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Enlightenment on Illumination

Written by Phil Colarusso of Luminated landscapes
Imagery by Luminated landscapes

Music is a vibration sensed by the ears much the same way light is a frequency sensed by the eyes.  And if the eyes are the window to your soul, wouldn’t you want to surround your home with light that sings to your soul?
    Here are three critical questions that are the key to an illuminated landscape filled with harmony and beauty:
What do you want your outdoor lighting to truly accomplish?
Anyone with electrical know-how can install a light fixture and eliminate the dark. But is that what you truly seek? Don’t make the mistake of searching for fixtures before answering this question. That’s like choosing a medicine before knowing what ails you. Light should provide safety, highlight your beautiful home, and establish a desirable ambiance.
How will the design meet your goals? The same way a composer uses many instruments to create a symphony, a true outdoor lighting artist should utilize multiple techniques for your personal design concept. This may include a combination of uplighting (a dramatic technique that creates an unexpected use of shadows), down-lighting (a light, airy effect), and silhouetting (a strategic use of backlighting to silhouette a specimen). Contrast this with installing repeated runway lights along walkways. The former is dynamic, beautiful, and functional. The latter is merely functional at best and at worst, visually annoying.
    Your design should also match your personal style.  Are you flashy? Traditional? Playful? Flamboyant? Modern? Think of your lighting as an extension of your interior design!
Do you know your budget? The best design is useless if it exceeds your budget so be sure to have a frank discussion with your design consultant so your objectives can be met. However, be prepared. Durable fixtures are an investment. For durability, you want cast brass fixtures. It takes as few as three lights to create a concept but that may vary depending on your needs and landscaping.

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