Summer nights sitting on the patio watching a fire and enjoying the fresh air of a summer evening. This is science is made better by having the proper illumination.
The MDA Lites has been providing landscape lighting solutions to Chicagoland, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan & Indiana areas for decades. The reason so many project managers, landscape architects, and even homeowners reach out to MDA Lites is the experience!
You may install one or two landscape lighting systems in your lifetime. This won’t give you the leading-edge exposure to design and product advancements that professionals get. Every year the MDA Lites undergoes training on the latest techniques and product features.
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There are 5 basic mistakes that are commonly made when purchasing and laying out landscape lighting. The team at MDA Lites wants to help you prevent making them. Creating a beautifully lit landscape around a home is a thrill that can only be experienced when it is completed. The work involved requires that the professional that is doing the layout be strategic in their application of lights and artistic in their interpretation. The way a tree with a full canopy is lit is much different than when highlighting a feature that is architectural or when illuminating a walkway safely and subtly. This is why it is easy for the novice to make mistakes and no one wants to live with a poorly designed landscape layout.
Mistake # 1: Using the Wrong Light Fixture:
With all the many choices of landscape fixtures that are available making the correct selection of a landscape fixture can be challenging. Understanding the beam spread, lumen output and color temperature of the landscape lighting design that comes with hands on experience. Using the correct fixture for the intended application and location is the baseline to assure the success of your outdoor project. This is the specific design skill an experienced landscape lighting professional is going to have. The MDA Lites team knows which fixtures will work best for you and the locations to place them for the desired result that is wanted.
Mistake # 2: Too Few or To Many Lights:
When the beginner lays out a landscape lighting design they will often “overlight” the space. While the saying goes “more is better,” it does not work out so well when lighting the night. These faulty design ideas can be seen on any twilight drive through Napierville or Kenilworth Illinois. You will notice them when you see sidewalks and paths that resemble the runways at O’Hare airport.
Think of the soft lighting that will make the space come alive at night, in this case less is more. Using fewer lights in the beginning gives way to adding fixtures in the places they will be most impactful to the intent of the design.
Mistake # 3: Selecting the Wrong Fixture:
A common mistake made by homeowners and non-professionals is that they look at the fixture and not at the light. In a great landscape layout the design idea is to hide the light source and only see the effect of the light. In the past this required that the fixture selection be vast to accomplish the desired look. Today it only takes a couple of fixtures to do the job with KICHLER Lighting VLO, or variable lumen output. According to Kichler; “Variable Lumen Output (VLO) is the new standard in landscape lighting design, versatility, and installation. Every VLO fixture delivers three-lumen outputs that you can change easily on-site with a magnetic key, without the increased risk of failure associated with a mechanical adjustment.
The smart technology allows contractors to create more customized lighting effects upon the initial install while carrying fewer fixtures. Plus, VLO fixtures can adjust to a landscape’s needs over time. Just size your transformer based on the highest VA you expect to use, and you’re ready for anything.” For more detailed information on LED that includes lumens, color temperatures, and color rendering take a look here: LED Lighting Facts – What You Need to Know Before You Buy
Mistake # 4: Budgeting and Expansion:
Depending on the size of the property and the budget that has been assigned to it, planning to implement landscape lighting in stages appeals to both the design intent and the pocket book. It is important to understand the costs associated with landscape lighting. So how much does landscape lighting cost? It depends. Product costs can vary with the quality and quantity of the fixtures needed. Then you must add in the variable cost of labor to layout and install. Budgeting for landscape lighting can be a frustrating exercise. When researching online, landscape lighting prices can range from one end of the spectrum to the other. In a word, you get what you pay for. Quality landscape lighting products are made from metals not plastic. The reason metal is preferred is that it will hold up in the harsh outdoor conditions year after year. If the budget demands it, buy fewer better products and design the project to be completed in stages or planned expansion. So in a couple of seasons the design is completed with the the best materials. In the same period of time the cheaper lights will be having operational problems and the cheaper materials will need replacing.
Mistake # 5: Using Automation:
The old days of flipping a switch to light the landscape are over. Using automation has entered many parts of daily life and landscape lighting is no different. One of the great joys of having a well-lit home is seeing it. If it requires that a switch be flipped before the lights turn on then you have just cheated yourself out of some enjoyment. Kichler takes this a bit further with their Design Pro LED Controller. Featuring multiple zones and 12 independent schedules allows different areas to be lit as they should be.
Not a Mistake: We Are Your Landscape Lighting Resource
The team at MDA Lites is able to assist in landscape lighting design projects of any scale in the Chicagoland, Illinois, Michigan Indiana, Wisconsin areas. We have a team of experienced landscape professionals that is available for on-site layouts in all these areas. Our premier landscape lighting design assistance is supercharged with the KICHLER APS, Advanced Product Solutions and Layout
Feel free to contact us and we will provide you with proper directions. Contact Us Here