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Designing Landscape Lighting: An Interview with Steven Delicato of Light Your Night

By Steven Delicato

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Landscape Lighting Specialist, LLC. was started by John Cambruzzi 7 years ago in 2007. John had been working in wholesale electrical and lighting sales and realized the need for a company specializing in only landscape lighting. Most electricians and landscapers did not have the expertise to install the quality products and materials John was selling to his customers.

Our meticulous approach shows in every aspect of our work. We take into account all viewing angles (indoors and out) and how our clients want to use their space.

During installation, extra care is used to not disturb plantings and sod; we want it to look as we were never there trenching and burying wire.

Customer service throughout the entire process is our utmost priority. Our staff is very knowledgeable about lighting design and can help create a beautiful night-scene for your budget. We keep accurate records to help troubleshoot any problems that may arise or just finding the right replacement bulb.

What are some of the services your company provides?

We have three main services - design, installation and service.

All design work is done in-house by an ALA (American Lighting Association) Certified Lighting Specialist. Designs are then implemented by our talented and experienced installation crews.

We do a lot of service work. Most landscape lighting systems are not installed properly the first time so we take a lot of pride in fixing old systems and getting them to look they way they should have all along.

What different types of outdoor landscape lights are on the market today?

With low-voltage outdoor lighting there are two main kinds of light sources on the market, LED and halogen. 90% of our new installations are LED.

We highly recommend LED over halogen. High quality LED fixtures are virtually maintenance free, you will never have to change a light bulb.

Home store brand landscape lights are not worth installing. They fall apart quickly (especially in Michigan) and are difficult to install. Landscape Lighting Specialist uses Kichler Lighting products. We use Kichler LED fixtures because they have a 15-year warranty, no light bulbs to change and use 80% less energy than halogen.

How do different styles of light provide different uses?

There are three main styles of light. Pathway lighting, wash lighting and up-lighting. Each one has a separate purpose.

Pathway lighting is pretty self-explanatory - they provide illumination along paths for safety. We also use pathway lights to highlight flowers in planting beds or other interesting features.

Wash lighting is used to softly illuminate the front of a house. They cast a low level of light with very wide beam spread. Often times we will also use wash lights to light retaining walls as well.

Up-lighting is used to highlight trees or any other details from the ground up. We tend to use the widest beam spread available (60 degrees) for most trees. This allows us to light more of the branch structure while avoiding a "hot-spot" (too much light concentrated in one area.)

What are at least three things you think about when designing lighting for customers?

Comfort, purpose and aesthetics. Comfort refers to glare control and using the correct amount of light. You should be able to enjoying landscape lighting whether your on the patio outside or viewing it from your living from. Lights shining directly in your eyes really takes away from a good design.

Purpose helps dictate how much light we need in an area. A multi-step rock path needs to have adequate and even illumination for safety. In contrast, we wouldn't want the same amount of lighting around a sitting area so you could actually enjoy the night time atmosphere.

Aesthetics refers to what we actually choose to light. Some trees look much better lit at night than others. A tree with dead branches or hardly any foliage tends to look spooky and out of place lit up at night. We also strive to be subtle with our lighting. Often times we see houses with a few, very bright lights. This creates hot-spots and really makes everything around the area seem much darker. Our approach uses more, lower output lights so there isn't such a stark contract between lit areas and darkness.

For clients who wish to have landscape lighting, but don't wish to have insects flocking to the light, what do you suggest?

LED lights tend to attract less bugs than standard light sources. They don't completely eliminate the problem though. Putting fixtures further away from your outdoor social spaces is the best way to keep things under control. Insects are just naturally attracted to light so there is no 100% solution but smart placement to help control the problem.

What's the best way to reach you and your company?

We can be reached many ways:
On the web at www.lightyournight.com
Email- info@lightyournight.com
At the office- 734-585-5578

To directly schedule an appointment or for design questions contact our sales manager,
Steven Delicato

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