Landscape lighting, in addition to ensuring safety after dark, should highlight the features that make a particular landscape unique. Concentrating your landscape lighting around distinct focal points will personalize your Putnam, NY, property and make it infinitely more memorable. Lighting focal points also creates a more impactful nightscape as it leaves dark areas at intervals that add dimension to the overall landscape design. Here are a few guidelines for focal point lighting.
Picking Focal Points
When it comes to landscape lighting: less is more. It isn’t necessary—nor is it aesthetically pleasing—to illuminate everything in your backyard. Select key features that define the layout of your landscape and communicate its aesthetic style. These focal features can act as visual stepping stones for guests as they navigate your landscape at night. Not only should these lighted spots indicate where to move next, but they should also captivate the viewer.
Once you’ve established a few focal points, you can begin thinking about the placement of your fixtures. While the feature of interest should be well lit, the light should not shine directly into a viewer’s eyes, creating an unpleasant glare. Opt for lights of a moderate to low intensity, as a little light can go a long way when concentrated on a single feature. The fixtures should also be hidden whenever possible, to make it difficult for the casual observer to determine the exact origin of the light. This can have a wonderfully dramatic effect and can create the impression that the light is emanating from the landscape itself.
Highlighting Statues and Structures
Dramatic structures, like statues, illuminated head-on can have a rather two dimensional appearance. Highlight your statues from oblique angles instead, by casting shadows that emphasize their three dimensional intricacies. By creating a strategically angled glow, you can achieve the perfect combination of light and depth. Highlighting a feature from an oblique angle is also a more subtle way to draw the eye and can leave viewers with a sense of personal resonance with the structure, as if they had noticed it without provocation.
Brightening Bodies of Water
Your pool is an excellent feature to highlight after dark, whether you opt to keep the design well-lit or give the water an eerie glow. Consider adorning your pool with a few floating globe lights that function as luminous lily pads while adding depth and character to the entire poolside area. Sources of moving water, like streams and fountains, are also excellent candidates for landscape lighting. The light will catch any ripples and eddies in the water, bouncing off the moving surface to create a dramatic, shimmering visual effect. Adding luminous Koi fish to your pond is guaranteed to amplify the look even further.
A tall tree situated near an outdoor living space is a great asset and can facilitate the creation of romantic natural moonlight. Place a downturned fixture high-up in a nearby tree and allow the light to filter through the branches, mimicking moonlight. You should opt for a low-intensity bulb or a fitting that will reduce glare for a realistic outcome. The fixture should also be hidden from view to enforce the moonlight-like look and feel. As an added bonus, these fixtures will attract moths and other insects into the trees—far away from your outdoor furniture.