The outside of your house and the lawn that surrounds it is the only elements that most people will ever see of your home, and they will be the first and last things that guests will be exposed to when visiting. You can put a lot of effort into the beauty and style of your structure, and the surrounding property, however all of those efforts will be bathed in darkness and obscurity each day as the sun sets from the sky. However it is possible to roll back the Miami night with nothing more than the flick of a switch by using landscape lighting elements. These can help to make the most of what you already have, and can even enhance the beauty of your residence through the interplay of illumination and shadow.
There are a number of different styles and effects that can be accomplished using landscape illumination techniques. These should be matched to the purpose that you are looking to achieve. You might be looking to create a soft, intimate, or even romantic look in the property surrounding your home. Another option is to try for a bold, brazen, dramatic feel, in order to highlight the austere authority of your architectural elements. Lighting is also often used to focus on certain features, such as decorative art, interesting plants, and unique structures that might be placed throughout the area.
Landscape lighting can also be an important safety feature for your home. Shadowy areas, walkways, and paths, can be dangerous as tripping hazards, or places where crimes can be committed after hours. There may also be places around the home that are bathed in darkness, where lurkers can hide while they examine you, and the various weak points in your house. By placing strategic lighting in these locations, you can banish the unknown and create pools of safe illumination around the structure of your property.
Some landscape lighting products will use the full, standard, 120 volt power that comes directly from the home. These elements have to be specially manufactured and installed to protect them from the elements, as that much electricity can be dangerous in an exterior location. However most outdoor illumination products will make use of a transformer that steps the energy down to just 12 volts, making it safe for outdoor environments in Miami Beach, without limiting the functional capabilities that can be achieved.
Landscape lighting products consist of insulated cords, running from the home power supply to a transformer, which reduces the voltage. Specially shielded exterior lines are then used to transport the electricity out to the socket and bulb at the location desired. These are generally buried a few inches beneath the earth to prevent tripping. The actual illuminating product will be contained within a housing fixture designed to protect the product from wind, rain, and other harmful weather.
Proper landscape lighting requires a combination of electrical skill, ground preparation, and artistic taste. While there are some products available than can be installed by amateurs, these are often inelegant items, with visible cords, that will provide only a limited number of decorative options. A Miami lighting professional will be able to come in and use their experience and skill to open up all of the illuminated possibilities available to you. They can also handle the work quickly, and efficiently, with a minimal effect on your vegetation, and a finished look that is aesthetically seamless.
Types Of Landscape Lighting
Wash Lights: These are bright bulbs, that emit a soft, diffuse, wide ranging illumination, which is great for highlighting large architectural structures such as garden walls, and house facades. These can also be used to cast a gentle glow across an open area.
Bullet Lights: These are very strong, intense, directional bulbs that are great for highlighting specific elements, including trees, statues, and flower beds.
Well Lights: These waterproof fixtures are embedded directly into the earth so that no socket is visible at all. That can be great for creating the appearance of illumination with no source. These lights are often used to showcase facade bases, walls, and the undersides of plants and trees.
Downlights: These fixtures are generally installed in high elevation locations, such as the tops of buildings, trees, and branches. They cast a cone shaped light which travels downward, and is used to illuminate paths, lawns, or the features of the tree where they are placed. The benefit of these products is that they are designed to eliminate edge glare, making them seamless sources of visible glow.
Flood Lights: These powerful bulbs cast a wider cone then wash lights, and are brighter than bullet lights, giving them an undeniable presence when used in any exterior location. Great for highlighting large trees, flower beds, open areas, and decorative structures, they tend to be somewhat overpowering and should be used only sparingly.
LED’s: Recent innovations in the LED manufacturing industry have revolutionized the art of landscape illumination, providing a low maintenance, ecologically friendly, long lasting alternative to traditional halogen products. These lights can last on average for 20 years as opposed to 2, and they require less energy, thinner wires, and a simpler installation process.
While LED’s may cost slightly more than traditional halogen solutions, they more than make up for this with the long life span they have. This can be especially important for overhead lighting bulbs that are both difficult and dangerous to replace. LED lights also give you a wide variety of color options. Rather than being limited to just the white glow of traditional illumination sources, these products let you create dramatic red, blue, green, or glowing amber hues.
Solar Powered: These amazing products are able to actually soak up the energy from the sun throughout the day, and then re-radiate it back outwards as light throughout the night. Simple to install, they don’t require any electricity or wires, and can often just be plugged into lawn soil where desired. The drawback is that they tend to be somewhat weak, and are better as accent points then actual sources of visible illumination. You also have very little control over them, and the amount of glow that is output will be determined by how cloudy the afternoon was.
Cortada Landscape Design is your one stop shop for outdoor living needs. Providing Landscape Design, Landscape Contracting, Irrigation and Landscape Lighting Services. Servicing Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove etc.