7 Landscape Lighting Trends for 2022
If you are considering updating some old lighting or including a lighting plan in a new landscape design, check out these 2022 landscape lighting trends for ideas and inspiration.
LED Light Bulbs and Fixtures
LED outdoor lighting has been popular for several years now, so this is not a new trend. LED lights use less energy and have longer lifespans than older bulb options. When LED bulbs first came on the scene, there were limited light color choices, which limited their popularity. However, contemporary options offer a variety of cool and warm color choices to better fit a wider range of installations.
LED lights usually cost a bit more upfront, but their longevity makes the investment well worth it, since you will save money over time by replacing bulbs less often and using less energy.
Gardens, patios, and pathways bathed in moonlight provide calming, welcoming outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed long into the night. For those of us fortunate enough to live in Southern California or other parts of the country where you can entertain outdoors any time of the year, a moonlit landscape is a lovely place to spend an evening. But even for those who might be stuck inside all winter, seeing moonlight cascading over the landscape as they look outside is a beautiful sight on a cold winter night.
Using outdoor lighting to simulate the illumination of a full moon, can give you the look and feel of natural moonlight even on a cloudy day or under a heavy tree canopy. This can help set the mood for a relaxing night in your outdoor living area while also increasing your home security by illuminating your yard. If you have landscape features you would like to highlight, you can use simulated moonlight to highlight them with natural-looking light.
To achieve the look of moonlight, install downlights 20 feet or more above the ground. Use trees or structures to get your lights at least this high. If tall trees are available for lighting installation, install the lights high enough to allow the light to come down through the branches. This will create more visual interest and a more natural look with dappled light, shadows, and highlights.
To really get a natural look, you are going to need glare guards to block glare and to ensure proper beam spread. To achieve this, you will most likely want to hire a professional lighting designer or installer for assistance.
Higher-End Fixtures for Porch Lights, Patios, and Pathways
For the most part, you do not want your guests to notice your landscape light fixtures. You want them to only see and experience the light they provide and how that light accents architectural features or creates a welcoming glow to guide them along pathways. However, there are some light fixtures that your guests are going to notice, so you should make these lights that you actually want them to see.
Front porch lights, back porch lights, fixtures on covered patios, and any lights that are clearly visible along pathways or driveways are going to be seen by your guests. Therefore, this is where you might want to splurge on some higher-end, attractive options that will capture your guests’ attention.
Underlighting hardscapes is a trend that results in lighting that is both attractive and functional. For example, underlighting the ledge of counters or under cabinets in outdoor kitchens provides task lighting while also improving your patio kitchen’s visual appeal. Similarly, underlighting steps enhances safety while giving your outdoor living areas a contemporary, attractive look.
You can also create a dramatic effect by underlighting paving stone benches, walls, or fire pits to increase visual interest.
Task lighting in outdoor kitchens is nothing new: It has been used to illuminate prep areas and barbecue grills for years. The new trend to pay attention to is taking task lighting out of patio kitchens to use it other outdoor living areas where we dine, work, read, play, or watch television with friends.
As we begin to spend more time outdoors, we need to customize these spaces to better suit our needs. This could mean ample lighting to make our backyard gyms and sports courts safe, ambient lighting for an outdoor dining room, or a warm glow by which you can read or work on your laptop. The most important aspect of this growing landscape lighting trend is that task lights are seen as more than functional additions and are being incorporated into overall landscape design as an attractive feature unto themselves.
Lighting Water Features from Within
Water features, such as fountains, ponds, and waterfalls, are usually focal points in landscape design. You can make yours even more attention-grabbing by lighting them from under the water. This might mean focusing accent lighting to light a waterfall from below or training it right on the spot where your waterfall meets the water of the pool. Other examples would be uplights installed to highlight the features of a fountain or underwater lights adding a soft glow to your pond.
Anything that involves both electricity and water is not a do-it-yourself home improvement project for anyone who is not an electrician. So, while you can do some of the projects on this list on your own, this one is going to require the assistance of a professional.
Dark Sky Friendly Lighting
In the City of San Diego, residents can only have certain types of necessary outdoor lights turned on between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am. In other municipalities, light fixtures must have shields that eliminate glare and ensure that light does not fall outside of the intended lighting area. These regulations are part of Dark Sky initiatives aimed at reducing light pollution.
Light pollution is what makes it difficult to see the stars when you are in the city, which is a quality-of-life issue. Light pollution also has a serious impact on wildlife. One example is how it affects sea turtle populations by causing millions of baby sea turtles to die every year because they cannot find the ocean.
Because of these negative effects, many homeowners are adhering to Dark Sky outdoor lighting recommendations when designing landscape lighting even if they do not live in an area that requires it.
Additional Landscape Lighting Resources
You may also find these additional resources helpful:
- Increase Your Home Security with Landscape Lighting
- Driveway Lights Guide: Outdoor Lighting Ideas + Tips
- How to Increase Curb Appeal with Landscape Lighting
- 10 Outdoor Kitchen Lighting Ideas
- Low Voltage Landscape Lighting 101
- Illuminate Your Yard: Outdoor Lighting Tips and Ideas
- Simple Way to Brighten Up Your Yard with Outdoor Lighting