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Formal Lighting

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Swampy, May 20, 2011.

  1. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,435

    I'm not a lighting guy by any means, I had a class in ponds, irragation, and lighting in college just to fill credits. But our teacher always preached see the light not the source, on which I can agree on. But when you in a very formal landscape, where one side mirrors the other. Is it acceptable to put something that looks like your going to land a 747?

    Another quicky, Is more lighting acceptable? Its a little personal, my mom is blind in one eye and partially blind in the other. She discribes it to me at night when she transitions from light to dark its like driving with both eyes closed.
  2. Cam.at.Heritage

    Cam.at.Heritage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    I think "more" could be a confusing term... to me having a lot of fixtures can be good as long as the light is not overwhelming. Its better to have 3 small fixtures putting the light right where you need it, rather then 1 large flood light.

    Not sure how this pathway is laid out but if you tuck the light back from the path edge (maybe between plants) so you can't actually see the fixture and just have the wash of light hitting the path it might not look like a landing strip.

    Pictures are always helpful:confused:
  3. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,196

    Symmetry (where one side exactly, or nearly, mirrors the other) can be found in both architecture and the landscape. As you suggest, it can elicit a sense of formality. It can also be an important component of stability (symmetrical columns), welcoming (symmetrical arrangements of trees along a drive), balance (symmetrical placement of urns), and other aesthetic qualities.

    In all these these cases, the lighting designer would want to selectively reveal the symmetrical features in order to preserve the qualities they elicit. In most situations, the symmetrical features are best lit identically - or in a way that mirrors the other side.

    Of course, the designer is always trying to create an appropriate nighttime feeling. It may be desirable to change the formal daytime scene to a nighttime scene that is less formal, more comfortable, more welcoming - this may require that the symmetrical elements are barely revealed (perhaps back lit) or lit from tree lights to mimic the moon.

    Regarding lighting for the disabled and elderly, it is absolutely correct to provide higher levels illumination, to completely eliminate direct and indirect glare, and to ensure that lighting is optimal to reveal changes in elevation, and the presence of obstacles.
  4. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,740

    Steve, I really like what you said here.


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