LED landscape lighting is often a beginning point for the client, identifying trees and features of the landscape that should be illuminated after dark to create aesthetic appeal, but often safety and security take precedent in the outdoor lighting plan as stairs and walkways should be properly illuminated and vulnerability points assessed and addressed with the right techniques.
The client’s existing lighting affixed to the architecture should be always be considered in the comprehensive residential outdoor lighting design. A combination of in-wall dimmers or astronomic timer switches can be installed to ensure the clients line voltage coach lights, lamp posts and flood lights are working in concert with other features and outdoor lighting applications. Sometimes a combination of lower wattage LED lamps and an in-wall astronomic timer switch is all that is necessary to achieve the right balance between low voltage and line voltage lighting.
Other site sensitivities should be considered when creating a comprehensive residential outdoor lighting design:
- Are we managing potential glare issues with adjacent neighbors?
- Are there subdivision or association regulations to consider?
- Is there competing municipal or street lighting to consider?
- Are there dark sky ordinances in place for the specific locale?
Outdoor LED lighting is also used to create nighttime use of outdoor living spaces such as outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, patios, gazebos and screen porches. Adding lighting on or around these outdoor features extends the hours of use for the client and ensures that their investment is accessible long after the sun goes down. Here are some typical approaches to lighting these spaces: Installing “under cap” lighting on seat walls and countertop areas; Attaching fixtures to pergola timbers and deck posts for downlighting and architectural accenting; Suspending LED bistro lights in a perfect pattern to adorn the overhead space of the patio; Concealing fixtures to accent the fireplace and surrounding features.