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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30 LC DBM interest or uses light to set a mood. In a presentation that can be found on the Illuminating Engineering Society's website, lighting designers Paul Mercier, the design principal of Lighting Design Innovations, and the company's manag - ing principal Kimberly Mercier discuss the feeling that contractors can create with different types of lighting. Speaking about creating spaces that are interesting to people, Paul says an area "requires dif - ferent uniformities, different highlights in the space. In other words, non-uni - form brightness or high contrast ratios." On the other hand, Paul says, "We can get spaces that just provide too much stimulation, too much contrast. If you think about Times Square or Las Vegas, most people recognize the fact that after a certain period of time, they feel slightly agitated, and the reason why is because their brain is working so hard in order to be able to interpret very mixed ideas and concepts because of the really bright versus the dark contrast." In order to avoid this type of overwhelming environ - ment, Kimberly advises professionals to "plan brilliance" in the initial stages of a project and to "establish a hierarchy and flow of light." Contractors can use sev - eral different types of lighting to achieve a balanced, yet exciting flow of light in a landscape. Uplighting One can use ground level floods, bul- lets, well lights, or (totally sealed) direct burial fixtures to shine up and illuminate features, such as trees, statuary, stone wall or other architectural focal points in the landscape, dramatically from below. Because the lens and lamp of well lights are shielded from view, this type of fix - ture is particularly well suited to locations where the avoidance of glare is a prime consideration. Various styles of fixtures installed un - der a tree or a grove of trees can provide uplighting that leaves a dramatic impact. Where a flush surface is not required, one can elevate the fixture a couple of inches and slope the concrete away from the lens for drainage. Downlighting Downlighting is a technique that uses bullets or other accent lights that shine down from a higher elevation to illuminate shrubbery, flowerbeds and pathways from above. This helps hide the less attractive parts of the bushes in the shadows while drawing attention to the fuller greenery. In addition, installing fixtures for down - lighting higher up can bathe a large area with light from above, allowing full appre - ciation of a large landscaped space. Moonlighting Moonlighting is a subcategory of down- lighting that uses high lights positioned in a tree or atop a fence to filter down through foliage and to cast subtle shad - ows on the ground below, much as could be seen on a clear, moonlit night. The higher and deeper the fixture is placed inside a tree, the lower the light level and the greater the shadows, creating a dra - matic effect. Silhouetting Silhouetting can also be called back- lighting. This entails using lights behind and below a tree or statue, in front of a wall or fence. One should place the light source between the object that should be highlighted (a setting of trees in front of the home, for example) and the wall of the house. Grazing Placing the fixture close to the surface and directing the light upward at a 45-de - gree angle accentuates the texture of the surface one wishes to illuminate. This can highlight plant materials or decorative pavers in the evening. Above A combination of wash lighting, downlighting and uplighting create an even glow under this pergola. Right, Bottom Lighting installed at the top of this per- gola casts a soft light over the entire enclosure. It is aided by grazing lights installed by the bushes in the foreground.

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