Landscape Lighting for Function and Beauty
Landscape lighting is often overlooked during the design process, but when deciding which Sonoma County Landscaping Companies best your goals, be sure they are well versed in the function and beauty lighting can bring to your landscape. The overall aesthetic and functionality of your outdoor spaces are greatly impacted by what fixtures you select and how they are placed. While the beauty of plants and hardscapes are immediately noticeable, landscape lighting can enhance the natural features of your property while providing safety and security.
Showcasing Landscape Features
One of the most important benefits of landscaping lighting is that it showcases statement plants, garden art, or water features within the landscape. By strategically playing lights around trees, statues, or other particularly important landscape features, you can draw attention to their unique characteristics within the outdoor space. Trees which would otherwise be lost in the shadows take on entirely new personalities when strategically illuminated with landscape lighting. Often clients find entirely new perspectives on their landscape and which plants or landscape features are their favorites based on how landscape lighting can highlight their features.
Enjoying Time Spend Outdoors During Nighttime Hours
During nighttime hours, well placed lighting greatly increases the warm and inviting atmosphere which is especially important in Sonoma County as outdoor nighttime entertainment is a highlight of the region, particularly for those who want to dine, drink wine, place bocce, and even use a pool or hot tub. As landscape designers in Sonoma County we regularly guide homeowners in selecting and placing landscape lighting that will encourage them to spend more time outdoors in the evenings and enjoying the warm summer nights that we are so lucky to have! A well lit landscape can be enjoyed from indoors as well. Rather than looking out your windows into darkness, landscape lights extend your living space into the landscape allowing you to appreciate the natural environment around you from the warmth and comfort inside of your home.
Safety and Security
Safety and security is also a key function of landscape lighting. Properly illuminating pathways, steps, and other areas of your property that may be prone to accidents or falls, you can reduce the risk of injuries and mishaps that could lead to damaging the landscape Additionally landscape lighting can act as a deterrent for potential burglars and intruders by making your property less appealing to them and in turn increasing the safety of your family and visiting friends.
Increasing Sophistication and Property Value
Landscape lighting is a cost-effective way to enhance the overall value and curb appeal of your property during both day and night. A lighting plan created by a landscape design consultant in Sonoma County will add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your property giving it a sense of elevated status for you or potential buyers and renters. In this incredibly competitive market, these details give your property the special spark that will capture the heart of visitors. It’s important to work with a professional lighting designer who will be able to assess your property and develop a plan that takes into account the unique characteristics of your outdoor spaces and selects the right type of fixture with the correct brightness to properly illuminate areas of interest.
Low Energy Use
With the move to LED lighting technology landscape lighting is incredibly efficient and uses very little electricity. Homeowners with a focus on sustainability might have concerns that outdoor lighting is wasteful and doesn’t fit into their ethical approach to landscaping. While this might have been true in the past with energy intensive bulbs such as halogen or incandescent, most low-voltage LED landscape lighting uses only about 1-2 watts per fixture and remains at cool temperature so there is little to no risk of fire.
Picking the Correct Fixture
Lighting fixtures come in a wide range of styles, colors, and functions so choosing the correct one for each area of your landscape might feel daunting. When selecting landscape design contractors near you in Sonoma County it’s important that you inquire about their knowledge of current lighting technology and design. Some pathway lights have very narrow focus to their light while others throw light very far distances, some pathway lights might create and unpleasant visible glare when viewed from a certain angle while at other times you might need a warning of an approaching step of edge of a wall.
If your goal is to illuminate a tree you’ll need to consider how large the canopy of the tree is, and how much of it you want to be illuminated. Certain large Oaks or trees with particularly dense branching structures might require multiple lights at different angles to be properly illuminated. Accent lights do a wonderful job at lighting a tree or landscape feature from below, however understanding how bright that fixture is, and how wide it’s angle of light will be, are critical technical details best made by your landscape designer.
Night Sky Compliance
With the rise in popularity of outdoor lighting, environmental concerns have arisen as to the effect on wildlife, neighboring properties, and light pollution in general. High intensity flood lights or bulbs which indiscriminately spread light in all directions are not appropriate for landscapes. As a result landscape lighting is required to follow ‘Night Sky Compliance’ code which means the bulb is shrouded to reduce glare, and that fixtures are not overly bright for their application. If someone pointed flood lights up at the sky at night from their house it would be pretty unpleasant for everyone around! It’s important that we are respectful of those around us when selecting lighting for our outdoor spaces and that we do best to program them to operate during reasonable hours and at a considerate level of brightness.
Understanding and navigating these details is something Inspired Landscapes, who are a landscape design consultant in Sonoma County, can help you with. Not only does landscape lighting highlight the natural beauty of your property but it improves safety and security of your home, while extending the time you can enjoy your property outside, even during night time hours. Working with a professional will ensure your lighting system achieves the desired effects without negatively impacting wildlife or your neighbors, and utilizes the most up to date technology for the systems longevity and beauty.