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At Northwest Outdoor Lighting we pride ourselves on our ability to cater to each client’s specific desires when it comes to their landscape lighting. 

Each client has his or her own unique expectations, tastes, and requests. One of the things we hear most often? 

“I want it bright.”

But what does “brightness” mean? When our clients say that they want it bright, what are they actually expecting? Part of our job as landscape lighting designers is not just delivering what our clients want, but also understanding what they want in the first place. And there’s nothing more important to us than making sure that a client gets what she or he wants when it comes to their outdoor lighting. Just like when dining at a restaurant and getting presented with many options, we like to offer an array of lighting options for our clients, so they can choose what’s best for them.

As a result, we start by working with our clients to understand the level of intensity they want from their illumination fixtures. This means asking a series of questions:

  • Do you want a landscape design with bright lights or would you prefer a more subtle look?
  • Do you wish to give the appearance of security with full coverage lighting, or create an ambiance with soft lighting here and there?
  • Are you concerned that your current landscape lighting design may be too dull?
  • Do you feel like your current lighting design layout is too dark? Where would you like it brighter?

Maybe you’ve researched various lighting design charts online, and read up on the various types of lighting levels. It’s one thing to see a lighting design chart online, however, and quite another to see it in person. Light and color interact very differently in the wild, mixing with the natural landscape and contrasting with the night sky. As a result, you may not be completely aware of the ways that color and light may interact on your property

Because of this, when Northwest Outdoor Lighting performs a consult for an outdoor lighting client, we present a variety of fixtures and illumination levels, and will actually set up a variety of fixtures for clients when we are on-site. This means that clients can define bright and subtle on their own terms, and choose the lighting levels and type of fixtures based not on words or numbers, but on the actual experience of seeing how the light interacts with the property.

When it comes to the actual landscape lighting design phase, we find that our approach tends to be unique among lighting designers. Many lighting designers tend to blow out their lighting schemes, creating a landscape that is often overlit and lacking subtlety. When we design for a client, by contrast, we tend to be discreet about bright lights. Instead of flooding the whole yard with obtrusive lighting, we’ll be selective about what needs intensity and what doesn’t. (Our son-in-law works in Hollywood, where the rule of lighting is “What you don’t see is as important as what you do.”) A pop here and there of brightness can add to the outdoor lighting design and showcase unique trees or art work. Having the ability to highlight a tree from the bottom all the way up to the top with our uplights is pretty impressive! We can focus our lights so that the brightness highlights the tree’s entire height without spilling over. (After all, you don’t want a soft light to only illuminate the bottom half of a magnificent tree.

If you’re looking for brightness in your outdoor lighting, Northwest Outdoor Lighting can provide that for you. If you’d like a softer, subtle approach, we can provide that, too. If you don’t know what you’d like, our experience might be able to help. Call us today for a consult; we’ll guide you so that you’ll love your lighting every night!

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