The Charleston Visitors Center: A Holy City Landmark Gets A New Look

Originally constructed in 1840, the historic Charleston Visitors Center has taken on a new look.

Listed as a National Historic Landmark, the visitors center opened to the public in 1991 and has been a hub for Charleston tourism ever since. Along with a full scale renovation of the building, the landscape also received the same treatment led by Charleston landscape architect Glen Gardner.

Moonlighting was tasked with creating a landscape lighting design that would accentuate the key features of the landscape. The new landscape consisted of the introduction of new palm trees, camellias, etc. A key part of our landscape lighting design was safely illuminating the stairs to allow for a safe entry/exit for visitors of the center.

Scroll through the gallery to see more photos of our latest project and leave a comment below! For daily updates and regular happenings, be sure to follow Moonlighting  FacebookInstagram and Houzz .

Moonlighting Enhances A Serene Scene With Landscape Lighting

We’re excited to share our latest featured project with you! The focus of our latest design is an elaborate three-tiered water feature nestled quietly in a Kiawah Island Zen garden.

The project began with a design consultation. We discussed the overall scope of the project and what the client was looking to achieve through the landscape lighting. Curb appeal, aesthetic enhancements of the landscape and circulation lighting along the driveway were key needs. As we continued to walk the property and make our way to the backyard, we were welcomed to the backdrop of a beautiful Kiawah Island marsh view. What we stumbled upon next was a complete surprise! Hidden away on the side of the property is a stunning zen garden anchored by an elaborate water feature unlike any we’ve seen in the Charleston area. This was a welcomed site and a design challenge that we were excited to take on. The lowcountry typically doesn’t lend itself for set-up like this. The elevation changes in the space that allowed the water feature to flow through it make it feel as if it was formed there naturally. The client expressed their desire to be able to use the space in the evening hours. We were granted total creative freedom and we couldn’t wait to get started!

After the design was in officially in place, we were ready to hit the ground running. We took careful consideration in specifying the proper fixtures and lamps to appropriately capture the overall scene.

Several fixtures were installed in and within the feature itself, while we were also able to utilize the trees within space to illuminate the feature from above. Creating a usable space that allowed the clients to safely walk through and relax in after the sun goes down was a priority that we were able to accomplish. With cooler temperatures on the horizon, there’s no better time to enjoy your outdoor living spaces! The gravel pathway was softly lit from above, creating a naturally “moonlit” effect. It was important to also to feature the landscape by highlighting some of the key palm trees, japanese maples and bamboo clusters for a successful and comprehensive lighting scheme.

Take a few moments to scroll through the photos below of the final product and let us know what you think in the comments!

Turn the volume up and enjoy!

Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram and Houzz to keep up with the daily happenings at Moonlighting.

A Modern Solution For Outdated Post Lights

Have your post lights shown signs of degradation? Is the paint flaking off and the lamps going dim? Is it leaning or wobbling? It may be time to explore some other options.

In this blog post we’ll dive into a recent project where we helped provide a solution for two outdated post lights. For this particular project we wanted  modernize the lighting while still maintaining a classic look.

Located in the historic district of Charleston, we were recently tasked with replacing two existing post lights that were inefficient on multiple levels. The ten-plus year old lights were constructed of  aluminum, highly corroded and they were 120V with incandescent bulbs.

Before

The new custom post lights that we were proposing would begin with fabrication in our shop. We chamfered the posts at the tops and the bottoms to provide a more decorative look. After they were chamfered, we painted them “Charleston Green,” a very popular color within the lowcountry and the greater Charleston area.

Fabrication

The copper fixture heads that we specified are handmade and the highest of quality that come all the way from The Copper House, located in New Hampshire. The selection of a copper fixture head ensures that these post lights are built for a long term solution and can withstand the corrosive conditions presented in Charleston. As part of a separate scope of work within this property, we brought low voltage wiring into the location of the post lights with the intent of converting them from line voltage to low voltage and LED, allowing for a more efficient and energy conserving solution.

Check out the images below of the final product and let us know what you think in the comment section.

Final Product

If you’re in need of an upgrade of your post lights, contact our office today to speak with one of our designers about how we can find a custom solution for you! Be sure to follow us on your favorite social media platforms like FacebookInstagram and Houzz for our weekly updates.

Moonlighting Featured In Landscape Architect And Specifier News

We’re excited  to share an amazing project with you that was just recently featured in the April issue of Landscape Architect and Specifier News magazine.

Completed in early 2018, the landscape lighting was designed for an incredible rooftop garden which features some of the most breathtaking views the Holy City has to offer overlooking the Charleston harbor.

To learn more about this details of this incredible project, click here for the full article and let us know what you think! Aslo, feel free to venture over to our Houzz page and see some additional photos of this project.

Charleston Rooftop LightingCharleston Rooftop Lighting 2Charleston Rooftop Lighting 3

 

 

How Do You Light A Tree?

A Common Question Further Explained…

How do you light a tree with landscape lighting? Well…that’s a trick question. Not every tree is created equal and not every tree calls for the same application as the next. We’re here to help explain.

Where we are located in Charleston, South Carolina,  we see a wide variety of trees on our projects ranging from live oak trees, palmetto trees, crape myrtles and olive trees just to name a few. Whether it be new construction where newly planted trees have been installed or it’s an existing landscape where trees have had years to blossom and mature, our knowledgeable design staff is always prepared for the best design techniques to best illuminate your trees.

In this blog post, we’re going to show you a beautiful live oak tree illuminated in three very different ways.

Let’s start with the most basic method.

Flooding:

Flooding
Flooding

In this photo we have positioned three fixtures on the ground, about 30′ away from the tree and aimed them to illuminate the tree. In the big picture, the whole tree is illuminated and it’s being shown off in all of its beauty. Essentially, it’s the easiest way to illuminate this tree while still accomplishing a positive effect. While still very effective, we can probably do a little better and create a little more interest within this scene.

Grazing:

Grazing
Grazing

In this photo, were aiming for a different effect. We’re looking to create interest and we’re looking to enhance the limb structure. This is what makes the live oak tree so unique and a focal point within many lowcountry landscapes. Live oak tree limbs tend to sprawl and crawl in their own way. This makes them so unique and quite honestly, so much fun illuminate.

For the “grazing” technique, we’ve positioned three up lights closer to the tree than what you see in the previous photo and focused on the limb structure of the tree. This allows you have a better visual of the detail of the tree and limb structure.

Tree Mounted Up & Down Lighting:

Tree Mounted Up And Down Lighting
Tree Mounted Up And Down Lighting

Let’s say this tree is in a high traffic area and we need to keep fixtures off the ground so they don’t become a hindrance, thats where this technique comes into play. In this photo, the oak is illuminated with fixtures all mounted within the tree itself. We have two fixtures mounted about 15′ up, aimed up into the canopy while we have three down lights, mounted at about 35′ aimed down. One is aimed through the center of the tree, picking up the trunk while the other two are picking up the right and left side of the tree. The down lights as a whole create some great shadowing on the ground plane below. We’re again focusing on the detail of the tree and further enhancing what makes the oak tree the specimen tree that it is. What we’re accomplishing here is illuminating the top parts of the limbs that cannot be picked up by just simply up lighting.

By combining up lighting and down lighting, we’re painting a multidimensional picture as opposed to the one dimensional technique you see with the first two techniques.

If you want to see this in person… you can find it at the Addlestone Library on the College of Charleston campus where it permanently illuminated with technique No. 3 (tree mounted up and down lighting.) Because it is in fact in a very high traffic area, that is why we elected to design with this method.

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Contact our office today and schedule a consultation with one of our award winning designers and learn more about how Moonlighting can assist in creating a custom landscape lighting design for your home or business.

Be sure to also follow Moonlighting on Facebook, Instagram and Houzz to keep up with our daily happenings!

Moonlighting Aids In New Steeples At Blessed Sacrament Church

Blessed Sacrament Church, Charleston SC
A View Of The New Steeples

What once was part of the devastation of Hurricane Hugo, now breathes new life at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Charleston, S.C. In 1989, members of the congregation watched their once proud steeples strewn across the Savannah Highway in the wake of one of the nations most dangerous hurricanes.

Blessed Sacrament Fallen Steeples

Photo Courtesy Of Blessed Sacrament: Fallen Steeples Over The Savannah Highway After Hurricane Hugo

Today, the church has been made whole again as a thirty year effort has come to fruition. After Hurricane Hugo, an anonymous donation was made to help recreate the fallen steeples. It’s taken nearly thirty years to engineer, fund and construct new steeples, now constructed of fiberglass that can better withstand any future storms.

Father Joseph Romanoski  and the Parish Building Committee were a driving force in the process of bringing the steeples home to the church along with the architecture firm, Glick-Boehm and Associates and Magee Ratcliff Construction. While Father Romanoski lead the charge, Gary Boehm, Chris Ratcliff and Ryan Magee helped facilitate the logistics of this massive and complex undertaking.

While everything was coming into place, Moonlighting President Mike Rollins joined the effort by planning the proper lighting for the new structures. A member of this parish for almost twenty years, Mike and Moonlighting have been heavily involved with the illumination of the entire Blessed Sacrament campus, both inside and out. “This parish is very near and dear to my heart. I viewed this steeple project as a culmination of all the lighting we’ve done over the years at the church and school. What better way to cap off the lighting!” Said Rollins.

Earlier this week Rollins strapped into a 50′ lift for the final night time aiming of the steeple illumination. Used for the lighting were commercial grade Vista LED fixtures. The results were exactly what Mike was going for. Check out the gallery below for photos of the process.

Revitalizing A Familiar Downtown Garden

For the second time, Moonlighting  has helped in the revitalization of a familiar downtown Charleston garden. This King Street property is one we’ve become very familiar with over the years as we were part of the design team that first overhauled this space in 2010. Almost a decade later, we were fortunate enough to team back up with Wertimer and Cline for another pass at this re-imagined garden.

Not only did we design and install this project originally, we have also maintained it on a regular basis from the day it was installed. A major benefit of regular maintenance on this project was the opportunity to repurpose many of the existing fixtures. Regular maintenance encourages a longer lifespan for the fixtures, which in-turn was a big cost saver for the client. If you feel that your landscape lighting system could benefit from a service contract and to learn more about what is involved with regular maintenance, contact our office today for a free consultation!

During this renovation, we worked closely with the talented team at Ables Landscapes, who was tasked the landscape installation and hardscape additions. The original landscape had matured quite a bit, so we responded to not only the new plant material that was introduced but also the existing plant material to ensure that the landscape in its entirety was being illuminated in the most effective ways possible.

There were several mature crape myrtles that we approached by both up lighting and down lighting, which provided for some great textures below on the lower lying fatsia. There are also four custom arbor structures on site that we added a mini LED fixture with a low level output to softly illuminate the walk through. Another feature that really became a dramatic focal point was the statue we lit inside the fountain. The statue lit nicely and the backdrop of crape myrtles and fig ivy covered walls made a for a beautiful scene, and one that can be appreciated from many angles within the garden and inside the home. 

Check out the gallery below for more photos of this project and be sure to follow us on your favorite social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Houzz for our weekly updates!

Moonlighting Heads To The Sunshine State For Newest Design

Our latest project takes us to a new part of the country… Winter Park, Florida. Over our nearly 30 years business, our designs have taken us to many locations outside of our home base of Charleston, SC,  including the Bahamas, California, Tennessee, Alabama and Maine, just to name a few. We are no strangers to packing up our tools and traveling where our services are needed.

In the latter part of 2018 we were contacted by Randy Boyd of Thurston Boyd Interior Design located in Laguna Beach, California. Randy had a special project located in Winter Park, Florida and tasked Moonlighting with the outdoor lighting scope. Within a few weeks, our lead designer Matt Carli boarded a flight to Florida for a site visit and to cultivate a custom outdoor lighting plan.

After several months of construction and landscape renovations, it was time for Moonlighting to pack up and head south! In early March, the Moonlighting installation crew and Matt spent the week installing this custom design. It was four busy days on site, the design itself required the installation of over 40 tree mounted fixtures, mounted anywhere from 24′-32′ along with over 60 fixtures on the ground.

This three acre property boasted some incredible design opportunities that we were really excited about. Upon entry to the property, the driveway is flanked by an allee of live oak trees that would serve as natural light poles to softly wash the driveway. When sitting inside the house, or on the pool deck the landscape itself offers focal points from all angles by means of more live oak trees that we would be both up lighting and down lighting, palm tree clusters, sword fern beds, etc. When talking about some of the design elements, Matt noted…

“One of my favorite parts of this design was picking up the textures of the giant sword ferns from the trees above. The plant material here in Charleston is somewhat similar to what we were working with in Florida, maybe a little more tropical in FL,  but seeing these huge ferns serving as natural groundcovers was something I knew we had to pick up successfully. The only way to do that was from above.”

Another element of the design was incorporating an antique chandelier that came all the way from Paris, France into the lighting design. We made this happen by independently hanging a small fixture inside the chandelier. With the unique details in the chandelier, this application would provide some incredible shadows onto the ground plain below. We then hung the chandelier about 30′ above the driveway making a permanent fixture within the lighting design.

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Moonlighting always enjoys the opportunity to work in a new location as this was an exciting and creative project that we were very fortunate to be a part of. When asked about the design process, Randy Boyd stated…

“I brought in Matt to design the lighting for a 3 acre residential project in Winter Park, FL. He and his crew were so professional and completed the installation in a timely fashion. The evening of the “unveiling” both my clients and myself were blown away. Thank you Matt, your lighting design was truly magical!”

See more pictures of this incredible project below. Be sure to follow Moonlighting on Facebook and now Instagram to keep up with our daily happenings!

Meet Moonlighting’s Newest Master Electrician!

Congrats are in our order for Moonlighting’s own Sandy Harris, as he just earned his Master Residential Electrician’s license!

Sandy has been with Moonlighting for ten years now and has earned the in-house title of Moonlighting “Swiss Army Knife.” Whether it’s performing routine maintenance on a lighting system, troubleshooting a complicated electrical issue or installing a specialty fixture, Sandy can do it all!

for the last 4 1/2 years, Sandy has been working overtime by attending evening classes at Trident Technical College with the goal of becoming a certified electrician. Sandy’s hard work paid off last week after he passed his exam and officially earned that title!

Sandy now joins our Vice President, Doug Wickenhoefer, as the second licensed electrician on the Moonlighting staff.

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