Outdoor lighting is included in any landscape design plan in order to ensure that all major landscape elements and points of interests are clearly visible and enjoyable throughout the night.
In order to handle all the demands that are placed upon this service, our partners in design work according to a very strict set of principles to ensure that every major point of interest and special feature in the yard is emphasized with an appropriate level of importance and detail.
To begin with, outdoor lighting must be layered.
One of the reasons to hire professionals to handle lighting your landscape is the very real need to build multiple layers of illumination around your home and your yard. This is necessary for both visibility and for aesthetic purposes.
During daylight, sunlight filters in from many directions and lights the entirety of an object. Artificial light, however, does not work this way. It shines on an object in the form of a beam that has a limited radius. To do justice to any form, combinations of up lights and down lights are often required to fully bring out the details inherent in stonework, masonry work, and softscape.
Outdoor lighting must always emphasize garden design.
Gardens are the most important softscape element in landscape design. Gardens represent a cultivated form of nature that directly points back to home architecture and establishes the essence of a particular family’s style of outdoor living.
Lighting a garden should never be approached haphazardly or attempted with cheap equipment. Since most of the truly impeccable details of garden design have to do with very subtle interplays of slightly varying shades of green, integrated hardscape, and carefully chosen flowering plants, carefully selected outdoor lighting fixtures must be positioned in exactly the right places in order to communicate the essence of any particular type of garden design- be it a formal garden, a contemporary garden, or a custom garden.
Outdoor lighting must also give special attention to hardscape designs.
Hardscape constitutes from 60 percent to 80 percent of any landscape design plan. Hardscapes are made from very high-end materials to last for decades, and they are intricately crafted in order to establish theme and order in the midst of trees, gardens, and lawns.
In effect, they link the architecture of the home directly to the natural appeal of the landscape. This linkage must be maintained at night in order for a sense of continuity to remain between the edifice of the house and the surrounding yard.
Hardscapes can be lit with a variety of down lights carefully positioned to provide glare free illumination on the surface below. If large trees are located near a patio, courtyard, or entry garden, special tree lights can be used to create artificial moonlight effects in the gathering areas under the canopy.
Smaller patios and walkways can be lit with any number of path lighting fixtures that run parallel to the structure. These lights do not have to be bright. In fact, it is best to use rather low-level, low voltage lighting for these effects for two reasons.
For one thing, it saves money on electricity, and for another, the human eye does not need that much light for safe transit through a landscape.
Outdoor lighting fixtures must also be placed around any special landscaping features.
Statuary ranks at the top of this list, as it will be completely lost in shadows otherwise if it is not professionally illuminated with the right type of lighting array. Fountains, artificial streams, and natural pools also need special lighting. With today’s new technology, fiber optic and LED lights can actually be placed in the water to light the feature from within.