When to Schedule a Landscape Lighting Consult or Tune-Up

A beautiful home adorned with a fabulous landscape craves a landscape lighting design that highlights its beauty, creates drama, and enhances functionality. Only a skilled architectural landscape lighting specialist can accomplish this multifaceted feat. However, once the lighting art is achieved, the work is not done. As the landscape, hardscapes, and the home and its residents change, grow, and mature, the lighting must also adapt and be re-configured to meet the challenges.

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When is it time for a landscape lighting consult or tune-up?

1. When the landscape lighting no longer satisfies the homeowner’s objectives, preferences, or tastes, then it is time for a lighting consult or tune-up. Homeowners who choose to illuminate their residence do so because they have a goal in mind. The objectives may fall under the rubric of beauty, drama, or functionality. All three areas may come into play at the same time but not necessarily to the same degree of importance, preference, or taste. These objectives may change over time. When they do, the lighting design needs to change as well to accommodate the new goals, preferences, or tastes.

2. When the landscape expands, it is time for a lighting consultation or tune-up. Often, a landscape lighting design is a component of a larger landscape master plan. That master plan may be implemented all at once, or it may be executed in phases over a period of months or even years. The lighting installation may be implemented earlier rather than later in the masterplan if the phases of the masterplan stretch over a longer period of time. No homeowner wants to wait years before illuminating their new home, landscape, and outdoor living spaces. As the master plan is implemented, the lighting needs to grow and expand with it. Well-configured lighting design will have flexibility engineered into the project so that as the landscape master plan is executed, the lighting can be fitted to accommodate whatever landscape or hardscape has been added.

3. When the plants, trees, and shrubs mature, it is time for a lighting consultation or tune-up. Landscape lighting is not a static endeavor because so much of what is illuminated grows from year to year. Some trees and shrubs mature very quickly and outgrow the original positioning and aiming of the lighting fixtures, while some groundcovers grow quickly and can engulf fixtures within a short time. The lighting must grow, adjust, and mature in synchronization with the plants, trees, and shrubs. The beautiful thing is that it can!

4. When the landscape changes due to weather, it is time for a lighting consultation or inspection. An ice storm can wreak havoc on trees, especially in the South. Arboreal masterpieces can be reduced to splintered limbs and a mangled stump overnight. A microburst can uproot a majestic live oak that was the centerpiece of the landscape. A severe drought can kill younger, more fragile trees that, though not central to the lighting plan, do contribute depth, variety, and texture. When the weather has altered the landscape, it is time for a lighting consultation or inspection to repair or adjust the lighting to accommodate the changes due to damage.

5. When hardscapes are added to the landscape, it is time for a consultation or tune-up. The original landscape masterplan to which the lighting was initially configured may not have included a swimming pool, the regrading of the backyard into a putting green, or the addition of a large patio with a spa and outdoor kitchen. These hardscapes need special lighting considerations. A timely consultation would be in order.

6. When functionality shifts, it is time for a landscape lighting consultation. For example, water features such as a koi pond are a relaxing and refreshing landscape feature. Over time, the novelty may wear off, and the upkeep may be too cumbersome and expensive. The homeowner may decide to keep the feature but no longer illuminate it or decide to remove the feature altogether. Either way, the situation may need some lighting attention.

7. When the homeowners mature, it is time for a lighting consult or tune-up. Trees are not the only things that grow and mature around a home. As the resident’s age, their concerns may shift more towards safety and security. Well-lit pathways and stairs may take priority over the koi pond and the trampoline. This shift in functionality from incidental aesthetics to physical safety demonstrates that a call needs to be made to a landscape lighting company. The professionals can schedule a consult and re-align the masterplan to accommodate the needs of the homeowner.

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Conclusion

A landscape lighting design serves many purposes. The lighting can create beauty or highlight and enhance the existing beauty of a home and landscape. Lighting design can create drama, evoke mood, or soothe and relax. Functional objectives may dictate lighting an outdoor kitchen or dining area. Whatever the purpose—beauty or functionality—the lighting system should achieve the homeowner’s defined objectives. When the system fails to deliver the homeowners desired goals, it is time for a consultation or tune-up.

For more information about custom landscape lighting, contact Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Marietta at (678) 616-9166.

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