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Outdoor Lights

Jul 28, 2008
Outdoor lighting fixtures work to unify the natural and the man made. Homes, patios, landscape features, trees, planters, indigenous vegetations, pathways, and gardens can all be made to look like they not only fit together, but belong together. There is an almost overwhelming variety of fixture types and lamp options to consider when planning an outdoor lighting system, and there is a great deal of lighting design services than goes along with the selection of technology in order for the equipment to produce truly outstanding results. Understanding the basic requirements of design will help you conceptualize the major steps in the process more easily. It will also help you find the right professional sources for outdoor garden lights, landscape design and save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.

Take a less is more approach.

One thing to consider when selecting outdoor lights is that the actual lights themselves are not the most important element to the design. While this may sound odd at face value, it really makes a great deal of sense when we consider the simple scientific fact that none of us actually see light itself - we see color. "Your outdoor light fixtures are intended to showcase the richness of color and form surrounding your home, not showcase itself". A large number of visible fixtures tends to overwhelm the property with too much equipment and can easily result in complaints from your neighbors if the combined light output is too intense.

Conceal the fixtures.

In most instances, it is not possible to completely conceal a light fixture altogether. This is not necessary, anyway. All that is necessary is to hide the fixtures enough from the viewer's conscious awareness in order to point their attention to the object(s) being illuminated. This amounts to a trick of the eye, as many would say, and frequently requires a professional consulting firm to help you achieve. Professional firms like Illuminations Lighting and Design have special training in architectural lighting design, fixture concealment, and they have access to commercial grade equipment that is often smaller and more efficient than retail grade equipment.

Use energy efficient fixtures.

Almost every outdoor lighting design that you can conceptualize can be created using energy efficient fixtures. Both landscape lights and outdoor house lighting often rely heavily upon low voltage accent lights to reduce outdoor lighting maintenance costs. These lights tend to be very safe to have in the yard around children and pets, and they of course consume far less electricity than line voltage fixtures. LED outdoor lights are also making an explosion in the marketplace, enabling us now to decorate with everything from special effects and subtle shades of mood-altering color to bright floodlights for home security or commercial property lighting.

Determine mount by subject illuminated and angle of incident.

Different outdoor light fixtures feature different types of mounts. Some mount to the ground and shine up lighting onto trees, walls, and statuary. Others install in the trees themselves and create moon light shining down. Still others attach to the roofs of homes and office buildings and accent important features that make the structure unique and aesthetically appealing. Outdoor tree lighting can be quite effective is done properly.

Get a professional firm to help you.

These basic considerations point to a very important, ultimate consideration, that you need to make when investing in professional outdoor landscape lighting. While lighting singular elements of a house, yard, patio, garden, or flower bed may be easy to do using retail grade fixtures and lamps, developing a unified theme between the various elements of a landscape and a house, along with saving energy and using fixtures that are built to last for a good number of years, takes a great deal of time and sometimes very sophisticated calculations.

It is also important to realize that your community probably has, or will have very soon; energy efficiency codes and dark sky laws that regulate the type of outdoor lights and the level of illumination you can have around your home. Light pollution can be both a nuisance to neighbors and a safety hazard to motorists driving by. Working with a outdoor lighting contractor like ILD ensures that your equipment meets all energy and dark sky regulatory codes and that it is installed at the ideal angles of incidence to light your home and landscape as intended without violating legal restrictions on the equipment or its use.

Get a free consultation before you make any decisions.

It is always best to call a professional firm and get a free consultation before you buy any outdoor lights. Most outdoor lighting companies will provide you with a systematic analysis of your home, point out the vest strategies for illuminating its exterior, and offer you access to equipment that only licensed manufactures representatives such as Illuminations Lighting and Design can obtain.

Buying retail grade fixtures or over purchasing equipment will cost more money in the long run and often lead to disappointment. On the other hand, a professional photometric analysis will immediately show you exactly how much light you need and where. This will tell you in turn what outdoor light fixtures to actually purchase, and give you a general idea of where you should have them installed.
About the Author
Illuminationslighting.com. For more information on Outdoor Lights, visit the Landscape Lighting Design section of our website.
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