by Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah
Before we talk about different ways down lighting can be implied in an outdoor setting, it’s important to define what down lighting looks like.
What is down lighting? Down lighting is when a fixture is mounted in an elevated location and aimed downwards so that the light being emitted spreads a wash of light on the target down below. The fixture can be mounted to various locations: a tree limb, the soffit of a home, even a metal pole, all work to provide a place of elevated height for the fixture to be perched.
Patios and outdoor living spaces are a wonderful place to enjoy the effects of down lighting. Down lighting provides a functional light for both the tranquil and social situations that occur on your patio.
A soft light that doesn’t distract or overwhelm you or your guests is always ideal for a patio space. The key to beautiful lighting is subtlety: less says more.
Whether it’s the soft babbling of lapping water or the cool temperature a water feature lends to the night air in the summer, ponds bring tranquility to our outdoor experience. Extending that enjoyment into the evening can be as simple as highlighting it with the right lighting.
Down lighting your pond provides an overall calm, a sense of character to what would otherwise be a dark space.
Water creates a lot of reflection; a defined glow emanates from a pond when it is being down lit appropriately. This reflection is great because it’s a real two for one. Reflection lends more definition to everything it touches. Shadow and light dance and sparkling ripples of the moving water. Creating a dramatic scene with light depends on the contrast between light and shadow.
Statuary lighting, in this lighting designer’s opinion, should be done from above whenever possible. Lighting a statue from below has a potential to create unnatural looking shadows.
When a statue is lit from above, it provides a more natural looking effect. The shadows all lie as they should, and the statue itself is really put in the best light.
Effectively lighting a statute requires eye for what will look most natural. The most natural looking lighting on a statue often leaves the best impression of the viewer.
To provide effective safety light, pathways and other traveled places like steps need to be illuminated. Down lighting a pathway helps travelers see where they are going and how to get from A to B safely.
Down lighting from trees creates beauty in the way the leaves and tree branches stretch shadows across pathways. This more natural looking effect adds real beauty to the places that would otherwise be left dark.
Security lighting is important for an obvious reason: keeping your property safe at night. The beautiful thing about landscape lighting is that security lighting can be achieved without having to sacrifice beauty or ambiance.
While a giant flood light atop a 40 foot metal pole would provide incredible security lighting, who really wants their property to look like a well illuminated prison yard at night?
Beautiful security lighting can be achieved when it’s down with proper down lighting and the right finesse.
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