We often answer questions about Landscape Lighting which refer us back to a very basic “Why?” The answers to that are pretty straightforward – so much so, in fact, that we so often see dark neighborhoods and it makes us wonder why some cities seem to have not yet discovered the overall merits of lighting. And, yes, this is also to say that some regions have indeed discovered this.
Only part of the answer to “Why Lighting?” refers to enhancing a lovely appearance. Other factors such as Home Security, Curb Appeal and general comfort weigh in just as heavily as those involving beauty.
Few of us can imagine a front porch not lit up to welcome visitors. Imagine how dour Halloween would be without porch lamps advertising treats. We can also fail to experience what our visitors find when they approach our homes unless it is dreadful enough for our frank and loving friends to remind us that negotiating our sidewalks is a challenge – or has “issues”. Indeed, one of the single-most hazardous aspects of the night can be the glaring distraction of poorly-placed lights. It becomes even more common where we deal with Security over comfort, providing glaring or far too-bright mechanisms which can blind a person on their approach.
Here, for example, is a perfect example of an inadvertently hostile welcome:
While brimming with an awesome protective sense of security for the dwellers indoors, this is an incredibly difficult passage for anyone honestly approaching a dwelling. It is blinding and therefore dangerous – as much so as its pitch-black alternative.
A well-lit front yard invites passage and provides the same security, but with the “mission” spread out enough that it can feature the elements of surprising beauty and form hidden in the potential elements of almost any landscape. In this instance below, that beauty is of the home itself.
In other cases, one can mute the light a bit and still provide ample security yet tastefully express a warm welcome. This one features the beauty one would want to present as the best imaginable face of welcome and an inclusive inspiration:
As can readily be seen in the photograph above, the placement and design of lighting can be a varied but arresting arrangement which can amplify an already-gorgeous atmosphere. The fact is that Night can provide a stunning opportunity to not just feature interesting form and color but which can also virtually extend a living area into the outdoors, simply by an well-conceived and well-lit lighting design.
These lights compose a near virtual “wall”, enclosing the area in warmth and bordering light. Other lighting possibilities are legion, from “hot” lights featuring works of art or interesting horticultural features made even more satisfying by lighting:
Waterfalls – and water in general – can make stunning features when lit up appropriately:
Lighting up our landscapes, in conclusion, can be an entirely pleasant option, extending our pleasure for yet more hours and in yet more ways, in more places, for more people. We can improve our own lives as well as those of our neighbors by illustrating our personal care for our evening appearance and welcoming natures.
To come, we will investigate yet more facets of outdoor lighting and get down and dirty with installation issues and the various products available in this emerging market.