Landscape Lighting Design Principles

Being able to enjoy your environment day and night is possible. Thanks to the landscape lighting, evening walks, and late activities can stretch out without compromising on safety and fun. A play of shadows and lights brings the architectural elements of your property to the fore, the art of lighting your yard well is the finishing touch that will make your project shine.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 07:19

Being able to enjoy your environment day and night is possible. Thanks to the landscape lighting, evening walks, and late activities can stretch out without compromising on safety and fun.

A play of shadows and lights brings the architectural elements of your property to the fore, the art of lighting your yard well is the finishing touch that will make your project shine.

Landscape lighting is creating a nighttime landscape. Although traffic lane lighting is the first factor to consider, mood landscape lighting is not limited to it. Proper management of light makes it possible to create a different landscape than what we are used to seeing during the day. The accentuation and the shading sets provide an atmosphere that highlights the shrubs, trees, and flower beds.

The first step in landscape lighting design is the determination of the objectives, the areas to be illuminated, and lighting techniques;

Objectives

Safety, using low-voltage luminaires to prevent injury

  • Security, from theft, burglary, and trespassing
  • Usability, providing light for a task
  • Beauty, creating different moods, highlighting textures, shapes, and structures

Areas to lit

Areas requiring functional lighting:

  • Pedestrian walkways and circulation
  • Stairs and entrance to the buildings
  • Access to outbuildings, terraces, pools

Areas requiring aesthetic lighting, highlighting:

  • A building
  • A scene from the garden
  • A remarkable tree, lawn
  • An alignment
  • A pond

Lighting Techniques

Path and area lighting, to light plant beds and paths

  • Uplighting, to highlight the trees, plants, and architectural elements
  • Grazing, to accentuate texture on stone, stucco, brick surfaces, and tree trunks
  • Wall washing, to provide light on low walls
  • Shadowing, to create shadows on walls
  • Moonlighting, to provide soft natural lighting over large trees
  • Backlighting, to provide illumination around the edges of an object
  • Silhouetting, to provide a lit surface like a backdrop for unlit plant
  • Reflective lighting, to provide general lighting by reflecting off surfaces
  • Cross lighting, to highlight surface texture and shape with plural light sources instead of a single one which creates a flattening effect
  • Wall lighting, to illuminate walls

General Principles

Lighting studies in landscape projects should be handled during the design phase and with the landscape architect. And they should take consider the following general principles during the lighting design;

  • Using light only where and when it’s needed
  • Respect the neighborhood by avoiding too powerful and wrong oriented lighting
  • No false oriented headlamps that could disturb drivers on roads
  • Consider minimizing electricity consumption by using energy-efficient equipment and automation systems
  • Minimising blue light emissions
  • Installing fully shielded fixtures suitable for outdoor conditions
  • Avoiding light pollution, respecting to wildlife and ecosystems

How to Design Landscape Lighting

The best way to create a good landscape design is to preserve the mysterious and surprising effects of an environment and having light and shadows in harmony. The method which should be used at the outdoor is layered lighting. It is to have different lighting solutions for several points to add emotion, drama, and beauty to space. For example, powerful accent light for valuable trees or architectural elements, step lights to light up paths, bollards for walkways, parks and green areas functional and aesthetic lighting, pole lighting for driveways

The types of lighting fixtures, their lumen output, color temperature, beam angles should vary according to their function, and the desired atmosphere, types of the plants. (height, size, cover density, structure, shape, color, texture, and location of the tree, etc.)and the hierarchy of the landscape elements.

As a technical feature sample, we can say that 4000K is suitable for water lighting anyhow for general warm light color temperatures are better.

Layered lighting is also about controlling light in the environment for different purposes.

Many automation systems will allow us to create various light settings and provide energy consumption.

The goal of a lighting designer is to illuminate a landscape and meet the needs of the people who live, work, or visit the location. The created nocturn environment should be visible, safe, visually comfortable, and pleasing and respectable to the world we live in and all living beings.

Sources:

https://www.landscapingnetwork.com/
https://www.lumens.com/
https://decrolux.com/news/2018/landscape-lighting-design-consideration
https://www.lightology.com/
https://www.simes.it/
https://www.darksky.org/light-pollution

Ayşe Özkiper
Linkedin

After Notre Dame de Sion French High School, Ayşe Dilay Özkiper continued her education at the Istanbul Technical University and has been graduated as an Architect. She also graduated from her MBA at the Istanbul University Institute of Business Economics. She attended various workshops, formations, and schoolings on lighting design and technique. Özkiper spent the last 20 years of her 29-year professional career in the lighting sector with the expertise of architectural lighting and still continues as a lighting designer and consultant.

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