Landscape Lighting Designer

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Landscape Lighting Designer

Eye-Catching Light Thoughtful landscape lighting is a treat for the eyes. “You want people driving by to take a second look because what you’ve created is interesting,” says Chris Mitchell of landscape lighting firm NiteLiters in Owensboro, Ky. Mark Parameters On this walkway, the offset lights have considerable distance between them, leading the eye naturally down the path. Some are located entirely in the garden bed while others cast light onto the path. “They give you just a little bit of information,” says Jeff Dross of Kichler Lighting in Cleveland. “You simply need an idea of parameters so you can navigate through the area. Keep in mind that there will be a fair amount of natural moonlight at night to help you as well.” Mix Styles Using different styles of path lights in the same scheme can help you avoid the “good little soldier” look. Be sure to clean the lamp surfaces and check for burned-out bulbs at least once a year, and relocate the stakes if plant growth has blocked their light output. Less Is More Path lighting is something that is rarely done well. Whether you opt for inexpensive stakes or pricier fixtures, placement is critical. Think of them as gentle hints for where to go next, not outlining tools or runway lights for an airplane landing. Fewer is usually better. Add Color and Texture Path lights are visual aids in a dark space, but they also add color and texture if you place them near interesting plants. This way, you can retain pieces of your garden’s charm long after the sun sets. Work With What You’ve Got Another approach to path lighting is to forego it altogether. In this scene designed by Chicago-area lighting firm Night Light, Inc., uplit trees and downlighting from the house cast ample light on the walkway. “You don’t have to light every inch of your landscape,” says vice president Dean MacMorris. “There’s a place for path lights, but we use them sparingly.” Moon Lighting Night Light, Inc. specializes in moon lighting, placing lights high in trees to give the effect of real moonlight. According to MacMorris, you want to climb 30-40 feet or higher to get the most natural look and to keep the fixtures hidden from view. Here, uplighting on trees near the house and moon lighting in the taller trees beyond preserves a woodsy feel and illuminates walking areas so that no path fixtures are needed. Cool Light In terms of color temperature, moonlight is on the cool end of the spectrum — it’s “bluer” than artificial indoor lighting. Night Light, Inc. uses lighting with a color temperature of 5500 kelvins for a natural moonlit look. This patio at the end of the pathway is illuminated softly with just two moon lights overhead. Indirect Lighting Seating areas benefit from moon lighting or lighting installed high overhead because there are no harsh bulbs at eye level and it creates a cozy, intimate feel. “No one likes to feel as if they’re on stage when they’re sitting outside,” says MacMorris. Warm and Cool Lighting Candlelight is at the other end of the spectrum from moonlight — compared to the cooler 5500 kelvins, yellow has 2000 kelvins. That means in combination with overhead moon lighting, warm tabletop candles really pop. Fireplace Lighting If you don’t have tall trees, you may have to get creative to achieve moon lighting. This outdoor fireplace is spotlighted from a three-and-a-half story eave. The pergola in the background is lit brightly because it’s viewed from the house most of the time; however, it can be made more inviting with a dimmer switch. Hardscape Lighting The hardscaping in this outdoor kitchen is lit with outdoor LED tape, which is a flexible strand of LEDs encased in silicone and designed to keep moisture out. Although the back is adhesive, the tape requires support from clips to stay in place. You need some electrical experience if you want to install this yourself. Water Features According to Mitchell of NiteLiters, many clients want water features to be lit from within and also uplit — even though that effect never occurs in nature. “But if you want KAPOW, that’s the way to go,” he says. This water feature is the focal point of the client’s front yard. Natural Beauty Another approach for water features, says Mitchell of , NiteLiters, is to let the ear be your guide. “When you’re walking in the woods, you hear water first — you don’t see it,” he says. “You don’t have to make your water feature a visual focal point. You can let someone take it in as they come near it, and that can be a spectacular effect in itself.” Soft downlighting is the best choice for this natural look. Lighting Wide Areas This scene is lit with the entire view in mind, not just the water feature. Uplit trees across the viewing area provide balance; the designer used more lumen intensity and a wider lamp spread on the tree in the middle, which is the focal point. A bonus tip for lighting evergreens: Using a blue lens intensifies their green color. Lighting Objects When you’re uplighting objects such as statuaries or trees, a good rule of thumb is to use warm (yellow/orange) light on man-made objects and cool (white/blue) light on plants, says Night Light, Inc.’s MacMorris. It’s also best if you plan the lighting before you actually install the object itself. Statues, for example, are typically best viewed from a particular direction, but once you get hardscape and plants in place, it can be difficult to locate the light exactly where it needs to be to get the right effect. Balanced Lighting This pergola stands on an island in the middle of a pond and is viewed from a distance, so rather than just lighting the structure itself, designer Dave Marciniak of Revolutionary Gardens uplit the crape myrtles on either side to spread the light across the entire feature. This way it looks balanced, not stark. “It’ll be even better as the crapes get bigger,” Marciniak says. Add Depth to Exterior Lighting Balance is important when you’re lighting a home’s exterior. Lighting only the house can look unnatural — even bleak — but uplit trees and statuary add depth and softness. Creating Shadows Shadow can be just as interesting as light. The spotlights on the front of this house were placed very close to the foundation so that the light would catch the edges of the beautiful stonework and create an intricate shadow pattern. To avoid a dead dark spot at the peak of the roof, the designer placed one spotlight on a stem in the flower bed (at left) that sends light all the way to the top. Highlighting Hydrangeas This exterior is also uplit to highlight the stonework, and a path light in front spreads its beam over a bank of hydrangeas. “Hydrangeas love landscape lighting,” says Dross of Kichler Lighting. “They should be stage actors.” They reflect light dramatically when they’re in flower, but they also create dancing shadows in winter because they retain their faded leaves and blooms. It’s smart to think about what any plant looks like in all seasons when you’re deciding where to place your lights, especially if you’re using the plant to hide unattractive fixtures. Creating a Silhouette The warm bath of light on this house is created with a mix of down and up lights. The chimneys and dormers are also lit, as are the large trees behind the house which prevent the “lit shoebox effect,” says Mitchell of NiteLiters. Soffits tend to trap light and make the whole house look like a white-hot square. The extra elements add visual height and softly silhouette the roofline so you get a true sense of the space. Dramatic Doors To generate a sense of drama for the front door of this house, which is set in a very narrow porch, Mitchell of NiteLiters chose to backlight the pillars instead of spotlight them. “It creates depth and leads your eye past the pillars to what’s behind them,” he says. An amber lens makes the dark wood of the door look even richer.

Landscape Lighting Designer

The Gold PagesBest Landscape Lighting Designers Outdoor lighting is both a security asset and a surprisingly affordable luxury. The initial cost of design and installation may be high, but that cost is prorated over a number of years, because the lights used are long-lived. (One mercury vapor fixture does the job it used to take 100 incandescent bulbs to do.) Landscape lighting designers are magic-makers – they know just what to highlight in your yard or garden, enhancing the aesthetics and adding grace notes of mystery and romance. And lighting can be installed incrementally in selective areas – a beautiful tree, a path, a patio, a pool – until you’re ready to do the whole shebang. John Watson Landscape Illumination Inc. International Headquarters.Before the 1950s, outdoor lighting meant lights strung in the yards of Hollywood stars by “garden lighters.” Landscape illumination as a profession didn’t exist. That is, not until John Watson wrote his master’s thesis on the subject and ended up pioneering an entire industry, which made Dallas a leader in garden/landscape and outdoor holiday illumination. As a child, Watson would hook up fruit cans with lights and string them on trees over his mother’s garden. He earned a degree in landscape architecture from Texas A&M, and later studied art at the Sorbonne. He went on to work for General Electric, where he learned everything they knew about lighting. In 1952, he returned to Dallas to form his own company. The firm provides artistic illumination to residences, hotels and resorts, corporate campuses, museums, schools, and religious centers around the globe. They’ve done work for a Saudi Prince and the Fairmount Acapulco Princess, for EDS and SMU, and for the Governor’s Mansion and The Mansion on Turtle Creek. Watson developed a number of environmentally friendly lighting designs and custom fixtures, and coined the terms Moonlighting and Moonshadows to describe the mysterious effects he creates. London’s Daily Telegram called his technique “The art of painting with light, the subtle, understated effect of intense moonlight – one of the most dramatic developments in luxurious living.” TIME magazine dubbed him “Mr. Moonlight,” a moniker that has stuck and which Watson sports on the vanity plates of his car. At four score-plus years, Mr. Moonlight remains CEO of the business (his son Shannon is president). An art collector and avid gardener, he helped brighten his surroundings and those of his neighbors in Glen Lakes by planting thousands of tulips and other bulbs (the flowering kind). He’s also a philanthropist with special interest in medical research. 1933 Regal Row. 214-630-7751. 800-886-7751. www.watsonlighting.com Lentz Landscape LightingYou might call Lentz the most romantic company in town. The firm illuminates landscapes to simulate moonlight flooding the garden and patterning the lawn, a rare specialty as it combines two dangerous occupations – electrical wiring and tree climbing. The mercury lamps used last 24,000 hours, about six or seven years, are maintenance-free, and serve for security as well as aesthetics. “When I got into the outdoor lighting business in 1986, few people were doing it, so prices were out of line. Back then, only one light-fixture size existed, so we used to cover incandescent bulbs with blue lenses to make them look like mercury lamps.” With more competition and a profusion of fixture sizes on the market, prices are much more reasonable. Clients might want to light a single, fabulous tree or highlight just the front steps. They might want to gently wash the house with light or illumine an entire estate. Lentz says, “The trick is to conceal the sources and to provide security without turning the property into a prison.” Their jobs conclude with a designer going on site to check that every light in every tree and shrub is spotted to meet the design criteria. Lentz started his company after 10 years of working for an engineering concern. “It was great training. I gained experience managing people and organizing things.” His experience has translated into the firm’s efficiency and ability to complete jobs in a timely fashion. They serve the Park Cities, Preston Hollow, Southlake, and Colleyville, as well as towns all over Texas and beyond. Lentz says that because Dallas has the greatest concentration of outdoor lighting in the country, Dallasites tend to take it for granted. In other parts of the country people are not so blase. “When we did a residence in Alabama, people lined the street to see the simulated moonlight. When we lit a huge estate in Virginia, same thing: People stopped their cars to gaze.” 11120 Indian Tr. 972-241-0622. Unique Lighting Service of Texas Inc.Four brothers – Johnny, Ricky, Larry, and Mike Moore – are equal partners in this enterprise, which Ricky, Johnny, and their father, Joel, started in 1985 after splitting from Whitley Electric. They describe their firm as “a small company that takes care of big people.” Their client roster reads like a register of Texas titans, sprinkled with names like Bass, Perot, Dell, Muse, and McCutcheon. Innovation is the firm’s forte. Their father designed the first treeless “Christmas tree of lights,” an 18-foot pole from which strands of glittering lights were suspended. Long before icicle fringes became popular, Unique invented and designed one-of-a-kind light icicles to hang from the eaves of the Allison O’Briant house on Armstrong Parkway. They once put tiny white lights on every doorway, window, and peak of a gingerbread house that was a replica of the Wyly home on Beverly. Yet Christmas represents only a fraction of their business, and they only install Christmas lights for their landscape lighting clients. The preponderance of their business is providing turnkey landscape lighting for primary residences and clients’ second, third, or fourth homes. Ranches are a specialty. To see the stars in their resplendence, ranchland lighting needs to be soft and devoid of ambient light. (Unique once lit 12 to 14 acres of a 98,000-acre ranch in New Mexico.) All their lighting is high-voltage and is set in trees. The wiring on the bases of these trees is totally camouflaged, because it’s painted with multiple colors to simulate tree bark. Those twinkle lights at the State Fair are their handiwork. So are the lights on the Henri Moore sculptures at the DMA, and the lighting of both the Concert Lawn and the Woman’s Garden at the Arboretum. Brother John Moore is the artist whose canvas is the gardens and pools and yards of clients in Dallas and Fort Worth and landscapes from Seal Harbor, Maine, to Woodside, California. He says “With outdoor illumination, you can entertain in the garden at night. You can’t see the cracks in the sidewalks or the dead limbs in trees. Even the ugliest tree can be made beautiful at night.” 1811 South Good Latimer Expwy. 214-421-2066. —————— FINDING GOOD HOME SERVICES is no easy feat. Our search began with mothers, friends, teachers – even the patients and staff at our dentists’ offices. Once we managed to compile a list, we researched the services, pricing, company history, and “unique selling propositions” of the most highly recommended. We contacted the Better Business Bureau to make certain these firms came up clean, with no complaints lodged. Finally, we checked references and asked ourselves if indeed these were people we’d want to do business with. If the answer was yes, they appear in the above listing.. Got a plumber you love? How about an electrician or jack-of-all-trades? D Home wants to know all about them. Send us your recommendations and contact info to /* */.

Landscape Lighting Designer

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Landscape Lighting Designer

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Landscape Lighting Designer
Landscape Lighting Designer
Landscape Lighting Designer
Landscape Lighting Designer