28 Aug How to assure Good landscape Lighting
By Mike Gambino
It doesn’t always take a trained eye to realize how bad some landscape lighting is. Some is just so awful that is evident to all who view it.
All light is not awesome – but when it’s done right it’s what allows us to appreciate our properties at night and gives us a feeling of safety and security! As professional landscape lighters, we should be capable of providing good lighting in any shape or form for our clients.
Now don’t get me wrong – different types of light are better suited for different types of gardens. No matter how positively you think about it, looking directly into bright, harsh light will still make people squint and feel uncomfortable in a space, with unflattering shadows.
So being able to balance and control the lighting so it isn’t uncomfortable to people in the space is of utmost importance.
Your property at night is not just about the light. It’s about capturing the attention of that super interesting thing or aspect of your property after dark. Or making dangerous spots or areas apparent to avoid accidents or injury. It’s not the light itself that takes center stage it’s the subject, such as a beautiful fountain or statue or specimen tree that draws the attention. When done properly the light should not draw the attention, it’s the subject or what is being illuminated that gets the focus. The light itself is one important part of the equation.
How to assure Good Landscape Lighting!
STEP 1: ASSESS THE LIGHT
After the sun has gone down look at the light around you. Look really carefully. If it’s perfect then just sit back and enjoy! But it’s more likely that the light is less than ideal. So look closely to assess the details of the light. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are there multiple light sources? (multiple fixtures aiming in different directions at the same subject)
- What direction is the light coming from?
- Is the light soft? Is it harsh?
- What are the shadows like?
- What color temperature is the light?
STEP 2: ATTEMPT TO MODIFY
Once you’ve determined what the light is like, you can try to modify it. We have a lot of techniques at our disposal to make the best of any lighting situation. Here are some things to try:
- Take light away:If you have multiple light sources, try covering them one by one to see what challenges. Using less light sources may make a positive difference .
- Add more light:You can also add more light to the situation. Experiment with light fixtures that have varying brightness levels and beam spreads. Move them around to different positions to find the most desirable results.
- Modify the light:Try adding optical lenses, baffles and louvers. There are several tricks, ways to modify light that can make it work better for your situation!
- Move your fixtures:If possible, move your fixture/s somewhere else to create better light, or to get a better angle with the light you already have.
- Move subjects and viewing locations:If you can’t move your fixture/s, try moving your subject or from where you and your guests primarily view it from. This may not be practical in most situations but if it is walk around, and see how different the light is depending on where you stand.
And if all of those things fail, and the light still isn’t very good…
Even if you’ve tried it all, and you still don’t like the lighting….. It may be time to call in a pro who can help you get that elusive look that you are after.
You have paid a lot of money to be in your home and the beautiful landscaping you should get to enjoy especially after dark. Calling in a capable landscape lighting designer/builder is Well worth the cost and effort.
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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