Landscape Lighting Orlando, FL adds beauty and safety to your home gardens, pathways and entrance areas after dark. Choosing the right lights and integrating them properly can make all the difference in your outdoor lighting design.
Professionals have a knack for creating beautiful outdoor lighting designs that work well and look good. They also have access to better quality components and heftier wire than do-it-yourselfers.
A popular landscape lighting technique, uplighting is done by mounting a fixture below or at ground level and shining light upwards. This can highlight a tree, garden feature or even your home’s exterior to create drama and impact. Uplighting can also be used to illuminate your driveway or walkways and provide safety and visibility in your outdoor space.
When uplighting, choose a fixture with a wide beam to avoid hot spots and glare. The best fixtures will have an adjustable lumen output so you can control the amount of light you want to cast. This allows you to highlight your features without overdoing it and also gives you flexibility when you move a fixture or change bulbs. LED landscape lighting offers energy savings and a long lifespan, making it a good choice for uplighting.
Whether it’s the lacy leaves of a Japanese maple or the cool multiple trunks of a Pygmy date palm, lighting these structures after dark can add dramatic impact. Professional landscape lighting shows off their shapes and textures, casting shadows and adding a magical quality to your outdoor space.
The grazing lighting technique is an excellent way to highlight your home’s façade, especially if it has stone or stucco detailing. Using a combination of techniques, you can light up your home in a way that creates a soft glow and highlights the texture of your walls.
A well-lit wall, patio or porch is the centerpiece of a home’s exterior. By choosing the right fixtures and blending in other elements, you can create a stunning effect that will wow your friends and family.
Ideally, you’ll use low voltage (12V) landscape lighting, which eliminates the risk of shock and allows you to safely install your landscape lights yourself. Line voltage (120V) lighting can be dangerous and should only be installed by a licensed electrician. Choose fixtures that are easy to access so you can change the bulb or clean the fixture, and look for options with photocells or motion sensors to turn your lights on at dusk and off at dawn.
The goal of a well-designed lighting system is to provide contrasting effects that enhance your landscape at night. This is often accomplished by using different types of fixtures and techniques.
Spotlighting is an excellent technique to use for highlighting focal points such as flowers, small shrubs, statues or water fountains. This type of landscape lighting is typically low power and uses a spotlight fixture to project a controlled intense beam on the feature. The spotlighting of a feature can highlight its textures as well, such as an interesting piece of bark on a tree or the textured surface of a stone wall. Using this type of landscape lighting can also create intriguing shadows that help add drama and depth to the feature being highlighted.
Moonlighting is another landscape lighting technique that is used to bring natural shadows back into the yard at night. This effect is achieved by installing a light high in the trees and aiming it upwards to softly illuminate the branches. This is a great way to highlight the shape of a large tree at night and also showcase its canopy. This is also an excellent way to highlight the dark outline of a retaining wall or other vertical structure in the backyard.
When using this landscape lighting technique, it is important to make sure the light is not too close to the feature being highlighted as this can cause “over lighting.” It is also important that the light is not aimed at the feature directly as this can create glare and wash out the detail of the feature being highlighted. The best way to achieve a beautiful moonlighting effect is to experiment with the height and angle of the light and then carefully adjust as needed.
This landscape lighting technique can be used to highlight specific features such as flags, sculptures and other structures in the garden. This is usually done with a spot or flood light and can be quite effective at adding interest to a feature. Another way to use this technique is to light the feature from two sides, such as a statue or flagpole, to reveal its three-dimensional perspective.
Your front yard’s pretty trees and shrubs, your cool arched entryway, that gorgeous brick work—all these things add up to a great curb appeal. But they’re usually hidden from view at night. Landscape lighting illuminates them, highlighting their beauty and inviting you to spend more time outside after dark.
Also called grazing lighting, this technique shines light on vertical surfaces to project intriguing shadow patterns and add depth to a structure’s architecture. It’s a perfect way to showcase the texture of tree bark, stucco or masonry, or to highlight the details of an attractive doorway. It can also add drama to a water feature or other focal point.
This type of lighting is a newer approach to landscape illumination. Using LED technology, these fixtures are smaller and more versatile than traditional landscape lights. They’re often available in a range of beam spreads to suit different applications, and they don’t use as much energy as older incandescent fixtures. Plus, they’re easy to replace, making them a smart choice for outdoor lighting.
You might be tempted to flood every corner of your property with bright landscape lighting, but that’s not always the best approach. Using too much light can wash out your landscape, make it difficult to see, and create annoying glare for neighbors.
A layered approach to landscaping lighting is more effective. Using a combination of techniques, your Central Florida landscape lighting designer can bring out the beauty and drama of your landscape, making it an unforgettable place to be.
Before hiring a landscape lighting company, ask for references from previous clients and visit properties where they’ve worked. A professional landscape lighting design is an investment, and you want to be sure you’re working with a reputable firm. Also, check out the company’s website to see examples of their work and read customer reviews. Also look for lighting professionals who use LEDs, which are more energy efficient than older incandescents and offer a wider variety of features, including adjustable color temperatures and beam spreads. Many landscape lighting fixtures are “lamp-ready,” meaning you can change the bulb yourself when it needs to be replaced.
Lumens are the measurement of light intensity and brightness. They differ from wattage, which is the measurement of how much electricity a fixture uses. The higher the lumen count, the brighter the fixture. However, a high number of lumens can create a look that is visually unattractive or fatiguing on the eyes. Therefore, a balance of lumens is important when creating a landscape lighting design.
One advantage of LEDs is that they produce a neutral white light that is closer to daylight than older HID technologies. This makes it easier to see the true color of plants, trees, and architectural features in the landscape. Other benefits of LEDs are their longevity and energy efficiency. LEDs also have a lower heat output, making them more environmentally friendly.
A common mistake of beginner landscape lighting designers is to overlight the space. This can result in a bright, glaring nightscape that is not pleasing to the eye or the purpose of the design. If you’ve ever driven through Napierville or Kenilworth at twilight, you have probably seen this type of over-lit space.
The best way to avoid this is to plan the lighting carefully and choose fixtures with a lower lumen count. This will ensure that the landscape is not overly lit and that the fixtures are placed in areas where they will provide a pleasant, natural-looking illumination.
It’s also important to consider the kelvin temperature of the bulbs you use in your landscape lighting system. Different bulbs have varying temperatures, with 2700K being more yellow and warm, 3000K being a neutral white, and 4200K being bluer and cooler. It’s important to select a bulb with the correct kelvin temperature so that you don’t have too much or too little light in your landscape.
When a lighting designer plans a landscape for you, they will use all of these principles to create an outstanding evening experience. It’s important to work with a reputable company that has a good track record of customer service and quality. They will understand your goals and needs, and create a lighting system that works well for you, your home, and the surrounding environment.