Thursday, May 19, 2011

Landscape Lighting 101: Hinkley Lighting

Photo from Hinkley Lighting
"Landscape lighting should enhance the outdoor living environment, extend hours of enjoyment you and your family spend outdoors and provide safety and security."
- Hinkley Lighting

12V vs. 120V
12V or Low Voltage systems are generally more flexible and suitable for most residential environments while 120V or line voltage are more suited to permanent commercial and institutional applications.
Some of the advantages to the low voltage system are:
-You do not have to be a licensed electrician to install 12V systems.
-Wires are flexible and can be relocated during and after installation.
- Systems can be plugged into an existing outdoor receptacles.
- Wires and fixtures are designed for wet locations and are safe when exposed to moisture.

Types of Landscape Lighting:
UP LIGHTING, illuminating an object, area or surface from below, often used to illuminate trees.
DOWN LIGHTING, illuminating an object, area or surface from above, often used to spotlight sculptures or other points of interest.
MOONLIGHTING, a type of down lighting that is used to create a natural effect. Often the light will be mounted high in a tree and it bathes the ground with a soft glow.
GRAZING, emphasizes a textured surface (such and a tree trunk, stone wall, or climbing ivy) by placing a light source within one foot of that surface and aiming the light beam parallel to that surface.
PATH LIGHTING, used to enhance landscaping such as flower beds, shrubbery and borders while safely illuminating pathways.
STEP LIGHTING, may be used in masonry and wood construction to safely illuminate stairways and walkways.
WALL WASHING, illuminating a wall or a surface.
SILHOUETTING, aka back lighting, used to dramatize and interesting-shaped object.
SHADOWING, an effect created by placing a light source in front of an object and projecting a shadow onto a surface behind the object.
BENCH/DECK LIGHTING, used in masonry and wood construction used to provide safety and accent light.

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