When Deron Ellis of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Rhode Island was first contacted to design the outdoor lighting for a gorgeous stately Victorian on historic Bellevue Avenue in Newport, he was really looking forward to the fun design challenges that come with lighting the nooks and crannies of the Victorian architecture in the home.
Good architectural lighting will light the structure from top-to-bottom and left-to-right. Great architectural lighting will accent the wonderful architectural details to add the third dimension of the lighting – depth and texture.
After he visited the home and discussed the customer’s objectives, he realized that the back of the home had tremendous opportunities for creative lighting design as well.
One of the hallmark features of the back yard living space is this beautiful decorative wall.
The wall has posts, decorative cut-outs, and the marvelous texture and rich color of red brick. The wall is also a defining structure in terms of making the open patio an outdoor room.
Deron knew that lighting on this wall would set the scene for a beautiful outdoor living area environment. Here is a close-up of the wall.
You can see That the lights are actually flush with the level of the patio. A concrete cutting company came in and core drilled 6" holes through the bluestone patio. Then recessed well lights with a brass and glass cover were used to create this flush installation.
The next area illuminate on the back grounds was the path from the outdoor patio/living area down to the pool. For this, he used copper path lights. Here’s why. The copper lights are a domed path light with a fixture made of solid copper. The dome allows the light fixture to throw a very soft, romantic and gentle light but enough light to safely light the path. Because the fixture is copper, it patinas over time thus blending into the landscaping it adorns.
Here is a close-up of the path lighting using the copper domed path lights.
In this next picture, you can see how the placement and spacing of the path lights works well to guide the path and to create a wonderful balanced look from the pool area.
Below you will see a picture of the finished architectural lighting design for the front of this home.
You will notice that the home is very gently illuminated which is the goal in strong outdoor lighting design. You want to be able to see really see the entire facade of the home but you don’t want to feel like there are spotlights on the house. You want to gently wash the facade.
Here is a close-up of the front of the house.
Here you can see both the details of the lighting as well as how some of those effects were achieved. Notice the dormer on the second level and how the light washes the dormer all the way up to the tip. If you look below the dormer on the roof line directly below, you will see there are lighting fixtures attached to the room.On this home, there is the lower roof line where the fixtures are attached. This roof line interferes with the lights that sit at the base of the house to light the architectural structure. So, a good lighting designer will install lights above those areas in order to reach not only the unique details but to light the various elevations.
This is generally the only way you will be able to achieve lighting above areas of protrusion.
At the end of the day, lighting design is great but the only thing that really matters is how happy the customer is. Here is what the customer had to say.
“It is a testament to your lighting scheme that the place that I most wanted to relax after returning from living amongst the gardens and palaces of Umbria & Venice was in the midst of your handiwork in my own backyard.” Bill V.