Let There Be Light, with Outdoor Lighting

By Carolyn Comeau, Luxury Living Outdoors 

You’ve chosen stunning exterior paint colors, the stonework, the landscaping and created an inviting outdoor deck or patio space. Why then, should all that work go missing when the sun goes down? It shouldn’t, according to Janet Lennox Moyer, renowned landscape lighting pioneer, and founder of the International Landscape Lighting Institute. “Landscape lighting allows homeowners to enjoy their home and landscapes in new ways — even from the inside of their home after dark. “Instead of looking out into an inky black vista,” Lennox Moyer explains, “a beautifully illuminated view of your grounds reconnects you to your landscape. It’s really another type of art.”

Landscape lighting is a striking, technologically sophisticated, and an environmentally friendly way to showcase a home’s beauty and the surrounding site’s beauty. Entirely different from permanent exterior light fixtures, like flood lights. A well designed, and executed outdoor lighting plan highlights a home’s unique architectural details and the drama of the garden or a pool. Moyer also describes how landscape lighting impacts a homeowner’s sense of wellbeing, especially those living in colder climates, where time spent outdoors is limited. “If we go too long without this connection to nature, we can get depressed,” she warns. We’re all familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. It’s real.” 

If anything, the pandemic has proven that our homes need to be adaptable, especially outdoor living. They’re not just our sanctuaries anymore, they do double, and even triple duty as offices, classrooms, and relaxation hubs. The growing popularity of enhancing our homes’ outdoor spaces started long before the pandemic.

Using a Good Lighting Designer is Important

Moyer is emphatic agreement about something else: It’s critical to procure a seasoned, accomplished landscape lighting pro to get the desired results. “Landscape lighting professionals must wear many hats,” declares Moyer. “They’re designers, technical whizzes, and individuals who have the ability to bring a project from beginning to completion through the design and installation phases. There’s a lot of forethought and troubleshooting involved on the front end.” 

Landscape lighting of today is safe and features low voltage lighting and extremely energy-efficient LED bulbs. Systems now are even more owner-friendly in that they can be controlled through a smartphone or laptop, maximizing ease. And the actual fixtures today are technologically more advanced too, basically lasting forever. 

Good landscape lighting is highly site-specific, complements a home’s aesthetic, incorporates multiple types of lighting design. A great plan will do everything from illuminate a garden to a dramatic feature like a majestic tree, statue or water feature.

Moyer also encourage homeowners not to let outdoor lighting be an afterthought. Not only does it up a home’s “wow factor” for both homeowners and guest, it increases the value of what is many people’s most important investment. “Landscape lighting enables homeowners to enjoy what they’ve worked so hard on. What can be an obstacle — the sun setting — instead becomes an asset,” says Moyer.