Outdoor lighting adds dimension to the nighttime landscape. Whether its primary purpose is aesthetic value or safety for the home, a landscape lighting project is an easy way to dress up the home's exterior. Calculating the materials needed for the lighting project ensures you have everything necessary before beginning the project. This saves trips to the hardware store. You also don't have to worry about the store selling out of the particular light style, should you need more. It's always better to return extra home improvement supplies than to come up short.
Consider the purpose for the landscape lighting. Determine if it is for the visual effect, to accent features of the home, to guide guests along a pathway or to increase the security of the home.
Identify the areas of the landscape that you wish to light. Common locations include flower beds, driveways, sidewalks and near the front door. Draw a sketch of the home as a visual references.
Take measurements of the areas that need landscape lighting. Add the measurements to the drawing.
Choose locations for single landscape light fixtures. This can include a lamppost at the end of a sidewalk, a motion-activated light above a garage or a fixture near the front door. Mark these fixtures on the sketch.
Choose the location for rows of light fixtures. These areas are typically along sidewalks or around the perimeter of a landscaped area. Decide how far apart you want the fixtures. Use the measurements of the area to determine how many light fixtures you need. For example, if you want 3 feet between the fixtures along a 15-foot pathway, you'll need five light fixtures.
Use the sketches and calculations to create a list of total landscape lights needed.