Outdoor lights create a unifying aesthetic between the natural and the man made. Houses, yards, landscape features, trees, indigenous vegetation, patios, gazebos, and gardens can all be made to look like they not only fit together, but belong together. There is a vast multitude of fixture types and lamping options to consider when planning an outdoor garden lighting system, and there is a great deal of design than goes along with the selection of technology in order for the equipment to produce truly impressive results. Understanding a few key elements of design will help you conceptualize the basic steps toward the outcome more easily. It will also help you find the right professional sources for outdoor lights and design services and save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.
Take a less is more approach.
One thing to remember when choosing contemporary outdoor lights is that the lights themselves are not the most important element to the design. While this may sound odd, it really makes a great deal of sense when we consider the simple scientific fact that none of us actually see light itself—we see color. Your outdoor lighting system is intended to showcase the richness of color and form surrounding your home, not showcase itself. A large number of visible fixtures tends to overwhelm the property with obtrusive equipment and could result in complaints from your neighbors if the combined light output is too intense. You will also pay dearly for the overkill when the electric bill comes due.
On the other hand, a professional photometric analysis can show you exactly how much light you need and where. This will tell you in turn what outdoor light fixtures to actually purchase, and give you a general idea of where you should have them installed.
Conceal the fixtures.
In most cases it is not possible to literally conceal a light fixture completely. This is not necessary, anyway. All that is necessary is to conceal the fixtures enough from the viewer’s conscious awareness in order to point their attention to the object(s) being illuminated. This is something of a trick of the eye, as some would say, and often requires a professional consulting firm to help you achieve. Professional landscape lighting firms like Illuminations Lighting and Design have special training in fixture concealment, and they have access to commercial grade fixtures that are often smaller and more efficient than retail grade equipment.
It is fair to say, then, that whereas the actual number of fixtures is not the most important part of outdoor light design, the concealment and proper angle of fixtures certainly is.
Use energy efficient fixtures.
Almost every outdoor lighting concept you can imagine can be created using energy efficient fixtures. Both commercial outdoor lighting and outdoor home architectural lighting often rely heavily upon low voltage accent lights. These lights tend to be very safe to have in the yard around children and pets, and they of course consume far less electricity than line voltage fixtures. LED outdoor lights are also making an explosion in the marketplace, making it possible to decorate with everything from special effects and subtle shades of mood-altering color to bright floodlights for home security, outdoor path lighting or commercial property lighting.
Determine mount by subject illuminated and angle of incident.
Different outdoor lights feature different types of mounts. Some attach to the ground and shine up lighting onto trees, walls, and statuary. Others install in the trees themselves and create something akin to artificial moon light. Still others attach to the roofs of homes and office buildings and keynote important features that make the structure unique and aesthetically appealing.
Get a professional firm to help you.
These basic considerations point to a very important, ultimate consideration, that every homeowner has to make when investing in residential landscape lights. While lighting singular elements of a house, yard, patio, garden, or flower bed may be easy to do using retail grade fixtures and lamps, developing a continuity of themes between the various elements of a landscape and a house, along with saving energy and using fixtures that are built to last for a good number of years, takes a great deal of time and sometimes very sophisticated calculations.
It is also important that you realize that your community probably has, or will have very soon; dark sky laws that strictly regulate the type and level of lighting you can have around your home. Light pollution can be both a nuisance to neighbors and a safety hazard to motorists driving by. Working with a firm like ILD ensures that your equipment meets all energy and dark sky regulatory codes and that it is installed at the ideal angles of incidence to light your home and landscape as intended without violating legal restrictions on the equipment or its use.
Get a free consultation before you make any decisions.
If you live anywhere in Texas and need lighting in Houston, Beaumont, Austin, TX, or San Antonio areas, call Illuminations Lighting and Design before buying anything. We will provide you with a free consultation and a list of recommended outdoor light fixture and lamp types to best showcase the beauty and uniqueness of your property. If you move forward into a business relationship with us, understand that you are working with one of the most respected lighting design services company in the United States with 27 years of experience and expertise in five major service disciplines related to lighting, electrical services, and home automation.
Call us now at 1-800-963-1184 to get started. We are located in Houston 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. Visit our lighting blog or request a consultation online using our contact us form.