You may have heard about down lighting, as it is a popular technique for general and accent lighting in both residential and commercial properties. But, what exactly is down lighting, and what are some examples of where they are used most?
Down lighting is when a fixture is mounted in an elevated location and aimed downwards so that the light being emitted spreads a wash of light on the target down below. The fixture can be mounted to various locations, including a tree limb, the soffit of a home, or even a metal pole, all of which work to provide a place of elevated height for the fixture to be perched.
Here are some examples of down lighting applications:
1. Patios and outdoor living spaces are a wonderful place to enjoy the effects of down lighting. Down lighting provides a functional light for both tranquil and social situations that occur on your patio. Down lights are soft lights that don’t distract or overwhelm you or your guests is always ideal for a patio space. The key to beautiful lighting is subtlety: less says more.
2. Ponds: Whether it’s the soft babbling of lapping water or the cool temperature a water feature lends to the night air in the summer, ponds bring tranquility to our outdoor experience. Extending that enjoyment into the evening can be as simple as highlighting it with the right lighting. Down lighting your pond provides an overall calm and a sense of character to what would otherwise be a dark space.
3. Water creates a lot of reflection, and a defined glow emanates from a pond when it is being down lit appropriately. Reflection lends more definition to everything it touches. Creating a dramatic scene with light depends on the contrast between light and shadow in moving water.
4. Statuary lighting should be done from above whenever possible. Lighting a statue from below has a potential to create unnatural looking shadows. When a statue is lit from above, it provides a more natural looking effect. The shadows all lie as they should, and the statue itself is put in the best light. The most natural looking lighting on a statue often leaves the best impression of the viewer.
5. Path: To provide effective safety, light, pathways and other traveled places like steps need to be illuminated. Down lighting a pathway helps visitors see where they are going safely. Down lighting from trees creates beauty in the way the leaves and tree branches stretch shadows across pathways. This natural looking effect adds real beauty to the places that would otherwise be left dark.
6. Security: Security lighting is important for an obvious reason: keeping your property safe at night. The beautiful thing about landscape lighting is that security lighting can be achieved without having to sacrifice beauty or ambiance. Beautiful security lighting can be achieved when it’s down with proper down lighting and the right finesse.
At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Northern Virginia, a landscape lighting designer will have the experience and knowledge to consider safety, security, and beauty when creating a custom lighting design. If you have any questions or would like to discuss down lighting or other lighting needs, please feel free to contact us. If you’re ready to start spending more evenings enjoying your outdoor space, schedule a free consultation and night-time demonstration! Call us today (703) 361-0505.