Landscape Lighting Orlando, FL highlights the unique aspects of a property at night while adding safety and security. There are many styles of lighting, and it’s important to know the differences so you can recommend the best option for your clients.
Lights aimed upwards create bold shadows that contrast with the bright lights, while downlighting gives a moonlit effect and shows off textured surfaces. Cross-lighting is great for showing off non-uniform-shaped features.
After the sun goes down, a professionally installed low-voltage lighting system provides a dramatic look for your house and yard. A well-lit landscape is beautiful and can be functional, as walkways and flower beds are easier to navigate at night, and architectural features like the front of your home, trees, and garden can be better appreciated.
Unlike line voltage (which uses 120 volts of current), low-voltage landscape lighting systems only use 12 volts, so there’s no risk of shock to kids and guests who touch the wires or fixtures. Homeowners who are handy can install a simple system in a weekend with the help of a local landscape lighting specialist familiar with the different fixture types and ways to arrange them.
The heart of a landscape lighting system is the transformer, which steps down household 120 volt current to 12 volt power for the lights. It’s important to choose a transformer with a 24-hour timer, so you can set the exact times at which your lights will turn on and off. A timer with astronomical settings is even better, as it knows the exact times of sunrise and sunset internally and automatically adjusts for daylight savings time.
The other main components are the bulbs, fixtures, wires and wiring connectors. The best bulbs are long-lasting LEDs, which will provide years of trouble-free performance. Wire gauge is also important, as thinner wire will lose voltage over longer distances. We recommend using 14/2 wire, which has two strands in each cable and can be found at most hardware stores. Always leave a little extra landscape lighting wire when hooking up your lights and then test the voltage with a digital voltage meter before burying them to make sure you haven’t exceeded the capacity of your transformer.
Adding hardscape lighting to your repertoire is a great way to enhance the beauty of your landscape after dark while also adding safety and security features. It’s a relatively easy service to add and you’ll find it can bring in more revenue on your existing jobs.
Hardscape lighting is installed into a wall feature like a sitting wall, retaining wall or patio walls to light them up and create a dramatic nighttime effect. This type of lighting allows the texture of the stone to pop and also provides a safety factor for people stepping up or down steps at night.
12V Integrated LED Hardscape fixtures are the perfect solution for illuminating wall features that need to be lit at night. The fixture’s low profile design and custom optical lens delivers compelling illumination without distracting hot spots or glare. Plus, the fixture is designed and optimized for LED G4 bi-pin lamps and includes a hub ready 16G premium lead wire for easier installations.
These fixtures are also Dark Sky Approved, meaning they comply with international standards to help preserve our dark skies. Additionally, these fixtures are built to last with solid brass or copper that won’t rust or need painting over time. Other aluminum competitors often corrode and need replacement after just a few years, but VOLT’s fixtures are made to last for a lifetime of performance.
Another important point to know is that hardscape lights usually have a fixed watt output, which means they cannot be upgraded or modified. For this reason, you should look for a fixture with a high lumen output so that you can choose the right brightness to illuminate your project.
Uplighting is a great way to show off trees, architectural features or hardscape elements that rise above the ground. It focuses the light on the top of these structures, highlighting their shape and creating contrast with the surrounding landscape and sky. This technique can also be used to highlight a specific area of your property such as a water feature or statuary.
Up lighting can be accomplished using a variety of lights, including LEDs, halogens or incandescents. However, LEDs are quickly becoming the industry standard due to their longevity, lower operating costs and energy use. LED bulbs can also be set to a desired brightness, which helps avoid the common frustration of over-lighting or under-lighting.
Another important aspect of uplighting is the color temperature of the light being used. Warmer lights (like halogen) can create a more golden glow while cooler bulbs (like LEDs) can create a more natural white or blue glow.
In addition to uplighting, downlighting is a great way to light up walkways and other high points of your landscaping. This helps illuminate the path and prevent accidents caused by low-hanging branches or unexpected changes in elevation.
Many times, you will find that combining multiple techniques is the best way to achieve your desired results. Uplighting and downlighting work together to illuminate the space from different perspectives, resulting in a more complete and balanced design.
Landscape lighting can highlight your home’s architecture, show off your favorite trees, draw attention to water features and make special spots in your yard stand out. The key to a successful landscape lighting design is balance and artistry, not just hardware and product specifications.
A well-designed lighting scheme should incorporate a mix of uplighting, downlighting and other lighting techniques to create beautiful glows, a warm ambiance and a wonderful mix of brightness and shadows. Uplighting is dramatic and uplit trees can showcase their structure, while downlighting can elicit an intimate evening atmosphere or simulate the soft luminescence of the moon.
To achieve downlighting, lights are mounted higher up, such as on a tree or under the eaves of your home. Because these lights shine downward, they are not as noticeable and can be used for areas where you want the light to appear more subtle. When installing downlights, the key is to avoid glare, which can be a safety hazard and can also create unnatural effects.
There are a number of fixtures available that can be used to accomplish downlighting, including floodlights, spot lights and specialty lights like bistro and tiki torches. When selecting these types of fixtures, look for ones that offer a wide beam pattern or adjustable lumen output. The latter will allow you to control how brightly a fixture is turned on and off, allowing you to fine-tune the brightness of specific elements without affecting the overall scheme. The type of bulb you use will also impact how bright your landscape lights are. There are a number of different options available, from standard incandescent bulbs to high-efficiency LEDs that use less energy than traditional bulbs.
Using the same techniques to light your house, yard and garden at night as you do during the day, landscape lighting can bring a new dimension to your home’s exterior. It can also highlight important areas of your property, such as entrances, driveways and walkways, and draw attention to prized landscaping elements such as trees, flower beds and statuary.
One of the keys to successful landscape lighting is highlighting the features you want to see at night while minimizing the impact on your neighbors’ privacy. For this reason, it’s always best to work with a qualified lighting professional who knows how to manipulate different light direction and other landscape lighting techniques.
The right landscape lights can highlight textured surfaces, such as bark or a stone wall, and project intriguing shadows on the surrounding area. They can also highlight the details of a plant’s foliage or the graceful lines of a tree or shrub. Upward-facing lighting highlights a flower bed and its color variations, and spotlights can showcase interesting architectural elements such as deep eaves and dormers on a home’s exterior.
Unlike incandescent bulbs, landscape LEDs don’t waste energy heating the air around them. In fact, they can use a fraction of the power of an incandescent bulb while producing more light and lasting longer. And a good landscape lighting system can include timers, photocells or motion sensors that turn the lights on at dusk and off at dawn to save even more energy. This allows the homeowner to set a comfortable ambiance, knowing that they won’t be draining the neighborhood’s power supply while enjoying their outdoor spaces after dark.