Alpharetta Company Helps Homeowners Prepare for Landscape Lighting Consultations

Southern Landscape Light Systems shares tips for preparing for a design consultation for the installation of landscape lighting.

There are two basic categories in landscape design. These two categories are hardscape and softscape. Hardscape refers to design features that are solid and unchanging over time. Examples of hardscape are rocks, fences, walkways, benches, and playground equipment. Softscape refers to features that are fluid and that change as they mature. Turf, trees, shrubs, and flowers are examples of softscape. Architectural lighting would qualify as hardscape in situations where the lighting fixture itself makes a visible aesthetic or functional contribution to the landscape design. A lamppost illuminating a bench or an entire outdoor living space would be considered a hardscape.

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The ideal landscape design is a blend of both hardscape and softscape. An outdoor lighting design endeavors to accentuate both hardscape and softscape design elements of a property. When planning landscape lighting installation, it is important to consider if the landscape is currently completed or if significant hardscape or softscape features will be installed in the future. Some landscape plans may take several years to bring to completion, depending on the maturation of the softscape or the availability of funds to move the elements of the project forward. If the lighting designer understands the evolution of the landscape installation, they can install portions of the lighting now instead of later. The outdoor lighting system can be modified to accommodate the additions, whether hardscape or softscape.

When considering an architectural outdoor lighting design consultation with Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta, it is helpful to create a checklist. Having thoughtfully addressed design considerations beforehand will help maximize the session.

Review the landscape master plan with the landscape lighting designer

Communicate to the outdoor lighting design specialist any anticipated hardscape and softscape features that will be changed or added in the future and the timeframe, if possible. If elements significant to the overall integrity of the landscape plan have not been installed, determine the implications for the architectural lighting design. Some clarifying questions can be answered. What phases of the outdoor lighting installation can move forward? How soon can the outdoor lighting installation begin? If the landscape is mature and relatively stable, most or all of the lighting system can be installed by the landscape lighting company.

Deciding to delay the installation may not be advisable since landscape lighting fulfills some practical functions. It creates safe spaces by illuminating walkways, driveways, steps, and yard hazards. Outdoor landscape lighting also provides illumination that deters intruders.

Some practical considerations

Make any changes in or additions to the landscape before the lighting design specialist arrives for the appointment. The final location of statuary or other yard ornaments, rocks, boulders, benches, and other movable hardscape features need to be established.  After consulting the design specialist, the location of certain hardscape features may be adjusted to improve the overall effect of the lighting solution. Any changes or additions not implemented prior to the design appointment should be brought to the attention of the lighting design specialist.

Determine the hardscape features to be accented and prioritize their importance. A fountain, koi pond, garden alcove, or bench would be examples of hardscape. The customer’s priorities play an important role in the overall lighting design.

Make any changes or additions or the softscape prior to the design consultation. Move or install bushes, shrubs, border grass, ground cover, potted plants, trees, gardens, and beds. If possible, prune and shape shrubs, bushes, and trees prior to the design meeting. The services of a lawn maintenance crew or professional arborist may need to be secured to provide these preparatory services.

The goal is to enable the lighting specialist to design around an existing, stable landscape with both hardscape and softscape features in place and functional. With preparations completed, the project is just three steps away from completion: Design, install, enjoy.

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Southern Landscape Lighting Systems has been installing LED lighting solutions for homeowners in Alpharetta for many years. They are highly regarded for their ability to match the project vision with a solution that is both practical and enhances the aesthetic of a yard after dark. Their commitment to providing the best customer service and the highest quality professional installations ensures that they are one of the leading outdoor lighting installation specialists in Alpharetta and the greater Atlanta area. Their team designs and installs custom outdoor lighting to accentuate features around the home, landscaping, subdivision entrance, or business. They offer the highest quality products, professional design, installation, and continuing service support for their customers. They also provide nighttime demonstrations as well as daytime design consultations.

To contact the architectural outdoor landscape lighting specialists at Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta, call (770) 691-1221 or visit their website at

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