Let’s talk a bit about what typically happens when you hire an outdoor space designer. Usually, the lighting designer is a subcontractor to the outdoor space designer. These are some of the problems that can occur under that scenario:
- Some lighting designers are actually only electrical contractors. They know everything technical to keep the project up to code and to ensure safety. They don’t know how to create lighting effects that showcase features of the outdoor space.
- The outdoor space designer and the lighting designer work separately. This separation injects more possibility for differences in creative vision or for miscommunications. Sometimes clients end up disappointed because of the separation.
- The lighting designer is not onsite. The lighting design plans happen in a studio. This can create problems when the site itself suddenly requires alterations to the lighting design plans (for instance, a hidden boulder or huge root where conduit was planned).
- There can sometimes be problems if the theoretical approach of a lighting designer (I want this effect) doesn’t match the realities of what the electrical contractor can safely and legally do. If the designer isn’t savvy enough about what the “trades” need, you can have friction on the job.
- Lighting outdoor space is a subspecialty. Not every lighting designer is qualified or experienced in these types of projects. They may not understand the unique lighting installations that support the vision of the client.
Consider An Outdoor Designer Who Is Also A Lighting Designer
Here is another possibility to consider. Rather than taking that problem-fraught approach, you could work with an outdoor designer who is also a lighting designer. True, it’s a rare combination, but there are many benefits when you find such a person.
Knows How To Design Lighting That Showcases The Outdoor Design
No one is more committed to ensuring that lighting design enhances every feature of the outdoor design than the outdoor designer. Your outdoor project is the designer’s “baby”. Every detail is meticulously designed and executed. Every color, texture, line, angle, vista and view needs its due. The outdoor designer makes sure the client’s vision is fully realized in the project.
The outdoor designer doesn’t want any of the design beauty or utility sacrificed to poor lighting design. Even more importantly, they know what features should be emphasized with lighting.
Can Achieve Better Results With The Lighting Contractor
When the outdoor space designer is also the lighting designer, working with the electrical contractor becomes easier. Designer and contractor speak the same language.
Being both an outdoor space designer and a lighting designer means a smoothly coordinated approach. The outdoor designer makes sure that the desired lighting effects are achieved. There are no last-minute disappointments when the lighting design doesn’t quite provide the zing that the outdoor design deserves.
Is Vested In Literally Making The Outdoor Design Shine
After designing and building a stunning outdoor space, the designer doesn’t want any of the beauty lost to the dark. Many times, the real beauty of the design only comes out at night when light transforms the outdoors.
With light, whole new “spaces” are created with entirely different ambiance. For instance, a hot tub and deck can seem like a fairly plain structure during the day. But, with nighttime light, it becomes a relaxing oasis of peacefulness and calm. It’s the same scene, but creates an entirely different experience because of light.
Notice that this is a beautiful setting during the day, and it feels enticing.
This photo shows how lighting design transforms the setting in the evening. See how the hot tub becomes an irresistible must-have experience. Don’t you want to slip into those warm bubbles!
Deep Experience In Lighting Best Practices For Outdoor Spaces
Not every lighting designer is expert in lighting outdoor spaces. One of the big differences is knowledge about the natural features and vegetation and how to make them stand out at night.
Plant selection is based on color, form, and (here in California) drought resistance. It’s important that your lighting designer understands how these plants should be lit to create dramatic effects.
Your outdoor space designer has years of experience and expertise, and understands best practices. When you combine that with expertise in lighting design, you end up with an outdoor space that becomes spectacular at night.
Understands What Kind Of Lighting Effects Create Ambiance And Security
A huge part of enjoying your outdoor space at night is the ambiance. Ambiance is what invites you outdoors to enjoy the setting. We’ve all had an experience of seeing a backyard that is so compelling we MUST go out and dwell in it. Light is the primary tool to create such ambiance, and lighting design is the way to “manufacture” that ambiance.
We humans are affected by light and need to feel secure outdoors in the evening. Think about outdoor scenes at night and what invites you out. Subconsciously, notice how much more serene you feel when there are no mysterious dark shadows where monsters could dwell. It is subtle, but part of our human nature.
By framing areas with light, the lighting designer provides security. Anyone enjoying your outdoors can feel confident that they understand the layout of the property and how to safely navigate it.
Sina Kamran Is That Rare Blend Of Outdoor Space Designer And Lighting Designer In One
Sina is strongly committed to making sure that every single detail of your outdoor space is right. That means that the lighting design has to be integral to the outdoor project design from the beginning.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the project isn’t finished until the client says, “WOW! It’s everything I envisioned” That happens more reliably when the lighting designer and the outdoor space designer are one and the same.