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Ignorance is not bliss. Here are some common terms related to landscape lighting that can help you understand the components of a lighting system:

  • Color – the character of light produced by a lamp, it can be warm or cool
  • Diffused lighting – a soft glow cast over a wide area, creating gentle illumination for outdoor living areas
  • Downlighting – lights positioned above ground, usually in a tree, and angled to provide a moonlight effect on low-level landscaping, like shrubbery or water features
  • Focal point – a key feature, often a specimen planting, lit in a way that draws the eye
  • Lamp – the bulb itself. Available in a nearly endless range of styles that provide varying degrees of brightness, diffusion and spread
  • Lamping – deciding which light bulb to use in a light fixture, based on color, diffusion and spread
  • Spread – the area that a light illuminates
  • Uplighting – lights that shine up into a landscape feature, either from a fixture mounted on the ground, or from a well light, positioned below ground level.
  • Visual path – the trajectory that our vision takes as it moves from one place to another on the landscape
  • Wash – a gentle flow of light over a section of the landscape
  • Well light – light installed below the ground with a grate over it to allow yard maintenance

Common landscape lighting terms