Safety and security aside (we’ll address these important considerations in another post) landscape lighting design is shaped by three aesthetic and practical criteria. The main goal in landscape lighting is to make your house/yard look amazing at night. Second, is for the lights to be invisible during the day. Lastly, to have the equipment stand up to Mother Nature.
As in all complex design projects, there are both synergies and conflicts between the criteria the designer has to meet. For instance, It’s easy enough to protect fixtures exposed to the elements with sealed light shields, clear boxes that keep moisture out. This approach, though, can bump up against the aim of making the lighting invisible by day, driving the placement options away from aesthetic perfection.
Experienced landscape lighting companies rely on the principle of minimalism to resolve conflicts and exploit synergies between design goals. A little goes a long way. Less is more. This is the only want in this world where too much is a bad thing. Look, in Eden, we’d be able to rely on moonlight and have no need to trouble ourselves with artificial lighting. None would go all the way. Even in our real world, though, but it turns out that by emulating nature’s restraint we can improve upon her.
As artists, we have a suite of lighting techniques we deploy as just-enough design elements, achieving the desired effects with a minimum of installation. Our landscape lighting allows you to subtly show off how expansive your home and yard really are.
Downlighting and moonlighting are perfect examples of the minimalist principle reconciling the aesthetic and practical design demands. Fixtures placed high up in trees, eaves, and trellises, and angled downward are like moonlight, casting shadows and diffusing over a large area. Skillfully placed, the fixtures themselves are out of sight by day and protected from the elements either by the setting or by clear light guards.
Drama is added to a landscape lighting design by accentuating features such as trees with techniques like shadowing, silhouetting, wall washing, and uplighting, all of which locate fixtures so as to draw your home itself into the composition. The art and craft are in identifying locations wherefrom the fixtures are protected from the elements (and from human activities!) while performing their aesthetic functions and keeping out of sight by day.
At Houston Lightscapes we believe a successful landscape lighting installation has to shine all year round, through the four seasons. Designers and installers have to be able to see the property and its features not only as they appear now, but also under all the year’s weather and climate conditions. Experience is the asset that supports this vision.