A Historic Site Receives Some Modern Light Landscape Lighting Design by Enlighted Lighting
Nestled only miles outside of the bustling Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, this farmhouse and rustic barn, built in 1801, captures the beauty of Northern Virginia's uniquely idyllic and serene countryside. Situated on over 100 acres in Round Hill, Va., the homeowners of this renovated farmhouse and barn wanted to transform their property into an estate fit for entertaining out-of-town guests.
To create the landscape lighting design, they contacted Patrick Harders, founder of Enlightened Lighting. Located in Sterling, Va., Enlightened Lighting has designed and installed thousands of lighting systems across Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., working exclusively with their own line of low-voltage, LED fixtures manufactured by their sister company, Sterling Lighting. The homeowners had previously contacted Enlightened to install a lighting system at their primary residence across the river from the District, and they trusted their expertise.
With the exception of a couple of coach lights by the farmhouse's front door, the entire property was illuminated using over 150 fixtures and an additional 60 LED cafe lights for the inside of the barn. Most of the fixtures used were SL01 up lights and SL04 mini flood lights, each of which feature adjustable lumen settings, which helped simplify the installation process.
Showcasing a Historic Farmhouse The focal point of the project was the half-stone, half-log cabin old farmhouse. To make the house presentable from all sides, Harders opted for soft, even lighting on each side of the house to accent the stonework. The entire house was uplit using 10 SL01 up lights, each set at 430 lumens with a 40-degree optic. To retain the home's rustic charm, Harders purposely left the entrance to the farmhouse a little darker by only using two coach lights to illuminate the front door.
In order to capture the natural beauty of the property and provide the farmhouse with some indirect lighting, Harders decided to draw attention to two large trees that had been planted by the house years ago. The first, a 150+ year old oak tree, had garnered Harders' attention the moment he had first driven up to the farmhouse. That tree alone needed nine fixtures to be properly illuminated. Around the tree, Enlightened used five up lights at 650 lumens with a 40-degree optic. To avoid a "floating canopy" effect, four down lights at 430 lumens were also used to illuminate the old oak tree.
People may think outdoor lighting can only be enjoyed while being outdoors, but it can also be used to create artistic scenes that can be admired both indoors and out. This was the case with the second tree, a graceful sycamore, which was visible from the back door of the farmhouse. With no lighting on the old shed or lake behind the tree, the dark backdrop offered a perfect canvas to showcase the sycamore's lovely bark and leaves. While the focus of most lighting designs is what is illuminated, Harders says great lighting designs go beyond using light alone.
A Moonlit Driveway and an Old, Stone Wall For the gravel driveway leading up to the property, there were two important aspects to illuminate: the driveway itself and the historic stone wall that was built in the 1800s. Over 40 fixtures were utilized to create the final effect, which not only provided the homeowners with a beautiful entrance to the grounds of their country getaway, but also provided safety lighting for those travelling down the driveway at night.
Along the stone wall, 10 SL04 mini flood lights on risers were used to wash the wall with an even, linear spread of light. On the other side of the driveway, deck lights were used to highlight the wooden fence that followed the road. However, the most dramatic look was achieved with SL03 down lights installed 30-40 feet up in the trees which grew along the road and created a cascading shadow effect.
Through the Garden of Trees to the Renovated Barn Between the farmhouse and the barn is a stone pathway surrounded on either side by a garden of trees. Instead of using path lights to illuminate the walkway, Enlightened balanced the practical need for visibility with the desire to create an enchanting outdoor space by shining two SL01 up lights on each tree, all set at 430 lumens. In the distance, six crape myrtle trees planted alongside the homeowner's pool marked the edge of the property and were uplit to create a beautiful reflection in the pool's still, dark water.
The barn was the last segment of the design to be completed, and it required some creative solutions as it incorporated interior lighting design with exterior lighting fixtures. Four narrow-spot down lights in the rafters spotlighted the 20-foot-long wooden table that ran down the middle of the barn. For general lighting, as well as to create a warm and cozy atmosphere in the barn, Enlightened strung over 120 feet of Edison-style, LED cafe lights along the barn's lower level and rafters. Instead of setting up a timing system, the lights inside the barn were wired to a simple switch that the homeowners could turn on and off as needed.
The final lighting design balanced the homeowners' desire to keep their property feeling like a proper country getaway with the practical and pragmatic need to instill comfort and safety while driving to and walking around their property at night. Harders even programmed the timing system to turn off the lights earlier than normal, to allow the homeowners and guests time to enjoy the starry night skies. With the proper lighting design and long-lasting fixtures that blended in with the natural landscape, the landscape lighting design firm was able to bring the homeowner's vision to life and enhance the nightfall on this historic property.