Residential communities are more than collections of houses built on the expanding borders of major cities. An increasingly large percentage of new housing developments are gated communities that function like self-contained cities unto themselves. They have their own dining, shopping, community activity centers, security patrols and lighted lakeside country clubs. Furthermore, the majority of these amenities are paid for by the developers and the homeowner’s associations that govern these residential communities. As such, the street lighting systems installed by city or county governments tend to neglect special areas developed in other areas of the community that require specialty lighting and security lighting systems uniquely customized to specific landscapes and architectural features.
A good example of this is the residential community center that normally resides at the heart of such a neighborhood. It normally consists of a series of buildings dedicated to administration, public meetings, special events, and after-school programs for children. Lighting these areas requires an array of luminaires installed professionally in a combination of outdoor and indoor lighting designs. Specification-grade equipment rated at the highest level of energy efficiency is a must. Superior optical design is also required to ensure compliance with present and future dark sky laws that will likely be in effect to some extent in every part of the country within the next ten years. It serves the best interest of any residential community planning committee to invest in commercial outdoor lighting fixtures that will accrue the lowest monthly cost on power bills, feature the longest possible lamp life, and not have to be replaced if new legislation is passed in the surrounding area that strictly limits the direction and intensity of illumination in and around public buildings and homes.
Equipment of this caliber can only be obtained and properly installed through a licensed distributor of major manufacturers. Electrical services contractors who work in the local community may not have access to the same vendor network that is available to professional residential design firms such as Illuminations Lighting and Design. Working with a design firm offers the homeowner’s association or planning committee more options on aesthetics and cost effectiveness. Design firms typically represent a large number of world-class manufacturers rather than only one or two. More manufacturer sources mean more choices for the residential community planning committee. Lighting systems can be highly customized with a variety of equipment types sourced from factories located throughout the United States. Planning committees can participate directly in the design phase of outdoor lighting and indoor lighting systems and know in advance both the cost of their installation and operation.
Two aspects of residential community lighting that in particular require special skills in planning and installation are public recreational areas and public walkways that wander through landscaped areas and water features such as lakes, reflecting pools, and fountains. Illumination here must combine three key elements of design to provide residents with maximum benefit and enjoyment of their own private corner of the world. Safety factors must be skillfully blended with aesthetic concerns and cost of operations. People must be able to clearly see where they are walking and be able to detect the presence of strangers or resident wildlife that could potentially pose a threat. At the same time, too much light outdoor street lighting can quickly ruin the view of a tree line, park area, private lake, outdoor sculpture, or central fountain. Special installation techniques must be used in these areas to keep the light fixtures themselves as far out of sight as possible and to place precise amounts of illumination only where necessary. Since most of these areas within a residential community require lighting throughout the night, low-wattage fixtures and energy conserving lamps must be used as much as possible to keep operating costs at a reasonable level.
Illuminations Lighting Design is the only “One Stop” destination for lighting design, engineering, landscape lighting services and installation in the state of Texas, and remains unrivaled by any lighting firm in the United States for lighting that is art. As homes grow larger and needs become more complex, having a single resource provides home owners with peace of mind. This translates into a smoother process, reduced costs and a better product.
As residential communities continue to evolve into self-contained spheres of living space, open space, and public space, Illuminations Lighting and Design stands ready to contribute to the safety and comfort of exclusive neighborhoods with custom-designed, luminary solutions that shine brightly, cost-effectively, and dependably.
We are located in Houston Texas but provide lighting and design services in Austin TX, El Paso Texas, San Antonio TX, College Station Texas, Beaumont TX, Dallas Texas, Midland Tx and points beyond.