Everyone and anyone who warms to a spade and hoe knows that to enjoy your gardens at night, you must add light. Because once the sun goes down, no one sees the fruit of your hard labors. But how do you light the trees and flowerbeds without spending a fortune and without running extension cords hither and yon? We certainly are clueless so we turned to a well-known name in the field, Ken McKelvie of McKelvie Lighting Design (314-822-7114, mckelvielightingdesign.com).
His response: “Less is more is often the best strategy. Low-voltage and the new LED landscape fixtures are very cost effective because they use very little energy and last a long time. This is an important consideration when considering a budget. It isn't just the initial cost but the cost of energy and lamp (bulb) life. LED and low voltage fixtures are far less expensive to install as opposed to line voltage. A good lighting designer understands how trees and plants grow and perform and how the judicious use of color filters enhances the color of the landscape. Moon lighting techniques, the use of lanterns, etc. all add to the overall aesthetics, performance, and maintenance issues. Bottom line, and we are all interested is spending less and getting more, an experienced artist with light, an experienced lighting designer can provide you with a lighting plan that will meet the needs for beauty and last through the years so that your garden is part of your ‘home’ experience after dark.”