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Enjoy Your Landscaping, Even After the Sun Goes Down
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June 13th, 2007
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p> font face="Arial">Enjoy Your Landscaping, Even After the Sun Goes Down
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(ARA) – Landscape lighting used to be simple. A few recessed cans lining the front path, a couple downlights tucked in the trees, and you were done. Not anymore. When it comes to the great outdoors, homeowners have seen the light.
br />
br /> “Today, people aren’t just lighting up the walkways so they can see their way to the door at night, and putting floods near the garage. They’re finding ways to illuminate the landscaping they’ve spent so much time and money on so they can enjoy it at night,” says Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for the American Lighting Association (ALA) and associate professor at the University of Kentucky.
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br /> Rey-Barreau tracks the latest trends among lighting dealers and designers and says, “This spring, we’re going to see a lot of changes in outdoor lighting practices. Landscape lighting is now being used as a means to extend living space so people can enjoy the best of both the inside and outside worlds. I see the focus this spring being on techniques that bring light closer to the house, and make the space more aesthetically pleasing in an unobtrusive manner,” he says.
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br /> Gone are the days of the big, bold lanterns that used to line people’s walks. Rey-Barreau says this year, the hottest trend will be to instead decorate with light from non-visible sources. Among the options for this: uplighting, downlighting and shadowing.
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br /> Uplighting is produced by shining a light up on a tree, statue or bench in the yard to highlight to give it definition, texture or even dimensionality. Downlighting is created by hanging the light source in the trees or from the rooftop and shining it on the area below. This technique is often used to improve visibility for security reasons. And with shadowing you use spot or flood lights placed at ground level, or in-ground fixtures placed in front of an object to throw its shadow on a wall behind it as a decorative feature.
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br /> Richard Lentz, president of Lentz Landscape Lighting in Dallas, Texas, says people’s desire to enhance their outdoor living space has played a big role in his business in recent years. “People have come to realize it’s a shame to just ignore all those great spaces they’ve created outdoors because it’s dark outside, so they’re hiring us to come up with ways to incorporate the landscape into their night life,” says Lentz.
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br /> Two examples of how Lentz uses lighting to transform a space for his clients:  
br />
br /> * Moonlighting Effect
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br /> For a courtyard off the dining room, kitchen or even a bedroom, it is possible to create a moonlight effect that makes it seem like the courtyard is part of the space. “In this situation, we would install a Mercury Vapor light that casts cool light high in a tree to create the effect of moonlight, and complement it with a halogen lamp that lights up a fountain, sculpture or bench in the courtyard,” says Lentz.
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br /> * Lighting a Walkway
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br /> One of the most popular ways to light a walkway is with a runway effect where there are lights on both sides of the path, but Lentz says that distracts from the environment. “I prefer to filter light through the trees above to light up a sidewalk or steps. It gives you a real nice, natural effect.”
br />
br /> While expanding living space and decorating
Posted: 6/13/2007 12:58:21 PM by ARA | with 1 Comments Filed under: .

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