After the winter we've had here in Boston, we're itching to get outside and start gardening, mowing, trimming, and adding those decorative touches that can turn an outdoor space from meh to WOW.
One of the ways to accomplish this transformation is through a smart landscape lighting strategy. Below is a Q&A with one of our fabulous lighting consultants, Jeff Livingston.
Jeff shares some important insights and fun landscape lighting ideas.
Q: When people visit one of the Wolfers lighting showrooms, should they bring pictures of their home's exterior, backyard, and front yard? How will the Wolfers lighting consultants work with customers to develop a landscape lighting strategy?
A: Plans and pictures are always helpful, since they highlight important elements such as garden beds, trees, footpaths, and fences.
When putting your plans together, make sure the plans include those elements as well as the location of any existing electrical receptacles.
At our first meeting, we like to have a conversation—almost like a mini interview. We ask about the client’s needs and goals, and we bring up anything they haven't thought about yet—security, light pollution, and other factors that might shape the design.
Q: What parts of the yard should people highlight with lighting? Should there be a central focus?
A: You don't necessarily need to have a central focus. You might decide to highlight several different areas like groupings of trees, architectural elements, water features and paths. As well as the aesthetic portion, lighting for security is also an important part of the design.
Q: What types of lights work best in outdoor environments?
A: Consider using low voltage (12v) systems and LEDs. Lower wattage fixtures are softer and produce less glare. As well, and you can sculpt the light better (keeping light pollution to a minimum is always the goal). Using path lights and uplights with protective guards (shrouds or eyebrows) will help avoid shining light into the open sky. Top quality transformers are a key component of the lighting system, providing better performance, longevity and maximum light output from the lamp.
Q: If I'm using LED lights, what color is best suited for landscape lighting?
A: Use LEDs between 2700k and 3000k. Warmer colors tend to be more inviting and pleasing to the eye without giving off a “Vegas casino” feel.
Q: What should I look for in an LED fixture to ensure that it can withstand an outdoor environment?
A: Look for the UL rating on any LED fixture you buy. Ideally, you should opt for a top-quality fixture that's been safety tested and approved for wet locations, since it needs to be able to withstand rain, snow, etc.
Top quality fixtures often come with lifetime warranties… added bonus since even the best fixtures can patina and age over time.
Q: What are two to three lighting products that can work well in most outdoor spaces?
If you have questions or need more landscape lighting tips, stop by one of our showrooms and chat with one of our lighting experts.