Lighting Up Your World

The Design Process

The design process starts with our first visit to your property. This is a free consultation and Steve Middleton will engage you in a dialogue to clarify your wants and needs.

The following design goals will be discussed.

  Security - Every property needs lighting to deter unwanted visitors and to enable the homeowner to see intruders on the property. Typical security lighting fails at this task since it floods a few areas with overly bright light, leaving shadowed areas in complete darkness. A better approach is the strategic positioning of low level lighting in critical areas throughout the property.
  Safety - The primary safety concern is to ensure safe passage along walkways, driveways, staircases, decks, patios, pools, and other recreational areas. This is achieved by positioning lights that reveal walking surfaces, obstacles and changes in elevation that might present tripping hazards. The nature of this light is important, it must be glare-free and suitably bright for the purpose.
  Nighttime Usability - Enjoying our recreational areas at night requires lights of appropriate positioning and brightness. Decks, patios, pools and other areas each deserve lighting that sets specific moods. The lighting techniques to achieve this range of atmosphere may include down-lighting (from trees), up-lighting plant material, or path lighting at the periphery.
  Beauty - Leaving the best goal for last, extraordinary beauty can be achieved through lighting. Palm trees are uniquely suited for creative applications of light. Steve Middleton is the nation's authority on the subject and photos of his illuminated palms appear in numerous publications. Every type of palm is lit in a different way to achieve specific moods. The same thinking comes into play when lighting other tropical plants and the gardens they occupy. Whatever plants, whatever gardens, they are illuminated to reveal their inherent beauty in a way appropriate to a nighttime setting.


Strategies to achieve these goals involve a variety of lighting techniques that include the following:

  Up Lighting - For drama and to define textures and forms; also to create compelling patterns of shadows and light.
  Down Lighting - For natural moonlight effect, creating romantic and mysterious moods.
  Back Lighting - Creates a rim of light around objects, defining their shapes and lending mystery.
  Silhouette Lighting - Lighting surfaces behind unlit objects, creating depth and contrast, defining shapes.
  Side Lighting - Defines forms and creates compelling contrast especially on statuary.