Too Much Light? Landscape Lighting Overdone

When evaluating clients’ homes and businesses for prospective landscape lighting projects, it’s not uncommon to have to address the overt brightness of existing architectural lighting fixtures. Landscape lighting is an art of contrasts where dark space provides backdrop for lighting focal points in the landscape and in the architecture. The presence of too much light ultimately results in the loss of composition and too often, architectural street lamps, porch lights and house mounted flood lights will overpower the selected landscape lighting strategy.

“Landscape Lighting is an Art of Contrasts”

How do we solve this dilemma? There are a few solutions depending on existing fixtures and client preferences. The simplest option is to replace high wattage bulbs in these fixtures with low wattage bulbs to minimize the effect on surrounding landscape lighting. Another option is to install dimmer switches on the light fixtures and to reduce the light output. We often work with home automation systems to adjust the light levels of specific architectural light fixtures for different scenarios. This allows clients to turn all lights on at full power intensity for security purposes as needed. They can then revert back to proper light levels for a more artistic or natural architecture with landscape lighting effects.

Another option is to eliminate specific lighting fixtures such as driveway post lights. One client recently planning to add granite lamp posts down the length of their driveway along with 120 volt light fixture installations on each post needed a bit of persuasion to rethink the potentially negative outcome of their strategy. The stately nature of the trees lining their driveway begged of a more elegant solution.  By replacing the lamp posts with hidden down-lights situated in the trees to illuminate the driveway, a more natural moonlit pattern of light was created with an end result being that of a softer and more ambient light without the unattractive glare associated with these standard lamp post lights. Additionally, the client was spared the expense of granite posts and post mounted light fixtures, the cost of hiring an electrician to trench up and wire 120 volt conduit and lastly, the permitting costs required for the proposed lightscaping installation.

When existing architectural lights are considered and high light output is reduced we can create a lighting installation whereby all lights complement one other instead of competing for attention. To experience lighting design that is functionally artistic, call or write us today.