Light of My Life
Can you imagine the look on our ancestors' faces the first time fire illuminated the dark? This was the original party trick that has shaped our existence. Light in itself garnered the ability to do many things that we could have never done without it. Light has become not only a practical feature but a symbolic one as well. Through metaphors in literature and use of light in art, we have an understanding of light being revered as a symbol for hope. Light and its counterpart darkness’ metaphorical significance is universal. Light has been given the attributes of goodness, divinity, magic, and happiness.
There are also many ways to describe light in our language. Good lighting, natural light, soft light, harsh light, divine light- just to name a few. There are also many idioms for light; light in the dark, light at the end of the tunnel, lightbulb moment, see the light, etc. And with all these ways light shows up for us, we may unintentionally put a damper on how light affects all aspects of our life.
We are passionate about the artistic elements of design and lighting is one of our favorites. We are very proud to outfit our patios with the best light. We have many favorite products we feature, but this by far is the least understated yet most impactful.
We love to use In-Lite, a two decades old company with European roots, as our lighting company of choice. It is important to us that our customers receive quality products to accentuate their patios. We sat down with our In-Lite representative, Anna, for her to magnify the importance of light as well as clarify some important questions concerning lighting.
That Good Light
Color Rendering Index
So what is “good” light? We can measure light quality based on how colors can be seen in that light. Sunlight is considered the light source to which all artificial light sources are compared, naturally. Sunlight is considered to have a CRI of 100. Depending on the artificial light, most have CRI between 70-80. In-Lite’s products have a CRI of 90 and higher, which makes their lights the closest to natural light as possible. Anna explained that their DISC and DISC low fixtures have a CRI of 98 which is near perfect; a testament to the quality of their products.
So how do you get started with your lighting plan? Other than consulting with our project managers who have years of experience in designing lighting plans (check out our blog on digital designs), there are a few things and products to keep in mind according to our In-Lite expert, Anna:
Before all else, safety is paramount. If you have a pathway, stairs, driveway, and would like to deter unwanted guests, lighting plays an important role in achieving safety and security. These elements should always be considered primarily.
You should map out your space and decide what you want to accentuate. You can create layers and depth in your design by choosing a focal point or points to accentuate in the back or middle of your design. You can then place more ambient light between the focal points to create needed depth. Consider the use of uplighting in your space as well to add height and accent taller elements. Choosing different lighting fixtures can help add complementary effects that also create a one of a kind ambiance.
You’ll need to consider the direction in which the light will be coming from and anything in your space that will obstruct the light (trees, walls, pergolas). You do not want unwanted light shining into your home at night or light being obstructed by a tree or wall that you did not consider.
You’ll also want to consider the lighting from the front to the back of your space. This will create a 3D effect and will minimize too much negative or dark space.
Type of Light
The type of light you want to use is important as well. You do not want to mix warm light and cool light in the same space. The kelvins determine the temperature of the light, so by choosing fixtures with the same kelvins, you will insure your lighting temperature will be the same.
Our digital design expert, Kyle, can come up with a digital rendering that includes a lighting plan for you. You may already have an idea of what you want, but we highly recommend utilizing this service so you can see first hand what the finished product will look like.