For insight into lighting for landscape and hardscape installations, Landscape Business recently spoke with Jim Frederick, director of sales at TruScapes, and Joe Raboine, director of residential hardscapes at Belgard.
Landscape Business (LB): What trends, in general, are you seeing with regard to landscape lighting – especially as it relates to hardscapes and outdoor room installations?
Raboine: Outdoor spaces are no longer just for entertaining guests and having dinner parties – we are using them to work, relax, cook and carry out everyday activities. We see more homeowners looking to expand their outdoor living spaces and make them truly functional, which includes the incorporation of lighting elements. Lighting is a crucial feature to ensure the space is usable any time of day or night. We’re seeing more lighting included in spaces overall, from landscape lighting to hardscape lighting, as well as other accent features.
LB: Without getting product/brand specific, what can you tell us about overall advancements in landscape lighting technology in recent years?
Frederick: There are now so many different options available on the market. Outside of the traditional landscape lighting found along walkways and patios, we’re seeing more integration of lighting within hardscapes, pools and water features that illuminate a space and give it a modern, natural look and feel. Color-changing LED lighting is becoming an increasingly popular choice, as it allows homeowners to customize their lighting based on the occasion or setting. This kind of lighting also can be controlled by apps, making it easier to zone, set times and change colors.
LB: What is your advice to contractors who are looking to add landscape lighting to their range of service offerings?
Raboine: It’s important to understand up front what your customers are looking for. Look into current research or even speak to current clients about what they are looking for when it comes to lighting in their outdoor spaces. You also can partner with companies that specialize in lighting and have that as a value-add to your services – you don’t necessarily have to do it all yourself. Again, research and find the right partner who can fill your needs, and come to an agreement that is favorable and profitable for everyone.
LB: What are the overall keys to success as a landscape lighting installer?
Raboine: It all really boils down to understanding each customer and their design goals. You want to communicate with them about the project and get a good sense of what they are looking for and how they will use the space. Using design software also helps you map out your designs and can demonstrate to the customer where lighting elements will be placed.
LB: What is your outlook for the landscape lighting industry in 2022 and beyond?
Frederick: Lighting will remain an important feature of outdoor living spaces, given the importance outdoor living has gained over the past two years. Customers will be asking for more options that fit cohesively within their outdoor spaces and enhance the overall design. LED and color-changing lights with Bluetooth capabilities also will continue to be popular, especially among the tech-savvy younger generation of homeowners.