Lighting plays a key role in landscape design. However, lighting should be used strategically to preserve the natural beauty. Rather than lighting the whole garden, which can look artificial, create pools of light around key features — plants, trees or a water feature — while balancing dark, unlit areas.
To achieve stunning results, you can take advantage of some popular lighting techniques. Below are some methods for achieving the lighting effects commonly seen in professionally designed gardens. You can apply these techniques to your landscape, as they work with any style. Just choose the effects that works best with your space and features.
The technique of uplighting involves placing a directional fixture close to the trunk of a tree and directing the light upward. This effect emits a soft moon-like glow to the tree.
Not surprisingly, downlighting is the opposite of uplighting. The fixture is placed elevated above the object rather than below it. Smaller trees benefit from this technique, as it casts light through the tree below.
Silhouetting lights a vertical surface behind an object resulting in a dark outline of the object. This technique is effective for bringing the focus to an object, like a tree or plant located close to a wall.
If you place a directional lighting fixture in front of an object, it will cast a shadow on the surface behind it. This technique is known as shadowing. Play around with the size of the shadow by adjusting the distance of the light fixture in relation to the object. The further the light source, the smaller the shadow.
Lighting adds a special effect when fixtures are placed under the water. Well lighting contributes to a warmer ambience and a reflective water surface. Add colored lenses for a creative and dramatic look. The same effects can be applied to ponds, fountains or any other water feature.
Pathway lighting is helpful when lighting paths and walkways for security purposes. The paths should be completely visible but not too bright to cause glare or pollution. Low-level lighting will deter intruders and illuminate dark areas while preventing a severe glare.
In addition to creating dazzling views, appropriate garden lighting also creates a safer environment around your home, particularly when it comes to deck lighting. Add a beautiful design fixture while illuminating steps, deck edges and changes in elevation for safety.
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