5 Questions To Ask When Choosing Outdoor Motion Lighting

There are a lot of options on the market when it comes to choosing outdoor motion lighting and the selection process might seem overwhelming. We’ve developed a list of key questions to answer in order to help you narrow down the right light for your needs and yard.

1. What do you want the motion lighting to do?
Most homeowners choose outdoor motion lights for one or more of these reasons: to save electricity so the light is not forgotten and left on, to improve home security and light up dark areas, to provide light in areas where you might have your hands full or want the lights to come on automatically.

2. How many degrees and feet do you need the light to reach?
Motion sensors vary in what range of degrees they will detect motion or heat (180, 100, 60, etc.). If the light is being mounted on a wall or in a dark corner, you may not need the motion sensor to have a large range of detection. How far away from the light do you want the sensor to detect motion? If you’re lighting a narrow pathway down the side of your house, you may not need it to detect motion that far away, but it you want it to detect motion down the length of your driveway, these are good things to have in mind before you choose your light.

3. How long do you want the light to stay on for?
There are some motion lights that will detect motion and turn on, there are other lights that will detect an absence of light and turn off. There are others that will detect both and stay on for a set or variable length of time. If you have answered question #1, this will help considerably when answering this question. Many motion lights also come equipped with photocells so they don’t come on during the day, and others are equipped with Dual Brite technology that will provide a dimmer light during dusk and dawn hours, but come on at full strength at night when used for security.

4. How powerful does the light need to be?
Who doesn’t want to save money? There are a variety of bulbs on the market that offer a variety of energy efficiency depending on the needs of the homeowner. Decide how powerful the light needs to be. Purchasing the correct wattage will lessen annoyance to neighbours or casting light onto the street, or blinding people as they approach your house.

There are many energy efficient options now such as LED lights and halogens.

5. How sensitive do you want the light to be?
Depending on your needs and where you install the light, you may want the light to pick up wind-blown leaves, or ignore your dog doing its business at night. Most lights will allow you to adjust the sensitivity, but if you’re looking for an especially sensitive light (you want it to trigger a security camera or alarm for instance) that may require additional technology and cost.

Contact your local outdoor lighting experts at Nite Time Décor to help determine the best lighting options for your unique needs. Schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Outdoor Lighting Trends For 2016

With Canadians busier than ever, extending their living spaces outside has been popular and this trend will continue into 2016. Home owners are taking their indoor conveniences outside with new trends in furniture, cooking, and outdoor lighting. Here are some of the top trends expected for 2016 when it comes to outdoor lighting.

Home Automation
Home owners are increasingly interested in lighting technology they can control with remotes, tablets and smartphones. Whether you’re looking to bring an entire entertainment system outdoors complete with timed light show, turn on the lights in the hot tub, or dim the pathway lights from your outdoor lounger, there are plenty of remote and wireless options available.

Things like timers and motion sensors will continue to be popular for home security and for energy savings. Advanced technology have made these long-popular outdoor lighting options even more versatile.

LED Lights
LED lights will continue to be popular with their array of colours, versatility, and energy efficiency. LED lights can be dimmed, draw attention to deck railings (expected to be a popular trend this summer) and stairs adding atmosphere and safety, and come in a variety of price points.

A trend with growing popularity is using LED lights in darker colours to add atmosphere: i.e. make the cedar hedge appear green even at night. These subtle lighting options make invisible areas of your landscape stand out without making them a focal point. Look for LED lights in lamps, glowing orbs, cubes, and unique string lights.

LED lighting is expected to remain popular among rural and suburban home owners, while solar lighting options are a growing trend among urban home owners.

Accent Outdoor Features
As Canadians increasingly use their patios, decks, and balconies as a daily retreat during the week, the innovative use of outdoor lighting will continue to be popular. There’s been a move away from far-reaching flood lights to more inviting lighting options and that will become more popular than ever. Spotlights continue to be sought after by home owners in highlighting a feature wall, trees or shrubs.

Tread lights incorporated into outdoor bars, lights under seats and benches (and sitting walls), utilitarian but attractive path lights, pond and fountain lights, and other innovative uses are expected to appeal to home owners. Solar lights and lights equipped with photo sensors (automatically turn on after dark) are expected to remain popular with even more options becoming available.

Living walls and vertical gardens are growing in popularity, especially in urban areas, and many home owners are choosing to highlight these natural features even at night with a variety of outdoor lighting options whether you’re looking for a modern or rustic atmosphere.

Creating Outdoor Living Spaces
As home owners look to extend their living space to the outdoors, increasingly they are looking to blend their interior and exterior design so the transition appears seamless. Trend predictors expect a surge in popularity in lighting decks and patios, trees and shrubs (in plant beds to uplight your home), steps, fountains and pools.

Outdoor cooking, and experimenting beyond hot dogs and hamburgers, is going to continue in popularity. Experts are seeing a surge in popularity in fire pits, tiki torches, candles, fireplaces, and weather-proof lighting options to mimic any or all of these.

The expert Nite Time Décor lighting technicians know how to enhance any type of landscape feature from the pond or pool to the patio and all paths in between. Let us create a stunning look that will welcome you outside all summer long. Contact us today!

4 Types Of Driveway Lighting

Typically, homeowners install driveway lighting to provide safety, security, and/or curb appeal. Long tree-lined driveways are often in need of additional lighting, but even shorter city driveways can often use some sprucing up. Here are some general tips and 4 types of driveway lighting. These can be used alone or in any combination for the unique curb appeal you’re looking for.

General Tips
Most homeowners, when looking at driveway lighting, are not interested in having their driveway look like an airport runway. To avoid this, stagger lights and space them at further intervals. Further, it’s usually not necessary to light the entire length of the driveway. For security, you want to light up the dark areas of your yard, and subtly add light to pathways for safety.
When trying to decide where to place driveway lighting, try taking a single flashlight outside at night and testing the effect in different locations – point it up, point it down, hold it against a pillar or tree.

Take a minute to make sure that the lighting you plan to install on your own is up to code and safe to use. Solar powered stake lights are easier and offer less risk, but a cloudy day can mean a poorly-lit driveway at night.

Posts and Pillars
Posts require running underground wires and 120v, but they do cast more light. Light posts are often a more costly investment, but they can be purchased in a variety of modern to historic looks. This is especially effective on short driveways where a single focal point can be chosen. A post light will rarely be lost in a snow bank providing year round light.

Adding lights to pillars such as on porches or fences can provide great security for dark spaces along a driveway. These can be as stark as a flood light or more subtle. These lights are available with timers, motion sensors, and even solar panels for electricity savings. Whether you want to deter criminals or the furry bandit kind, these types of lights can be a great investment.

Uplighting
Uplighting is great at providing safety by providing hidden light from the ground pointing up. Inground uplights can be placed flush with a driveway or lawn for a more subtle lighting option. Inground uplights have the added benefit of being easier to mow around. Of course, you can place a light on a tree trunk pointing up to highlight a favourite tree or landscape feature near the driveway as well.

Downlighting
Downlighting is placed up high and pointed down at the ground. Two or three high up in a tree can be especially effective, or even placed on tree trunks on tree-lined driveways. This provides safety and unique curb appeal. Be sure to point lights at the edge of the driveway to avoid causing problems for drivers.

Bollards
Bollards are stakes with lights at or near the top. These come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, styles, and price points. From the simple solar stake light to the more permanent kind with inground footings, these lights offer a lot of versatility. Whether there’s an actual underground footing for the light, or a light mounted on or hung from a stake, bollards offer slightly raised light and can be a great compromise.

Contact Nite Time Décor for a professional consultation to discuss your lighting needs and desires. Let our experts take care of all the details to ensure everything is not only done safely and properly, your lighting design will effectively highlight your property while also providing safety and security.

Outdoor Lighting Spring Cleaning

The warmer weather has arrived and while you’re busy cleaning windows and sprucing up the inside of your home, don’t neglect your outdoor lighting. This is not a glamorous task, but it won’t take long and you’ll reap the rewards all summer.

While each fixture is unique, most have components that easily removed and cleaned. Knock out the bug carcasses and spider webs, and if you can’t take the glass inside you can haul a small bucket of warm soapy water outside. If you have questions about how to clean a fixture from Nite Time Décor Oakville, our experts are on hand.

Always check the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning before you begin, and disconnect all power sources before removing fixtures or components. Cleaning Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Read through the manufacturer’s booklet for washing instructions. If the booklet is long gone, try checking online.

Lightbulbs can be removed and wiped clean with a damp cloth. Avoid getting the bulb socket or the end of the lightbulb wet.

Some components may be removed easily, others may require a screwdriver. Any you can take inside, wash in the sink with warm soapy water and rinse clean.

Chemical cleaners, unless recommended by the manufacturer, can leave a filmy residue on glass that leaves the fixture looking dull. Some cleaners may contain mild abrasives that will mark the glass or finish. Some recommend vinegar and water. Use your best judgement.

If you need a ladder to reach an outdoor light fixture, ensure the ladder is sturdy and the footing secure before beginning.

Some tiki torches are lit with natural gas or propane. These can be cleaned but remove the gas connection before cleaning the head.

There are a variety of metal cleaners on the market. For light fixtures that are made from copper or brass, use the appropriate metal cleaner and wipe clean.

Spring Cleaning Tips For Outdoor Lighting

Since you’re out cleaning the outdoor lights, why not do a visual check to identify and fix any potential problems. Here are some general things to watch out for. Remember to always call a professional if any of this is beyond your know-how.

Check all the lights. Do they work? Some bulbs may simply need to be tightened and others may need to be replaced. This is a great time to do that while you’re thinking of it.

Check around the lighting, especially ground or garden lighting. Have any bushes or greenery grown enough to block or cast shadows? Trim or prune back what you need to. Did all the surrounding flora survive the winter? Have any branches or limbs come down that need to be tidied up? Have high winds or winter snowfall shifted the lighting? Take the time to readjust it if you can, or call a professional.

Wiring and cords are sometimes susceptible to damage from the weather, rodents, pets and other things. Do a visual check and ensure everything is in top shape. Repair any damage if necessary.

Have a look around the yard. Is it time to upgrade or change out some fixtures? Builders often install fixtures that are too small to save costs, now might be the time to swap those out. Tired of cleaning dead bugs out of light fixtures? Maybe it’s time to put up outdoor lighting bugs aren’t attracted to or can’t get in to.

If you are looking to upgrade or need damage fixed, let the experts at Nite Time Décor Oakville help you create just the look and function you need.

LED Outdoor Lights – Efficient And Fun

You’ve worked hard to create an attractive an inviting oasis in your yard and with a little lighting you can show it off and enjoy it even after the sun goes down. If you want lighting but are concerned about the costs and energy consumption, why not try LED outdoor lighting? Versatile LED lighting can accentuate the beauty of your yard and create an inviting yet secure atmosphere after dark in an energy efficient way.

Outdoor lighting done right creates the right atmosphere to enjoy summer evenings outdoors, improves the aesthetics of your outdoor space and enhances the security of your home. There are many options available to use LED lighting to accomplish this in an energy efficient way.

The benefits of LED lighting:
There are many benefits to LED lighting. LED lights can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs resulting in lower maintenance and greater savings. Using a fraction of the energy that an incandescent bulb uses, there are further savings when energy consumption is also considered. In some cases LED lights can utilize solar power making their energy costs virtually disappear.

LEDs are available in a wide array of colours and fixture styles. Your space can be customized to meet your exact needs. By varying fixtures and colours you can create a space that is functional, beautiful and energy efficient.

Some LED lights are available in ropes that can be easily installed nearly anywhere. These ropes can be connected end to end to make a long continuous string. This allows a large area to be illuminated using only a single power source.

The versatility of LED lights allows them to be used as main light sources, decorations and accents, or functional purposes such as illuminating stairs or highlighting railings edges of pathways.

Several waterproof options are available for LED lights allowing them to be used in locations where other lights may not be able to be used.

LED rope lighting is a trend that’s becoming more popular

Walkways – Light up a pathway or sidewalk edge with flair.

Steps and Stairs – If you have steps or stairs that need illumination, rope lighting offers a unique way to enhance safety and create ambiance with a soft white light or coloured lights.

Garden Edges – With a wide range of rope lighting options, why not dress up a garden edge and add extra light to a back garden or front of the house and add some nighttime curb appeal.

Decks – LED lights offer added safety and bathe a deck in warm glow for a softer light. Consider using rope lights along railings, deck seating, or around pillars or posts.

Pools and Docks – Have a pool or small dock? LED rope lighting offers a unique take on safety, but with a pop of colour or unique placement can add a romantic glow or Hollywood flair to the space.

Let us help you with your LED outdoor lighting options. Contact Nite Time Décor Oakville today!

3 Essentials For Outdoor Layered Lighting

Just as there are layers of lighting for various purposes indoors, your outdoor lighting deserves the same planning and attention. Nobody wants their yard to look like a night-time soccer field or Times Square, so that leaves lots of room for atmosphere, ambiance, and highlighting accent features. Layered outdoor lighting means even if you want to entertain on the patio every weekend and your spouse simply wants a quiet space to read, you can accommodate both activities effectively.

Ambient Lighting
This type of lighting provides enough illumination for comfort. After dark, our outdoor lighting expectation is that the light will be softer, more nuanced. Ambient lighting may be as simple as a ceiling fixture in a covered porch or pillar accent lights on a back deck. Ambient lighting is the backdrop, the basic first layer that all the others are built upon.

Task Lighting
Task lighting makes outdoor activities safe. This may include security lights for a garage or pathway. Typically, headlights help us see the driveway well enough, but what about the path to the house or yard? Will someone unfamiliar with the yard lose their step?

Lighting pathways isn’t the only type of task lighting. Remember that spouse who wants a quiet corner to read? Why not place a light looking over their shoulder from behind mounted in a friendly tree or landscape feature? String lights hung artfully over an outdoor table or kitchen create great atmosphere.

Accent Lighting
Water and electricity aren’t good bedfellows normally, but there are many attractive underwater lighting options for the pond or pool – and don’t forget decorative fountains. Accent lighting is great for special trees, vases, art, or unique yard features. But why highlight the puny tree that cost you $25 when you could highlight architectural detail of your home instead?

Remember that a single accent light on a tree will only highlight one angle. You’ll need to add lights to all the viewable sides. If everything is highlighted, then nothing is highlighted. Selecting specific features to highlight, less is more, will be more effective and dramatic than filling in every corner of your yard.

An expert in landscape lighting will consider how the space is used, how a feature will be viewed, and will choose fixtures and fixture placement to avoid you and your visitors being blinded by the light or stumbling in the dark.

Oakville’s Landscape Lighting Experts

Landscape lightings adds visual interest to your home while simultaneously making it safer and increasing its property value. If you would like to discuss your landscape lighting project, or request a free estimate, contact us today!

DIY vs Professional Outdoor Lighting Installation

The summer outdoor entertaining season is almost upon us. Is your yard guest-worthy? Why let all that hard landscaping effort go to waste once the sun goes down? With well-placed lighting, you can enjoy the beauty of your gardens and yard all night long. But lighting is expensive, we hear you. Do you really need an expert or can you pull this off on your own?

DIY Projects
If your budget or interests dictate something simple like staked-in solar pathway lighting, definitely do that yourself. The solar lighting is dependent on receiving enough sun so keep in mind how much sun that area receives, and how important it is to have good light year round. In winter especially, solar powered devices may be weaker than in the peak summer months. You’ll likely have to replace them frequently, but that leaves lots of opportunities to change things up.

There are a variety of boxed outdoor lighting sets in numerous shapes, sizes, and prices on the market. These are typically low-voltage units, and come with numerous fixtures but minimal wiring limiting the range and placement of lights. Often, these cheaper options come with poor quality fixtures, switches, timers, and parts. These types of sets typically come with a 1year warranty, so replacing these parts may happen more frequently than you’re prepared for.

As soon as you place lighting outside, it’s at the mercy of the elements. Ask yourself if the set you have your eye on will stand up to Mother Nature twelve months of the year. Don’t throw away your hard-earned money. Plastic parts and cheap components will only cause more headaches down the road.

DIYers need to honestly evaluate their skill level. Do you have a good working knowledge of electrical parts and components? The heartbreaking consequences of these mistakes can’t be fixed with money.

Professional Installation
Professional designers and installers have training and experience to provide the best results possible. The handyman needs to honestly assess whether they’re comfortable working with electricity (sometimes electricity and water), heights, or digging.

Professional installers will ensure your consistent voltage to all units for peak performance, that your outdoor lighting meets local codes, and that you’ll spend more time enjoying your yard than fixing the lighting.

Professional installation means that your yard won’t look like everyone else’s on the block. Whether you’re looking to enhance curb appeal, provide better security, or provide ambiance to your yard after dark, professionals will recommend fixtures and elements, with varying bulb wattage and colours, prevent annoying glares and creepy shadows, and ensure distinctive highlights are prominent.

Oakville’s Landscape Lighting Experts
Landscape lightings adds visual interest to your home while simultaneously making it safer and increasing its property value. If you would like to discuss your landscape lighting project, or request a free estimate, contact us today!

Lighting Overview: Low Voltage vs. High Voltage

If you’re thinking of installing outdoor lighting or upgrading your current system, there are many things to consider, one being if you want high voltage or low voltage lighting. Since there are pros and cons to both types of systems, we’ve helped you out with this handy information below:
High Voltage Landscape Lighting
High voltage refers to lighting which need 120V of power to work. Sometimes also called line voltage or standard voltage, 120V are a heavier-duty system, often seen in commercial and security lighting, as well as for public use.

High Voltage – PROs

1.Lights are Bright – because of how much power they use they are perfect for large areas which need to be lit, or uplighting a large canopy of trees. This is why they are great for areas needing security lighting.

2.Fewer Fixtures Needed – because they are so bright, fewer fixtures are needed to light up an area

3.No Transformer Required – because these systems draw power right from the source, your home or business’ electrical supply, there is no need to transform the current & less of a chance that lights will dim with a voltage drop

High Voltage – CONs

1.An Electrician Is Needed – because of the high power involved all wires and connections must be installed to code, and in some cases, permits are needed

2.Higher Risk of Shock – all fittings, fixtures and connections need to be completely water tight since water and electricity don’t mix

3.Difficult to Relocate – the wires must be placed in a conduit or buried 18” below the ground not only making it more difficult to move fixtures once installed, but the installation is quite disruptive to your lawn and garden since trenches need to be dug

4.Less Beam Control – because the lights are so powerful, the beams’ spread is difficult to control and can cause problems with glare
Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Low voltage outdoor lighting systems use only 12V of power, making them the most common for household use and are the best option for dramatic lighting effects.

Low Voltage – PROs

1.Lower Overall Cost – the costs for fixtures, bulbs, electricity usage are all typically lower. They often have more light output per watt and therefore are more energy efficient.

2.Wide Selection of Fixtures – the choices are wide when it comes to choosing the type of fixture for your lighting needs, in both function and style. Low voltage lighting are also designed for precise lighting effects for illuminating small details of your garden.

3.Flexible – no junction boxes, conduits or deep burial are necessary making it easy to relocate fixtures if necessary. This means there is little disturbance to your lawn and gardens when installing.

4.No Electrician Required – most 12V lighting systems can be plugged directly into outdoor receptacles

5.Safer – because low voltage systems are designed for the outdoors, they operate safely under wet conditions and lessen risk of shock

Low Voltage – CONs

1.Transformer Required – because the power coming from your home is too high, a transformer is required to reduce the current to 12V.

2.Dimming May Occur – if the cable sizes aren’t the proper size, 12V lights are more prone to dimming. This could make them not the best choice for security or safety purposes.

Landscape Lighting Q & A

If you’re thinking about installing landscape lighting around your home, but haven’t made up your mind, here are some questions people ask about landscape lighting:

1. Besides making my home look nice, what advantages are there to landscape lighting?

There are many advantages to installing landscape lighting around your home.

First, it adds security without looking gaudy. No longer does a security light need to just be a flood light hung above the garage, but there are various lighting options and just having extra light around your property makes a thief think twice if a home is nicely lit.

Second, it adds safety. If your pathways, stairways, driveway and gardens are well-lit, you don’t have to worry about a guest tripping or losing their way in the dark.

Third, it extends the ability to use your outdoor space. It’s great when on those warm summer nights you can use your yard and deck late into the night, and still enjoy your landscaping (which sometimes looks even better at night)

Fourth, it adds value to your home – as much as a 50% return because of all the reasons mentioned above, plus it modernizes your home.

2. Why Do I need to Hire Someone? What about DIY?

There are many different types of landscape lighting and DIY kits, especially solar-powered, are widely available. It all depends on your lighting needs, and often the old adage is correct – you get what you pay for. Most DIY kits are of inferior quality, with some needing to be replaced yearly. Plus, solar-powered lights tend not to be very bright, so aren’t ideal for illuminating the architectural details of your home, and of course are dependent on the sun.

Plus, a landscape lighting company offers the artistry and know-how of their staff when it comes to design, product and installation, which is important if you’re dealing with electricity.

3. Is my hydro bill going to skyrocket?

Not really, especially if you choose to install low-voltage lighting. Many homeowners experience an increase of less than $50 a year, and that’s with high-voltage incandescent lights. With low-voltage LED lights, for example, if you have 5 lights, on for 5 hours/night every day for a year, homeowners will see an increase of only $6/ year!

Most customers also choose to install a timer, which is great for those times you are on vacation, or even if you just have a habit of forgetting to turn the lights off.

4. What should my outdoor lighting focus on?

When thinking of landscape lighting, the word “sophistication” should often come to mind. Focus on unique trees or bushes, a piece of art, a water feature, or even just your front door or peak of your home. Whether you are looking to illuminate a pathway or deck, the creative possibilities are endless.

5. Is there a lot of maintenance involved?

There doesn’t have to be. Most landscape lighting companies offer maintenance packages as well as warranties on their products. Often outdoor lighting should be examined in the spring to ensure nothing was damaged over the winter, or to trim back unwieldly bushes, but other than that, it can be as simple as flicking a switch.

To have any other questions answered or to request a quote, contact the professionals at Nite Time Décor.

Lighting Your Backyard for Fall

The transition from summer to fall doesn’t mean that you have to retreat indoors. There are still plenty of comfortable evenings left, begging for you to enjoy them. Creative landscape lighting has the potential to transform any outdoor space into an outdoor living space. Learn how below.

Start With a Plan

Before you start finding the ladders and buying the equipment, do a little planning. The best way to ensure your backyard is adequately and attractively lit is by having a plan! Start by asking yourself why you are adding landscape lighting to your backyard. Is it to illuminate a gazebo, water feature, or patio area? Or is it to light pathways for safe travel and keep shadowy corners safe? Whatever your motivation, a little planning goes a long way. Begin with a rough diagram of your backyard. Sketch in what lights already exist, and where all the buildings, and large trees, shrubs, water features, and decorations are located.

Depending on your motivations for adding landscape lighting to your backyard, you are going to select lights of different intensities and hues. Always make sure that pathways, and especially steps, have adequate lighting. Short stake lights along a path’s border is a great way to ensure safe stepping. On the other hand, soft lighting around the perimeter of a water feature creates a romantic, relaxing setting.

Choose a Lighting Style

Your design decisions don’t stop at the front door. Landscape lighting comes in a remarkable array of styles and designs. From traditional, to whimsical, to modern and everything in between your backyard landscape lighting should be a reflection on your personal style! For more modern spaces, LED pot lights, or LED rope integrated into pathways promises a sophisticated effect. On the other hand, lantern lights and outdoor chandeliers create an effortlessly whimsical effect. Regardless of your style, the lighting experts at Nite Time Decor will design a lighting plan that uses a variety of different lights to achieve the look you desire.

Environmentally Conscious Landscape Lighting

At Nite Time Decor, we work hard to offer our clients environmentally friendly landscape lighting options. One of our most common lighting choices is the LED light. Not only do these incredibly versatile lights offer remarkable savings, but they also last forever, and do not cause harm to the environment. LED lights, or “light emitting diodes” are proven to be more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. They also emit significantly less heat, thereby reducing pollution. You can count on your LED landscape lights to last as long as 20 years, while still providing the same versatility you would expect of an incandescent bulb.

At Nite Time Decor, we provide the Halton, Hamilton, and the surrounding areas with residential and commercial landscape lighting. Transforming your space into a safe, sophisticated oasis is not only our profession, but our passion.

If you would like to learn more about the services offered by Nite Time Decor, contact us today!