Outdoor lighting should be appreciated from inside the home

Outdoor lighting should be appreciated from inside the home

By Mike Gambino

What makes this business interesting and exciting is that sometimes we are asked to add accent lighting to unusual and special subjects which are near and dear to the client. Sometimes the subject of interest is really special and that is the case with this spectacular  piece of vintage artwork.

Although all of our work is performed outside of the home. Often times it is featuring gardens, statues, art works, water features that are viewed and enjoyed from within the home. I think that this is one of the aspects of landscape or outdoor lighting that somewhat goes unnoticed.

Recently we were asked by a longtime client to back light an ancient stained glass window which originally came from an old church in Italy. My client got a lead from a friend that a home in Malibu was going to be demolished to build a new one on the property. This home had a unique feature that had been built into the wall by the owner. An antique that apparently was purchased in Europe on a vacation visit and crated and shipped to the United States and subsequently installed in the wall of the home.

For whatever reason the owner of the home to be demolished did not wish to salvage it and this is where my client came in. The artifact required minor restoration after being removed from the residence before demolition. Based upon the type of glass used  and some help from his friends at https://windowrepairphoenix.com/replacement/, the artisan who worked on the restoration estimates the stained glass panel to be around 250 years old.

When the work was done my client had her contractor remove a sliding glass door in her living room and custom fit this beautiful piece in its place.

Immediately upon completion of the work I was contacted by my client to illuminate it . During the day the artwork looked stunning with the sun shining through its brilliantly colored antique glass.

However at night with its illuminating qualities missing the piece looked drab and uninteresting.

Gambino landscape lighting was tasked with bringing it to life after dark.

The client made the special request of having control of the lights from an existing wall switch located next to it on the interior wall.

This switch controlled an old wall sconce located on the wall directly behind it which had long since been removed. The 120 volt wiring in the wall to the switch had luckily been left behind. Our lamps of choice were two Constant color 35 watt halogen 12 volt which required the installation of a discrete electronic transformer inside the junction box that formerly housed the wall sconce. Then low voltage cable inside flexible conduit was carefully concealed under and through the soffitt and run to the top of the patio cover.

The switch itself had to be replace as it no longer worked. In order for the lighting to be effective we had to make sure that the fixtures and lamps were placed in such a way that they would not be able to be detected or glaring through the beautiful stained glass therefore ruining the effect.

Since a patio cover was located directly over the exterior space from where the glass was installed. This gave us a perfect opportunity to accomplish this by affixing 2 halogen accent lights to the underside of it although it took 2 site visits to get the placement just right. These same lamps are used in museums and art galleries for their ability to bring out the true color of the subject with excellent color rendering qualities.

In order for the fixtures not be conspicuous from the patio we had them powder coat spray painted white so they would blend in with the cover itself.

My client was totally satisfied with the results and I received a giant hug and kiss on the cheek upon completion.

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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