Sterling Lighting

Willing Warriors Retreat
Haymarket, VA, USA

Project Details

Enlightened Lighting, LLC & Patrick Harders
Haymarket, VA, USA
Project Year


The Willing Warriors Retreat at Bull Run is nestled on 37 acres in the scenic foothills of the historic Bull Run Mountains of Northern Virginia. Their mission is to provide cost-free retreat stays and programs that positively impact wounded, ill, and injured service members, disabled veterans, and their families. Their private and spacious lodging houses include full handicapped accessible features with amenities in an area rich in historical significance and natural beauty. Common sightings on the property include deer, fox, groundhogs, and hawks, with occasional appearances of wild turkeys and bald eagles.

Willing Warriors is a non-profit that brings injured soldiers, typically from Walter Reed Hospital, to retreat with their families, allowing time to reconnect and recover. The intended outcome of these retreat stays is the warrior and their family members return to the routine of rebuilding their lives feeling refreshed and inspired.


Many of the visiting soldiers suffer from PTSD and the lighting inside the retreat home would reflect off the glass to create an unsettling environment at night.


Enlightened Lighting’s Master Lighting Designer, Patrick Harders, had a goal to break the plane of the glass and allow the soldiers to view the outside and into the woods, and create a welcoming environment around the fire pit situated on the edge of the woods. This was achieved by designing a landscape lighting plan to illuminate key areas of the retreat’s landscaping and outdoor living areas.

Enlightened Lighting installed sixteen SL23 Down Lights creating a moonlight effect, averaging 45’ in the trees shining on the pathways, fire pit, and smaller trees. These fixtures were specified in 3000K, 40 degree beam spread, and 92+ CRI. Nine SL06 Well Lights were used to uplight larger trees. Of those nine, three SL06 well lights were added around each large tree, pulled back around 8-10 feet to softly light the trunk and give the light room to light up the canopies, each performing at 92 CRI, 1,000 lumen, and 40 degree beam spread. In the smaller trees along the wood line, SL01 Up Lights were strategically positioned, each with 40 degree beam spread, 92 CRI, and single source LED. Seven SL07 Path Lights illuminated two walkways and two SL33 Mini Downlights illuminated the deck stairs placed 18 feet up in a small Maple Tree, softly lighting the stairs at about 100 lumens each. The landscape lighting has helped create a relaxing setting for soldiers to reconnect with their families, illuminating the landscaping and outdoor areas of the retreat.


This landscape lighting project, exclusively featuring Sterling Lighting low voltage light fixtures, has received the following accolades:

Winner of the 2021 LIT Lighting Design Award for the landscape lighting category

Feature in Designing Lighting Magazine’s April 2022 issue

Selected for display at the House of Lucie Gallery in Athens, Greece in May 2022 as a part of the LIT Lighting Design Award Curated Photo Exhibition showcasing the top lighting projects from the past five years.

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