The right lighting is crucial for softly enhancing a building's facade, highlighting its unique features, illuminating campus grounds, and creating an inviting, yet safe environment for students. Too much can easily overpower a structure, take away from its beauty, and blind the people inside if positioned wrong.
The Chi Omega house, located on the University of Nebraska at Lincoln campus, was experiencing some of these problems with the high-powered floodlights installed at their residence. They decided to turn off the existing lighting after it washed out the colors of their new backlit sign. However, they soon realized how dark it left their house.
After seeing our work at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity building, a Chi Omega alumnae contacted McKay Landscape Lighting and met with lighting designer, Andrew "A.J." Coleman.
"They were looking for solutions to increase security, enhance the architecture, and highlight a banner without taking away from their new sign," says Coleman. "We discussed the benefits of low-voltage lighting, its differences from high-voltage, and how they wanted the light to cascade the facade, like the Sigma Phi Epsilon house."
Coleman created a low-voltage lighting design to enhance the architecture, add curb appeal, and increase security and safety for members.
To softly light the facade and highlight the quoin (corner stone blocks) along the edge, “We strategically positioned uplights, used the correct beam spread and intensity to enhance all those features instead of blasting it with light. It creates shadowing that highlights the detailing above the windows, doors, and upper soffit. It also makes the address visible and emphasizes the insignia above the entry," says Coleman.
The organization will often hang banners on the building above the backlit sign for various events. They can turn on a light, controlled by a single switch, to highlight the banner at night.
The McKay team installed downlights into a nearby tree to brighten the main walkway and flower urn near the front entrance. We strategically placed uplights to enhance the stonework at the front entrance, softly cascade light onto the facade, and highlight select landscaping. Then we added path lights to illuminate the thoroughfare to the main parking garage, used by many of the students on campus.
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The path lights increase safety, marking the elevation change for students and guests, and the addition of the two spot lights highlights the flower pots and foliage, completing the look. "We upgraded the lamp post with a fresh new look and incorporated it into the low-voltage lighting system. It matches the style of the house, has the same warm white color temperature, and turns on with everything else," says Coleman.
Members can access a little garden and seating area either from inside the house or by walking through the landscape. We added a few path lights and up lit the columns to increase safety and make it more functional at night.
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The right educational facility and campus lighting strategy can enhance architectural beauty, increase security and safety, and offer energy-saving benefits. It's a great option to add aesthetic appeal while improving campus safety.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you increase campus safety and aesthetics with energy-efficient low voltage landscape lighting, you can schedule a free consultation online with one of our designers. We'd be happy to meet and discuss your campus outdoor lighting needs.
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Our dedicated team at McKay Landscape Lighting works with you to create a custom landscape lighting design that's unique to your property. From design to installation to service, you can count on our team of experts to make sure you are happy with your lighting system for years to come.