Improved technologies such as LEDs (light emitting diodes), and the growing trend for mobile, transportable, and flexible light options have all opened up a world of new ideas in the realm of landscape lighting.
Here are some of the biggest trends in outdoor lighting right now:
#1 Cloud-Based Landscape Control Systems
The most obvious lighting trend of 2019 is the advanced technology that allows property owners to control lights from a smart device.
With smart app automation, homeowners can just log into their accounts on their phones to program their lights, rather than having to depend on a timer or control system inside their transformer.
What’s not to love when you can control each individual fixture on its own from a single source? Maybe an even greater benefit is the decreased labor and installation costs of wireless systems.
Using smart technology, property owners can set a weekly lighting schedule – whether it’s consistent throughout the week or different each day – instead of using default dusk-to-dawn timers. They can even set different start times for distinct areas of the property, giving them more personalized lighting control than ever before.
Smart app technology can actually break up a landscape into different zones. If you want just the patio area to be lit for the family, then you don’t want the entire system on. But if you have people coming over for a party, you can turn on everything.”
#2 LED Technology
LEDs are the preferred technology for outdoor applications for three reasons.
- LEDs throw the light exactly where you want it, making it easy to design your lighting to serve the function of the space. Other lighting sources, however, emit light in all directions. LEDs allow you to direct the light so you can have more light in the areas where you need it.
- With LEDs, you can create ambiance by transforming your lighting with adjustable correlated color temperature (CCT). Whether you are hosting friends or building a treehouse after hours — a warmer temperature for an intimate setting or a cooler temperature for security or work purposes.
- Unlike incandescents, LEDs are small and efficient. The design possibilities are endless. LEDs can be incorporated into every aspect of outdoor deck lighting, for example, from unobtrusive light strips for under railings to landscape lighting, walkway illumination, floodlights, step lights and more.
#3 Color-Changing Lights
As LED lighting and controls become more widespread, their possibilities grow. Among the new possibilities is the ability to change the color temperature and light levels in a space. Dim-to-warm tuning mimics the warmth and dimming effects of incandescent sources, while tunable white allows you to control the color temperature for warmer or cooler lighting.
Although a warm white LED glow is still the norm, color-changing lights are appearing in more landscapes, casting a full spectrum of hues. Homeowners generally do not use color-changing lights for their whole system. Rather they just want it for a few key features like a sculpture or a fountain.
#4 Discreet Fixtures
People want to see the effect, not the source. They don’t want to notice the light fixture. They just want to see that the area is lit beautifully. This discreet attitude is how people want to experience their lighting
Very few property owners are concerned with the color or finish of their lighting fixtures. Most of the time, fixtures are hidden in the landscape, and people really appreciate that.
Ground lights are almost entirely hidden underground, except for the shield that directs the beam. They are put along the perimeter of walkways, spreading light across the surface, flush with the hardscape and almost invisible.
Another popular trend? Discreet underwater lighting to accent disappearing fountains and recirculating urns.
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