LJN Blog Posts

Including lighting in landscape designs

(This post was prompted by the following question from Craig Smith on LinkedIn : "How many professional landscape designers implement lighting into design plans?")

I wonder how many interior architects/designers would draw up plans without any mention of lighting and power fixtures. Well, the answer is none. They wouldn't dream of building, plastering, decorating, carpeting and furnishing an interior, only to then think about channelling cables into walls and through ceilings. And yet, the equivalent still happens all too often in landscape and garden design.

An opportunity missed

This is not trying to suggest that those involved in the landscape side are being remiss in any way. Far from it. Many landscape designers are extremely adept at assessing the effects of changing daylight, and incorporating these into their designs. However, it does seem a great pity, when modern lifestyles are spread over so many more hours of the day and night, and when new technologies are constantly providing better methods of illumination, that many designers are failing to see the real benefit of outdoor spaces that are both useable and enjoyable during the hours of natural darkness, as well as during the day.

Added value

Yes, incorporating lighting adds yet another layer of complexity to the already complex work of the landscape designer, and proper lighting design is a combined art form and science that requires much knowledge and experience. That is why working with a professional lighting designer from the outset is both a time saver and a very shrewd investment for the landscape designer. Proper landscape lighting professionals will open up new insights in the landscaper’s design, bringing out additional aspects of the landscaping and planting in a way that is only possible with well crafted artificial light. This can give the proposal to the client a powerful new unique selling point. Moreover, a landscape lighting designer will ensure that electrical safety is made a top priority throughout, that all national and local regulations concerning power and lighting are strictly adhered to, that efficiency is maximised and life of system running costs are minimised, and that light pollution and light nuisance are given the utmost attention. The two design disciplines complement each other perfectly and, in our experience, the working relationship is a stimulating and enjoyable one for both parties.

A stitch in time

However, one can imagine that that relationship might become very strained if the owner of a newly installed designer garden suddenly decides that it would now be nice to have it lit at night. Retrofitting lighting in a garden, so that it is unobtrusive and yet effective, is a difficult and painstaking process (we know, because we do it regularly with heritage gardens) and all that extra bother can be obviated in a new garden if the lighting is taken into consideration from the outset of the design project.

Choose wisely

Choice of lighting designer is important. Domestic electricians often pass themselves off as designers because they are qualified to install outdoor lights but the results are usually very disappointing and expensive to rectify. Lighting engineers may be great at the functional lighting but might lack the artistic flair to create appropriate effect lighting, or the required horticultural knowledge to really draw out the very best from the landscape at night.

Include lighting

Including lighting design at the landscape design stage will save money and time in the long run, will provide a more attractive sales proposition, and will produce a better end result than will be achieved if it is added as an afterthought.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Landscape Juice Network to add comments!

Join Landscape Juice Network

Highlighted blog posts

Open forum activity

Torin replied to John Fulton's discussion matching mortar colour to original spec
"As already said John its the sand that will make the big difference in the colour, my only advice to add would be to ask the homeowner if they have any idea where the sand was purchased from and if they know the merchant or if they are still in touc…"
6 hours ago
David Glynn replied to Steven Mills's discussion Damage to lawns caused by badgers
"It doesn’t need to be strong it’s 1:10  ratio and any odour will dissipate fairly quickly. A light spray over the target area until any activity ceases which in my experience was about two weeks. This does depend on weather conditions i.e. rain will…"
10 hours ago
Steven Mills replied to Steven Mills's discussion Damage to lawns caused by badgers
"Interesting David,can you remember mix ratio you applied? My initial resistance to this is the potential ongoing odour of the Jeyes fluid.The area concerned is a residential community area.Thanks"
10 hours ago
Benedict Simmons replied to Daniel Johnson's discussion Staple guns for wire mesh fencing
"I've used stockaid staple gun. The contractor I work with on large fencing job has one. About a grand for the gun plus about 6p a staple. Expensive outlay but seriously quicker  You can put alot of stock fencing up in a day. 
 "
10 hours ago
Andrew Gibson and Darren Mcsorley joined Landscape Juice Network
20 hours ago
John Fulton replied to John Fulton's discussion matching mortar colour to original spec
"Your  product is definitely worth keeping in mind for bigger / future jobs for its no staining no waste value .  Thanks . 
Have achieved a like to like mix and match  with the ready mix mortar pack and mortar tone , weather permitting it will get do…"
21 hours ago
Ben Pritchard replied to Ben Pritchard's discussion Kombi extension shaft problems
"Yes, that's what's wedged in there. It turns out those bushes are for all kombi shafts... Apart from the extension!
I've resigned myself to hacking it out with a keyhole saw as pliers etc as arent working. 
 
The other end, it's the metal attached t…"
22 hours ago
David Benson replied to Ben Pritchard's discussion Kombi extension shaft problems
"have you tried snype nosed plyers or bend a wire into a hooked shape to pull it out i persume it is this that you mean https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/322781396752
the other end might need a new nut & bolt or try a spring washer on it "
yesterday
Gardens4u.co.uk commented on Gardens4u.co.uk's blog post Health and Safety on Landscape juice by Robin Ainsworth @ www.gardens4u.co.uk
"I agree Cesare. Totally. Same here in 17years now. "
yesterday
Darren Ross/Alan Dobbie replied to John Fulton's discussion matching mortar colour to original spec
"Why don’t you try Weatherpoint 365 Buff colour from Travis Perkins https://www.travisperkins.co.uk/Marshalls-Weatherpoint-365-Jointing...;
Great product."
yesterday
David Glynn replied to Steven Mills's discussion Damage to lawns caused by badgers
"Diluted Jeyes fluid, as advised by our local badger preservation society. It works by breaking the scent of the bugs etc they are after.
Tested on three sites and it has proved very effective, only a couple of treatments needed."
yesterday
Ben Pritchard posted a discussion
I have 2 Combi extension shafts, and they both have problems. One shaft has a broken plastic insert stuck inside the male end that is stopping the shaft from turning.. any suggestions on how to get it out?The other has a problem at the female end. T…
yesterday
Adam Frangou updated their profile photo
yesterday
John Fulton replied to Gary RK's discussion Are websites ‘old hat’ for small businesses ?
"As a consumer i prefer to choose the method which narrows the search and saves time which is nearly always through personal recommendation . 
I rarely trawl the web to find trades people i find it chaotic , its like trying to find a needle in a hays…"
yesterday
Geoffrey King replied to Adam Woods's discussion Ivy growing through a close board fence
"A 6ft high wall aint gonna stop no ivy, unless it has constant laser protective surveillance, to burn off those growth shoots. Coupled with a patrolling drone to intimidate that most awesome of spreading, climbing grow anywhere plants. The 'Ivy King'"
Friday
dan replied to Gary RK's discussion Are websites ‘old hat’ for small businesses ?
"A website is supposed to be a partially static point of call for a potential customer./'Information'
Social media is supposed to be a constantly updating information highway. / 'personality'/ online presence.
I would always prefer to view someones w…"
Friday
More…