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Landenberg, Pennsylvania, United States
Based in Landenberg, PA PLG offers Landscape Installation and Maintenance to Southern Chester County and Northern Delaware

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Light vs. Dark in the Landscape

               Lighting is a very important element to consider when designing a garden or landscape.  There are two basic considerations when applying lighting: Safety, and enhancing aesthetic appeal of plants and architectural elements.  In more public landscape designs lighting a path or space with more (and brighter) lights is a necessary for safety, but too much lighting in the home landscape will detract from its appeal.  In the private garden use lights to play with the effects of light and dark, adding mystery to the landscape.  When using lights in the landscape do not try to recreate the effect of daytime; play light against dark, use to highlight trees and other elements.  Good lighting creates a magical experience.  Most importantly low voltage landscape lighting is a low cost way to add that 'little touch' to finish of your new walkway, planting design, or patio.  Once more thing I think is important is to over-size your lighting transformer.  We alway recommend doubling the wattage so that you can add to your lighting scheme at a later date.   

 Ways I like to Use Landscape Lighting:
·        Light gathering spaces with soft light to create a nice ambiance.

·        Think about the type of mood you want to create when designing the lighting for an area.

o   Lighting can be designed to be dimmed.

o   Lighting can be designed to be redirected.

·        Lighting fixtures come in all shapes and sizes.

o   Fixtures should be installed and matched carefully to the overall design.

·        On stairs, the lights can be built into the risers, into the railings, or into a wall next to the stairs.

o   Stairs must be lit because of safety concerns.

·        12”-18” tall fixtures, casting light onto the ground plane is the most important to safety.

o   Important not to shine lights into the pedestrian’s eyes.

o   Most of this type of lighting is placed along the division between the planting bed and the pathway, creating a sense of mystery. 

·        Ambient light is subtle and more appealing.

o   Avoid focused light unless you are highlighting specific elements.

o   Think about uplighting your house, trees, and sculptures.

·        Try using non-permanent lights such as tiki torches to create a nice, soft glow, for parties, and gatherings.

o   White lights in trees provide a nice effect all year long.

o   Think about using votive candles to provide instant ambience.

·        Try using white blooming annuals or perennials because they reflect the most amount of light.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to visit our web page at www.lawn-scapes.net.

-Matt Bradley

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