for visitors to locate your path. It also creates an interesting look when you stagger your lights to illuminate varying parts of the walkway. In a staggered arrangement make sure to place the lights close enough to light up the whole walkway. Additionally, if you can highlight your landscaping while also providing a safe path to and from your home, that will be a bonus.
If you add lights to your driveway, it will also improve the visibility of any guest you might have. If you have hardscaping or landscaping along your driveway, adding extra lighting can also protect those features from any damage.
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2. At the Base of Your House
While houses have an outdoor lighting setup, it’s quite rare to find lights at the base of your house. However, if you light your exterior from below, it will look grander as well as more glamorous. To create a stunning feel of cascading lights across the front of your house, you should place the light at the base of your house and point them upward.
3. Highlight a Landscape Feature
If you want to emphasize certain features in your garden or yard, landscaping lighting is best for you. You can place a light in your garden near a statue, sculpture, or large tree. This will create a silhouette effect. This can bring a phenomenal flair to your home.
You can also put lights within the trees to make them prominent. You should try mounting a light on your tree’s trunk and shining the lights downward. This will not only illuminate your tree but will also cast radiance on any nearly landscaping and hardscaping features.
4. Around or in a Water Feature
Adding landscape lights around your pool’s patio or some small lights in your pool can turn your water feature into a magnificent evening oasis. Since solar lights are mostly used for adding lights near water, you don’t even have to worry about having some high-voltage wires near your pool.
If you like swimming at night or walking around your garden, having lights around your pool creates a safer surrounding. By adding simple landscape lights, you can increase the visibility of the pool at night and thus keep your family as well as visitors safe. This also helps you keep an eye on those swimming.
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5. Near a Deck or Patio
Make your deck or patio more enjoyable by investing in additional lighting. If you are entertaining guests in the evening, make use of your outdoor space to create a relaxed and soothing ambiance. You should mount some solar lights on the nearby trees to light up the outdoors. These lights will ensure that your events last longer into the night.
6. Avoid Any Possible Obstructions
Most folks place their solar lights in places where they may be vehicular or foot traffic. While placing such lights you should also consider the obstacles that might exist.
Check the place where you have decided to place your light. See if there is a possibility of damage from people tripping over it or from lawnmowers.
If you want to line your driveway with lights, ensure that they aren’t extremely close to the driveway because if they are they can be run over by your car. Your lights should also be visible during the day. They should be in a place where they don’t get in the way of anything.
To easily determine the best location for your lights, it can be helpful to sketch out your yard. This will also cause minimal obstruction to your daily activities. Once you have outlined these things, choose the perfect spot for your lights. After learning about this, you might also want to see how far apart should patio lights be. After learning about all these places, you must be clear about where to place solar lights in landscaping.
How Far Apart Should Patio Lights Be?
You should at least have a 2 feet distance between your patio light fixturesThis is to ensure that there is enough space for people to walk through without getting blinded by two bright lights at the same time.
Place the lights evenly from one another on each side of your backyard. Additionally, place them directly in the front and back of any seating areas with tables.
It’s essential to keep some lights closer together and some spread out through the yard to make a more balanced look.
Additionally, don’t miss out on the path, if it’s well-lit, your visitors will be able able to see where they’re going. This way they won’t trip over unseen obstacles in their way. This serves a very important purpose when dealing with kids running around everywhere.
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How Far Can Patio Lights Span?
Usually, 8 to 10 feet is best for any patio. You should never over-expand your patio light and this way you’ll be on the safer side. You should also ensure that you have a sturdy extension cord to prevent overloading the power outlet.
The average length of a patio light string is 48 feet. For extra illumination, it can also be stretched around a seating area. If you plan to decorate your entire lawn or garden, you can also consider getting another light. After this, let’s also answer how far apart should solar lights be placed.
How Far Apart Should Solar Lights be Placed?
You need to place your solar lights effectively to make the best coverage out of them. Choose smaller and softer lights if you are choosing them for the small accents along a path.
If you are going for a stronger light, you should position them closer so that they overlap efficiently.
Generally, smaller profile lighting for residential use should have about 6-8 feet of distance between them. On the other hand, commercial applications require more lighting and such lights need to be placed about 4 to 6 feet apart.
Before you go ahead and purchase solar lights, you should get a rough estimate of the number of lights you will need. To get this estimate, measure your space and mark out locations where you want to place your solar lights. Apart from this technique, landscaping design comes down to your lighting needs as well as personal preference. Experiment with different techniques and try to achieve a great look with your solar lights.
How Many Feet Of String Lights Do I Need For Patio?
Several factors help determine the length of string lights you need for your patio.
Firstly, you should consider the size of your outdoor space or patio. You should also be clear about the kind of ambiance you want the lights to create. For example, if you are looking for cute and fun lighting at an event like a birthday party, then 250-300 ft should be great.
On the other hand, if you want soft ambient lighting for your backyard gathering, you’ll need about 50-100 feet of string lights.
Also Read: Best Solar Security Light With Motion Sensor
What are Some Solar Lighting Techniques?
To make the best out of any light, there are certain lighting techniques you should be aware of. Solar lights don’t need to be wired and are great for people who want to be creative and innovative with lighting. If you also want to be creative with your solar lights, these are a few lighting techniques you can try-
1. Uplighting: In this lighting technique, you should place your lights on the ground and then angle them upward to shine the light.
2. Downlighting: In downlighting, you place a light higher and angle the source downwards. It is a very efficient method to diffuse light across large surface areas, like a patio or deck.
3. Grazing: It’s somewhat related to uplighting. Generally, it highlights textured materials like a stone wall or a veneer.
4. Silhoutting: In this lighting technique, you angle a light behind a feature of interest, such as a stunning tree.
Lights are magical elements that can highlight a different feature of your home and make it a more ethereal place. To make the best use of lights you need to know about the best way to use them. This blog helped you learn about the spacing between landscape lights, solar lights, patio lights, solar lights in landscaping, etc. Additionally, you also learned some important lighting techniques here. Now, what’s left on your side is choosing the right lights and installing them.
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