Landscape Lighting Styles

From traditional to transitional, casual to contemporary, you are sure to find a landscape lighting style that fits your tastes and needs.

Traditional - Most traditional landscape lighting performs its function without drawing attention to itself. The emphasis is not on what the fixture looks like. The exception to this rule, of course, is the lamppost. There, the landscaper is allowed to show off a bit. Expect most fixtures to come in cast aluminum with a black or bronze finish.

Traditional spotlights, well lights, and deck lights are small and unobtrusive. The purpose of these lights is simply to draw attention away from themselves to whatever they're angled at.

Traditional lampposts look not unlike the gas lamps of Victorian England. They have a candelabra bulb within four or six panels of glass that taper slightly toward the bottom. They sit atop a standard black pole and are quite pleasing to look at.

Transitional - Transitional lights open up your options a bit. They can come in colors such as beech, spruce, or verdigris. The surfaces are often textured and divided by clean vertical or horizontal lines.

The shades for transitional lamps can have a bit of variety as well. But a lot of them are variations on a basic hat shape-flattened cones with rounded tops. With vertical lines, these cones can be divided into four or six sections, like rounded triangles that are joined together.

But transitional lighting also allows for a moderate amount of whimsy. Shades that look like cabbage or gingko leaves, some even with a lizard on top, can be found. Others have plain shades, but the poles are given leaves to make them look like shoots of grass. A simple pond light can be made to look like a lily pad.

But transitional lighting also allows for a moderate amount of whimsy. Shades that look like cabbage or gingko leaves, some even with a lizard on top, can be found. Others have plain shades, but the poles are given leaves to make them look like shoots of grass. A simple pond light can be made to look like a lily pad.

In a more restrained vein, casual lighting can also include the simple mission lantern with brass hood and satin etched glass. A splash of color in the glass may add to the enjoyment. More abstract designs may be had as well. For example, three poles may intertwine to hold a glass ball at the top.

Contemporary - Contemporary lighting often uses shades that look like inverted bowls, mushroom caps, or flying saucers. The supporting posts may remain thin or may flute outward as they reach up to the shade. Pointed shades with four panels like a pyramid or more for a rounded effect can also be used.

Simpler designs are also in order. Basic cones and cylinders in black aluminum can be attached to decks or walls or perched simply atop a wooden post. For an extra effect, they can have vents in the side that allow some of the light out as they direct it downward.

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