Lighting Design

Landscape Architects, although well versed in plant materials, soil types and conditions, hardscape, drainage, form and style, generally are not trained in lighting design. Some L.A.s might have a limited knowledge of how to use uplighting and path lights but can't implement lighting techniques to create intricate lighting designs. We usually develop lighting plans for Landscape Architects for their clients and coordinate the plant and fixture locations to optimize the appeal of both.

If you're building a new home or remodeling your existing home, Softscapes can work with you and your L.A. to design a lighting system that places your home in it's best light. If you're not in the Nashville area, we can work with an installer in your area to implement the lighting system as designed. We can even help find the right installer for your project. 

Softscapes design utilizes Primary and Composite Lighting Techniques. Primary techniques yield single purpose effects which means the effect is achieved in a similar manner each time it is used. Uplighting, Backlighting, Downlighting, Pathlighting, and Linear lighting comprise primary techniques. Composite Lighting Technique effects can result from the use of one of several available primary techniques. The list of Composite techniques consist of Accenting, Crosslighting, Grazing or Wall Washing, Silhouetting, Shadowing and Moonlighting. 

Primary Lighting Techniques

Technique Description Example 1 Example 2
Uplighting Light source placed at the base of the target creating a fill or specific pattern of illumination
Downlighting Light source located above the target creating a fill or specific pattern of illumination
Backlighting Light source is placed behind the target to create a halo effect around the target perimeter
Pathlighting Light source is elevated above an adjacent walkway or hardscape area
Linear lighting Light source is composed of numerous low output lamps or LEDs spaced evenly to cast a uniform area of illumination on the target

Composite Techniques

Technique Description Example 1 Example 2
Accenting Isolation of a target to create a unique lighting effect. Statuaries, dormers and fountains are some examples.
Crosslighting Two light sources are aimed toward the opposite side of the target to reduce the hot spot effect.
Grazing Light source placed close to target to accentuate the target's texture.
Silhouetting Light source is placed behind the target and aimed away from the target using the illumination on a reflective surface to show the form of the target.
Shadowing A loosely structured object in between the light source and target blocks a portion of the illumination getting to the target. 
Moonlighting Wide flood light source is mounted high in a tree or building and casts low illumination over a large area.

More information