Friday, February 19, 2016

Outdoor Lighting and AV

Outdoor Lighting and AV

A great presentation by Moonstruck Lighting left me incredibly inspired.  A beautiful garden is lost at night without proper lighting.  There was a lot of technical information but I will focus on general information that will help you when lighting your outdoor space. LED has come a long way and you no longer are limited with the cool blue light. 

When you decide to light your outdoor space there are factors to consider that will affect the performance.  Look at the surfaces you wish to light; is there texture; is the finish smooth; or is there colour?  Lighting will direct the eye to where you wish it to go. Something many people may not realize is that you require a permit unless the lighting is self-contained or low voltage plug in.
There are many lighting techniques; some of which I will describe.  

Up lighting is the most common which provides a focal point.  When lighting a large tree it is more balanced if you have three lights around so it doesn’t look flat.  

Try down lighting on floral plantings while angle lighting is very effective on textured materials.  

Path lighting is usually no more than 18” and is a safety option.  When lighting stairs try lighting from above so you do not have the shadows presented if you light from below the step.  A very beautiful technique is to light water and sculptures.  Some other types of lighting include shadow lighting, silhouette lighting; sign lighting but one of the most important lighting options is to have light that highlights your house numbers.  Overall it is better to have several types of lighting rather than only one very bright source.  It is important to have balance in your lighting system.
In the end it is important to consider hiring a professional to do this for you as they have the skill needed to create a favourable lighting scheme for your home.

Outdoor AV has become much more mainstream these days as people are using their outdoor spaces for longer periods of time.  They are now the outdoor version of the living/dining room.  There are a full range of outdoor speakers available that can be hidden among your plantings for a better ascetic.  You can have one full range speaker or component speakers spreading the sound more evenly.  There are now outdoor Televisions available that are waterproof; have anti-glare glass and some have a built in fan or heater.  When you get into a sophisticated system it is best to consult with the professionals.

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