Outdoor lighting design: an essential component of your landscapeSeptember 15, 2016
Illuminating your property with landscape lighting should be an essential part of your overall design strategy. The ability to highlight the key areas of your space while simultaneously keeping others dark turns your outdoor landscape into a beautiful composition.
Lighting: less is more
Less lighting is more beneficial when creating deeper contrasts to focus on points of interest at your property. If every feature of your design were to be illuminated, nothing would stand out.
A person’s eyes are naturally drawn toward heavy contrast which can be achieved by using less overall light while strategically focusing lighting toward objects of interest, such as seating areas, trees, grasses, and architectural features.
Positioning of light is crucial
The positioning of lighting plays an important role in creating a sophisticated and comfortable landscape lighting design. When adding light fixtures to a sitting area, it’s best to position the light above or below your eye. A high position is beneficial when adding light to a walkway; the lights illuminate the path without seeing glare from the above.
This lighting technique is called “moonlighting” — when the lights are mounted high in trees, shining through branches to cast shadows on the ground. Ground mounted path lights are another option for lighting a walkway. These low mounted path lights also provide low glare lighting, and look beautiful in the landscape. (See Structura’s offering of Vivat, Via and Staza path lights.)
When emphasizing a key feature — such as a perfectly square hedge bush, or a fountain — consider positioning the lights behind the feature and lighting objects behind them. The lights create a silhouette of the feature. When uplighting trees, use multiple lights to uplight the trunk as well as the canopy. Positioning lighting on all sides of the tree will make it appear more lively and robust.
Set the stage with controls
Controls prove to be an excellent addition to fine turn your landscape lighting design. Dimmers and motion-sensors can be installed to control the brightness and duration of the lighting. Dimmers are used to balance the lighting levels and create dramatic contrasts throughout your design. Motion sensors reduce energy and can be used in conjunction with dimmers to dim instead of turn off lighting when people aren’t using the area. This saves energy but still provides a safe and beautiful landscape.
At Structura, we offer standard and custom outdoor lighting fixtures that are designed to the specific needs of your project. Contact us today to learn more our innovative designs.