The ease of installing outdoor lighting varies from job to job. Often the architecture or the aggressive growth habits of plant materials can heed one’s progress. Recently I put a design together for a gentleman who was building a Mediterranean style home. The design for the front facade was pretty straight forward, but the pool area was a bit tricky.
A series of columns surrounded the pool deck encompassing the perimeter, providing a sense of security. Since columns are architectural strengths, this was obviously something I wanted to showcase. Most of these were easily accessible due to a sweeping plant bed, but a few of the columns ran directly into the concrete pool deck where no fixture could be submerged.
Surface mounting a fixture on a column is a last resort and can seemingly be obtrusive to the eye. One card played in our favor. Although the hardscape directly joined the concrete on the pool side, there was a slim plant bed running behind the column that would allow us an avenue for our low voltage wire. With the help of a licensed core driller, we were able to access the concrete and from there drill out into the plant bed running behind the column.
Though on this particular job core drilling worked in our favor, I have seen many projects halted and many lighting designs rejected because there wasn’t a proper way to illuminate an outdoor living space. The moral of the story is aim before you shoot. Make sure proper sleeves are installed before the mason lays the pool deck. You never know when you might want to add additional audio equipment, grilling equipment or even an outdoor gas fireplace. It’s good to prepare with running some lines when you do the initial build.
It is better to have plenty of options, as opposed to…well… none.
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