WORDS Anja Kussler
To make the most of your outdoor lighting it’s a good idea to work with an expert to develop a lighting plan. Dave Barlow from Lighting Plus explains: “A plan or sketch with measurements is required to get the ball rolling for a design. The consultation is very important to assess the needs and wants of the customer. Budget is a factor too and when the designer has some basic information the process can begin.” Consider what you are wanting from your outdoor lighting. Do you want to illuminate a pool or BBQ area, or provide lighting for a dark path? Does your house have architectural features that would benefit from ambient lighting? Or do you just want a simple light outside your front door so you can find your keys when you get home from a night out? Dave advises: “If form is more important than function, highlighting structures and adding drama to the exterior of the building with light and shade can enhance the night-time appeal. Ideally a combination of all of these philosophies will be incorporated into a design.”
Once you have established your plan, it’s time to focus on the fun stuff – choosing your lights. Be they minimal, modern or traditional, the light fittings you choose will play a key role in developing the ambience of your outdoor area. You’ll need to think carefully about the level of illumination you want for the area; suffused light will look lovely along paths, but won’t do the trick if you need a strong light source above your front door.
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