24 Jul Garden lighting adds so much quality of life
Recently I was sitting with my wife eating dinner in a restaurant where our table was against a window which looked out onto the aisles of a shopping mall. While I was sitting there and taking in the view from the window it dawned on me that I could never work in an environment like that. Something just seemed unattractive and unappealing to me as I watched the shoppers and shop workers go about their business. It wasn’t immediately apparent to me as to why I felt that way but something in my subconscious mind was telling me that this is not a place I’d want to spend much time in. I thought about it for a bit and then it came to me and it was the lighting. The environment was just plain gloomy and depressing. We take for granted how the lighting of a space affects our mood and behavior and sometimes it is not easily understandable how lighting makes us feel certain ways.
A huge investment is made in our homes and properties. It is unfathomable to me that most owners do not have the benefits of effective garden lighting. What they look out onto from their windows at night is one big giant black hole of nothing. Foreboding Darkness of an empty unusable space that has an uneasy feeling of insecurity.
I have owned a home for 25 years and have always had garden lighting adorning the exterior of my home and garden. To me it always seemed just natural and not only because it is how I make my living. It seems silly to me to look out the windows at night and not be able to appreciate what you have.
Outdoor lighting is often thought of as a security concern rather than an aesthetic opportunity, but that appears to be changing. Traditional outdoor lighting has always included glaring lanterns at each door and possibly post lights throughout the yard or the nuisance motion sensor triggering high wattage lamp holders that annoy neighbors.
For those in the know residential lighting is about navigation: knowing where paths are and having a sense of the borders and features of your yard. If you’ve just spent a bunch of money on landscaping, once the sun goes down you can no longer see what’s out there. The total investment cannot be appreciated only but for daylight hours and that is a shame. Landscape lighting gives you back that ability.
As Garden lighting designers, just as stage lighting techs bring attention to actors on a stage, our job is to bring light to a space in such a way that it is not recognizable. The light should be subtle and should not be the primary focus. The star of the garden should be the subject of the light or what is being brought to life. Amenities such as statues, moving water, special trees etc.
If we are successful the space will draw people to it and they will want to spend some time there. On the other hand if we are doing our job right then there are certain views and areas of the garden that we want to keep people out of. Safety is also of utmost importance. Changes in grade, steps, decks and bodies of water are places that require extra attention. They should be illuminated in a way that makes them visible without making a focal point out of them. There is a fine line to accomplishing this that takes experience to master.
As previously mentioned window views, when interior light is balanced, through the glass pane become like artists paintings hung on a wall. Like an oil painting on canvas with a beautiful frame, windows provide beautiful scenes that change and can be appreciated even more as the seasons change.
Those who have never experienced this on their own properties are missing much.
This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 20 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to www.Gambinolighting.com . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .
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