Landscape Lighting Tips

Question: What is the biggest problem you have seen with outdoor lighting?

Answer: One of the most glaring problems is the use of the wrong type of wire connectors. So many ‘professionals’ use connectors designed for indoor wiring circuits. These connectors, when used outdoors, will break down and cause your system to fail. Many of these professionals are electricians who are very competent in indoor wiring but do not have the skills for outdoor lighting.

Question: Speaking of glaring problems, could you talk about glare in outdoor lighting?

Answer: Glare and hot spots destroy a lighting scheme. Many designers rely on one fixture to light a specific area, whether it is a specimen tree, a piece of sculpture, or a stairway. A single fixture tends to flatten the object and also causes a hot spot that is not pleasing to the eye. Two fixtures installed at differing angles brings dimension to the object, reduces glare, and kills the hot spot. The wattage and type of lamps used are critical.

Question: Could you talk about the runaway effect?

Answer: The runway effect is achieved when a row of lights are installed on both sides of a pathway directly across from each other in a symmetrical pattern.

We are not landing planes here. We are trying to guide our friends and guests down a pathway with some type of destination in mind. A couple of factors should be thought about. One is safety. We want to make sure that the sidewalk is lighted enough to be safe.

The second takes into consideration aesthetics. By hanging lamps from nearby trees, we can establish a wonderful moonlight pattern on our walkways. Another method is to bounce light off a wall or a plant that is close to the sidewalk. In this way a soft lighting effect is achieved. And watch the brightness of the bulbs.