March 22, 2013
When using landscape lighting it is important to think of safety first, then beauty. The landscape by day is easy to navigate and capture everything that each view has to offer. At night the same garden becomes more of a mystery as light and shadow reveal some parts and hide others. In addition to the use of landscape lighting moonlight should also be accounted for when preparing a lighting plan. Some Japanese gardens will even incorporate a moon viewing platform, designed capture a view of the moon during a particular time of the season. There is magic and beauty to be found in many gardens at night. A small garden can be made to feel spacious and a large estate garden intimate and comfortable.
The practical side of night lighting will help to create a safe landscape. Illuminating walkways, steps and abrupt changes in elevation will help prevent accidents for those who are strolling through the garden. Lighting house and building numbers for emergency purposes and discouraging intruders by adding light and eliminating shadows where security is a concern.
Lighting is a powerful tool to be used in our landscape projects. It can be used to guide visitors to an entrance and help us avoid hazards. Lighting also effects our emotions and can help us to feel happy or angry, warm or cold and secure or uncomfortable.
You should also think about how much light is most appropriate for the project. Opinions always vary, but the relative brightness of a project at night is very important. Most residential projects are best with a low amount of light, while commercial projects, due to safety issues, often require great deal more.
We use both line and low voltage lighting systems for our projects. Commercial projects tend to be more line voltage, while low voltage is used more on residential projects.
We will add future articles regarding landscape lighting to learn more about tools, techniques and planning.