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.

Halloween Lights that Really Shine

It goes without saying that we at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives love the holidays, all of them. From outdoor Christmas lights, to patriotic Fourth of July Lights, outdoor holiday décor enhances any holiday, Halloween included.

Outdoor Halloween lighting can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. At OLP, we offer professional Halloween lighting installation for those homeowners that really want to get in the spirit. I was recently sent a picture from our outdoor lighting provider in Pittsburgh that I had to share.

David Perlmutter owns and operates Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Pittsburgh. His young daughters really wanted him to decorate their house for Halloween and what dad can easily say no to their little girls, right? Needless to say this house will be a favorite for trick or treaters this year.

outdoor lighting pittsburgh

David’s house already has a beautiful landscape lighting system that accentuates the architecture and textures of the home. For Halloween, he installed orange lens over his existing lights to make the façade look more orange while still highlighting his home. Lens covers or lens gels are available in all colors for the holidays, orange for Halloween, red and green for Christmas or blue for Hanukah.

The lens covers were a subtle Halloween accent, but not enough for David’s girls. To make his home scream Halloween, he installed roofline C9 lights in purple and orange. For those unfamiliar with C9s, they are a common string light found around the holidays that have a larger blub. They are one of our most popular holiday lighting products because they are so versatile and are available in all colors.

With the C9s in place, David then wrapped the shorter trees and bushes in his front yard as well as his light post in purple and orange mini lights. Doesn’t the house look great?

Outdoor holiday décor really accentuates a property and brings a little extra cheer to the season. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we provide our clients with a full service holiday lighting option, designing, installing, taking down and storing their holiday lights so it is stress-free.

To help homeowners learn more about and get them thinking about festive and holiday lighting, we’re offering a free download throughout October in honor of National Outdoor Lighting Month. Your free guide can be downloaded at outdoorlights.com/national-outdoor-lighting-month. Enjoy!

Designing your Outdoor Holiday Décor

All of us at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives are mighty excited; the holiday season is just around the corner! As professional Christmas lighting installers and designers, some of our locations have been putting up holiday lights for a week or more now (we just don’t turn them on until after Thanksgiving).

lighting festivalWhen tackling your outdoor holiday lighting display, a great design is a good place to start. Here are few ideas to help you work through creating the perfect holiday lightscape for your home:

Start at the entrance. Not only is outdoor holiday décor beautiful, but it also makes your home more welcoming to friends, neighbors and guests. Highlighting the front entry of your home is one of our must-dos. From beautiful lighted outdoor wreaths to garland and bows around your columns and porch railing, the mixture of light and greenery brings your home into the holiday season.

Highlight your home’s architecture with roofline lighting. The holiday season also happens to be the darkest time of year. If your home isn’t well lit, the beautiful lines, colors and textures can easily fade into the darkness. Roofline lighting accentuates your property’s lines. C9 string lights are one of the most common roofline lighting options. They’re available in a variety of colors to match your overall design. If you intend to include roofline lighting, we suggest hiring a professional lighting installer to tackle this task. When not handled properly, it can be dangerous.

Move the lights away from the home. With the entrance and roofline accounted for, then you can think about ways to add some festive cheer to your property. From snowfall lighting and string lights in or around the trees, to themed yard displays of reindeer and Santa’s sleigh, there is sure to be something you’ll love.

If you’d rather hand off the task of designing and installing your outdoor holiday décor, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. At OLP, we handle all aspects of holiday lights for you. We’ll design, install, take down and store your lights so all you have to do is enjoy the season.

National Outdoor Lighting Month Focuses on Holiday Lighting

It’s October, which means Happy National Outdoor Lighting Month everyone!

2014 marks the second year that Outdoor Lighting Perspectives has celebrated National Outdoor Lighting Month, a month long effort aimed to educate homeowners of the benefits of professional outdoor lighting. This year focused on holiday and special events lighting.

Holiday partyIn the past three years we’ve seen the outdoor holiday décor industry boom. More and more of our clients are asking us about professional holiday lighting options. We thought that we could use National Outdoor Lighting Month to provide helpful information to homeowners with respect to holiday and special events lighting. Our free download, available on OutdoorLights.com, provides thoughts, hints and tips on making your property its most festive for winter holiday season, a wedding or other special event.

October is the time of year where days start to get shorter and the nights longer. It also leads right into daylight savings (November 2nd this year) and is when we begin to get more requests for the holiday season. Be it holiday lights or landscape lights, outdoor lighting makes a big difference, especially during the long nights of winter and fall.

With respect to outdoor holiday lighting, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives offers a full-service option that’s stress free for the homeowner. It’s a simple 4-step process:

  1. Design. One of our outdoor lighting designers will help you to create a beautiful and festive lighting display that will welcome friends and family during the holiday season.
  2. Installation. No need for you to get on a ladder to string lights, we’ll handle it for you. Our team of trained installers will come to your home and wrap trees, hang lights, install yard displays, whatever your design calls for. They’ll also test each bulb to make sure everything is working as planned.
  3. Take down. Just like installation, we’ll be the ones removing all of your Christmas lights after the season is over.
  4. Storage. Our clients don’t need to free up space for their holiday lighting products, we do it so the following year, each bulb can again be tested prior to installation. If there are issues, we can address them in advance of your installation date.

If you have any questions on holiday lighting, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office. And, please visit our National Outdoor Lighting Month webpage to learn more.

Have fun with lights this Halloween

We are just around the corner from one of our favorite holidays at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives: Halloween. Halloween has that slightly creepy feeling to it that makes it so much fun. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we’re the holiday lighting experts, and that doesn’t just mean Christmas. We’re always looking for unique, simple and fun ways to use light to enhance the holidays. Here are some ideas for your outdoor Halloween lighting:

Use your cans and jars. We all have some coffee cans or old spaghetti sauce jars laying around the house. With a little updating, they make the perfect Halloween lighting accessory. If you have a can, poke holes in the side in some type of Halloween themed design, pumpkin, ghost, witch’s hat, etc. If you have jars, stick on some cut out shapes. Place a battery operated candle inside and you’re good to go!

PrintString lights aren’t just for Christmas. Outdoor string lights are common in December, but they can be used for other holidays too. Instead of red and white lights, get purple, orange or green. You can wrap your trees, porch columns, along your stairs or in your garden. The dark glow it gives off will be perfect for your trick or treaters.

Colored lens covers instantly make your home more festive. If you have existing up lights on your property, ask your outdoor lighting company if they provide colored lens. An eerie design is perfect for October, and green and orange lens covers will do just the trick.

Update the lights your already have. One of our favorite updates that is done to outdoor light spheres. Adding vinyl stickers to the sides of the spheres in the shape of ghost eyes and mouth is a fun, temporary update.

Lighted Jack-o-lantern by Outdoor Lighting PerspectivesProfessional light displays will enhance your property. If you’d like something that can be installed and taken down after Halloween, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives also offers outdoor lighting displays. The most common are yard displays that are made with high-quality metal and lights. Isn’t this jack-o-lantern fun?

If you have questions on outdoor holiday lighting, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Illuminating the Mentone Inn in Alabama

Last week I was scanning Facebook when I saw a few pictures from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Birmingham that caught my eye. The pictures depicted a cozy spot that made me just want to sit on with a cup of tea and enjoy the night. Marlin Bennetch, who designs and installs custom landscape lighting in Birmingham and the surrounding areas, was gracious enough to provide me with some details to share.

landscape lighting in BirminghamMentone is a small mountain town northeast of Birmingham. It’s known as a beautiful quaint spot with an abundance of arts and crafts shops, restaurants and bed and breakfasts for tourists to enjoy. The town has the only ski slope in Alabama and cooler temperatures due to the high elevation.

The Mentone Inn is one of the bed and breakfasts that people enjoying visiting. It was built in the 1920s and has 12 rooms as well as a large front porch and outdoor pavilion. The current owner of the Inn is also a residential client of Marlin’s in Birmingham. Having seen the transformation landscape lighting can provide, he asked Marlin to come to Mentone to design a lighting system for the Inn.

Outdoor Lighting in BirminghamIn designing the system, Marlin used a combination of bullet lights, path lights and deck lights to illuminate the walkways, deck and architectural details. When discussing the fixtures themselves, it was clear that they needed to be LED. The owner and innkeeper wanted something that was environmentally friendly and cool to the touch. Families often roam the property at night and they wanted to ensure that if a child touched a fixture, they wouldn’t be burned.

LED is both eco-friendly and cool. Compared to halogen or the typical commercial outdoor lighting fixtures, LED landscape lights use on average 80% less energy, saving on electricity bills. Additionally, LED lights don’t create the amount of heat that other fixtures do.

The Mentone Inn has always been a picturesque property for visitors to enjoy, but the lighting allows it to be enjoyed both night and day. Guests can safely and clearly walk the property and passersby can enjoy the beauty as they walk or drive by.

Turn your lights on when you need them

I’m an early riser. No matter how tired I am, I’m up early. During the week, I’m up by 5:15am most days. With a dog that requires a walk every morning, I usually am outside within 15 minutes of waking up. It’s hard not to notice how dark my neighborhood is at this time.

low voltage outdoor lightingWhile we normally talk about having your outdoor and landscape lighting on at night, it’s important to note, that they can be timed to be on any time that need them, mornings included.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we offer a service called Lighting Control Automation. Just as it sounds, it’s a unique system designed to control your lighting (it can actually handle both indoor and outdoor lighting and outlets).

To get the most of your landscape lighting investment, the system should be designed to fit your needs and schedule and that’s what the LCA system does at its core. Each and every system can be designed and programmed especially for you, making each and every system different.

For example, if you are like me, you may want your landscape lights on to come on in the morning at 5am and stay on until the sun comes up, ensure that as you go about your property, you don’t trip and fall on anything. Additionally, I’d like my lights to come on at night when the sun starts to go down until about 10pm, allowing me to utilize my outdoor living spaces and highlight the front of my home. A system like LCA could handle these tasks easily.

Lighting Control Automation makes your lights a “set it and forget it” thing, however it can be updated and changed as needed.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we pride ourselves on providing beautiful outdoor lighting using the newest and best technologies. From highest quality LED and outdoor string lights to robust control systems, we’re confident we can create just what you need. Please reach out to your local OLP location if you have any questions.