Boulder ContemporaryContemporary Exterior, Denver
In order to meld with the clean lines of this contemporary Boulder residence, lights were detailed such that they float each step at night. This hidden lighting detail was the perfect complement to the cascading hardscape.
Architect: Mosaic Architects, Boulder Colorado
Landscape Architect: R Design, Denver Colorado
Photographer: Jim Bartsch Photography
Key Words: Lights under stairs, step lights, lights under treads, stair lighting, exterior stair lighting, exterior stairs, outdoor stairs outdoor stair lighting, landscape stair lighting, landscape step lighting, outdoor step lighting, LED step lighting, LED stair Lighting, hardscape lighting, outdoor lighting, exterior lighting, lighting designer, lighting design, contemporary exterior, modern exterior, contemporary exterior lighting, exterior modern, modern exterior lighting, modern exteriors, contemporary exteriors, modern lighting, modern lighting, modern lighting design, modern lighting, modern design, modern lighting design, modern design
What Houzz contributors are saying:
As you peruse these ideas, keep in mind that less is generally more when it comes to exterior lighting. This is for environmental as well as design reasons, as it reduces light pollution and is friendlier to nocturnal wildlife.Linear Lighting“There’s a trend toward the more extensive integration of lighting with modern hardscape elements,” says Gregg Mackell, principal lighting designer at 186 Lighting Design Group.Sleek, minimalist linear step lighting illuminates a path while keeping light fixtures hidden from view. It also enables you to more easily highlight an architectural feature, such as stairs or a freestanding wall. Mackell designed the stair lights for the home in Boulder, Colorado, seen here, installing a linear outdoor-rated light-emitting diode (LED) light channel under the cap of each step. “The light channels are aluminum, with an acrylic lens pointing downwards,” Mackell says. “Inside the light channel is a wet-location-listed tape light. There are a number of manufacturers who make this kind of light, which can be factory-cut or field-cut to an exact length.”
3. Be MinimalA minimal lighting setup is perhaps the best option for using less energy overall. There’s really no need to constantly light your whole garden on a nightly basis. A minimal setup can use any type of bulb. The key is to strategically light only what’s necessary.Pros: A minimal setup requires less energy and less stuff. You will have fewer fixtures to buy and maintain, which ends up saving you money. Minimal lighting is also better for nocturnal animals and migrating birds.Cons: It’s tough to have a minimal setup that can also accommodate a big backyard party or show off your holiday display. For those instances, select temporary lights that can provide the illumination you need for short periods.Cost: Reducing your overall lighting needs will also reduce your overall costs, both for initial purchases and electricity bills over time.Maintenance: A minimal setup on low voltage is one of the easiest to maintain because there are fewer fixtures and bulbs to replace over time. A low-voltage setup does rely on wires buried within your garden. If a wire is cut or snagged, it will have to be rewired.Sustainability: A minimal setup is the most sustainable when used in combination with LED fixtures, solar fixtures or both.
This house's steps also are informal, zigging and zagging up the front door. But the lights tucked in the gap between the floating steps are what capture the attention and guide one's movement.