As a result of the broad selection of lighting choices now available, the sky’s the limit when it comes to landscape light. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of outdoor lighting, you are ready for the fun stuff — the lively, the artsy, the unique. Here you’ll find a sampling of imaginative applications of routine lighting, some dramatic and inexpensive DIY light “art” that looks like a thousand bucks and a couple of cutting-edge products.
Construct on these ideas to inspire your inner artist, then proceed and create your own landscape light magnum opus. The pleasures of the nighttime garden await.
Colors Of Green Landscape Architecture
Backlit panels. Locate an intriguing panel and wash it with light from behind. Repeat.
Reap the benefits of Dumpster diving. These “holey” steel plates are offcasts out of manufacturing. Framed mounted and backlit, they create a statement night or day.
Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates
Dumpster diving not your thing? That is cool; no more judgment over here. You can purchase interesting panels to mount and backlight.
That I love, love, love the laser-cut Parasoleil panels. To make this wall art, the panel was framed with ipe wood, LED lights were attached to the rear side, along with the finished piece was mounted right on the stucco wall. Stunning by day, this unique wall art is drop-dead gorgeous when the sun goes down along with a gentle wash of light beams through its own patterned openings.
Tropical Home Fencing And Gates – $220
Any panel that light will pass through and create an intriguing pattern is a candidate for backlighting.
These are prefab woven fence panels. Similar panels are discovered in an assortment of materials and patterns.
Light strings. Tried and accurate; inexpensive also.
Light strings à la Italian piazza. Swag ’em, swoop ’em, zigzag ’em, string ’em up on a grid. Look for intriguing variations on the standard string of lights. Insert colour, play, movement, character, colour and whimsy with the wide assortment of available styles. The options are infinite.
See more string light thoughts
Laser light projectors and disco balls. Rig a laser light projector or a disco ball for a playful evening soiree. Look carefully at this picture and you’ll see projected/reflected dots of green light dancing through the night atmosphere.
McKay Landscape Lighting
Particular applications of routine lighting methods. Look for uncommon strategies to use standard lighting methods. For instance, say you want a small illumination along a route to find your way to your destination. You can scatter the path with pathlights or add some eyebrow lights into a wall. Or you might create a bigger design statement. These artfully placed strip lights offer movement and interest into the nighttime scene — and light the route into the front doorway.
Take this same thought and give it a twist. Use adjustable LED light tape or light rope to make sweeping lines of light inset at a wall, either a terrace or pool decking. Fashion a cover for the inset light tape out of glass tiles, a metal display or custom-cut polycarbonate, or tuck the light source up under an integrated lip to finish the look.
Do not limit yourself only to strip light when tweaking standard lighting methods — dream up alternate uses of downlights, uplights etc.. For instance, why not cut a pattern out of a sheet of sheet metal, put it over an uplight and project shadow patterns on a wall? Ditto for downlights, only the routine will dance on the ground.
Caution: When changing any light fixture, then be certain that the fixture does not overheat and create a fire danger.
Light fixtures as art. Need light? Want that using a side of design along with a pop of colour? These poor boys have both in spades.
Tip: Look for creative light fixtures, then featurethem because you’d art in the garden. Consider placing them in clusters, varying the space between them and setting them at different heights.
Wire Garden Trellis – $99
Make your very own light sculpture. These unique light sculptures are loaded with personality. Make your own with string lights along with an appealing 3-D type: trellises, styled and bent willow, arches, hoops, spirals suspended from tree limbs, a sinuous dry-laid rock wall wending its way across the landscape …
Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
Varied lengths of steel posts with random cutouts, a modest flat black paint and some LED lights create a stunning art installation — nighttime and day.
McKay Landscape Lighting
Layout with shadows. Sure this light fixture illuminates the night, but it is much more. It adds artistic panache by day and shadow patterns after dark.
Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture
Try these tricked-out water jets at a pool or pond. Air bubbles are removed from the water until it is sent aloft. Light follows the water stream for a glam effect.
Solar-powered orbs add a lively note to the still water. They are sometimes left to float loose or tethered in place.
Tip: Try changing sizes and colours for different effects. Play with positioning: multiple orbs tethered in a sweeping line; an orb placed in the middle of a fountain nozzle, then held in place like a beach ball from the power of the water; orbs of different sizes submerged under the surface; one or even two orbs tethered to the water, and a couple more suspended at varying heights above the water out of tree limbs; “clutches” of orbs dotting the landscape; orbs of different sizes tucked into the crooks of a shrub …
Phil Kean Design Group
Experiment with colour. It is not a one-size-fits-all color wheel anymore. RGB (red, green, blue) LED lights can be programmed to cycle throughout the ceiling or become put for one colour. Change the engineered color to meet your mood.
Feeling blue? Schedule pure blue and turn the intensity up. Want something more chill? Software golden light and dial it down soft and low.
Tip: RGB LEDs come in a lot of forms — light tape, rope light, orbs, light strings and more. A quick Internet search will disclose your choices and get your creative juices flowing.
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