OUTDOOR LIGHTING IS A HIGH-IMPACT WAY FOR HOMEOWNERS TO ENHANCE THE APPEARANCE OF THEIR PROPERTY, TO ACCENTUATE THE NATURAL ALFRESCO AREAS OF THEIR LANDSCAPE AND ARCHITECTURE, AND TO IMPROVE SAFETY AND SECURITY FOR NAVIGATING THE PROPERTY.
Written By: Al Bombick
Living on or near a body of water is a dream for an astounding number of North Americans. Waves lapping upon the shore in a rhythmic tempo, a refreshing stroll along the water’s edge, or watching the sunrise or sunset from the comfort of your deck – waterfront living offers the serenity that cannot be found in any other environment. Whether the home abuts an ocean, a lake, a river, or a canal, the idea of living on the waterfront creates a feeling of calm and peace. Gardens, pathways, ponds, a gazebo, and a variety of plants and trees help create the refuge that the homeowners envisioned.
In a home survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, outdoor living areas were cited as one of the top priorities of new home buyers as well as home builders. That same survey listed a deck, a patio area, several trees, and lighting as “must-have” amenities. This makes sense since in recent years, Americans have adopted more of a “stay at home” attitude. Probably the greatest external influence is the trend called “cocooning,” which began in the mid-1990s.
Work and other commitments continue to keep families away from their homes during most of the daylight hours. And yet the lines between indoor and outdoor living are steadily blurring and becoming less distinct. To optimize their time in their extended living areas such as their deck or patio or their garden or courtyard, homeowners are choosing to invest in professionally installed lighting systems. Outdoor lighting is a high-impact way for homeowners to enhance the appearance of their property, to accentuate the natural alfresco areas of their landscape and architecture, and to improve safety and security for navigating the property.
Creating a beautiful outdoor lighting scheme begins with a consultation with a knowledgeable lighting designer. An experienced lighting designer will be able to meet with the homeowners, identify their objectives, and strategically place fixtures with the most appropriate brightness to precisely illuminate facades, architectural details, trees, gardens, statues, decks, patios, gazebos, ponds, pool areas, and fountains.
Once a custom outdoor lighting system is installed, the homeowner benefits from the creation of a luxurious and welcoming ambiance, increased safety for those walking the pathways; enhanced security through the lighting exposure of dark areas of the property, “new” open air areas for entertaining, and increased property value and curb appeal.
Lighting systems should be low-voltage to minimize energy consumption and the fixtures should be designed to direct their subtle glow only onto the intended subject. A well-planned, professionally designed lighting system will provide all the usability, safety, and security without creating the nuisance of lighting pollution commonly caused by 120 line voltage flood lights.
Upscale waterfront properties as primary residences or as luxury retreats provide the sanctuary that so many families strive to attain. To maximize the enjoyment and functionality of useable areas of waterfront properties in the evening, architectural and landscape lighting has proved to be an integral part of a well-planned home.