Enhancing Summer with Deck and Patio Lights

Memorial Day this weekend kicks off the beginning of summer, the season of sun, yard games and barbecues. If you enjoy outdoor entertaining, we know just the thing you need: deck and patio lights. Lighting your outdoor living spaces keeps your guests outside, but allows you to use the space later into the evening and nighttime hours.

Here are a few Outdoor Lighting Perspectives offices to get you thinking:

image2[2]-2This first project has a beautiful backyard. It combines a curved paver patio, custom fire pit and outdoor kitchen, the perfect place to host friends and family. While the space has a lot of interest, it could be hazardous without light. OLP was invited to the yard to design a lighting system that doesn’t overwhelm the space, but instead highlights the beauty of it.

Downward facing deck lights and path lights were used throughout the space. High quality path lights were installed around the edges of the patio to cast a warm light throughout the space. Although there isn’t a deck, deck lights were used on the outdoor kitchen and the fire pit for safety. While the fire pit provides light in its own right, it’s important that guests clearly see the structure. Deck lights were placed on the edges highlighting the beautiful stone of the pit. The same lights were place under the outdoor kitchen’s bar top to bring it to life at night.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 8.42.55 PMThis elevated wood deck is large and has room for both dining and entertaining friends and family. Unfortunately, when the sun went down, it was difficult to enjoy due to the darkness. Traditional deck lights were used on this space to bring it to life at night.

Deck lights can be installed on stairs or deck rail posts, shooting light downward. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives didn’t install lights on each and every light post as it would have been too overwhelming on the space. Instead, lights were placed on every few posts, providing adequate light for enjoying the deck.

If you have questions on enhancing your backyard living areas, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.

Washington Looks to Make Lighting More Efficient

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we pride ourselves on providing clients with the best performing energy-efficient outdoor lighting. LED landscape lighting continues to improve and homeowners and governments are taking notice.

The Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting was introduced back in January of this year. The challenge aims to trade out over 1.5 million light posts to LED. The official page explains that the challenge

“will work with dozens of municipalities to accelerate the adoption and use of high efficiency outdoor lighting, driving carbon pollution reductions in communities across the Nation. Using today’s new technologies, these system-wide lighting exchanges can help governments cut their outdoor lighting bills by 50% of more.” Source.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 3.40.02 PMWe’re thrilled to see the importance of improving outdoor lighting applications. While switching to a low-voltage option like LED will instantly decrease the cost it takes to run a system, it can be reduced even more with smart lighting controls.

While the government and municipalities work to improve public lighting, OLP is dedicated to improving it residentially. Several years ago, to switch a system to LED required a homeowner to purchase all new light fixtures. Luckily that is no longer the case. If the fixtures are of good quality, they can easily be retrofitted to LED with new bulbs. When we come to retrofit a system, our trained installers will be sure to check the condition of not only your fixtures, but also your wire and transformer, leaving you with what feels like a brand new system.

The benefits of LED are vast. The life of an LED bulb can be between 30,000 and 50,000 hours saving you in light replacement and maintenance. The color is a warm white that brings out all the best details of your property.

If you are interested in retrofitting your landscape lighting to LED or in the market for new lighting, please reach out to your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. Our trained designers and installers will work with you to find the perfect lighting solution.

Temporary Lighting for Weddings and Other Special Events

When planning a wedding, brides want everything to be perfect for them, their husbands and their guests. They look to create a special event that will be remembered long after the party is over. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives we help brides create beautiful illuminations for their special day. We set them up the day or morning before the event and then come back after to take them down.

Temporary lighting is perfect for weddings and other special events as they are beautiful but they also have a purpose. Here are just a few of the ways that temporary outdoor lighting can enhance your next special event.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 1.17.24 PMAt OLP, the majority of our jobs are to design and install custom landscape lighting systems. Those same light fixtures, however, also make a big impact at special events, especially those that are held outdoors. If guests are going to be walking around your property, it’s important that you use lighting to guide them safely. We can use battery operated path lights to increase the safety of the step so people can clearly see where they are going.

Garden lights can also help make a big visual impact on the surrounding landscaping and trees. Imagine a property with a driveway flanked by trees. Now imagine them at night with all of those trees illuminated. It would be beautiful!

Lighting has the ability to add ambiance to any space, indoors or out. One of the most common ways to add some whimsy and sparkle to outdoor events with lights is outdoor string lights. They can be hung around tents, over outdoor spaces, around railings and more. While warm white string lights are the most popular, they do come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes so you can make sure it goes with your overall color scheme.

If you’re interested in enhancing your next special event with lighting, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office. We’ll work with you to create the perfect design to make your event extra special.

Retro Fit to LED Landscape Lighting for Increased Efficiency

Providing beautiful and energy-efficient outdoor illuminations is at the heart of what Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is all about. We’ve been designing, installing and maintaining low-voltage landscape lighting systems for since the 1990s. As lighting technology evolves and improves, we’re thrilled to bring the best fixtures and lights to our clients.

TRI-001LED has been big in the outdoor lighting world for several years now. More and more of our clients are turning to LED landscape lighting for systems that have a lower cost to run. A common misconception, however, is that to have LED lights you have to install a whole new system. That isn’t the case. Low-voltage halogen lighting systems can be retrofitted to LED in different ways depending on the existing system.

Since our inception, OLP has prided itself on using the best quality outdoor lighting fixtures. We use copper and brass fixture that we know will stand up to any harsh winter elements and still perform well. Many of those fixtures can be retrofitted to LED simply by changing the bulb out, minimizing the cost of the upgrade.

In the case that the existing fixtures cannot be retrofitted to LED, clients may need to invest in new fixtures, however the existing wire and transformer can stay in place if they are in good working condition.

LED technology continues to improve. When it first came on the market, the color was too blue for us to recommend it our clients, but now the color is even and beautiful.

There are many reasons to consider retrofitting your landscape lights to LED:

  • It is highly energy-efficient, on average saving a homeowner 80% on the cost to run the system.
  • The bulbs last much longer than halogen and incandescent bulbs, resulting in less maintenance or replacement costs.
  • LED landscape lighting is a great option for all areas of the country as they operate well in both extreme heat and extreme cold.
  • There are no toxic materials in LED light bulbs, reducing your carbon footprint.

If you’re interested in making your landscape lights more energy efficient and retrofitting them to LED, please reach out to your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Festive Lighting Can Stay All Year Round

Happy New Year everyone! We at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives hope you have a great 2015!

New Year’s marks the end of the holiday season. It’s time to take down your trees and put the reindeer away, but it doesn’t have to mean that all the lights need to go back in the box. Festive lighting can be used in different applications all year round. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we design and install lighting systems that include more than the common landscape lights.

another-look-at-how-festoon-lighting-enlivens-this-commercial-spaceThe most common holiday lighting product is string lights. Indoor and outdoors, they instantly make a space more cheerful and festive for the holidays. They come in a variety of colors and sizes for all types of installations. And while they may be synonymous with the holidays, string lights can be used in all seasons. We install high-quality, high-preforming string lights in a lot of our clients’ back yards. While they can still properly illuminate outdoor living spaces, string lights are still fun! They can be wrapped around deck railings or trees or can be hung over across a space.

orb-lighting-at-arrington-vineyards-by-outdoor-lighting-perspectives-of-nashvilleMany of our holiday lighting clients like wrapping some of their properties’ trees in lights, but some like a different installation that also works all year round: the lighting globes. Lighting globes are illuminated spheres that are hung on different branches as different heights in trees or sometimes in porches. While we wouldn’t substitute them for landscape lights for general outdoor lighting, they are whimsical and visually interesting.

These are just two examples of holiday lighting products that can be used all the time, but there are more. Take inventory of your lights before taking them down to see if you are interested in using them in another way.

We at OLP just don’t like to see the light go away at the end of the holiday season. Whether it’s reusing your holiday lights or reaching out to an outdoor lighting company to install permanent landscape lights, it’s nice not to go home to a dark house.

If you’re considering adding lights to your property, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

And again, Happy New Year!

Beautiful Victorian Home Lighting in Northern New Jersey

Sometimes we see one of our location’s projects and know that we have to share it with everyone. This is one of those times. Sylvie and Michel Mesnier custom designed and installed a unique lighting system on this Victorian Italianate 1880 home.

Victorian home in Hillsborough, NJSylvie and Michel, who provide outdoor lighting in Northern New Jersey, take each project as an opportunity to highlight the architecture of the home (and thus their lighting design skills). This home had a few challenges while creating the design that were overcome to provide the owners with this beautiful final design.

One of the main challenges of lighting this home was to illuminate each story without creating shadows and keeping the unique identity of the house. When porches create shadows on second floors, it is not uncommon for Outdoor Lighting Perspectives to mount light fixtures to the gutters to illuminate all parts of the home. That wasn’t an option with this installation. Because the home was built in 1880, there were no gutters. Instead there was a flat roof made of wood covered with tin foil and a weatherproof paint. It would be unwise to drill into that! Instead, Sylvie and Michel’s team ran wires through copper tubing and that tubing and the fixtures were connected to the roof with silicone.

Victorian home in Hillsborough, NJ top detailsColor was also a design challenge that Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Northern New Jersey overcame. The main floor walls have a light yellow color, but the top is pink. It was important to the Mesniers and the homeowners that the color could be appreciated to keep the integrity of the home. Getting the right amount of illumination was difficult because the pink looked much brighter than the yellow. A special bulb was created in a lower wattage that was then frosted for the perfect effect.

The ground floor and all its columns were illuminated with traditional very wide-angle well lights.

The homeowners chose to work with Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Northern New Jersey because of their design expertise as well as their commitment to their clients. Sylvie and Michel sat down with the owners and clearly explained the plan and showed them the quality of fixtures, making them comfortable with each step of the installation.

Great job Sylvie and Michel!

Enjoying Your Outdoors with Garden Lights

Whether indoors or outside, we all have spaces we like to spend time on our property. Growing up, mine was our family library and now, it’s our back deck. I love to sit outside when the weather allows and enjoy the color and openness of the space. For many homeowners, the outdoor spaces of the home are places they love to enjoy, and with the addition of garden lights, they can enjoy them anytime they want.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we create custom landscape lighting designs for our clients’ needs and tastes. Oftentimes, we include garden lighting in our designs so they can appreciate the beauty of their property both day and night. Here are three examples of beautiful garden lighting.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.04.14 PMThis first garden lighting installation comes from a gorgeous Charlotte property. The yard has a number of brick walkways that lead to small pockets to enjoy, like this one, however it was too dark to use after night. OLP of Charlotte designed the perfect system that highlights the space, but doesn’t place attention on the fixture itself. Path lights were used along the walkways for safety and security while wash lighting was installed to bring out the details of the brick wall. I’m not sure about you, but I wouldn’t mind reading a book on that bench at night!

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.04.01 PMOur second example may be simpler, but it still makes a big impact on the garden space. The owners of this property have a great yard for family and friends to enjoy. One of the statement pieces is this pergola that acts as an entrance into the space. With greenery growing up the sides, it is gorgeous and the owners wanted to it to be appreciated. A down light fixture was placed in the pergola’s top beams to shooting light downward. It makes it inviting, but also brings out the color and details of the pergola.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.04.25 PMThis final example is intricate, gorgeous and makes quite the visual impact. It’s a waterfall that falls into a pool below. It includes stunning stonework on the falls itself and the edges of the pool. When designing the garden lighting for this project, it was important to highlight the stone and falling water without the lighting being overwhelming. Light fixtures were installed on the underside of the fall and you can’t even see them. What you can see is the texture and color of the stone and water.

Garden light is a great way to get more out of your favorite spots. To speak with one of our lighting designers, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Outdoor Holiday Lighting Installation Tips

We are just a few days away until the outdoor Christmas lights come on. If you’re like us, you can’t wait to see the festive lighting on both the residential and commercial properties in your area. Unfortunately, installing outdoor holiday lights isn’t always a fun or safe project. If you’re installing lights at your home this holiday season, here are some tips to keep you and your property safe and bright.

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas minus the snow? Outdoor Lighting Perspectives can create one for you with our professional holiday lighting displays.Check your products. It’s a terrible feeling after hours of work to flip the switch to your lights and find that half of your bulbs are out. Or, worse yet, there’s a failure in the line due to weather. Before taking your lights outside, check each bulb to make sure it works and ensure that all your products are safe for outdoor installation. Outdoor products can be used inside, but it doesn’t go the other way. You want to make sure that your holiday decor can withstand the weather.

Start with the small projects. Installing holiday lights personally can take a few days. If you’re anxious to turn on your lights when the sun goes down, start with the projects that are smaller. For example, hang your lighted garland and light your front porch first. It doesn’t take as long as roofline lighting for instance, but still looks great on its own. If you are doing some roofline lighting, start earlier in the day so you can complete the project at once.

christmas-lights-ladderNever use nails. Nails are not your friend when it comes to outdoor lighting installation. They take unnecessary time and can cause damage to your home, especially with roofline lighting. Instead, purchase Christmas light clips. They hold the light in place using the weight of your roof shingles and they are MUCH easier to install than nailing lights in place!

Ask for help. Not all components of holiday lighting installation should be tackled on your own. If it requires your feet to leave the ground, play it safe and ask for help. Ladders can be unsteady with an uneven ground and result in too many season injuries. Have a spotter hold the ladder in place and hand you any materials as you need them.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving this week and be safe while installing your holiday lights this weekend!

Outdoor Lighting Design Increases Beauty and Usability

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we pride ourselves on enhancing our clients’ outdoor living experience by increasing their home’s curb appeal and allowing them to linger longer outdoors. The design of the outdoor and landscape lighting system is incredibly important to its quality. When tackled incorrectly it doesn’t allow you to spend more time outdoors or make your home look better.

image04Each and every one of our professional outdoor lighting systems is designed with our clients’ goals in mind. We like to understand what they are expecting from the lighting and how they would to use their outdoor living space.

With clear goals in mind, our trained designers can layout a system using a combination of many different outdoor lighting techniques to create the perfect affect. Some of those techniques include:

  • Uplighting – installing fixtures at ground left with the light shooting upward to illuminate facades and key landscaping elements.
  • Path lighting – using knee-height fixtures that shoot light downward to light traveled pathways and outdoor living spaces.
  • Deck and Patio lighting – creating a subtle lightscape with lights around your outdoor living structures so you can use the space whenever you’d like.
  • Shadowing – causing a tree, fountain, statue or other element to cast a beautiful shadow against a wall.
  • Spotlighting – shooting light directly at an object to make it stand out.

The vast majority of our low voltage lighting systems include two or more of these lighting techniques as each has a specific purpose.

Our online series, Transformation Augusta, clearly illustrates how Outdoor Lighting Perspectives works with its clients to create a beautiful affect. The four part series covers each step:

  1. The Consultation. Our designer discusses the client’s property and why they are interested in adding outdoor lighting to different areas.
  2. The Design Plan & Demonstration. A temporary lighting system is placed on the property so the client knows exactly what to expect after the lights are permanently installed.
  3. The Installation. OLP’s professional team comes to install all the figures.
  4. The Reveal. The transformation is introduced to friends and family of the clients.

If you have questions regarding outdoor lighting design or how lights can enhance your property, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Making Your Home Shine this Holiday Season

We at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives can’t believe it is already November and if the music in the stores is any indication, it’s the holiday season. The holidays are our favorite time of year. From the music and lights to the parties and presents, the entire season is so festive it’s too hard not to love.

Now that it is November, you may start thinking about your outdoor holiday décor. They key to creating a holiday lighting design is simple: do what you love! Some people only want simple white string lights on their property while other homeowners prefer elaborate displays set to music, and guess what? Both are great!

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we help our clients design the perfect outdoor holiday display for them, their tastes and their budget. The majority of our Christmas lighting installations fall into two categories, the classic and the colorful.

LI Holiday 3There is a reason white string lights never go out of style: they are classically beautiful. They also lend themselves to multiple applications without being too much. You can highlight the architecture of your home with white c9 lights or snowflake and icicle lights in white as well as wrap garland, bushes and trees in white lights and it will look great. This home, for example, only uses white lights, and it looks fabulous.

christmas-lighting-nashvilleFor homeowners that want something different, introducing colors to the outdoor holiday design is usually a hit. Many of the same installation techniques may be used, but we just add pops of whatever color the owner wants, be it greens, reds or blues. You can see that this house looks beautiful with the red and green lights of the bushes, and white lights along the columns. Other homeowners may include lighted yard displays like reindeer and Santa or nutcrackers to add some color.

Even if you don’t fall into the classic or colorful holiday lighting themes, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives can find something that works for you. Trust us, we’ve done it all. Our goal is simply to provide you with holiday lights that you love and are stress free since we’ll handle the installation, take down and storage of the lights.

If you’re interested in discussing your holiday lighting options, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.