Originally created 03/03/00

Light it up



Warm weather and the buzz of upcoming Masters Week parties have ignited an epidemic of spring fever and thoughts of entertaining - specifically, outdoor entertaining.

And if you're going to have a backyard party, you'll need good lighting.

For security, as well as architectural and landscape enhancement, there are many ways to light a yard.

There are two types of light for outdoor use: High voltage and accent lighting. Earl Chastagner, owner of Chastagner's Landscaping, said both are essential in the overall plan.

High-voltage lights, such as floodlights, really light up a home, and accent lights create a soft glow to blend in with the landscape.

Mr. Chastagner recommends placing plenty of light on the front of the home. "When it comes down to it, most people are proud of their home, and they want to show it off," he said.

As a landscape designer, Mr. Chastagner plans everything from the architecture and elevations of landscape all the way down to the shrubbery.

Light creates focal points. "It draws attention to the areas of the home that you want people to see - instead of the garage or utility areas," he said.

Hank and Cindy Sanders, who live at 611 Saw Grass Drive, have incorporated both kinds of light into their landscape.

From across the courtyard, floodlights, camouflaged in ground cover, illuminate the front of their home, while small copper accent lights line the walk from within the flower beds. Additional spotlights sit under palm trees, creating tropical focal points for passers-by.

Behind the layers of shrubbery, up-lights brighten the front of the house without creating glare.

All the design elements work together to make the area safely lighted, functional and aesthetically interesting.

If you're overwhelmed by the idea of creating your own design plan, Jeff Harris, owner of Jeff Harris Lighting Design, recommends looking at magazines and other homes.

Once you begin noticing how light works, Mr. Harris said, you will soon find out what you like and what you don't.

Reach Lisa M. Lohr at (706) 823-3351.