Highlight a Home's Exterior with Wall Grazing Outdoor Lighting Techniques in Harrisburg, PA

Proper lighting is an integral part of making any Harrisburg, PA, home stand out. While there is a wide variety of lighting techniques and fixtures that can accomplish this, nothing quite highlights the facade of a home as well as the technique of wall grazing. 

  Highlight a Home's Exterior with Wall Grazing Outdoor Lighting Techniques in Harrisburg, PA

What is wall grazing?

Wall grazing is an illumination technique where the light source is placed less than a foot from the wall. This creates a gradient of light across the wall and highlights the textures more prominently. Wall grazing is often mistaken for a similar technique called wall washing where the luminaire is placed at a much farther distance from the wall and lights the surface more uniformly. By varying the distance of the light source from the light, you can obtain varying degrees of this effect from both these techniques.

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Where can it be used?

Wall grazing is the ideal technique to use if you want to highlight the beauty and textures of a property’s walls or the home’s facade. The gradient of light produced does an excellent job of accentuating textures in particular. It also gives colors more depth and can enhance the look of a home without excessive renovation. Moreover, wall grazing works beautifully with a wide variety of construction materials, giving your design more depth at very little extra cost and complexity. It works especially well on textured walls of natural stone or wood, highlighting the surface embellishments and making them more prominent. Other textured surfaces, such as faux stone, stone claddings and stone veneer work as well. The weathered surface of stone is particularly suited for this technique, creating tiny shadows in the crevices and highlighting the raised portions. Even plain concrete walls can be made to look more interesting, with their rough surface grain creating interesting effects through this simple lighting technique. 

Where should this technique not be used?

For smoother, less textured walls, people generally tend to go with wall washing to produce a more uniform visual. However, wall grazing can work equally well in this application by giving your color more depth. The gradient of light across the wall can produce the effect of different brightnesses across the wall, making it stand out more. However, wall grazing is not recommended for walls that have a lot of hangings or ledges as these can create excessive shadows and extended dark portions that can seem unsightly. Similarly, for poorly textured walls, wall grazing can make the poor quality of work more prominent. 

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How is wall grazing achieved?

Wall grazing can be achieved quite easily with easy to install in-ground fixtures. The important factor is the distance at which the light is installed, as it can determine the magnitude of the grazing effect achieved. Lighting fixtures with variable tilt and adaptable brightness are ideal for such applications, as they let you vary the lighting to optimize it to your needs without uprooting fixtures as you experiment. Wall sconces can also achieve similar effects higher up the wall, but offer less flexibility when it comes to changing the distance. However, the shorter distances do create a deeper grazing effect which can really highlight the wall.