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Outdoor Lighting Techniques: Spot Lighting

When it comes to outdoor lighting, it isn’t enough to stick lights in the ground shining up at an object. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, our philosophy is “Effect, not fixtures.” We want our lighting design to bring complete visibility to the client’s outdoor living spaces and beautifully highlight the unique details of their home exterior and landscaping. Design and technique are key components to making your outdoor lighting system the most efficient and beautiful as possible. Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting some of the more common outdoor lighting techniques. So what’s up for this week? Spot lighting.

Spot lighting is used to strongly light a specific object, such as a tree, statue, flag, fountain or architectural features. Spotlights, like the one seen here, provide a more focused spread of light compared to a flood light. They can be installed on the ground, in trees, on rooftops or walls. Due to their versatility, spot lights are a favorite fixture among many of our outdoor lighting designers.

copper fixture

Spot lighting is frequently used when lighting statues in the backyard because the light is so targeted. Take this statue to the right, the two figures are adequately highlighted without a lot of wasted light. This is called the spread of light or light beam. The beam should be adjusted depending on the object being lit. This statue, for example, calls for a narrower spread of light than a flag on a pole may.

statue lighting

Here’s another example from Mead Noss, who provide outdoor lighting in Denver. The landscaping at this neighborhood entrance wasn’t conducive to outdoor lighting fixtures. The bushes were too lush and would block any light that was spread upward through it. Instead of up-lighting the sign, Mead and his team installed two spot lights that were installed above the sign, shining down on it. From signs and fountains to trees and statues, spot lighting is a key outdoor lighting technique.

low voltage entrance lighting

In all spot lighting, it’s necessary to consider where the excess light will go. Our trained outdoor lighting designers make sure that it doesn’t shine into the client’s home, their neighbor’s home or any area where people gather for entertaining. When lights aren’t properly directed like this, it can shine into someone’s eyes.

If you have questions regarding spot lighting and how it can enhance your outdoor living spaces, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.