Welcome your evening guests by installing landscape lights. We can accent the shrubs in your landscape, glorify the architecture of your home, and light the pathway to your front door with LED landscape lights. A well-lit home can deter thieves and burglars while also impressing your neighbors. Landscape lighting creates a sense of character for your home.
Lighting Lingo and The Three Most Popular Types of Landscape Lights
When we start discussing certain lighting terminology, as with many other specialty fields, things can get confusing. Let us break it down a little bit so you can better communicate what you are looking for in your nightscape:
The three most popular type of lights in a landscape are path lights, up lights, and well lights.
Path lights are often also known as “spread lights.” While the purpose of path and spread lights is the same, there is a slight difference between the two. Path lights typically shine downward onto a pathway, to where as spread lights usually shine outward along a pathway. Both lights keep your path to the front door or through your garden illuminated, but spread lights tend to make things brighter.
Up lights are often referred to as “accent lights.” We tend to use the same fixtures for up lights and accent lights. Up lights usually shine straight upwards or very close to straight up. Their purpose is usually to illuminate a tree or highlight an area of the house. Accent lights shine at more of an angle and commonly highlight hedges. Conveniently, most of today’s up lights are adjustable for accenting plants or other landscape features on your home. Therefore, we use up lights and accent lights as interchangeable terms for an above ground fixture that is held up with a stake in the ground and can shine anywhere from a 90 degree angle to straight up in the air.
Up lights are often thought of as “well lights.” While both up lights and well lights may shine straight into the air, well lights are buried in the ground and up lights are above ground. Thus some people refer to well lights as “in-ground” lights. Well lights are quite useful for spot lighting large trees in the middle of the yard and allows a light to be recessed into the lawn for easy lawn maintenance. Since in-ground lights usually have a longer and larger distance to illuminate, they are usually a little bit brighter than up lights or path lights.
Lighting Lingo for Specialty Landscape Lighting
A few more tips can probably help you keep everything straight when you are ready to invest in high quality, professionally installed landscape lighting systems. Other types of landscape lights would include capstone lights, wall lights, and beacon lights.
Capstone lights are also sometimes referred to as “step lights” or “under cap” lights. These are primarily used for under capstones or step units in retaining walls and other hardscape structures. Wall lights can vary from the standard light fixture you might find mounted on your house, to a smaller accent-type of light that is mounted on your retaining wall or the walls of your outdoor staircase. Beacon lights are often called “bollard” lights and while the only real difference is the height, the purpose of both beacon and bollard lights in a landscape is to highlight the depth of large beds. These fixtures tend to be common around custom water features and some of the larger, more extensive landscapes in an attempt to illustrate the depth and distance the landscaped area covers.
Understanding the names of these different light fixtures will allow you to communicate to our professionals exactly what you want in your nightscape. However, the difference in nomenclature across manufacturers can make the ordering process a bit confusing. We have found that getting to know your local manufacturers/brands of landscape lighting helps a lot with the ordering process.
The Three Most Common Landscape Lighting Brands in Springfield, MO and Surrounding Areas
Different manufacturers call each type of light something slightly different. Some of the more popular landscape lighting brands in Springfield would be FX Luminare, Kichler, and Vista.
FX Luminare has recently merged with one of the big three irrigation outfits in the nation, Hunter Industries. They now keep a local representative in our area to ensure the best possible customer service when we deal with product issues common to the landscape lighting industry and just the lighting industries in general. Kichler offers workshops and seminars to our employees so we can continue to improve our skills and quality of service to you. The greatest benefit of having a local representative from your landscape lighting supplier is the tips, tricks, and important information they share with us to help improve the quality and speed of initial installation and/or troubleshooting of lighting systems in a landscape. Vista tends to serve as an alternative for some lights if our customer is trying to keep on a budget.
All of these companies have excellent websites. We encourage our customers to browse our supplier’s websites prior to calling us for a lighting design consultation and estimate. There are many options when it comes to landscape lighting: brand of light fixtures, light fixture selection, light fixture finish, fixture placement, bulb type (incandescent, LED, etc), number of bulbs, etc. The more choices you have narrowed down, the faster we can get through a landscape lighting installation consultation and provide you with an estimate.