Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

NOV 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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One of the purposes of the landscaping industry is to highlight the beauty of out - door environments. Whether that entails the maintenance of a natural landscape or the design and installation of beautiful features into a residential or public area, landscaping is about shaping the outdoors into an aesthetically pleasant space. But, if the landscape cannot be seen, it cannot be enjoyed. This is why outdoor lighting is so im - portant in the landscaping industry. It en- sures that clients or the public can take in the beauty of a landscape at all hours and lighting levels. However, while light - ing is an excellent tool to view landscape features, sometimes the lights themselves can be the main attraction. A Little Light Goes a Long Way While people need light in order to enjoy beautiful landscapes when the sun goes down, intensity does not usu - ally spell success. Super bright hot spots, which attract attention but do not prop - erly highlight the surrounding area, can often cause glare and hurt people's eyes. Each area of a landscape into which light - ing is introduced should have one prima- ry focal point and a couple of secondary focal points. To create a calming and balanced light - ing environment one should use minimal wattage and light intensity unless there is good reason to do otherwise. When it comes to lighting up the outdoors after dark, less is more. In order to create a dy - namic look, one should take advantage of the difference between dark and light by optimizing shadows. Highlighting a few key sections of the landscape is more ef - fective than lighting up the night at large. In addition, one should use fixtures to create a lighting effect without focusing on the fixture, unless the fixture itself is a work of art. Ways to Light Up the Dark Two basic styles of outdoor light- ing are area and accent lighting. Area lighting is generally achieved with fixtures placed above and/or below eye level such that beam spreads overlap, typically bath - ing the region in fairly uniform light with- out accentuation on any specific objects. Area lighting can also be done on a deco - rative basis. According to an article about landscape lighting in Electrical Contrac - tor Magazine, area lighting is the most common type of lighting for commercial lighting jobs and is often "the biggest part of the job in terms of money spent." It is usually possible to combine vari - ous lighting techniques for overall desired effect. Unlike area lighting, accent light - ing is used to highlight a specific feature and immediately bring people's attention to that particular spot. Accent lighting works best when it focuses on specific fo - cal points, lights up objects of particular Above This example of uplighting is achieved with 5000K LED lights from Garden Light's Visionary series. Robert Davie of Robert Davie & Associates Landscaping installed the lighting while working on this project in Sarasota, Fla. O 28 LC DBM Shining Achievements by Allie Lapporte, LC/DBM Bottom, Right A mixture of downlighting, seen in front of the fireplace and screen works with uplighting, seen on the trees behind the screen, to properly showcase a dynamic landscape.

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