It is the first question anyone interested in adding landscape lighting should ask themselves. Why light? Is your yard or neighborhood dark and you are seeking safety and security? Do you entertain a lot outdoors and desire a lot of utilitarian light as well as an improvement in the ambience? Or is it purely aesthetic – are you looking to create a beautiful nighttime scene to complement your home and landscaping? Oftentimes we find that a client’s lighting needs are a combination of all these things, but to tailor the project to your exact needs, we must drill down on that one basic question.
Light can be so many things to so many people, and the possibilities with professionally designed landscape lighting are truly endless. Light most certainly provides security; the jury is out on that one, numerous studies have shown how this can deter unwanted visitors to your yard. We also need light on our properties to safely guide us across walkways, down steps, along docks, and down driveways.
Another important aspect of landscape lighting is the utilitarian one. If you spend your summer evenings on your patio, good lighting will draw you out there more and even keep you out there longer. Grilling areas, seating areas, and spaces for outdoor games will all be given a second life when they are properly lit. There is nothing so inviting as a well-lit outdoor living area!
But the application of light is first and foremost an art. By choosing to highlight certain elements of a property, we bring in from the darkness what we choose, and by doing so, create a nighttime portrait that is not visible during daylight hours. The application of the varying light sources available to a lighting designer is what draws out the magic and brings out the smiles!
When thoughtfully planned and executed, outdoor lighting not only serves to meet the exact needs of the client but combines those purposes with an aesthetic component. To discover those needs and determine how best to apply landscape lighting to a property, we must always start with one simple question. Why light?