Category Archives: Outdoor lighting

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.

Lighting Outdoor Common Spaces Increases Use

I recently visited a beautiful hotel in Maine. It had several walkways that led to different outdoor living spaces throughout the property. A few friends of mine had gathered in one of these spaces, but when it was time to leave, we noticed that we could no longer see the walkway that got us to the space in the first place. It seemed like all the other guests moved indoors as the sun went down.

lighting-an-outdoor-pathThis hotel property made an unfortunately common mistake; they created beautiful outdoor living spaces but forgot to add lighting. Without lighting, the spaces get less use as guests are forced inside when it gets dark.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we design and install commercial lighting systems to increase the safety and security of properties and allow the entire spaced to be used all the time. As we evaluate a property there are four key components we pay particular attention to:

commercial-outdoor-lightingEntrances. Oftentimes commercial properties have beautiful entranceways with retaining walls and expensive signs. It’s their way to welcome clients and guests. When creating a lighting system, this is one of the first things we look at. If an entranceway is dark, it could be passed by without ever being noticed. By adding a few spotlights, it can clearly be seen at night.

Walkways. Walkways guide clients throughout the entire property. When they’re dark, different areas can’t be used as people aren’t sure what is available. Dark paths are also a safety concern for clients and guests. Installing path lights and bollard lights provide enough illumination to make it safe for guests.

outdoor-lightingCommon areas. More and more commercial properties, especially hotels, are creating outdoor living common areas be it a patio, deck, pool area, gazebo, bar or other space. To ensure that they can be appreciated and used night and day, lighting is a must. From down lighting and up lighting to string lights and spot lights, there are so many different outdoor and landscape lighting options for common areas.

Stairs. Stair lighting is an absolute must when lighting a commercial property. Without it, stairs can be very unsafe for guests and clients.

Commercial outdoor lighting increases the use of your outdoor spaces, but it also makes the entire space more beautiful and welcoming. If you have questions on outdoor lighting, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives Illuminates Lookout Mountain Fairyland Club

Sometimes there are properties and jobs from our outdoor lighting franchisees that make me say “Wow” and I need to share it. Just this morning I was looking at some of our franchisees’ Facebook pages when I came across Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Chattanooga’s. Joe, who owns and operates the location, had just posted some pictures from a very special commercial lighting job in his area.

Outdoor Lighting Lookout MountainThe Lookout Mountain Fairyland Club is a historical venue located on the side of Lookout Mountain near the city of Chattanooga. The 29-acre property, which was built in 1926, houses a clubhouse, fitness area, pool, tennis courts and outdoor entertaining areas. The entrance is flanked by two natural rock formations known as “the Twin Sisters.” Earlier this year, the facility decided to add outdoor and landscape lighting to the property to extend the time the facilities could be used and appreciated. Joe Bozich of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Chattanooga was chosen for the job.

Joe was excited to design and install an outdoor lighting system specifically for this property. The unique and historical property provided Joe with the perfect backdrop for his design.

Chattanooga Outdoor LightingThe large clubhouse’s façade incorporates a lot of local mountain stonework that unfortunately was lost at night when the sun went down. With the addition of up lights along the base of the structure the gorgeous textures can be appreciated night and day.

To play up the height of the property, high power spotlights and gutter lights were used to illuminate the turrets and stone chimney.

DSCN3706Joe, as well as the Manager of the Fairyland Club, wanted to make sure that not only the clubhouse, but the property could be enjoyed at night. Mini floodlights and up lights were used to accentuate small ornamental plants and dogwood trees on the property.

Instead of up lighting throughout the entire property, moonlighting was added to select trees throughout the space. Unlike up lighting, moonlighting is the affect when fixtures are installed up in the branches of the trees shooting downward. The resulting look mirrors the natural look of moonlight.

The result from OLP’s lighting design is absolutely fantastic, and most importantly, the managers and patrons of the Lookout Mountain Fairyland Club are enjoy it. If you have questions on outdoor lighting for your commercial property, please reach out to your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Warranty, Service and Maintenance – Must Haves for Outdoor Lighting

Let’s face it, stuff happens. Over time, even the best electronic equipment can wear out, malfunction, or just need some routine TLC. That’s why we at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives offer the best warranty in the industry and will happily service and maintain any landscape lighting system.

When something goes wrong with an OLP lighting system, our clients know they have no-nonsense warranty coverage to fix or replace the parts that are causing issues. Our outdoor lighting warranty includes:

  • Lifetime warranty on brass and copper fixtures and OLP transformers
  • 3 year warranty on all LED bulbs and electronics
  • 2 year warranty on the Lighting Control Automation technology
  • 1 year warranty on halogen bulbs, commercial fixtures and digital timers

outdoor-lights-richmondWhile an outdoor lighting warranty will make you feel more comfortable with the investment in outdoor lighting, for a system to work its best all the time, it will require routine service and maintenance. For Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, that starts right after the installation with what we call a nighttime adjustment. After your lights have been installed, our designers will drive by your home at night and make sure everything looks just right and make adjustments as needed.

After the nighttime demonstration, we’ll come out to visit your property every year for annual maintenance where we complete a system check. With the Annual Maintenance plan we’ll:

  • Replace halogen bulbs if you have them,
  • Check the voltage levels at each fixture,
  • Straighten and secure fixtures,
  • Re-bury any wire that has become exposed,
  • Trim any plants (with your permission) that have grown into the light path,
  • And check timers and control systems.

While we visit any client with an annual maintenance plan each year, we’re happy to service any landscape lighting system (even ones we didn’t install) whenever you need. If you have an older system, at the time of service is a good time to discuss retrofitting your system to new technologies like LED landscape lighting and expanding your system if necessary.

If you have questions on our outdoor lighting warranties or service plans, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Planning for Halloween? It’s never too early

Just last week, I was talking to my nephew when he told me all about what he wanted to be for Halloween. It’s his favorite holiday (due to the candy) and he was looking at all of the catalogs that had recently been delivered to his house full of costume ideas. While August may seem early to start planning for Halloween, it really isn’t. Fall can be a busy season for a lot of homeowners, so any advance planning will help come October.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we provide full service outdoor holiday lighting and installation and it’s not just for Christmas. Outdoor Halloween lighting has been growing in popularity over the last few years and they can be as simple or as intricate as you’d like. Some of the most popular options are string lights and yard displays.

The dark purple and orange of these lights give the spooky Halloween feeling that is great this time of year

The dark purple and orange of these lights give the spooky Halloween feeling that is great this time of year

Holiday strings lights are very popular around Christmas. You’ll see them in the trees and bushes, around railings and columns and lining rooflines. Well, the same type of installations can be done for Halloween, just a little differently! Instead of white string lights, Halloween calls for orange, purple and green outdoor lights. They can be installed in the same spots you would install your lights for Christmas, but will have that darker, eerie look that makes Halloween so fun.

If you are considering hanging Halloween lights along your roof, we do suggest hiring a holiday lighting installer. They’re training to do it safely and well and no one wants to go trick or treating on crutches!

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives offers traditional and unique Halloween lighting

Boo!

Yard displays are also a popular form of Halloween lighting. When it comes to picking a display for your front yard, think about your favorite icons of the season. Do you like Jack-O-Lanterns? Or are you more of a ghost and witches person? Whatever you like, there is an option for you to have it on your property for Halloween. If you aren’t sure where to have it installed, we suggest making sure it is easily noticed by trick or treaters as they come ring your doorbell.

If you have questions or would like to discuss your Halloween lighting options, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

How to Celebrate National Curb Appeal Month

Today marks the first day of August, which also happens to be the first day of National Curb Appeal Month! This special month is dedicated to helping homeowners increase the curb appeal and value of their home. Enhancing the curb appeal of your home will make it more welcoming to friends, family and neighbors, but it doesn’t have to be a big project.

LED-LightingIf you aren’t sure where to start, here are some ideas.

Decorate your front porch. Dressing up your front porch will make your home look lived in and welcoming. If you have the space, adding a few chairs and a table creates an inviting spot to sit and relax outdoors. If you have a smaller front porch or patio, consider adding a welcome mat and wreath!

Add some flowers. Flowers bring visual interest to a space by providing color and texture. Many home improvement stores have pre-planted planters filled with a variety of different flowers and plants. Let them know how much direct sunlight the spot gets so you purchase flowers that will last. Placing planters on a porch or along a walkway are great areas to consider adding flowers or plants.

TRI-001Clean up your yard. Yards naturally accumulate debris overtime. Walking around your property and clearing out grass clippings, sticks and leaves will make your yard look better, especially after a good yard mowing.

Trim your bushes. Spring and summer bring wonderful vegetation and lot of growth. Sometimes that growth results in your bushes and trees looking unkempt. Periodically cutting any wayward branches and evening out your bushes will make a big impact on improving your curb appeal. Before you do any cutting, however, make sure you reference a guide on the type of bushes and trees you have.

Add outdoor lighting. You can have the most beautiful property in the world, but if you don’t have outdoor or landscape lighting, it is completely lost when the sun goes down. An outdoor lighting company like OLP can design and install a system that will highlight all the best parts of your property to increase the curb appeal and value of your home. We make sure to incorporate the architectural details, the colors and the landscaping into our overall design for the best result.

What are your plans to increase your home’s curb appeal?

Stair Lighting – Options to Keep you Safe

In the outdoor lighting category, one of the goals is to make the property safer at night. When areas aren’t properly illuminated, it can be easier for people to trip and fall. Stairs are incredibly important when designing an outdoor lighting system. When properties include stairs, we also include step lighting in the design.

While step lighting is important, there are still numerous options to choose from. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we work with each of our clients to decide on step lighting that fits the space and the overall landscape lighting system.

A common outdoor lighting technique is installing step lighting into the vertical part of a stair. The light output it both effective and subtle. Because the fixture itself is set inside the step, it is barely noticeable in the light of day. Even at night, visitors will notice the steps before the fixture themselves. Depending on the numbers of steps that you have on a stairwell, the property may only need a few step lights with one fixture illuminating more than one step.

photo 2Step lights aren’t always possible or best for stair lighting. Depending on the material of the step, it may not be an option to have the fixture installed in the step itself. In those cases, we often use a deck lights along the railing posts. Deck lights shoot light downward onto the steps below. They can be installed on the rail posts throughout the stairwell, just like this installation from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Austin.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 1.18.30 PMIf something more fun and festive is your style, there is stair lighting that will fit your style. In our video series, Transformation Augusta, we highlight a step lighting installation that used outdoor string lights. String lights, we are synonymous with holiday lighting, have come long way. They can now be used as a permanent outdoor lighting fixture. For step lighting, they can be wrapped around railings to light the stairs below.

If you have steps on your property that may be causing a safety concern, please reach out to your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office. Our trained lighting designers and installers will help you pick a step lighting option that works for your property.

Benefits of Professional Outdoor Lighting

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we’re passionate about providing our clients with beautifully designed lighting systems using the highest-quality fixtures available. Our clients love the results! If you are considering adding outdoor lighting to your property but aren’t sure of all the benefits, here are just a few.

image04Increased safety. Have you ever rolled your ankle on a rock in the middle of a walkway? Or, have you been unsure of where you are walking and found yourself stepping in a hole? Maybe you are more coordinated than me, but I certainly have. Outdoor lighting increases the safety of your property by properly illuminating the areas most traveled by friends and family. It helps guide people throughout the property safely and provides sure footing throughout the area.

Increased safety. Outdoor lighting makes your home look like someone is always home. Having good lighting around the entrances of your home, as well in areas that seem “too dark” at night, will keep away any unwanted guests. And, with Lighting Control Automation, you can have certain lights inside your house go on at night to make it seem like someone is inside even if you are on vacation.

outdoor-deck-lightsMore time outdoors. When the weather is nice, there is no place I’d rather be than outside, but darkness can easily force you back inside. Having patio and deck lights around your outdoor living structures allow you to use the spaces into the night. You can keep guests outside at an outdoor party, or simply sit back and relax on a nice spring or summer night.

Improved curb appeal. Homeowners take great pride in their homes and properties. Unfortunately, when the sun goes down, so does the beauty sometimes. Outdoor and landscape lighting ensure that your property, and its colors and textures, can be appreciated at all hours of the day and night. Additionally, if you are looking to sell your home, outdoor lighting allows potential buyers to drive by when they are out of work and still see your property.

Outdoor lighting is an investment in your property, but it is an investment with many benefits. If you have questions on adding landscape lighting to your property, please call your nearest Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Bring Hawaii to your Backyard with New Tiki Torches

Whether you have a deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living space, we hope you are able to enjoy  time with friends and family outside. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we design, install and maintain custom landscape lighting systems that extend the time our clients can spend outdoors. If traditional outdoor lighting isn’t your taste, there are other options for your to consider like outdoor string lighting, LED strip lighting and one of our newest outdoor lighting fixtures: the tiki path light.

Tiki torches remind me of exotic Hawaiian resorts and other tropical locations. Their fun and festive, but they aren’t that practical. The small torch at the top rarely provides enough light to truly illuminate a space. Our new tiki path light, however, is both functional from a lighting perspective and festive!

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The shape and flame are reminiscent of the typical tiki torch, but under the flame is also a path light that shoots light downward, providing light for patios, decks, walkways and more.

The brass fixture has an easy to access housing basin to hold kerosene or citronella (you have to keep those bugs away when company is over). The fixture itself includes a durable braided wick and an attached snuffing cap when it’s time to put the flame out and go inside.

Underneath the housing basin is where the path light portion of the tiki path light begins. While the fixture (available in halogen or LED) can easily illuminate the surrounding area, it doesn’t take away from the festive look of the torch. Unlike traditional path lights, these are set higher off the ground like a typical tiki torch is. The height allows for a larger spread of light below.

The Cabo Tiki Lights as we call them carry a lifetime warranty and can be added on to existing landscape lighting systems.

This is just one example of creative and unique outdoor lighting choices. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, our trained lighting designers will work with you to lay out a system that creates the outdoor ambiance you’ve always wanted in your yard and property. Please reach out to your local OLP office if you have any questions.

Add Party String Lighting to your Backyard Space

Your backyard is your space to sit back and enjoy time with friends and family. In previous posts, we’ve discussed how adding outdoor lighting allows you to spend more time outside, but there is more than one way to achieve the same end result. If traditional landscape lighting isn’t for you, outdoor string lights may be the perfect solution.

String lights are most commonly linked to holiday lighting, adding festive cheer to the inside and outside of homes around Christmastime. They are classically beautiful, but did you know some string lights are made to be a permanent fixture in your outdoor living space?

 

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This backyard that we feature in our video series Transformation Augusta has a beautiful outdoor kitchen and living area that guests tend to gather at night. Instead of path lights and floodlights, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives installed outdoor string lighting throughout the space.

As you can see in video and in the picture, the string lights provide enough illumination to enjoy the outdoor living spaces below. Unlike traditional outdoor and landscape lighting features, however, they become a festive focal point of the space.

These string lights are not the same as the lights you buy at your local home improvement or grocery store during the holidays. They are commercial grade with larger bulbs and heavier wire. Each string is made to withstand the elements and can used for both commercial and residential applications.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 1.18.30 PMOutdoor string lights, or festoon lighting as they are often called, don’t have to be installed above and outdoor living space. Here you can see that the lights were wrapped around the railing of a staircase. The bulbs still provide enough light to provide sure footing, but look fun and romantic.

Adding festive string lighting to your outdoor living spaces will create the perfect ambiance for your friends and family to enjoy. If you have questions on this product, or other outdoor lighting applications, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.