Our Landscape Design Expert is back, and this time, we’re talking about landscape lighting, a perfect way to enjoy your outdoor space into the evening hours.
Paul Brydges, owner of Brydges Landscape Architecture, shares with us some of his design schemes that take on two very different looks; each incorporating mixtures of beauty, elegance, and detail, regardless of the time of day.
“Lighting can be a very simple addition to your landscape design; and yet it can create drama and elegance that has a beautiful impact all year round” explains Paul. “Beyond all of the aesthetics that great lighting provides, there are some practical reasons well-placed lighting can contribute to the overall design.”
Illuminating your outdoor space allows you to bring the indoors, out. “When we design certain outside spaces, we keep in mind not only how the client wants the area to look, but also how they would like to use the space. A growing trend in outdoor design is to have an outdoor kitchen, dining, and living area that has the potential of usage in spring, summer and fall, creating a unique experience while extending the home’s overall footprint.” With the ever-increasing selection of outdoor fixtures and options available today, it can be quite easy to make the outdoor lighting reflect the indoor decor, making the transition between the two appear seamless.
Another great use for outdoor lighting is to highlight the landscape itself. Paul explains, “Uplighting can create a stunning and dramatic effect on larger trees and bushes, which can bring out a beauty in those areas that cannot otherwise be achieved during the daylight hours.” Think of that large willow tree by the pond, illuminated in the evening by dramatic light emanating from the ground up, light and shadows winding through its whispering branches, and extending beyond to reflect in the surface of the pond water. A simple addition, but with extraordinary results.
And while we’re talking about water and water features, the right lighting can have a “ripple effect” throughout the evening hours. “When the design incorporates water, the designer can capitalize on its stunning mirroring effect in many ways. Water can be enjoyed physically, like having a pool or a beautiful fountain, but it can also have an emotional effect through its calming sound and movement. Adding lighting to your water element can take all of those benefits well into the night; and create an entirely new visual panorama to enjoy. “Some of the most beautiful lighting paired with water is via natural flame. When you have fire and water moving together or even against each other, the effect is ever-changing, and along with the elegant beauty it can also be quite mesmerizing and peaceful.”
SAFETY & SECURITY
A more practical use of a strategic outdoor lighting design is safety. Using something as simple as light posts to illuminate paths, walkways, and even your driveway, it’s also important to put lights near any stairs or uneven areas, helping family and friends navigate your space without the danger of trips or falls. This type of lighting is essential for patios, decks, stairways, and pool areas, to help ensure everyone’s safety.
Another important and key use of outdoor lighting is added security for your home and as an added deterrent to crime. Floodlights are a great way to brighten dark areas created by the design of both the landscape and the buildings. Guests will also feel more comfortable coming to your home in the evening if your outdoor space is bright and illuminated. To ensure you’re not going to be breaking the bank paying the energy costs often associated with outdoor lighting, LED bulbs and automatic timers are a great way to maintain safety during certain times, and can be set to turn off when not needed. This aspect is especially important when your home is empty during vacations, or at times when you’re away from your home outside your normal schedule.
Curb appeal and property value can also be enhanced with the correct lighting. A beautifully lit home can make your castle stand out amongst all others. Beyond the increased pride of ownership you will feel landscape lighting can attract potential buyers who want to enjoy a home that is as charming and exquisite on the outside as it is on the inside. After all, the first thing someone sees is the outside of your home, which can often make a lasting impression before they even walk through the front door.
More than any words could explain, the pictures from Paul and team show just how impactful lighting can be for every reason mentioned above. However, the simple fact is that the right outdoor lighting will always enhance the natural beauty of the overall landscape design.
At the end of the day, well-designed landscape lighting not only illuminates your exterior world, but helps add precious hours to the enjoyment of the outdoor space you’ve taken such pride in creating.
Written by: Kelli M. Maddocks