As the weather warms up here in the Bay, we have the joy of spending more and more time outside in the landscape. Evenings outside are one of our favorite times. Whether late-night entertaining or sitting alone on a hot summer night after the kids have gone to bed, the landscape unfolds for us in a different way after nightfall. Landscape lighting allows us to enjoy our outdoor living spaces late into the night, safely illuminating paths and steps and lending definition to patios, structures, and planting.
Landscape lighting can create an ambient evening experience, illuminating a dining area, gracing a wall with mood-defining sconces, or twinkling overhead from a pergola’s beams. Beautiful in their simplicity, café lights and pendant lamps offer atmospheric illumination, more for the ambiance than for powerful light. When it comes to the patio, there are infinite choices for these focal light fixtures. Based on the style of a space and its use, designers choose lighting with the same detailed care that we put into every other aspect of the landscape. If you are making choices for your own landscape, we recommend picking a fixture theme and sticking with it. Matching is never a bad thing when it comes to good design.
Downward-facing wall sconces illuminate stairs and gardens in this complex terraced design. We also incorporated strung café lights on this project – cute!
In lighting pathways and steps, there are again myriad choices! For a more modern look, inset lighting or riser lights on steps and walls are minimalist and effective. We use them on projects of all styles for their great effect. For ornamental lighting, especially on a path the winds though a garden, downward-facing path lights are classic. For convenience and lasting durability, lighting that can be controlled by an interior switch (or, we have heard, even a phone app?) is the best way to go. LED landscape lighting lasts for a long time on minimal energy. Solar path lights are getting better, but you do have fewer options, and of course they don’t do great in shade.
This landscape is enhanced with riser lights on the bluestone steps. Wall fixtures with a classical look match the black detailing.
UPLIGHTING FOR DEFINITION
Finally, in lighting gardens, fountains, and other features, we use a variety of techniques to highlight focal points and create definition. Up-lights on trees, shrubs, walls and sculpture have powerful impact, and well lights at the edge of a border can create an ambient effect. The one key to landscape lighting is keeping the light where you want it! Choosing lower wattage lighting and angling fixtures away from the eyes of guests (and neighbors) will create beautiful, non-blinding lighting. With that in mind, bring light into your outdoor space and love your landscape all night long!
J. Montgomery Designs creates new outdoor living spaces and updates tired yards to show off your landscape in a completely new light. Lighting plans, Master design plans, and complete landscape overhauls are all in our repertoire! Contact us to schedule a Complimentary Consultation