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Is Path Lighting an Art or a Science?

In all lighting, there is both an art and a science. From a scientific perspective, there are all types of bulbs and fixtures that can accomplish so many objectives. Bulb science is constantly changing and improving. Let’s look at LED for example. Although the science of LED lighting has been around for a really long time, it’s just become popular of late. One of the challenges with LED is that the light emitting devices are in diodes and not in bulbs. You may have seen the small diodes which are the small round light areas. If you look at a fixture or flashlight or something else that uses LED light, you will see the series of small circles that make up a single light source.

The problem with these diodes is that each of them individually is not necessarily very strong. They get strength in numbers. LED is really designed to be more of an indicator light like the dim green light that signifies that your computer is plugged in. So, there is very much of a science to lighting.

copper fixture
But, there is also very much of an art to lighting design and a level of trade expertise to professional light installation. From an artistic perspective, the visibility of the fixture is an early decision. In some situations, you want to see the light fixture. In other, you want to have all the focus on the item being illuminated. With architectural (house/building) lighting, it’s usually better to just see what’s illuminated and not see the light source.

In landscape lighting or garden lighting, often times you will see the light source. Whereas landscaping serves to shield architectural lighting fixtures, there is often nothing to shield landscape lighting fixtures since the fixtures need to sit a couple feet in front of what they’re illuminating. In that case, the fixture design is of monumental importance. A copper fixture is perfect because it’s stunning when first installed and equally as wonderfully as it patinas naturally to fit into your garden or landscaping.

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