Architectural Lighting

No matter how much time and effort a homeowner puts into their yard, it will never reach its full potential without architectural lighting. Illumination technology has improved substantially in the last 20 years, to the point that homeowners can now outfit their entire property with cost efficient fixtures. These fixtures are just as beautiful as previous technologies and are both more customizable and durable as well. In all, this means a homeowner can add that extra color or depth their yard needs to really garner the interest it deserves.

Architectural lighting may refer to fixtures inside or out, but it’s most often installed in exterior settings to provide illumination for landscaping or hardscape features. They are ideal for illuminating huge trees, preferably evergreens or large shrubs that have a lot of body. The lighting will filter through the branches and leaves, creating dramatic shadows and transforming the entire plant into a giant beacon of radiance itself. With several strategically placed fixtures along the front yard, the home’s trees can diffuse enough illumination to brighten up the entire front. This is not just for decorative purposes, either, as would-be criminals will tend to stay away from well-lit properties.

A subtle fixture is also a smart choice when drawing interest to a water feature. A fountain represents a major financial and infrastructural investment, so its beauty should not go to water. A fixture under the water or several aiming up at the feature will create that sound and light combination that entrances the senses. This is particularly true for fountains that feature sculptures or other stone design. Stone features are much more imposing when illuminated at night because a directly-aimed fixture will push shadows away from it. This will create a contrast between it and everything behind it, making the stone feature appear larger than it really is. During the day, the muted colors of stone tend to fade in the background, but architectural lighting can infuse some new life into it at night.

Gardens and intricate hardscape pieces are also a natural fit with this technology
. Placing subtle fixtures along paths or suspended from pergolas or arbors can fill a garden or other area with a subtle glow. This will make it easier to see and enjoy landscaping at night.

LED, incandescent and gas discharge lamps can all be used in exterior applications, but LED fixtures are usually the best choice for several reasons. For one, LED fixtures are the most efficient ones available on the market. They achieve this efficiency with their sophisticated designs, which allows only a small fraction of energy to escape in the form of heat. This means nearly all of the power it uses is dedicated to producing illumination. Also, because LED fixtures produce nearly zero radiant heat, they are much safer to use around landscaping. Finally, LED fixtures can be customized to produce a number of color and output levels, so a homeowner can get just the right color and level of brightness they are looking for.
 
Beautiful landscaping and hardscape features are just the beginning when setting up a front or backyard
. Finishing off the look with an assembly of exterior fixtures can truly set a home apart.

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