The web site for all professionals and consumers who've made or want to make water a part of their lives

By Mark Holden

It has always bothered me:  Why do we take devices that draw electrical current and install them in aquatic environments where humans get in the water?  Even if precautions are taken, isn’t this risky business?

To be sure, suppliers have come up with all sorts of measures designed to protect bathers from any potential hazard, and I have nothing but praise for the ingenuity they’ve displayed in surrounding their products with safeguards that minimize concern.  But based on my own observations and experience, I must say that

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_201003Gambino_201003MG0.jpgBy Mike Gambino

For more than 10 years now, outdoor rooms have been growing steadily in both popularity and complexity.  That’s great, because it enables designers – architects, landscape architects, landscape designers and pool builders alike – to bring interiors outside and provide living spaces where activities previously associated strictly with indoor spaces can move comfortably into the great outdoors.

It’s a fantastic way to expand living areas and create useful spaces while also adding entirely new types of experiences to the lives of homeowners.

Among this trend’s many implications is that it has challenged landscape lighting designers to think in all-new ways about how we light exterior spaces.  For starters, we need to be aware that most homeowners will enjoy these spaces exclusively after dark – and also be conscious of the fact that these environments require much more complicated lighting schemes than classic suburban patios ever did.   

The differences are so profound that I believe lighting designers need to talk to clients in new ways that

201107 zaretsky column artBy Bruce Zaretsky

We water and landscape professionals literally shape the outdoor environments in which we work – cutting grades, building walls, planting trees, installing pools, ponds and fountains and preparing patios, decks, planting beds and lighting systems.  

In designing these outdoor-living spaces, we spend the bulk of our time