Few additions to a property’s exterior communicate a rich attention to detail quite like beautiful hardscape elements. Complimenting the surrounding green-space, architectural landscaping is not only aesthetically pleasing but also demonstrates a commitment to creating an outdoor space that enriches the soul of anyone who spends time in it. From sleek and minimalist granite patios to rustic shale garden steps, there are any number of ways of making a relatively ordinary property look extraordinary.
The eye of a professional hardscape designer will consider the existing natural elements of a property, styles that are complimentary to the home and the homeowners, how the space is used and also how natural light would play off of hardscape features to maximize their visual impact. A real expert is also aware that hardscape features can be transformed at night when combined with Oakville landscape lighting services.
While a creative hardscape adds to a property’s appeal during the day, the subtle play between light and shadow at night can produce shapes and textures that are not detected under the wash of sunlight. The safety and security afforded by Oakville landscape lighting services are obviously important factors of the design, but the real artistry is in the unexpected allure created when a professional knows how to carve away just enough of the darkness to reveal the hidden beauty.
When thinking about how Oakville landscape lighting services can help you get the most out of your hardscaping, consider these tips:
Take a close look at existing materials and structure
During the day, use a designer’s eye to carefully examine your existing hardscaping elements. Make notes on the following:
Are the building materials mostly smooth, or are there a variety of dappled textures such as in rough stone or stucco?
Is the architectural design flush and uniform, or tiered with a number of outcroppings?
Does the design follow straight lines, or mainly rounded and winding paths and shapes?
Where are trees, gardens or water features placed in relation to paths, retaining walls or activity areas? How might they be used to produce eye-catching shadow effects, or do their presence near pathways create a potential tripping hazard at night?
How are patios and decks used? Are they mostly used for cooking, dining and entertaining, or for simply laying back and relaxing?
Try to Include Lighting Elements at the Design Phase
Most hardscape designs can be properly retrofit by our Oakville landscape lighting service, but it’s easier to combine the lighting design in the pre-construction phase of your landscaping. Even if a lighting system won’t be immediately installed, walls and paths can be built with pre-installed wiring channels and conduit to make the addition of lighting easier. Knowing that night time lighting will be added to the property may also prompt the designer of your hardscape to suggest architectural elements or a choice of materials and textures that have a specific impact under landscape lighting.
Take Safety and Security into Account
One of the advantages of advancements in low-voltage landscape lighting is that safe passage and the prevention of unwanted intruders no longer requires flooding the entire area with light. In fact, older lighting technologies often created their own hazards due to glare or flattened perspective on hardscape structures. Paths can be illuminated either by soft, downward-focused moonlighting placed in nearby trees and other overhead vantage points, or by unobtrusive ground fixtures staggered along both sides of the pathway. Step lighting must give people an accurate sense of height and depth to prevent tripping. Remember that the method of lighting the stairs’ ascension may not be as effective for those navigating the steps from above.
There are so many ways that professional Oakville landscape lighting services can enhance both the beauty and the practicality of your hardscape areas. Contact us now for more tips and advice.