You may not realize it, but your landscaping exists in two worlds. By day, the design is a fixed picture for all to see and admire. Save for seasonal changes, it’s likely to remain so over the course of many years. But by night, the picture is altogether different when the ad dition of landscape lighting transforms your property into a 3-D painting designed to be viewed not just from without, but from within.
In this kind of painting, the types of light you install are your paintbrushes. They suggest different moods and define new spaces. Down-lighting with spotlights creates mellow, naturalistic effects; uplighting with well-lights tends to be dramatic and grandiose. Back-lighting lends an air of mystery; front-lighting flattens. Beyond placement of fixtures, there are questions of which types of lenses to use and what color or colors you may want them to project.
Rules of good composition apply just as they would in any painting hanging in your home, only now they apply in three dimensions. But symmetry, balance, choice of focal points, depth and overall cohesion become far more complicated when you consider that a tree or fountain might be viewed not just from one or two, but many possible angles. And there’s no point in creating a nighttime paradise that’s too dangerous to explore so choices for pathway and step lighting are critical.
New to the marketplace are apps that let you control your night lightscape through your computer, smartphone or tablet. They operate via wifi or Bluetooth, sending commands to the lighting transformer to dim or brighten or change colors of various lighting zones.
It’s complicated, so complicated you might want to consider enlisting the services of a landscape architect to help you. Whatever design you arrive at, Yale Lighting Concepts can supply you with any landscape lighting fixtures you might need. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.
Adding lights to your landscape design is an excellent way to make your landscaping more visible and functional at night. It is also a good way to showcase certain areas of your landscape design that you think are especially beautiful or important. Here are three great locations for your landscape lighting.
A great place to incorporate landscape lighting is along either side of your sidewalk. You can choose to go with lights that are flat on the ground, or those that stick up and add more of a decorative accent to your landscaping. The lights can also be placed as far apart or as closed together as you’d like, depending on your lighting budget and how much light you would like. This will make it much easier to see your sidewalks at night, which can go a long way in making them safer.
Another great location for landscape lighting are your flower beds. These are areas of your landscape design that are exceptionally beautiful. Because of this, you likely want to show them off, whether it be day or night. The landscape lighting will act somewhat like stage lights, coming up from the ground to showcase your flowerbeds at night. Depending on the size and shape of the flower beds, you will want to pick out the size of lights that you’d like, as well as where to strategically place them.
A Man-Made Waterfall
The decision to build a man-made waterfall as part of your landscape design is a great one. It creates a beauty that is hard to match and you will likely enjoy how peaceful it is to watch the water run down the rocks. A great way to enhance your man-made waterfall is to add landscape lighting to it. You can choose from a variety of waterproof and weather resistant lights that can be installed within the rocks of your waterfall. The lights shining underneath the water will create a sparkling effect at night that is absolutely stunning. To make things even more fun, you could choose lights that have the ability to change colors as the water cascades over them.
Landscape lighting can add to any landscape design and can be perfect for walkways, flower beds, and man-made waterfalls.
To learn more about landscape lighting, you can visit us here.
Earth Day on April 22nd is the perfect time to revisit your home’s lighting and your carbon footprint. Better still, give Mother Earth a present and switch your CFL (the tubular swirly type) or incandescent bulbs to LEDs, known in April as ‘Love Earth Day’ lights!
The largest difference between a CFL and LED bulb is life. The average lifespan of a CFL is 10 years, calculated on 3 hours’ use per day. This is without any other detrimental factors, such as frequent switching on or off which detracts significantly. The average lifespan of an LED is 15 to 25+ years. In simple terms switching to LEDs means –
- Convenience. Much less bulb changing for you, the homeowner.
- Reduction in waste
- Reduction in hazardous waste (CFL’s contain small amounts of mercury)
Watts, Lumens and Energy Consumption
The days of choosing between a 60 or 100 watt incandescent bulb are history. Today it is much more important to be aware of how much light the bulb provides than the power it consumes. Light is measured in lumens and the higher the lumens, the brighter the light.
- 100W Incandescent = 1600 lumens. An equivalent CFL consumes 23W, a LED consumes 14W.
- 40W Incandescent = 450 lumens. An equivalent CFL consumes 9W, a LED consumes 5W.
- There are energy and related cost savings switching from CFL to LED, as you can see, but nothing like the reduction seen if you have yet to switch from incandescent bulbs.
- Because an LED uses very low wattage, there is very little heat generation. If you have an old lamp saying “Max 40W”, you can use any high lumen LED in it today and enjoy much brighter light quality.
- The use of lower wattage helps Mother Earth in that fewer fossil fuels are used in the making of the electricity.
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has developed some great insight into today’s light bulb terminology to help with your understanding and energy efficiency goals. NRDC also recommends looking for the “Energy Star” endorsement. This guarantees the product meets minimum efficiency, lifetime and quality standards.
Other Factors When Buying LEDs
- Many LED bulbs and fixtures are dimmable. Consider if this is important.
- Color. LEDs typically come in Warm White (softer more yellowish glow) or Daylight (cooler bright hue).
- Shape. LEDs come in all shapes and sizes. The traditional sno cone or bulb shape is good for many applications but does not offer enough downward light for a reading lamp for example. Ask us about options for your decor and specific lighting needs.
- Instant full brightness (CFLs have a “warm up” time before full brightness is achieved)
- Cost. Take advantage of Earth Day promotions. While LEDs can seem more expensive, the convenience in never having to change a bulb is a big factor along with their durability. If you still have incandescent bulbs, the cost will be recovered quickly through decreased energy usage. Bottom line: lower electric bills.
If you’ve looked at LEDs in the past and had difficulty finding a suitable bulb, talk to us. LEDs have come a long way in recent years and there’s a replacement LED now for almost every kind of fixture.
At Yale Lighting Concepts & Design, we’re committed to conserving our natural resources and are always here to help you with the selection of the best lighting that balances quality of life with the environment. Contact us today for more insight and ideas.
It’s not easy to become a 5-star host for AirBnB, a short-term rental listing site. Hosts who participate in the sharing economy by renting out rooms or their entire homes rely on good reviews to boost profits. By using basic home lighting ideas, it’s possible to impress guests and give them a feeling of safety and security. When starting an AirBnB or HomeAway business or listing your home as a rental property, consider a few areas that matter to the guest or tenants from a lighting perspective.
Some AirBnB guests will simply cancel a reservation if the drive by your home and it looks unsafe. Having safety and security lighting helps potential guests find the lock box or key. Many guests don’t arrive until after dark. Provide adequate and stylish lighting at the entryway and along any sidewalks leading to your home. Some of the popular décor styles for outdoor lighting include modern, contemporary, Modern Farmhouse, Bohemian, Mid-Century modern and industrial. Your outdoor entryway lighting should match the interior design style inside the home. The inside foyer is also an important area for guests who want to see their way around an unfamiliar home.
In addition to being able to see the books they are reading at night or find their way around a well-lit home, AirBnB guests like to control the temperature. Consider installing ceiling fans in a few key areas of the home for guests who like it colder. When placing the furniture, place the bed or sofa so that it’s not directly beneath a ceiling fan, but a bit off to the side. Ceiling fan lights also extend the living space to the outdoor patio.
A lot of guests like to spend time outdoors while staying at AirBnB. Some guests like a budget-friendly experience but still want to feel pampered on their vacations or travels. When setting up outdoor entertainment and sitting areas, focus on the landscape lighting. Proper outdoor lighting draws attention to beautiful flower beds, birds, butterflies, outdoor décor accents and trees. Guests who want to walk around at night also appreciate good landscaping light.
At Yale Lighting, we help real estate investors visualize what they want with 3 showrooms that showcase the latest in indoor and outdoor lighting. For more tips on the best lighting for your AirBnB and home lighting ideas for a real estate investment, please contact us.
Landscape lighting is an excellent way to accentuate landscaping as well as improve the visibility and aesthetics of the property. A well-lit property will allow you to appreciate your landscaping even after dark. It does not matter if you wish to illuminate house numbers, walkways or the entire property, outdoor lighting will add an extra dimension to any property.
Let’s discuss three benefits of landscape lighting;
- Overall Look of the property: Landscape lighting will highlight the beauty of your building and increase the value of your property as such lighting represents an investment in the property. Well placed lighting will enhance your landscaping and property and give it around the clock curb appeal.
- Create outdoor living space: Exterior lighting extends your living space to the outdoors and will allow you to take advantage of the great outdoors after the sun sets. Landscape lighting will also create an atmosphere for entertaining family and invited guests.
- Safety: A property with well placed exterior lighting will deter crime that often takes advantage of darkness. By lighting vulnerable areas of the home such as doors and windows will keep you and your family safe and give everyone a feeling of security. Such lighting provides safety for you and invited visitors after dark by providing lighted walkways and parking areas, as well as sitting and eating areas. Unexpected stairs in an unlit area can cause a fall and injury to your family or invited guests.
If you would like to explore the world of landscape lighting, please contact us and let one of our lighting professionals show you what we can do for you.