07 Apr Landscape and Garden lighting is “IN” part 1
By Mike Gambino
When the sun goes down, it shouldn’t mean people can’t enjoy their garden features, thanks to the range of lighting options available. If you are waiting for the best time to have a landscape lighting system installed then wait no more. There is no better time then the present. LED Garden lighting has come of age and has surpassed the quality, light output, efficiency and energy savings of halogen lighting. There are so many different types of illumination to suit any type of outdoor space and compliment any type of garden feature. Whether you go for candles on your table, permanent fixtures that house lamps or the fairy style lights in trees, outdoor lighting is the perfect way to give your garden a little extra character, illuminate key features and make your outdoor space a little bit more inviting when the sun goes down in summer or the dark evenings of winter.
Lanterns on a table for example are a great way of introducing candles to your garden and they’ll prevent the wind from constantly blowing them out. A well-lit garden is most definitely ‘in’; a dark garden is ‘out’, and this is a growing trend that many property owners are intrigued by.
Good garden lighting will extend the usable time in your outdoor entertaining areas. Home garden lighting is the perfect way to add some glimmering soft lighting to your outdoor garden for decoration. So why not redefine your outdoor living space? Your garden is not just about potted plants and grass here and there. It has a personality of its own and a well designed garden will really complement the overall look of any house. Here are some lighting tips, styles and accessories that are guaranteed to brighten up your garden.
Complement your garden style and décor but don’t stress on fixture style themselves
Gardens are not just about vegetables and flowers, you can complement the way your ornamental garden looks with some unique garden lighting. The most basic thing to remember when selecting outdoor lights for your home is to not worry about choosing a style that suits the style of your home’s architecture. Don’t go for crazy looking for ultra modern fixtures in the garden to match your architecture as hardware is meant to be concealed and not become a focal point in itself. Fixtures should be chosen to blend to their surroundings. Plus, you are not going to use the lamps during the day, so it is vital that the lights function in a way that reflects the richness of the night. One popular way to achieve this effect of effective lighting is by placing controlled lights close to the ground inside planter beds or potted plants and that way you provide just adequate illumination to highlight without bathing your home in wall mounted style uncontrolled floodlight.
Use garden lighting to highlight not blow an area out with stadium lighting.
To complement your garden have special lighting in the portions of the garden that you want to highlight when you look outside from your house. Highlight lighting is one of the brilliant ways to add some interest to the key sections of your garden. For example, if you have a large garden ornament or water feature in your garden then installing some soft lights around these will add to the charm of your garden at night. The key to getting light for garden decor right is making it look warm and inviting in the evening.
Go green with LED lights
LED lights are definitely one of the most popular choices of garden lighting today. They are not only economical to run, they’re incredibly durable and will provide just the right amount of subtle light. A lighting package of LED light fixtures on a pathway, patio or driveway will help to make them safer and also ensure that nobody misses the main design features of your outdoor space.
Keep your garden lights subtle
Lights in trees, bushes and specific plants can add some real character to your garden. If you are looking for a more dramatic effect, then go for lights that you can bury or place fixtures close to the ground. And while much of this type of light is absorbed by plant material, it will provide adequate lighting to really bring out the beauty of your garden and provide indirect ambience.
Illuminate your patio or deck
Patios are an integral part of your garden, so why not make it look a little special at night too. Add some soft lighting around your patio or deck and that way you can entertain long after its dark. The key focus of good garden lighting should be to create a soft glow that brings out the essence of the flowers and plants in and around your patio or deck.
And while we’re on the subject of good garden lighting, it is always important that you identify the different areas of the garden you want to illuminate and how you plan to use them. Below are a few examples of the different types of area you might want consider and those you should probably avoid too.
A pergola or patio seating area where you plan to eat / relax outdoors would mainly require down lights as this is the best way of lighting this area in terms of practicality and look. Strong up lighting should be avoided as will tend to dazzle the viewer and diminish the overall effect. Up lights can be used but we would recommend they are used against the exterior columns or supports of the pergola or for example small trees and shrubs just outside the pergola boundary.
Lawns can be a little tricky to light as they usually require a large spread of stronger light which tends to ruin the overall effect of the rest of the garden. In our experience, unless there is sufficient budget the lawn area is best left in darkness as it tends to compete with other area of interest which are lit and provide a strong emphasis on it and not the more interesting features. Downlighting can be done from lawn trees for interest but flooding lawns with harsh lighting from lawn perimeters is glaring harsh and unappealing.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this article.
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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