Well-designed lighting provides an entirely different experience when you are outside and when you pull in at night. It also creates wonderful new nighttime views from inside the house looking out. Here are a few tips to ensure you make the right choices.
Say yes to LED. Quality LED lamps will last 6—7 times longer than halogen, are 80% more energy efficient, and produce beautiful warm light. The expense of LED systems has come down, putting them in line with old halogen system pricing. If you are adding to an existing halogen system, most fixtures can be converted to LED. The only downside we see to LED is that it does not get hot enough to melt snow, you may not be able to see the light after a heavy snow fall. Also, since the lamps last 10 years or more, people tend to neglect fixtures. Halogen lamps need to be replaced every year or two, most people take this opportunity to clean lenses, adjust fixture placement base on plant growth, etc., and most importantly adjusting fixtures and wire in trees so that the trunk growth does not engulf the wire or fixture mounts.
Start with safety. Lighting steps and walkways looks great and will make your family and guest feel safe and comfortable. Think about dark areas guest encounter when approaching your entrances and dark areas you see looking out of you windows. Adding subtle light to these areas will add depth and dimension while providing a comfortable, safe feeling. Also, be sure to place fixtures so they are not shining directly into eyes!
Quality over quantity. Outdoor lighting is more than just lighting up the outside. Some trees look great up-lit, some do not. Leaving some areas dark will enhance the quality of the lit areas. Think soft and subtle as opposed to Pittsburgh International Airport. Variances in brightness and direction will make a big difference in the overall look of a space. By varying path lighting, up-lighting, and down lightning you can add depth to your nighttime views. It is also important to use quality fixtures, lamps (bulbs), and connections. Cutting corners on these three items will lead to problems down the road. These problems are often difficult to diagnose. Quality choices upfront will mean stress free enjoyment of your outdoor lighting. More info: http://bit.ly/lightinginfo
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“I wish I did this years ago!”
…is a common comment we hear when reviewing new outdoor lighting installs with our clients.