The information presented will educate contractors, landscape designers and landscape architects about the key elements needed to design exterior lighting projects. Not only does lighting enhance a home’s curb appeal and make the property safer and more usable for its occupants, the best designs enhance the interior of the home as well. When the right things are positioned and illuminated on the outside, lighting them effectively brings the outdoors inside the home. It expands a space by extending its boundaries, and it allows beautiful views at night through the windows – not just a reflection of yourself in “black glass.” A beautiful light-scape is a combination of good landscapes, hardscapes and yard art enhanced by the designer incorporating the best lighting technique(s), the best color temperature of light and the most discreet lighting hardware. A home’s “jewelry” is what surrounds it, and lighting simply allows you to focus attention on it at night. It’s important to understand the tools of the trade and how to effectively utilize them in lighting design because doing so elevates not only the project at hand, but the profession as well.
Best practices for accomplishing an attractive lighting design
-Planning & Design
-How is lighting supposed to feel?
-Determining light levels
-Interior view can be just as important as the perimeter view
Increase awareness of the “tools of the trade”
-Photometrics / Foot Candles / Lumens
-Use of lenses, screens, and louvers
How Solid State Lighting (LED) impacts lighting design, equipment selection and cost
-LED vs. Incandescent
-Less load = smaller equipment; less cost to run
-No UV/IR so many insects not attracted
-Long life; “green”; no mercury
-Can select color temp to enhance plant material
-Low heat emission so better for plants
-Various types – integrated, drop-in retrofit lamps, modules
-Less time spent on calculating voltage drop
-Light levels, beam spread, Kelvin temp, etc.
-Smaller transformers, smaller fixtures (in some cases), smaller wire, more fixtures per wire run and transformer
-Less wire use
-Programmability of some LED systems