Architectural Landscape Lighting

Written by Patricia Skinner
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We've all driven past a spectacular building at night and felt moved at the beauty of the architecture and plants as they glow with light. Few of us stop to think about how that effect was achieved. The impressions that professional lighting can create are truly awe-inspiring. Only recently has the art of architectural landscape lighting become a serious pursuit for homeowners, now that they've discovered what can be done with relatively little investment.

Considering the Effect of Your Outside Lighting

The most important issue to consider when planning lighting for the outside of your property is what kind of effect you want to create. Whether you want to use high voltage, low voltage or even solar lighting, you can get approximately the same effect with the right planning. The trick to effective landscape lighting is to highlight the architectural elements of your grounds and building, rather than overpower them with too much light.

Many professionals advocate the use of a system that aims to recreate moonlight. Well placed silvery beams are the most flattering of all, they say. Some of us like to include colored beams in our lighting effects though, either to indulge a personal whim, or to further enhance some aspect of our surroundings. An example of this would be using soft purple lights on a patio that echo the color of a beautiful sunset. Or, consider the case of a pool that's offset with turquoise light, making it look so much more inviting.

Although the primary reason for anyone installing architectural landscape lighting on their property is aesthetics, safety is fast becoming another important reason to light up at night. A well lit home or business is far less likely to become the target of thieves or intruders. In addition, members of the family or employees will feel far safer walking along a well-lit pathway.

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