Landscape lighting offers value to homeowners in several ways: enhanced home value, greater safety and security, and aesthetic beauty. But not all landscape lighting designs are created equal. Some offer more of these key values than others.
Getting the most out of a landscape lighting system requires that the design of the system incorporate these three simple tips:
1: The System Should Be Balanced
Every landscape lighting system is comprised of three basic components:
- Overall Lighting: Overall lighting refers to the lighting of the space as a whole – the general illumination provided by the system.
- Task Lighting: Task lighting refers to lighting that has a specific task to perform. Illuminating stair steps, sidewalks and pathways are examples of task lighting.
- Accent Lighting: Accent lighting is purely aesthetic. Its purpose is to focus attention upon and highlight a specific feature such as a tree, a sculpture or a fountain.
An artfully designed landscape lighting system will strike a harmonious balance between all three of these basic components.
2: Avoid Glare
The light emanating from all points of a landscape lighting system should be muted and gentle, not harsh and glaring. Harsh, glaring lights can transform a lighting system from a beautiful work of art to a literal eyesore.
Glare is avoided by designing the system so that lights are positioned properly. In some cases, shielding around certain lights may be needed to prevent glare. And selecting the proper bulbs is also an important aspect of preventing glare.
3: Don’t Pollute
Light pollution is becoming more of a hot-button issue these days. And for good reason. Many outdoor lighting systems produce far more light than necessary to achieve functional and aesthetic lighting – something that can be very annoying for neighbors and passers-by.
Excessive lighting can be avoided by using the lowest wattage bulbs that will yield the desired effect. Focusing the lights properly is also important. And designing much of the task lighting to be triggered by motion detectors can help substantially in reducing the overall amount of light produced by a system.
One Final Tip…
The three basic tips above are simple enough in theory. But in practice, many landscape lighting installers routinely blunder into committing errors that violate one of more of these simple principals.
So if you’re considering the installation of a landscape lighting system on your property, perhaps the most important tip of all is this: choose an installer that is very experienced in both the design and installation of outdoor lighting systems.
That’s the easiest, surest way to conform to the three simple tips that lead to having a top landscape lighting system.