My last blog post seemed to indicate that white lights were utilitarian only and I wanted to correct that. While different warmth levels of light can create different emotive feels, white light is great for revealing things. This makes it great for safety concerns but it can also be used to create some beautiful effects.
Features in your landscaping that are dramatic can be lit by white lights without adding an emotive feel that other lighting options might add. It will be a more stark lighting but that can be very useful for things such as a rock wall, an old gnarled tree, or a rock garden. These landscape features have their own beauty and white lights will reveal and even enhance it compared to other color temperatures.
As an example, there is a house here that has an old ironwood tree out front. First, I’d like to say that I have no idea how they grew an ironwood tree here in Florida as it normally grows in high desert plateaus so I am impressed that they did and that it is healthy and flourishing. They obviously have an amazingly green thumb. Ironwood trees are gnarled, twisted, and very beautiful in a stark “old west” kind of way. Around this tree they have small granite boulders and a wagon wheel leaning against the tree. The tableau is perfect and beautiful and always makes me unconsciously start to whistle the theme to “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” as I pass by it, especially at night. They used white lights to highlight it and very subtle lighting around it so that the tree and surrounding materials stand out with a great deal of drama, almost floating in the darkness. It is a perfect use of white light to create a stunning, breathtaking fixture that is very memorable.
White lights get ignored too often I think. While colored lights can create feels and emotional responses to your landscaping, white lights add a pop to the scene that makes any special feature you have stand out. Yes, they are perfect for safety issues but they are more than that. They are also great for setting a natural feature in a stark lighting that increases its dramatic appeal. From old oaks and their twisted bark to rock gardens to any number of unique things in your landscaping you want to showcase, white lights reveal things with drama and eye catching clarity.