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Architectural Lighting

Architectural lighting is the technique of using light fixtures to beautify and accentuate open spaces and buildings. Businesses such as restaurants and nightclubs make extensive use of such lighting, employing it to evoke moods appropriate to their atmosphere. Architectural lighting is frequently found in homes as well, being a relatively stylish and inexpensive way to add flare to one's residence. It is a unique style of architecture in that its effects are usually able to be seen only at night, and as such it is a form of art that utilizes time as well as space.

Architectural Lighting Options

Light fixtures can be utilized for both aesthetic and practical purposes and on occasion these can intermingle. Well-lit paths, porches, and walkways will prevent accidents and discourage intruders, in addition to being beautiful in themselves. Professional architectural lighters can make use of such fixtures to produce a variety of pleasing effects. Among these are:

1. Spot lighting

Spot lighting calls attention to a notable object such as a statue, cornerstone, or body of water.

2. Silhouetting

This is where large object such as a tree is backlit to emphasize its outline.

3. Wall-washing

Lights are trained on a home's walls to highlight their textures.

4. Moon lighting

A light fixture is streamed down from above to create the effect of moonbeams. Similar artistic effects can be achieved indoors.

Architectural Lighting Features

Lighting fixtures for architectural use are usually highly weather- and moisture-resistant. Those used outdoors are commonly affixed to stakes, which can be unobtrusively inserted alongside paths or wherever else deemed appropriate. These are often made of copper or brass and possess a mushroom-like hood which directs lights downwards towards the ground in order to illuminate the walkway or terrain.

Also frequently seen are flood lights, which produce a stream of upwards illumination, as well as a variety of mounted lights, which can be affixed to walls or even trees to produce the illusion of greater vertical space. Most of these fixtures can be easily adjusted to change their angle of illumination, enabling each individual light to create a variety of architectural effects as desired.

Installing Architectural Lighting

Most exterior lighting is operated by means of wires run beneath the ground, and laying these before construction of a home or garden can save a great deal of effort if one wishes to add lighting features at a later point. It is generally advisable to link all such exterior fixtures to a breaker specifically intended for landscape lighting, in order to prevent the possibility of overloading.