If you're a homeowner who is redoing his or her landscaping, don't make the lighting design a DIY project. While landscape lighting seems like a simple issue if you know where you want the lights to go, it's actually quite complicated because you have to take light pollution into account. Landscape lighting can actually create light pollution that affects people miles away from the original light source. While your one yard might not seem like such a big deal by itself, when added to all the other lighting in your city, it packs quite a punch. Proper, professional landscape lighting reduces the need for wattage and keeps light directed toward the landscape, and not the sky.
Fixtures Make a Difference
Light fixtures for outdoor use often allow a lot of light to travel upward. This light becomes wasted -- it's not shining on anything useful. It ends up in the atmosphere, creating a halo that blocks out the view of the stars for people on the ground. So you need to install light fixtures that direct light downward. Getting the perfect combination of visibility and proper light direction -- because remember, if the light fixture is very short, you're not going to see a lot of the light -- can be difficult, so calling in a professional landscape lighting company like Terra-Sol Landscaping is important. They can work out the best design given your situation.
Even Small Amounts of Light Can Pollute
Ensuring you don't contribute to light pollution is more important than you think. Light pollution from general residential and commercial lighting can affect the ability of astronomers at observatories to see the stars. These are astronomers who are trying to learn more about the universe, detect threatening asteroids, and lead classes on observing the heavens. If they themselves can't see the stars, they can't get their work done. Telescopes help only so much because the glare from light in the terrestrial environment can obscure a lot of what the telescope can pick up.
Even if you have no observatories near you, if there are any in the state, your lighting could affect them. The "Arizona Journal of Environmental Law & Policy" reported in 2012 that efforts by the city of Tucson to reduce light pollution -- the city is near Kitt Peak Observatory and has also been trying to make it easier for residents to see the stars themselves -- have been hampered by light pollution from the Phoenix metropolitan area, which is nearly 116 miles away.
Improper landscape lighting, on a more local scale, can also send light into neighbors' bedrooms at night and make it difficult for them to sleep. In order to keep your own yard lit up enough for you to see in it when you walk around, you'd have to use bulbs that sent out a lot of light. That would increase the amount of power you used and increase your utility bills.
Professional Work Leads to Better Design
Having a professional landscape lighting company work on your yard's lighting should result in a better design that illuminates your yard adequately while not sending light shooting out in all directions. If you have any questions about what the fixtures might look like or how the light might appear in your yard, contact a landscape lighting company as soon as you can.