Spring is just around the corner and we’re excited about what’s to come. We’ve compiled a short list of the biggest landscape lighting trends to come in 2018. From what fixtures are in to what technology is out, we’ve covered it all. So make sure to keep an eye out as you drive through neighborhoods this coming season, visit friends, and peruse properties for landscape lighting inspiration. We think you’ll find the following trends are hot, hot, hot!
Brass, Bronze, & Copper Fixtures
Outdoor light fixtures earth tone-coated to match your landscape are on the decline. Instead, brass, bronze, and copper are the homeowner’s fixture of choice. The look of today’s fixtures are moving away from trendy and returning to timeless. Brass, bronze, and copper fixtures offer more class and natural beauty as they age with a lovely patina, which is now the coveted look. Of the three, solid bronze light fixtures steal the show, however: Not only are they stunning to look at and admire, they’re an extremely durable and weather-resistant product compared to some of their inferior alternatives made of subpar material like aluminum. Even copper and brass fixtures are known to bend, corrode, and even break, making bronze the most superior quality of the timeless trio, impervious to damage and corrosion.
Outdoor Living After Dark
Today, we’re seeing a major shift in favor of outdoor living: outdoor kitchens, outdoor living rooms complete with rugs, pillows, and throw blankets, and expertly hardscaped fire pits. According to a Houzz study, 83 percent of backyards were being transformed into primarily outdoor entertaining spaces with 73 percent focused on becoming outdoor eating spaces, 53 percent being remodeled into outdoor living rooms, and 48 percent included barbeques and/or fire pits for added touches of ambiance and functionality. As such, these outdoor living spaces require professional outdoor lighting design and installation. Homeowners spend a great deal of money on these outdoor living spaces and the best way to make the most of this investment is to make sure it can be used at any time with landscape lighting. Not to mention, the trend has never been to wash out scenes with one-dimensional lighting, it’s to create depth and emotion and to create specific moods in specific areas for specific tasks—like a intimately low-lit area with a hot tub or a lively dining area where bright light is needed to entertain, grill, and keep energy high. This is hard to achieve without the knowledge and expertise of professional designers and top-quality products.
Halogen lamps are the way of the dinosaur—put out to pasture by LED technology. It’s been a long time coming, but now 90 percent of our fixtures are being paired with LED lights, truly showing how extinct halogen lamps have become. Halogens are known for power inefficiency, burn outs, their inevitable replacement, and, of course, heavy maintenance in comparison to LEDs. LED lights are now known for their energy efficiency, reliability, and can look identical to the warm halogen glow people are attracted to. But make no mistake, the reality of purchasing and using LEDs is not so rosy, though. The LED faces issues with light, heat, moisture, color, false manufacturer claims, and a capable fixture to protect them. It’s important to do your research and buy quality LEDs.
Today, most homeowners are opting for astronomical timers over analog timers and photocells. And why wouldn’t they? Analog timers and photocells are fairly accurate and a tad cheaper, but antiquated in comparison; for that little extra investment, homeowners can get the best technology available, and we encourage them to do so. Photocells sense when light is diminishing, and when it hits a certain level, the landscape lighting system is turned on. Meanwhile, analog timers—the ones that look like old-school dial timers used in the kitchen—are truly archaic in comparison to digital astronomical timers. Astronomical timers are by far the most sophisticated, precise, and reliable of the bunch, requiring you to program the GPS coordinates of the property or its zip code to determine exactly when the sun rises and sets no matter the time of year. You can even program them to adjust for daylight savings. So, for a little more legwork in the beginning, you get the most accurately timed system every day. Some people may ask, why are timers even needed at all? The simple answer is: for convenience and security. Rather than manually turning a system on or off, a timer makes the process effortless. Additionally, a major reason why folks install landscape lighting is for security. Ensuring that your system is turned on at dusk—when a homeowner may not be home to manually turn it on—helps ward off potential incidents that are encouraged by unlit houses.
Spring for The Best
Spring 2018 is all about implementing the best—the best landscape lighting design, techniques, products, and installation. From the types of fixtures purchased and the LEDs that are paired with them to professional installation and timer programming, it’s all about implementing the best design tools and team to make outdoor living spaces—and an entire property as a whole—safe, secure, beautiful, and usable.