A property’s outdoor lighting plays an important role in guiding the movements of evening guests as they arrive and perhaps later as they enjoy meandering about the yard. The welcome that began as guests approach the property should continue as they cross from the public domain into your home world, and invite them to become intimates of the house and the land.
Your driveway’s illumination should comport with the overall style and tone of your outdoor lighting design, providing guidance to the parking area while avoiding the cold, utilitarian glare of institutional or commercial lighting. The standard underlying this functional aesthetic is “just enough”, enough hardware to provide safety and security while pleasing the eye and the heart. Path lighting along a driveway’s edges nicely achieve the practical aims. The airport runway effect can be softened and dramatized by creative downlighting, giving texture to the composition. Your design should provide for drivers backing out, too, if this will be common practice.
Once comfortably parked, your guests will seek guidance to your home’s entrance. Here the mix of considerations is a little different from the driveway, in that there’s a greater physical intimacy between people and place, and, of course, people don’t have headlights. The runway effect can be finessed by irregular placement of path lights, with more reliance on the contribution of nearby wall wash and downlighting fixtures. The overall design should leave no ambiguity about the way to the home’s entrance because if there is any, it’s inevitable that some guests acting in good faith will feel lost on the way from the car to the front door.
Your home’s landscape lighting should encourage guests to admire your grounds up close and personal. The backyard should be an inviting nighttime prospect, an attraction and in pleasant weather a pleasing and comfortable living space. I want to make you feel like you’re on vacation when you step out into your backyard. I want your guests to feel as though you’ve taken them with you to your unique, deeply personal Shangri-La, an experience they’ll appreciate and remember.
These design goals are never met by chance and rarely are achieved with hard work alone. The best preparation outdoor lighting designers and installers can have when approaching your property is a long and rich history of meeting challenges in their profession.
If you are looking to light up your home or commercial property in Houston contact Houston Lightscapes for a free demonstration.