When designed and installed properly, a landscape lighting system enables clients to enjoy their watershapes and landscapes well after the sun goes down. But achieving those satisfactory results, says lighting expert Mike Gambino, requires an understanding not only of the aesthetics of lighting design, but also an appreciation of the technology behind the beauty and an ability to lay components out in ways that electrically balance the system.
This article, originally published in February 2008, has been digitized for all readers. Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail. [continue]
The Pitfalls of Pinching Pennies
When homeowners try to lower costs by purchasing stone, tile and other materials on their own, observes Paolo Benedetti, quite often they will find that their savings are undercut by things that can get off track as the construction process unfolds. Here's a look at the reasons why. [more]
Home, Sweet Home
Even ponds of relatively modest size can be perfectly satisfying for homeowners, notes Mike Gannon. But it takes experience, skill and planning to make them just as as agreeable to fish and plants, as this informative video demonstrates. [more]
A Campaign Apart
At a point when we've all had just about enough of political campaigning, writes Jim McCloskey, the National Swimming Pool Foundation has put in a pitch for a different kind of donation -- this one dedicated to the cause of swimming education for children and adults all across the nation.[more]
Designing for hydraulic balance and efficiency is critical for any watershape, but nowhere is it more important or more challenging than with inground concrete spas. You can knock the challenge down to size, says Steve Gutai, by paying close attention to the fundamentals. [more]
A Slithering Treat
Ever since its water first flowed in 1971, the Vaillancourt Fountain in San Francisco has been controversial and subject to periodic calls for demolition. So see it while you can, says Jim McCloskey, because it's a spectacular work of public art and well worth a trip to the Embarcadero. [more]
Ten years back, Stephanie Rose wrote about the importance of forming networks of professional contacts. Have events and realities of the past decade done anything to alter the validity of her comments? [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Investigating an Olympic
Swim Team's 'Troublesome Culture'
Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.
1. Swimming officials in one English-speaking country are looking into "reports of a troublesome culture in the current [Olympic swim] team, and allegations of bullying young swimmers, favouritism for others and disturbing pranks that undermined the team's morale at its staging camp in Manchester during preparations for the London Olympics." Which country is it?
a. New Zealand b. Australia c. Canada d. U.K.
2. A well-known Mexican vacation destination has become a major magnet for tourists who want to swim with whale sharks. (Although they grow up to 50 feet in length and are the world's largest fish, whale sharks are gentle creatures that pose no threat to humans.) Which vacation destination is it?
a. Mazatlan b. Acapulco c. Puerto Vallarta d. Cancun
3. An 18-year-old swimmer has already broken the world record in the 200-meter breaststroke set at the London Olympic Games by Daniel Gyurta of Hungary. What country is the teenage swimmer from?
WaterShapes World (blog)
The conclusion of two series -- one distinctly philosophical, the other quintessentially practical -- prompted Jim McCloskey to discuss how their value reaches beyond their basic topical categories. It also leads him to comment on the generosity that cha