As the sun sets, Milwaukee’s cityscape comes to life with a soft, curated glow, creating a captivating ambiance. The thoughtfully designed landscape lighting fixtures illuminate the city streets, guiding visitors through a charming journey in the heart of the night and enhancing the atmosphere for locals and visitors alike.


A well-thought-out lighting plan can boost your property’s curb appeal and earn nods of appreciation from the neighborhood. This article provides a comprehensive landscape lighting checklist to help you craft the perfect outdoor lighting setup.

The Ultimate Milwaukee Landscape Lighting Checklist

1. Planning Your Landscape Lighting


Defining your goals

Before embarking on the journey to beautify your space with landscape lighting, it’s essential to establish your goals. Here are three factors to consider in defining your objectives:


  1. Enhancing Security: Illuminate your home carefully to enhance security in dark spots such as paths, corners, and entrances. Rest assured, you can maintain your desired style by strategically placing lights.


  1. Highlighting Landscape Features: Bring attention to your favorite landscape features, like a prominent tree, by giving it some light. These highlighted features come to life as the sun goes down, enchanting your outdoor space.


  1. Creating Ambiance: Determine your desired ambiance in your outdoor space. Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood. Consider incorporating illumination along the pathways that align with your desired feeling for a warm and inviting atmosphere.


Surveying your property

Landscape Lighting Checklist: Inspect Your Yard

The next step on our landscape lighting checklist is to go around the house and thoroughly survey its location. 


Create a clear roadmap and blueprint for the placement of your lights. Take note of the location of trees, the layout of pathways, and other relevant details. 


Essentially, familiarize yourself with the intricacies of your property and map out your lighting plan based on the gathered information. Also, make a record of existing electrical outlets and identify areas where additional wiring or solar fixtures may be necessary. This comprehensive assessment will lay the groundwork for an effective and well-planned landscape lighting project.


Budgeting for Landscape Lighting


Before diving into the details of landscape lighting, let’s address the financial aspect. Establish a realistic budget that strikes a balance between your aspirations and practical considerations. 


A well-defined budget will serve as a guiding framework for selecting fixtures and making design choices. Include this crucial step in your landscape lighting checklist, and your wallet will undoubtedly appreciate your decision!

2. Choosing Lighting Fixtures


Fixture types 


Next on our landscape lighting checklist is choosing your lighting fixtures. With a plethora of fixture types available, it’s crucial to choose the right one to craft your enchanting outdoor lighting.


There are spotlights and floodlights that enable you to highlight focal points like architectural elements. There are also bollard lights that effectively illuminate walkways and steps, ensuring safety, visibility, and a warm ambiance. 


The key is matching the fixture type to the desired effect, enhancing both aesthetics and functionality in your outdoor space.


Check out our article about Top Lighting Ideas For Your Milwaukee Home


Energy efficiency


Choosing environmentally friendly lighting isn’t just good for the Earth; it’s a win-win for you, too! Opting for energy-efficient options like LED lighting contributes positively to the environment and helps keep your costs in check. Make sure to include this excellent choice on your landscape lighting checklist!

3. Designing Your Lighting Layout


Creating a lighting plan

over view of potential landscaping

Invest time in crafting a detailed lighting plan for your outdoor space. Similar to any construction project, a comprehensive plan is essential to determine where and what type of lighting features you want. Identify areas that require more illumination, pinpoint outdoor elements that could benefit from accent lighting to bring them to life, and ensure every corner receives the lighting it deserves. A well-thought-out plan leaves no space unattended, guaranteeing a thoroughly illuminated and vibrant outdoor environment.


Zoning and layers


A helpful approach to planning your outdoor lighting is to divide your space into separate sections, each with its unique lighting strategy. This allows you to establish different themes for various outdoor areas, such as a relaxed atmosphere for chill zones or vibrant lighting for entertainment spaces. Incorporating different layers of lighting helps create distinct atmospheres for different purposes. 


Adhering to this aspect of the Landscape Lighting Checklist ensures a visually appealing and well-balanced design.

4.Installation and Wiring 

DIY vs. Professional installation

Landcrafter gardener pulls plants from garden

Now, it’s time to get the work finally started. You might be contemplating whether to take on the project solo or enlist professional help. We’d say the mix of the two is ideal. Some jobs involving intricacies require professionals to handle them, such as wiring and setting up complex fixtures. On the other hand, simple tasks such as placing decoratives or placing lights along the walkways can be done by yourself. 


When it comes to seeking professional help, your search ends here! LandCrafter has all your landscaping needs covered!


Wiring considerations


Establishing the wiring is a pivotal aspect of the project, demanding precision and safety. If it is incorrectly done, it can lead to serious hazards. Make sure that the wires are tightly connected with no loose ends. Consult the National Electrical Code (NEC for guidelines on safely setting up electrical wires.


If this task is beyond your comfort zone, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance. Besides ensuring efficiency, relying on experts also prioritizes safety in getting the job done right.


5. Timers and Controls


Automation options

Outdoor lighting in patio area

In today’s world, there are numerous ways to simplify tasks, and automation stands out as a game-changer for enhancing the functionality of your outdoor lighting fixtures. Utilizing a smartphone app, you can effortlessly set timers and adjust brightness with just a click. What’s even more impressive is that, with smart controls, you can simply wave your hand to turn the lights on or off! Integrating advanced technology into your lighting system takes your entire experience to the next level.


Energy-saving benefits


The benefits of smart control don’t end there! In addition to simplifying your life, smart lighting control can also lead to significant cost savings—approximately 25% to 70% on your lighting expenses. The data is crystal clear on this one, and living up to its name, smart technology is indeed a smart choice to incorporate!

6. Maintenance and Care

Regular inspections

Landscape Lighting Checklist: Backyard Inspection

Lastly on our landscape lighting checklist is maintenance and care, specifically, regular inspections. Just as important, regular inspection of your outdoor lighting is an aspect you must pay attention to.


Dedicate a substantial amount of time to check for damages or malfunctions thoroughly. Early detection of issues can significantly reduce damages and prevent expensive repairs. Keeping up with these routine inspections ensures your outdoor lights stay brighter and last longer.


Cleaning and bulb replacement


As part of your maintenance routine, it’s essential to periodically clean bulbs and replace them when needed. This guarantees consistent brightness and preserves the desired effects in your outdoor spaces. Keep in mind that each type of bulb has a different lifespan. For example, LED lights can last up to 25,000 hours, while incandescent bulbs last around 1,000 hours. Knowing the lifespan of each type helps you make informed choices for your outdoor lighting.


End Note


A comprehensive landscape lighting checklist is crucial for a smooth process, ensuring no essential details are overlooked and making the project a success! Implementing all the points discussed in this article requires significant time and effort. So, if you think you could use a helping hand to make your outdoor lighting project easier and more efficient, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! At LandCrafters, we offer a complete range of services for you to choose from. We’re experts at each step of the process: design, build, maintain!

Get Started With Landcrafters Today!