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Spring Transitions: Landscape Lighting Tips from Dawn Hollingsworth

Dawn Hollingsworth

Principal, Darkhorse Lightworks


About the contributor

Dawn Hollingsworth, CLD, FIALD, WELL AP is a Certified Lighting Designer (CLD) by the Certified Lighting Design Commission and a WELL Accredited Professional by the International WELL Building Institute. Dawn is a Fellow of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD). An award-winning lighting designer, she is Principal of Darkhorse Lightworks with a diversified portfolio in environmental, commercial, education, hospitality, mixed-use, retail, municipal, cultural and experiential projects. In addition to her professional practice, Dawn serves on the Board of Directors for the International Landscape Lighting Institute.


Photo by Greg Matthews

Landscape lighting is one of the most underestimated design components within the exterior environment.  For both commercial and residential applications landscape lighting can enhance the nighttime experience.  

It all starts with organizing the landscape composition and defining both the focal points and hierarchy of light levels in the scene. 

Landscape lighting tips

  • More luminaires at lower wattage allows the designer to sculpt the scene and balance the various elements in the landscape.
  • As we transition from winter to spring, the trees will grow. A qualified pruner will maintain the shape of the tree and facilitate long-term health allowing the light to express the beauty of the tree. 
  • Mounting luminaires with tree straps can cause long-term harm to the tree.  Use a good quality tree mount.  

Photo by Kellen Vincent

The Art of Landscape Illumination

To learn more on The Art of Landscape Illumination, join the session by Dawn Hollingsworth and Kathryn Toth session at LightFair on June 22, 2022 at 10:30 am. The session is included with registration (L22DS6); seating is first-come, first-served. Browse on-floor sessions.

About Kathryn Toth

Kathryn Toth is an experienced Lighting Designer who strives to create artistic lighting solutions for architectural and landscape environments including hospitality, retail, commercial, and high-end residential clientele. Her designs improve the visual atmosphere enhancing the unique character of the space while meeting design criteria, budget, and timelines for projects around the globe. She is an active member of the IES, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), an active Mentor Team member of the ILLI Intensive Course, and serves on the ILLI Programming Committee and ILLI Board of Directors.

Session description
The art of landscape lighting begins with the development of an artistic design plan. Landscape lighting is one of the most underestimated design components within the landscape environment. This session will present and explore techniques to illustrate how design thinking can enhance the client’s nighttime experience. How do we create value in the minds of the clients, the architects, interior designers, and other industry professionals? How does landscape lighting affect people within the interior as well as the exterior? Design, equipment, plant materials, growth patterns, and maintenance all need to be considered when developing a successful landscape lighting solution. Register here.

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