better outdoor living at home spring


Unique Concealed Light Fixture Illuminates Walls From the Top


Are you looking for an outdoor landscape light for shorter (4’ or less) walls and masonry columns where ground level uplighting won’t work because of location?

Usually, the type of light fixtures that are used to accent walls are installed at ground level and directed upward toward the wall. These types of light fixtures work very well for uplighting taller walls, and many other outdoor features and elements, such as masonry columns, your house, and trees.

We came across an interesting light fixture that illuminates from the top of the wall in a downward sweep of light. This fixture would be great for lower  walls, seating walls, and shorter columns where it would not be practical to use an uplight.

One manufacturer of this type of outdoor light is Kichler Lighting (look in their hardscape lighting section). Their particular fixture uses a longlasting LED light without that harsh bluish hue. It is a pure white that falls in the warm section of the light spectrum. Many light manufacturers use that unattractive bluish hue, which is really a pet peeve with us, simply because it casts an unnatural light color that people normally do not see, and they prevent the true colors of the objects being illuminated from being revealed.

This type of fixture is slender, comes in various lengths, and can be concealed in the reveal of the cap stone (see sketch below).

 

 

We really like the benefits of this style of fixture for shorter walls and columns, including:

  • The ability to conceal the fixture on a new or existing structure (check manufacturer for applications)
  • A softer wash of light across the face of the wall or column revealing the colors, textures, and patterns of the structure
  • The back lighting that it provides to nearby plants or outdoor accents
  • Reduces ‘hot spots’ (a concentration of light in one spot) that some types of light fixtures can create. When we saw this fixture in use on a  low decorative wall with end columns surrounding a backyard patio area, we noticed that it had a light spread that produced a subtle attractive wash even near the light source.

 

These fixtures can be used in other outdoor applications, including steps with a reveal design, under railings, under outdoor kitchen countertops, and the underside of deck steps. To get more enjoyment from your outdoors, and to increase your home’s  living space,  keeping your outdoors illuminated and visible at night is important.

Whatever manufacturer and product your choose, for the best results, follow that manufacturer’s recommendations for installation and use.

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