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The Major Principles of Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting does a lot for you. It’s a wholly practical investment in the sense that it illuminates your home and property, making it safer and secure in the process. However, much of what we do for our home has more meaning than that. We do the things we do for the psychological benefit just as much as the practical one.

With that said, we thought we’d dive into the psychological principles that go into outdoor lighting. We use the “Gestalt Principles of Design” to describe the subconscious ways in which our lighting makes you feel. Whether you buy into the psychological effects of lighting or not, you have to admit that a professional lit outdoor space simply feels good!

Proximity: When Something is Bigger than the Sum of Its Parts

The psychological idea behind “proximity” is that it is more satisfying for our minds to be able to group small objects into larger objects. We do this already; think of a carton of eggs or even a bucket of popcorn. We don’t regard those items as 12 eggs or 300 kernels; no, we give regard them as a unified idea, and it feels right to do it that way.

The concept of “proximity” in design tries to achieve this unified effect in the same way. To go further, we use proximity in our lighting to group components of your yard, giving it a unified design that your mind can appreciate as a whole.

Closure: When We Like to See Completeness

When we speak of closure, we are not talking about relationships or cliffhanger episodes on a canceled television show. Yet, those things make us uncomfortable for the same reason a disjointed landscape would; we enjoy the idea of completeness. We want to see a clear beginning and end.

Closure, when applied to lighting design, is all about coverage. That means illuminating your entire property and all of its features without any large patches of darkness. The more you light your property, the more “closure” we feel and the more attractive it looks to us.

Similarity: When We Like to See Consistency

Subconsciously, our brains are always looking for patterns. Pattern-making is our primary way of observing and making sense of the world around us. The design principle of “similarity” takes this biological urge into account and applied it to design.

Similarity, to put it simply, is all about consistency. If you have floodlights in the front of your property, then they should all be of the same design. In that same regard, your string lights should match, and every other design choice should be repeated 3 or more times. This design consistency feels right to us and, subconsciously, tells us the design we are seeing is intentional!

Outdoor Lighting is Meant to Uplift You

As much as we love talking about psychology, we can break down our goal into something even simpler. Our professionally installed landscape lighting is meant to make you feel good. How does it do that? It’s a multi-pronged effort: it’s aesthetically pleasing, it offers safety, and it offers security. When these three things come together you can feel good about your property even in the short days of January.

Are you ready to trust us? We love to talk lighting and are always happy to explain our reasoning for doing what we do. At the end of the day, we want you to come home from work and have your breath taken away by your own home. We want you to be a happy and proud homeowner. If you’re ready, contact us today.