4 Key elements to making a lighting plan

Difficulty

Duration ± 45 minutes

Dominic Liberka

in-lite Representative

Lighting Plan

Are you planning on installing new outdoor lighting soon? If you are, we always recommend to start with a lighting plan before purchasing any fixture, this way you’ll know exactly what you need to make your outdoor space unique.

Our goal is to walk you through the process of creating a lighting plan, which can be as creative and in-depth or as basic as you like.

If this isn't your cup if tea and you would rather have us do this for you, we’ve got a team of designers ready to create your lighting plan in 3D with a full presentation. For more information on this, check out this link.

3D lighting plan by in-lite

But if you just came here because you want to learn how to make a lighting plan, we'll show you everything you need to know to be successful in creating one!

Design

Use your original yard design or draw your own as a reference to create your perfectly illuminated outdoor space. You can use a piece of paper, a tablet, or computer... Whatever works best for you! The sky is the limit, so make it as elaborate or simple as you want. 

DIY lighting plan materials: paper & markers

Generally, you're going to want to illuminate interesting elements like decks, patios, plants, trees and gazebos. To make this easier, you can use different shapes and colours to indicate fixtures on your plan -but don't worry- we'll go more in depth on that topic shortly.

Start by determining your viewing angles. It's important that your outdoor space looks the best from angles you will see it the most. For example, if you're lighting your backyard, you'll want to make sure your lights look good from the living room, deck or patio.

Look at all the angles

 

Walk around the space and check out those different angles. It'll be worth it, we promise. We recommend to add these sight lines on your plan, that way you'll know where to include your lights. 

Accents

Good lighting plans are all about the accents. Think long and hard about which elements you'd like illuminated at night. You want your lighting to create a safe space – so make sure to illuminate pathways, stairs, and perimeters of patios and decks. Don’t be afraid to get creative too! Light up your favourite plants, bushes, statues, decorative grasses, and more. 

Accents stairs

 

Type of lighting 

At in-lite, we offer a wide range of lighting options. Check out our official website or brochures for more details on the different types of lighting you can choose from. We highly suggest to combine different types of lighting for the best effect

Add some broad, bright lights on your trees to create a lighting effect that enlarges your space. Use smaller, softer light around living spaces like patios and decks for a more romantic and warm feeling. 

Lighting up trees

 

Don’t be afraid to mix it up with spotlights, recessed lights, wall lights and more. If you have any questions when choosing your fixtures, don’t be afraid to reach out to your in-lite representative. 

Fixtures and system 

Let's go back to the actual lighting plan. Now that you've thought about all the pieces of the puzzle, it's time to get it all down on paper. You can use different colors or shapes to indicate each fixture. If you're using shapes, we recommend creating a small legend on the side for yourself to keep track. 

Lighting plan legend

Place your fixtures wherever you picture them to be. Try to make it as accurate as possible. The next step will be to draw in our cable, so we want to ensure we have enough cable to cover the entire space. 

drawing fixtures on lighting plan

When it comes to the actual space, you'll want to make sure the fixtures you choose will all fit on the transformer you want to use. To check out a helpful video on how to calculate the number of lights your transformer can fit, click here.

Lights per transformer

Once you’ve placed your fixtures on your plan, counted them, and made sure that you have the proper transformer for your needs – it's time to draw in our cable. This step is really important because you need to pay attention to those places where you can easily hide the cable, such as garden beds, sod, or mulch. 

drawing cable on lighting plan

If you're just adding lights to an existing backyard, keep an eye on any pathways that may prevent you from running your cable to the desired areas – you might have to run the cable around a different direction.

If you're renovating or designing a new outdoor space, this is a great opportunity to see if you'll need to run conduit below your paths during construction so you can run your low-voltage cable underneath them!

Make sure to include the location of your transformer as well in your plan – and don’t forget to draw it where you know you’ll have access to a GFCI outlet. 

drawing transformer and GFCI outlet

And that’s how you create a lighting plan.

Take your time, experiment with different fixtures, and if you get stuck – don’t be afraid to reach out to your in-lite representative at info@insider.com.

For more help on creating lighting plans, watch the video below: