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What’s Wrong with This Picture?

True, we can still read the name of the development – because I was taking the picture very close to and down toward the sign.

commercial entrance lighting

But from the road, all you see is the giant shadow and you can’t see the name of the development.

There are four things wrong with this picture:

1) The fixture being used is too large and too apparent.

2) The light is too “hot”

3) The lighting only focuses on the landscaping and not on the commercial sign.

4) The landscaping is overgrown.

Large, ugly fixtures

Light is meant to be seen. Fixtures aren’t. Interior lighting has some great decorative fixtures. And outdoor lighting also has some attractive fixtures such as path light fixtures. But, this lighting application would be much better if the fixture was not so obtrusive.

Hot spots are not good in outdoor lighting

Take a closer look at how this oversized fixture creates a “hot spot” on the flowers. It’s simply too much light, too close to the photos. It gives it that “blown out” look. The blown out look basically looks like a flash going off and obscures the area that it’s attempting to illuminate.

flower hot spots

The landscaping in front of this sign is overgrown creating a challenge any way you look at it. If this fixture was all you had to work with, the best thing you could do to improve this is to cut back the landscaping giving the fixture a chance to illuminate the name of the development.

The ideal way to design this commercial sign lighting would be to use an uplight directly in front of the sign and to use a small obscure bullet light in front of the landscaping.

How would you light this commercial application?