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2009 Landscape Lighting Project of the Year in Charlottesville, VA

Outdoor lighting design is both an art and a science. But, beyond that, it’s somewhat of a nebulous term because what really is landscape lighting design? After all, what does it really take to figure out the best places for a few lights to make the landscaping pop at night?

Clay and Lynn Johnston of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives in Richmond, Roanoke, and Charlottesville VA have won many awards over the year.

“Lighting this magnificent home was a fun and delightful challenge” said Johnston. “Landscape lighting can make any beautiful home or landscape look spectacular at night.”

fountain lighting

This lighting project involved designing and installing 4 outdoor landscape lighting systems with 102 lights throughout the property to accomplish architectural accent lighting and landscape lighting on this magnificent property. The project followed a complete landscape redesign and renovation totaling nearly $500,000 which was designed and managed by Susan Schlenger, Landscape Architect of Charlottesville, VA

Clay and Lynn placed lighting strategically to softly accent the architectural features of the home. The features they illuminated were:

  • fountain
  • waterfall and fountain in the rear of the home
  • selected tree accent lighting
  • blue stone walkways.

The design was done originally by using Susan’s detailed plans, creating a budget for the customer and then finalized at night for the customer by temporarily setting up lights throughout the property for the customer to see the effect. The systems were then customized to suit the customer’s taste in lighting before final installation. Whenever Clay and Lynn do their lighting design consultation, they provide a night-time demonstration at no charge at all to the customer. Since it is difficult for a customer to envision how their home will look illuminated at night, Clay and Lynn think that demonstrating their lighting design for the home, before purchase decision, is one of the most critical elements of a successful lighting design. But equally as important is the process of reviewing the lighting design, in action, with the customer and moving lighting around to accomplish the most desired effect. Lighting fixtures can be rotated or moved just slightly and create a completely different effect.

column lighting

Multiple different lights were placed in close proximity when lighting the architecture of this home. The home had fantastic columns which were a stunning architectural element in the front of the home. Clay wanted to accentuate these but do it by casting a very romantic a subtle illumination of the columns.

Next, well lights were used to illuminate the large windows on the front of the home. The benefit of using well lights on this low patio was they provided pathway and security lighting for the home’s entrance while also showing off the beautiful windows and casting architectural accent lighting that collectively gently illuminated the entire facade.

fixture collage

The next aspect of the lighting design plan was pathway lighting. Path lights were placed near the walkways and also in front of the stunning fountain out front. The path lights, unlike well lights, are made to be seen. The copper fixtures are really stunning. They are genuine copper so they patina beautifully over time. In addition to making the pathways safer though, the path lights also offered a beautiful garden lighting effect to the stunning fountain landscaping that Susan created.

As gorgeous as this home was out front, the home also included a waterfall in the rear of the home. The waterfall lighting included utilizing pond lights in addition to path lights around the perimeter of the stone lined fountain.

The brass pond lights are submersible which allows them to illuminate the waterfall features from below. The pond lights come in two sizes to create different effects. The SL-11AB is a large pond light. It’s 100% submersible with a bracket for budge-free placement. It has a broad round face for maximum illumination. It’s best when trying to provide a soft glow around waterfalls as well as around rock banks and more. The lamp is a 35 watt quartz par36 bulb.

The smaller pond light also adds visual impact from below the surface of the pond. Also cast brass, it utilizes only a 20 watt MR16 bulb for even softer, gentler and more romantic water lighting effects.

brass pond lights

Clay and Lynn Johnston can be reached for complimentary lighting design previews at any of their 3 Virginia locations.