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Enhance Your Landscaping With Lighting

Part 2

  1. Up Lighting:
  2. Light fixtures can be mounted facing upward to provide an accent to a specific object. This style of lighting is very popular with Palm trees.

    The light fixtures may spot or flood lights pointing up or in ground (Figure 7) lighting. Up lighting highlights shadows and produces a dramatic visual effect, as shown in Figure 8.

    Landscape up light in garden area.

    Figure 7- Landscape up light in garden area.

    Landscape up lighting highlighting trees

    Figure 8 - Landscape up lighting highlighting trees
  3. Cross Lighting:
  4. Cross lighting is the use of a light beam on a horizontal plane to the object. Spot or flood lights can be used, but as a general statement spot lights provide better object definition.

    The cross light fixtures can be mounted on the side of a home, a fence or even a tree, bearing in mind that as the tree grows the horizontal plane will change.

    Any style of spot or flood light fixture can be used.

  5. Shadow Lighting:
  6. There are many times when intentionally creating a shadow of an object, such as having the shadow of a tree or shrub appear on a wall, will create a beautiful scene.

    Figure 9 shows the effect of shadow lighting on trees and shrubs. The shadows of the trees and shrubs highlight the exterior of the home.

    Shadow landscape lighting

    Figure 9 - Shadow landscape lighting

    This effect, shadow lighting will be accomplished if cross lighting has a backdrop behind the object. Hence, shadow lighting is a variation of cross landscape lighting.

  7. Silhouette Lighting:
  8. The technique of applying silhouette lighting to an object such as a tree, shrub or bush is to place a spot, flood or in ground light behind the plant.

    Trees silhouetted against a wall

    Figure 10 - Trees silhouetted against a wall

    It should be noted that this effect works best with smaller plants such as bushes and shrubs. To create a silhouette of a taller object such as a tree requires multiple lights and/or very high illumination.

    The silhouette effect is commonly used to create mystery.

  9. Accent Lighting:
  10. Accent lighting provides definition as it is the application of intense light aimed at a specific object, contrasting the lit object against the dark night background.

    Figure 11 shows accent lighting applied to highlight and define a statue.

    Accent lighting applied to a statue.

    Figure 11 - Accent lighting applied to a statue.

    To accomplish accent lighting install spot lights as either cross or up lighting.

  11. Spread Lighting:
  12. Spread lighting is installed to create a daytime affect to a specific landscape location. Generally it is created using a spherical pattern of light and highlights a group of flowers, shrubs and/or plants, as shown in Figure 12.

    Spread lighting highlighting a group of plants

    Figure 12 - Spread lighting highlighting a group of plants

    The technique is usually accomplished using quantities of down lights, however in some instances combinations of down lights, up lights and cross lights may be used.

  13. Grazing Lighting:
  14. As the name implies, grazing lighting has the light just graze the object.

    Grazing lighting to profile the outside of a home

    Figure 13 - Grazing lighting to profile the outside of a home

    Although this can be accomplished with down lights, it is most common to use up lighting, as shown in Figure 13.

    The use of grazing lights provides a subtle lighting effect, rather than the high definition lighting provided by accent lighting. It also provides an interesting profile of objects.

  15. Path Lighting:
  16. Lighting pathways around your home is very important for the safety of you your family and guests. There are literally hundreds of different styles of path lighting and most are relatively easy to install.

    You do not have to have hundred's of watts of light to illuminate a path. The important design criteria is to make sure that any changes in path direction are well lit, as shown in Figure 14.

    Path lighting

    Figure 14 - Path lighting
  17. Step Lighting:
  18. An area that is often forgotten is steps Having good lighting on steps is a safety issue.

    While steps can be illuminated in many manners, there are specific light fixtures available for all kinds of steps.

    Figure 15 shows step lights built into a set of steps made from pieces of granite. While Figure 16 shows step lighting installed on wooden steps.

    Step lighting in granite steps

    Figure 15 - Step lighting in granite steps

    Step light mounted in wood steps

    Figure 16 - Step light mounted in wood steps

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