The trend in creating liveable spaces out of doors is on the rise, and not only for lavishly constructed homes. Increasingly, more modest homes and renovated houses are taking advantage of the extra enjoyment of a property that can be provided by an Oakville outdoor lighting design. Contrary to the assumption that an effective night time landscape requires a wallet-busting budget, even a modest amount of lighting can have a dramatic impact on not only how you use your outdoor setting, but also on how it’s perceived.
If you’ve ever taken a stroll through a wooded area by the light of the full moon, you know how magical this night time scene can be. Moonlighting is a subtle but dynamic technique used in Oakville outdoor lighting design that allows you to enjoy this same magic every evening. This type of down-lighting can be created by placing fixtures that are angled down from high vantage points within trees. While best applied when using deciduous, leafy trees rather than evergreens the combination of light and dappled shadows results in a soft yet dreamlike effect.
Highlighting techniques used in trees can be equally impressive. Instead of using the branches and foliage to create patterns on the ground, properly focusing two or more fixtures up into the canopy of an oddly-shaped birch or majesty maple can add a colourful dimension with a stunning visual impact. It’s easy to experiment with this effect by using two people with flashlights, adjusting for brightness, angle and depth.
Add Some Intrigue
Silhouetting is an effect that adds secondary lighting to surrounding structures while creating impactful shadowed objects in the foreground. Imagine a row of juniper bushes planted against the sidewall of the house. One or more low-level spotlights aimed at the wall will create an illuminated backdrop that outlines the bushes while casting their shape into dark and striking shadow.
Homes that Glow From the Inside
Washes of light can have the surprising effect on an Oakville outdoor lighting design by creating walls that appear to shine of their own accord. Shaded or low-wattage lights are best used for this purpose. This dramatic technique is achieved by placing the fixtures a few feet away from the surfaces to be illuminated, and casting them upwards or angled sideways. The intention is to graze the surface with just enough light to cause it to glow with only a subtle contrast of highlight and shadow.
Direct up-lighting of surfaces can have an even more prominent effect that enhances shape with shadow. Although it is best used in areas of special architectural interest, unique building materials or on accent or partition walls so that the result isn’t overly-garish.
Day for Night
When deciding on your Oakville outdoor lighting design, it’s important to take any special landscaping and gardening arrangements into account. There’s no reason why these features that are so enjoyed during the day shouldn’t be equally as picturesque at night. Highlighting a patch of tall and wild grasses, or softly up-lighting an ornamental fountain has the potential to suggest an entirely different mood than the one experienced during the day.
Variety is the Spice of Night
To really entice the eye at night, experimenting with different types of fixtures in your landscape lighting is important. For some homeowners, an eclectic mixture of fixtures styles works best. Or perhaps a simple accent of rope lights or an outdoor chandelier over a dining area is all it takes. Contact us to discuss your most dramatic ideas, and we’ll help you turn your Oakville outdoor lighting design into an unforgettable experience for you and your guests.