Shining a light on what’s new and next with landscape lighting

August 24, 2023 -  By
(Photo: FabrikaCr/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

(Photo: FabrikaCr/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Brian Harvanec, senior product manager of landscape lighting with Kichler Lighting says basic outdoor lighting has given way to an integrated approach where different products and techniques create specific highlights across the landscape.

“(We) recommend using a mix of seven techniques (within each property),” Harvanec says. “Uplighting, downlighting, path lighting, shadowing, wall washing, silhouette lighting (backlighting) and moon-lighting.”

These features are a far cry from the days of simple path and wall lighting. He says landscape designers can use new techniques to better highlight their client’s home.

“(Lighting design) starts with accenting the architectural features of a house,” Pete Sehgal, owner of Irriland Corp., a distributor in Pittsburgh, says, “then accenting the walkways, planting and flower beds and selectively lighting ornamental shrubs and certain specimen trees.”

Extension of the Home

With the demand for outdoor living increasing in recent years, Harvanec says clients want their outdoor spaces to feel like an extension of their home.

“The pandemic brought with it a new appreciation for and greater use of our outdoor spaces,” he says. “We’re continuing to see customers extend their living space into the outdoors, which means additional lighting for decks, patios, pools and outdoor kitchens.”

For Sehgal, increasing demand from contractors is a direct result of increased demand from clients, who may not know where to start with new systems.

“The demand for these products has been increasing at a steady pace for the past 25 years, as the awareness is increasing,” says Sehgal.

Integrating color

As outdoor living gains popularity and landscapes increasingly become part of the home, contractors can help homeowners increase curb appeal with the right landscape lighting.

“Professional contractors and their high-end clients love lighting because it enhances landscapes and outdoor living areas,” says Sehgal.

Product options have increased along with demand. Landscape lighting manufacturers offer a variety of material choices including a range of metals and finishes.

“Homeowners are choosing to coordinate their landscape lighting with their homes,” Harvanec says. “Color palettes are leaning toward blacks and grays, and landscape contractors and homeowners are choosing lighting fixtures to match the architecture.”

New technologies

As the Internet of Things expands connectivity to more parts of the home, landscape companies incorporate smart home features into landscape lighting as well. Similar to irrigation, many lighting controllers leverage internet connectivity and mobile devices, experts say.

“More consumers are asking for landscape lights with digital controls,” Harvanec says.

Sehgal agrees, noting contractors see this request coming from younger clients.

“Most younger homeowners, including millennials and Gen Z, are ready for smartphone-connected applications,” says Sehgal.

In addition to smart controls, Harvanec says contractors should see continued improvements with the core functions of landscape lighting.

“From a product standpoint, integrated LED technology — where the light source is an integrated part of the light fixture — will continue to advance with more control options and features,” he says.

Improved products

Experts say improvements in landscape lighting products don’t just extend to the end user. Contractors can expect to find new avenues for upselling installations as lighting products become more varied and powerful.

“(For contractors), landscape lighting is an easy add-on to increase profit margin,” says Sehgal. “To select a landscape lighting product, initially, it is about the perceived value — quality, price, and name recognition. However, in the long run, it is all about durability, ease of operation and the technology.”

Like Sehgal, Harvanec says he expects more contractors to make landscape lighting part of their service mix in the future and upsell lighting services for clients.

“Beyond developments to the product itself in the next two to three years, we expect to see more value-added services for the contractor to manage the lighting piece of their business,” says Harvanec.

Comments are currently closed.