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How to Choose Between Focal Lighting and Ambient Lighting for your Seattle Landscape

Landscape lighting design is easily one of the most important reasons to choose the professionals for your new landscape lighting system. When you drive by a home with gorgeous lighting, it might look extremely simple to accomplish, but the planning, strategic use of various lights, placement, and various lighting techniques are vital. The first step in planning a new outdoor lighting system is choosing where and when to use ambient lighting versus focal lighting.

Types of Landscape Lighting

Ambient Lighting

The most common types of lighting you utilize every day are ambient. Ambient light creates a soft glow that blankets an area so you can function appropriately in the area. Indoor spaces generally need a little brighter ambient lighting than what we provide outdoors. As all things are relative, a dimmer, ambient lighting is more desirable for using your outdoor living spaces at night. Our most common ambient lighting is path lighting, deck lighting, and wall wash lighting.

Focal Lighting

Focal lighting would be most akin to what you would call task lighting for indoor use. In the landscape lighting application, we use focal lighting to feature specific aspects of your landscape in a brighter, more narrowly focused beam. We often use focal lighting on statues, flags, fountains, and trees. We sometimes use it for task lighting for homeowners with outdoor kitchens or other areas needing clear visibility for working on something.

Tree LightingHow to Choose Between Focal Lighting and Ambient Lighting for your Landscaping

We typically advise homeowners NOT to choose, but to utilize both lighting techniques for a 3-dimensional lightscape.

When a stunning Seattle landscape features an assortment of elements and outdoor living spaces, it is vital to approach each area with a precise lighting technique. For your outdoor living spaces like decks and patios, we love to create ambient lighting around the perimeter. If your space features an outdoor kitchen or a pergola, we can provide gorgeous task lighting in only the areas where needed.

In your landscape, we love to utilize soft ambient lighting along your pathways and in your flower beds and landscape beds. But with focal lighting on your favorite tree and beloved statue, the property gains depth and intrigue that cannot be ignored.

If you’d like to learn what we would design for your property, call today to schedule a free landscape lighting nighttime demonstration. We’ll bring the lights and show you exactly what we have in mind before you commit.