8 Ottawa Outdoor Landscape Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

Have you ever seen a really nice home sitting in the middle of a well-designed property, blazing a beam into the night sky like a bunch of Hollywood search lights? We have, and it's not pretty. Since we have a commitment to maintain and repair Ottawa landscape lighting systems of any type, even those installed by a competitor or an ambitious DIY'er, we have seen installations that leave us scratching our heads.

From design duds to downright dangerous setups, our Landscape Lighting Ottawa team offer the following mistakes to avoid in your Ottawa landscape lighting system:

1. Any light will do the trick
This is one of the most common errors, especially for self-installers. Just because a floodlight is rated for outdoor use does not mean it's appropriate for landscape lighting. Our installers use an array of fixture types that are specially designed to beautify your home at night using a range of lighting styles.

2. Blasting the shadows out of every nook and cranny
This mistake results in a property that resembles a jail or a shopping mall. Just as an artist pays close attention to form and colour, an experienced lighting designer knows how to use not only light of various styles and intensity, but also how to make effective use of shadow to add depth and dimension.

3. Your neighbours will benefit from your outdoor lighting, too
Wrong. Poorly directed lighting toward your neighbour's property or toward the roadway is not only a privacy concern, but also a safety issue. A properly designed system will eliminate glare and prevent light pollution. Purpose-built fixtures typically include shades to effectively direct the beam and minimize light-bleed.

4. It's all about symmetry
We see this mistake all the time, most often along lit footpaths. Ground lighting positioned at regular intervals on both sides of a path creates an unattractive "runway effect" and draws attention to the lights rather than the surroundings. How the property is lit should not take priority ahead of the overall effect.

5. A self-install kit at a 70% discount is a great way to save on a landscape lighting system
Store bought outdoor lighting systems can be quite affordable, but flimsy, discount lighting products that are cheap to buy are often expensive to maintain and repair--not to mention, potentially dangerous. A professionally installed lighting system that uses the right components can not only be more affordable to maintain, but a low-voltage system can also be a lot easier on the wallet when the utility bill arrives.

6. A well-designed system simply takes care of itself
Over time, buried wiring can resurface, fixtures can go out of alignment, timers may need reprogramming and bulbs will eventually need replacing. As your garden grows and the landscaping matures, fixture placement may require adjustment to avoid obstruction. And even the highest quality outdoor lighting system can take a beating from our harsh Ottawa winters. Our skilled technicians at Landscape Lighting Ottawa offer a full-service maintenance program that will keep your entire system running smoothly.

7. Outdoor extension cords for the Christmas lights are also great for landscape lighting
Because all the cabling is buried, it can be affected by traffic pressure, ground freezing and water seepage, so using the right type of outdoor wiring is extremely important. The placement of lights might require cable splicing that also must be weather proof -something for which regular extension cords are obviously not designed.

8. And last, but certainly not least
We think one of the biggest mistakes is not installing an exquisitely-designed landscape lighting system at all! Ask our staff at Landscape Lighting Ottawa how we can help you show off your home at night while avoiding these kinds of mistakes and the headaches they can cause down the road.

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