Landscape lighting is a general term that includes any low voltage or high voltage installation where light falls upon something outside. Landscape lighting is looked at as a simple add on to a home that requires little knowledge or effort by those that are taken in by the displays at home stores and the one page instruction manual that these lights include. A great design requires more knowledge about the way these lights perform and operate as well as knowledge of the various techniques used by designers to achieve the desired results. A professional design will use many of the various lighting and installation techniques to ensure a desired look and a long lasting system that requires very little maintenance to keep looking its best.
Landscape lighting is similar to architectural lighting and is usually used in combination to achieve a great effect. Landscape lighting techniques are used to highlight various plantings in a way that creates points of interest such as the trunk of a palm lit from below using long shadows cast by the texture of the trees surface to exaggerate it in a way that adds depth to its detail. Lighting can be set to cast shadows of interesting shapes onto the surface of walls. Great lighting will show the plants and beds in a way that cannot be seen during the day.
Architectural lighting is using light to highlight and shadow features of your home or business to show off design elements in various ways to create a mood or statement about the building. Lighting can be bold and strong to contrast the building against the night sky or subtle showing details of the architecture in a way that exaggerates the depth perception of the details. Lighting can highlight or create shadows that really make things visually pop.
For a lighting system you will love, professional installation is as important as the design and placement of the fixtures.
Understanding the way a lighting system works is the only way to ensure the longest possible bulb life as well as trouble free operation. Common installation techniques use parts that are susceptible to corrosion and failure. This requires time to repair and more often than should be. It is very important to have the proper voltage at each fixture. Too low or too high will cause the typical MR 16 halogen bulb to not last nearly as long as it should. It requires calculations based upon the wattage of each bulb in each fixture on each wire run and the distance of the wire run to know what size wire to use and which voltage tap to use to get it right. A poor connection can affect the voltage at a fixture as well. A poor connection can also lead to a fire under the right circumstances.
Contact us for a free consultation about how we can provide a great design and reliable installation of top quality lighting products.
For 120 volt fixtures we carry the full line of fixtures by RAB lighting. http://www.rabweb.com/
For 12 volt lighting we carry the products made by Cast Lighting. http://www.cast-lighting.com/