news - August 2020
An Outdoor Bollard Light Refresher
These LED-based lighting fixtures offer a range of flexible options that provide for visibility and style.
By Douglas Weinstein
MORE THAN EVER, when it comes to brightening your landscape, LED bollards are the way to go. Designing a great look for illuminating driveways and pathways, as well as bordering garden areas and garden beds is a fairly simple process if you ensure a proper design.
Accenting walls and providing security are just a few of the considerations you need to keep in mind when deciding how to aesthetically and practically illuminate your outdoor spaces. With a range of flexible options that provide for visibility and style, you are able to form a boundary with LED versions that range from copper to stainless steel. There just isn’t a better way to show off your landscaping artistry than with a well-laid out lighting distribution plan.
While certainly not a golden rule, most bollards are spaced between 9 – 12 feet apart. Your specific application and requirements will probably vary in certain spaces. LED bollard fixtures come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and are available with flat or domed tops, round or square dimensions, and have a choice of reflectors inside which afford different light aesthetics.
You also have options for making bollards reflect your design goals, whether it is for wide washing or more functional, direct lighting. Most designs shy away from using straight lines or even lining up the bollards themselves into a straight line. A staggered array often contributes to a unique and interesting personalization.
And, obviously, you need to consider exactly where the placement will be for each bollard, so you have relief when mowing a yard or ensuring no one trips over them when they are illuminating a garden pathway. Common sense should play a role in your initial design goals.
As mentioned above, how close or far apart you place your bollards plays a significant role in how intense the lighting will be, and how cluttered or uncluttered the overall presentation will be. Generally, bollards aren’t meant to be a significant source of light in any given space – the are more for accenting and directionality.
And then we come to the big magilla, the various choices you have in LED bollards. For wall washing you can either top-mount a down firing LED or upwash with a ground installed bollard. There are down firing bollards for pathways, but you also have the option of linear or strip lights, which present a truly unique presentation.
Regardless of the type(s) of bollards under consideration, a landscape designer or lighting designer is well worth the investment if you are illuminating an entire property as part of a make-over or remodel.
This article is certainly just a reminder that LED is the way to go for your outdoor illumination needs. They are energy efficient, are typically rated to last up to 100,000 hours and are less prone to failure versus filaments or arc tubes. LEDs are dimmable and offer excellent color rendition, which can bring out the natural colors of pavers, stone, plants and natural wood.