Articles | Sprinklers & Lighting Summer 2007
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The Advantages of Automatic Lawn Sprinkler System
Many people say convenience is the biggest advantage to automatic sprinkler systems since they don't have to spend their time watering by hand or moving the hose around the yard. Others say extended plant life and lower water usage are the most important benefits. Still others believe sprinkler systems/lawn irrigation systems are one of the best financial investments they can make in their home since appearance is a key factor in determining market value. And guess what - they're all right!
If it rained every three days - the same exact amount each time - the world probably wouldn't need sprinkler systems. But nature doesn't work that way, and the only way to ensure healthy, lush growth is to make certain your lawn and plants receive a regularly timed, evenly measured amount of water. In the dry season when there is little or no rain, your yard can suffer damage after just a few days without water.
Lighting a landscape can extend the use of outdoor space while providing safety, atmosphere and space definition. Lighting can also accent areas of a landscape or create patterns and contrast.
Nighttime use of a landscape requires good visibility. It is not essential to highly illuminate all areas, but highlight specific areas like steps, entry areas and walkways to eliminate shadows and dark spots. Walkway lights can define the curve of a sidewalk or an abrupt corner. Lights around the perimeter of a landscape can define the area and create transitions from one area to another.
A landscape can come alive in the evening hours with just a few lights in appropriate places. Specialty lights can create color accents and glows. Flowers may take on new hues, pools and fountains have a special glistening, and moonglow lights create a feeling of a moonlit landscape.
Directional lights can accent a feature, emphasizing it more at night than it is in the daylight. Rain, fog and snow are much more dramatic in the night when illuminated.
Dark and light contrasts and shadow patterns are much more interesting with night lighting. Lamp grids or shields can be used to make well defined light patterns not possible in the daylight.
Landscape lighting is most effective when used in limited, subtle ways. Use lighting sparingly and in specific spots, and a landscape will come alive in a whole new way.
Resource: Colorado State University
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