Essential Outdoor Lighting Tips

5 Essential Outdoor Lighting Basics

It’s easy to recognize good outdoor lighting when you see it. When the sun goes down, the house looks welcoming – there are no dark shadows, and entrances and the driveway are well-lit, secure and beautiful.

You can create the same welcoming ambiance for your home with a good outdoor lighting plan. Start with a list of your goals for lighting your home’s exterior. Here is a list of five outdoor lighting basics to consider.

1. Safety

Make sure your entrances and paths are well-lit and shadow-free to avoid falls at night. This includes your front entrance, garden paths, and side doors. Stairs should be included in your plan, since they are a primary cause of injury.

There are a number of ways to light stairs:
• Individual step lights that are mounted on a post or stair railing
• Flexible LED strip lighting, cut to size for each step
• Under-tread lights
• Standalone bollards or post lights

Depending on the type of stairs – deck, stone, concrete – any of these types of lighting could be appropriate, and would greatly increase the safety of navigating stairways at night.

2. Security

The security and the safety of outdoor lighting might seem to be similar goals, but security also includes when outdoor lights come on. One approach is to add motion sensors to some of your outdoor lighting, so lights turn on when someone enters your property. This includes animals, so you may want to be selective if a bedroom overlooks an area with frequent nocturnal activity.
Generally, it’s fine to turn on the porch or front light at dusk, and to leave it on until bedtime.

Turning off a light consistently indicates the home is in use and someone is present.

Another option is to use timers to turn outdoor lights on and off on a schedule. Remember, though, that using a timer set to a consistent schedule when you’re away may not be the best way to secure your home. Smart criminals observe a home before deciding whether or not to act, so it may be better to set an irregular schedule or even skip nights occasionally.
Some outdoor lighting manufacturers now offer smart lighting apps that allow you to control the lighting remotely even when you’re away.

Our lighting experts are trained in the latest Smart Lighting products and are happy to show you what’s available.

3. Yard or garden features

The fun part of your lighting plan is deciding which yard or garden features are good candidates for lighting. Do you have a striking tree or an espaliered wall to show off? Subtle up lighting will highlight these features. Outdoor sculptures or terraced gardens are beautiful at night with the addition of lighting.
Water features offer a special opportunity for lighting.

The play of water and light at night is magical, and today’s new waterproof LED products are a fantastic way to add drama and beauty to your swimming pool, outdoor pond, fountain or other water feature. Our lighting experts can guide you in selecting subtle but effective feature lighting.

4. Lifestyle

With spring weather, or if you live in a warm weather climate, you and your family will likely spend more time outdoors. Our busy lives make every chance to relax even more important, so make sure your outdoor living space is comfortable and well-lit when you have time to enjoy it.

An outdoor chandelier adds a touch of elegance to any space – and creates a soft ambiance for evening parties or family dinners. Include a dimming system in your plan so you can increase the lighting level for a party or dim it for a romantic evening.

Make your time outside even more comfortable during hot weather with an outdoor ceiling fan. Talk to our fan experts and learn why it’s important to have a weather-resistant or weatherproof damp- or wet-rated ceiling fan for your outdoor spaces. From contemporary metallic single-blade styles to 2017 versions of classic Panama or vintage looks, discover your favorite ceiling fan style.

5. Energy

If you love the idea of increasing the security and beauty of your outdoor space with lighting, but don’t like the thought of a higher electric bill, think again. Today’s outdoor lighting can be incredibly energy efficient if you invest in LED bulbs or fixtures. The savings from upgrading your outdoor lighting to LED is tremendous: In one year, one LED bulb has an average annual energy cost of $1.00 – compared with $4.80 for a traditional incandescent bulb.

Multiply that by the number of bulbs in your home, and that’s a significant figure.*

LED bulbs used to be far more expensive, but research and competition have resulted in lower prices, so the time has never been better to make the change to LED.
Complete your outdoor lighting plan with a simple sketch of your home. Bring it in to our lighting professionals for the best advice and product selection. We know lighting!

*Source – energy.gov

 

Spanish Style Lighting – Tips for Designers

SPANISH IRON LIGHTING FOR THE DESIGNER

Spanish Iron Lighting has a rich history that can be beautifully incorporated into your client’s interior and exterior overall Spanish design. Wrought iron lighting is more than capable of carrying its own weight in your decor. See these ideas on how to use wrought iron lighting to elevate the Spanish inspired design.

While many people think of iron lighting as dark or gloomy, old fashioned looks that come across as stuffy or serious, the truth is that iron designs are some of the most versatile looks on the market. They can be used both indoors and outdoors in a wide range of lighting options.

INTERIOR LIGHTING DESIGN

For the interior, most Spanish Mission or Revival Homes feature carved stonework, arched doorways and white plaster walls. Often, wood beams complement the look. Here is where Spanish lighting can pull it together. Wrought iron sconces illuminate the hallways and give a warm glow instead of using harsh can lights.

Small accents can transform spaces from drab to compelling. The more modern of these designs are often paired with frosted or amber glass shades and can be dressed up with intricate patterns or offer a mellow vibe with straightforward, minimal construction.

They can also be used on mirrors in bathrooms instead of the run of the mill vanity lights. Add a pendant that complements the sconces a Voila! Your client’s casita is spectacular!

CUSTOM DECORATIVE OPTIONS

A variety of finishes are available to tie in the overall design. We suggest a bronze, brown or champagne gold accents for the ultimate Spanish motif. Iron chandeliers and overhead light fixtures can be found in the full spectrum of styles, from traditional to transitional and beyond into the realm of contemporary decor.

When it comes to lighting, chandeliers and pendants can add elegance and style to any space. They’re not just for formal sitting or dining rooms anymore.

EXTERIOR ILLUMINATIONS

Welcome your guests with decadent, wrought iron entry way lighting. The entryway is the first thing people see when they enter the home. It will set the tone for the rest. Don’t get stuck with the “builder grade” fixtures that usually come with a home. This small upgrade has a huge impact in your Spanish designed home.

Even if you have a very low ceiling, use a flush mount style to complement the entryway. Pendants are perfect for a standard ceiling. For those soaring ceilings, go all out with a chandelier.

WHY PARTNER WITH ILLUMINARIES LIGHTING?

CLIENT CONCENTRIC DESIGN

It’s all in the details. We help draw out the little things you and your clients want complimentary of it’s surrounding architecture for a truly unique fixture every time.

TRADE ACCOUNT

We help interior designers, architects, and builders find the perfect iron lighting for their custom projects complete with trade pricing, custom ordering, project list building, and more.

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