Over lighting vs. Under lighting a Garden

Over lighting vs. Under lighting a Garden

By Mike Gambino

A major myth, misconception and misunderstanding of outdoor lighting exists regarding the Over lighting of a garden space. Fixture counts, when left to the hands of a professional, rarely contribute to the problem of an over lighted garden. A spectacular landscape lighting system will require multiple low voltage, low wattage and well shielded light sources. Probably many more than the homeowner would imagine.

Definately the single most frequent objection I hear besides cost is “It sounds like too many lighting fixtures”. If a landscape lighting design/builder’s goal is to sell as many lights as possible to each client for frivolous purposes then he or she has chosen the wrong profession.

On the other hand if he or she is trying to save their client money, afraid to recommend a spectacular installation because of cost, then justice is not being done to either client or designer.

As F.B. Nightingale the father of garden lighting puts it-“A garden should be illuminated to bring out the beauty that is there. Price or the number of fixtures required should never enter into thought.” It may sound self serving for a garden designer to say that cost should not be considered however the point made is that pulling out fixtures for the sake of money savings is counterproductive and will always result in a less than spectacular result.

A good garden lighting designer is not a fixture salesman. Their goal is to bring something out of the darkness of night that is beautiful to see while designing the lighting of each garden space to the best of their ability. Not only does this give the designer happiness from within, but will leave much of his or herself behind thru their vision of beauty to appreciate for many years to come.

It is just as possible to over light a garden as it is to under light one. Many gardens which are believed to be over lighted are actually over glared. This is caused by the use of fixtures which cannot control the source of light and are not well shielded or the light blocked itself from being in viewers eyes. This can be an extreme source of irritation for not only the homeowner but their neighbors.

On the other hand, to look out over and under illuminated garden has the feeling of an unfinished painting which in reality it is. Do not consider doing just a half way job. Once a lighting project is started it should be consistently followed through in detail to its completion.

The exception to this rule is the client with a tight budget who wishes to have a complete and spectacularly lighted garden but wishes to take two or three years to complete it. In this case a master plan is drawn with phases planned out to be completed in intervals that budget permits.

A perfect example of under lighting exists in the example shown below of Garden lighting before being redesigned and remodeled by Gambino landscape lighting.

Under illuminated Garden before being remodeled by Gambino landscape lighting

Beautifully balanced Garden lighting after being remodeled by Gambino Landscape lighting

The difference between an under lighted and a Gambino landscape lighting system can be compared to the difference between a regular television set and a high definition television monitor. The colors are more brilliant and lifelike and the light more balanced and effective.

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 .

Blog articles may be published with permission on other websites without editing or removing links.

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