Christmas is less than a week away and we at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives cannot wait! The holiday season is such a special time of year, enjoying friends and family. For us, outdoor holiday lighting is big component of the season and to celebrate, we want to simply share some of our holiday lighting displays that we’ve done throughout the year.
At OLP, we are all about outdoor lighting design, and for me this home is cozy, warm and inviting. The warm brick color is highlighted by the landscape lighting and popped with the additional Christmas lights. Simple white string lights were hung in the trees and the snowflake lights along the roofline add a special whimsy to the home.
While I tend to like white lights more than colored, I love the pops of red and green in this holiday lighting system. This home is large and stately, and the lights emphasize that. Lit garland around the tall columns bring some of that greenery that winter is known for into the space. To add to the green, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives use large red bows and red lights to make the space scream Christmas.
Holiday lights are not only made for the home, but also for the community. This gazebo is the center point of the community that surrounds it. White LED string lights were hung on the roof, columns and railings. Personally, I wouldn’t mind sitting in this gazebo with a hot chocolate in hand.
This holiday lighting in Birmingham is classically beautiful with its red and white lights. The home has an interesting roofline which is beautifully highlighted with white snowflake lights. Wreaths are synonymous with the holiday season so I love that the homeowner wanted not only a large lit wreath over the front entrance, but also smaller wreaths on all the windows. It is a lovely home that is welcoming throughout the season.
My last example of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives holiday lighting just can’t be illustrated in a photo, but it’s great in video form! Check out this awesome tree lighting system from our location in Nashville!
In the mid-90s, most outdoor lighting specialists installed low-voltage halogen fixtures. Fast-forward twenty years and look all around you. There’s clearly been a seismic shift in what homeowners can expect in terms of quality of light, brightness, energy costs and especially the life expectancy of professionally installed outdoor lighting systems. Why? Old-school preference for halogen lights is rapidly giving way to the latest-and-greatest LED technology.
When you look at the advantages of LED, it’s a no-brainer. LED outdistances halogen by providing better lighting with significantly longer light expectancy. LED also saves energy, which is especially important for something that enhances your life, hour after hour, night after night, whether you’re home or not.
How does LED (light emitting diode) work? It uses a small light source that becomes illuminated as electrons move through a semiconductor material. LEDs focus light in a specific direction and only release a small amount of heat backward into a heat sink. Incandescent or florescent bulbs release both light and heat in all directions. Halogen lights use a small tungsten filament, but it is encased inside a very small quartz envelope. Since the filament is so close to envelope, a halogen light is extremely hot compared to a normal light bulb.
LED outshines them all
As you may already know, LED and halogen aren’t your only choices for your new outdoor lighting system. You could also choose standard line lighting or solar outdoor lighting. The drawbacks of line voltage lighting are that a licensed electrician must install it, bulbs tend to burn out quickly, and you end up with a higher electricity bill. Solar options are being sold everywhere from home improvement stores to supermarkets. But if you find yourself being swayed by an enticing retail display, remember this: solar lighting just won’t provide a sufficient amount of light output to make a pathway or other area safe, not to mention inviting and beautiful.
DIY products are available in big box stores and online, but they represent a real roll of the dice when compared to professional expertise. Professional landscape lighting typically includes a custom design, quality products that won’t constantly need your attention, thorough installation and ongoing service to maintain the system. Service typically includes changing bulbs and ensuring that your system has the correct voltage; trimming bushes that may be blocking lighting and interfering with your beautiful lighting design; fixing crooked or misaligned fixtures, and checking timing options to run longer or shorter at night.
Onward and Upward
When you change from halogen outdoor lighting system, you can expect to save 80 percent on your electricity bill. Since an LED bulb’s life span is much longer than a halogen bulb, maintaining your state-of-the-art-LED outdoor lighting system involves much less time and hassle.
What if you currently have an outdoor lighting system that uses halogen technology? Your existing system doesn’t necessarily mean you’re stuck in landscaping “Stone Age.” Ask a landscape lighting company about making a switch. Many existing systems can be retrofitted to LED.
Also remember that with outdoor lighting options, seeing really is believing. Make sure your search for an outdoor lighting professional includes someone who offers a free nighttime demonstration. Your designer should be able to install a temporary lighting system so you can see exactly how it will look when the sun goes down. This “test drive” greatly benefits you and helps your designer make tweaks so your beautiful new outdoor lighting system will look and function properly for years to come.
The bottom line? Exciting new choices in LED lights give you the lighting looks you’ve always wanted, along with practical advantages. Isn’t it time your lawn and outdoor living areas made a statement about you? Just like the latest tablets, readers and smart phones, new LED outdoor lighting systems and retrofits give you the power to be a technology standout.