Extending this character home’s livable space, Merle Kroeker from Pacific Ridge Landscapes used lighting and lush greenery to transform the Sidney landscape into a retreat for relaxing. Luring guests outside, strategically placed low voltage lighting creates a calming ambiance to enhance the homeowner’s outdoor living experience. Revitalizing the yard’s former dead space, Kroeker capitalized on the sun’s orientation by creating a restful oasis to be enjoyed day and night.
Trisha and Roberta, cohabitating sisters in seaside Sidney, hired Pacific Ridge to rejuvenate their outdoor space with the simple intention of leisure. “We wanted to expand our patio area in the back, redo the pathway, create another seating area and install underground lighting throughout the property. After seeing the Pacific Ridge vehicle around Sidney, we knew the company was local to the Peninsula and followed up with checking their website and blog.”
After sharing their vision with Kroeker, he offered various design options, provided a cost estimate and started the project within two weeks. The aim was to expand their existing patio area, create a pathway to a private sitting area in a formerly unused corner of the property and install lights to create an inviting atmosphere.
Using lights to add depth and dimension to landscapes, Kroeker created two comfortable outdoor rooms with lush plants and a subtle glow. “Beyond the practical reasons, like creating safety for areas of grade change, illumination creates an element of architecture to your landscape that may not otherwise be obvious. Thoughtfully placed lighting can create moods and evoke an aura of calm in the same way that the sound of running water from a water feature produces endorphins,” states Kroeker.
Kroeker and his team installed a combination of path lighting, uplighting, downlighting and some retaining wall lights with LED low voltage outdoor fixtures. Kroeker adds that “low voltage outdoor lighting is designed to be used as accent lighting and not intended to be bright hot spots in your landscape. The intent is for safety and a soothing design, not harsh lights shining into your eyes.”
“One of the advantages of this type of lighting is that they can be added to your landscape at any stage, whether at the beginning of a project or years later. However, homeowners need to consider a power source and a transformer that converts the power from 120 volts to 12 volts. Also, to avoid any light pollution, it is important to ensure lights are directed onto a tree or pathway and not into the night sky or toward a neighbouring house.”
To create areas of interest, a natural flow and a continued sense of destination, Kroeker alternated the light source on either side of the pathway to create an organic curve. Uplighting both the fatsia japonica and the fig tree creates glowing silhouettes with architectural interest.
In a sun-filled corner of the yard, Kroeker designed an arbor entrance and paving stone path to a private oasis beside the house. “Our back yard has opened up immensely; we have a lot more sunshine and a large area for our lovely new outdoor furniture from Dig This in Sidney. The lighting not only improves our security, it provides a completely different look and feel.”
With all the lighting in place, the sisters are able to spend more time relaxing and entertaining outside and later into the evening. “We used to use solar lights, but they just don’t work in the grey west coast winters. It will be nice in the winter months to enjoy the lighting; the lighting really is the best part of the project.”