The deck is swept and ready for summer barbecues, the lawn is freshly mowed, and the outdoor furniture is dusted off. In short, the stage is set for cookouts, family gatherings and entertaining late-night porch hangouts. But don’t get left in the dark.
According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), proper outdoor lighting is just as important for a beautiful landscape as a lush lawn, bright flowerbeds, green plants and manicured shrubs.
Jeff Dross, corporate director of lighting education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting, recently explained that homeowners are opening up to new ideas with landscape lighting.
Use Indirect Light
Dross says the current trend is for homeowners to highlight their landscaping with indirect lighting, which essentially uses a source to reflect the light emitted by the light fixture. This creates more of an atmospheric tone, allowing the light to spread across a wall off the side of a house more effectively. Indirect light will illuminate flower beds, gardens, bushes or other decorative landscaping art. Additionally, the light will bounce off the ground and create a nicely lit walkway around flowerbeds.
The Shift to LEDs
LED light bulbs are beginning to dominate the landscape lighting industry. For the majority of homeowners, outdoor lights and landscape lighting are typically left on longer than other home lighting, which makes LEDs the more affordable and logical option.
Additionally, LEDs can be manufactured in much smaller sizes, which give homeowners more options to use them in unique spaces. Dross explains that LEDs are so small, they can be used as application lighting, as well as for aesthetic purposes. Hardscape designs are easy to mesh with LEDs, because the style creates both a passageway lighting source and indirect lighting for stone or brick landscapes.
Keep It Simple
Two significant trends in landscape lighting is simplicity and cleanliness. What this means is that more homeowners are choosing to go with fewer ground fixtures to illuminate their entire home. According to Dross, residents who simply align their light fixtures along a walkway in a very orderly and organized fashion are providing a lot of unnecessary light and wasting energy.
Going for a more simplistic design can still highlight plants and flower beds while giving just enough light to illuminate a backyard or around a patio. Also, homeowners are moving toward fewer lumens in light fixtures. This allows the light beam to spread more efficiently and even out the overall light sources.
To learn more about landscape lighting, visit a nearby ALA showroom, or go to www.americanlightingassoc.com.