Illuminate your Patio and Deck

Summer is officially here, and that means the hot summer weather is here to stay. When the hot days bring warm nights, you’ll want to make the most of your outdoor space. Whether you enjoy summer barbeques, entertaining guests on the patio or just relaxing under a star-lit sky, you’ll want an outdoor lighting design that can create just the right ambiance for your needs. When creating a patio or deck lighting design for your home, be sure to consider these four tips before making any purchases or installations.

Start with The Basics

When it comes to creating a lighting design for your patio or deck, it’s always best to take some time upfront to consider what exactly you want your design to accomplish. Make sure you think about how you use your patio and deck most often. Do you entertain guests? Do you host family dinners? Do you just like to sit outside and relax? Understanding how you use your space will help you decide how you should illuminate it.

You’ll also want to consider what benefits you are looking for. Most people who install patio and deck lighting designs want to increase the safety and security of their space after dark. To increase safety, homeowners should focus on illuminating level changes around stairs and slopes, and increasing visibility around doorways, posts or pillars and other obstacles that may be present.

Architecture

After you’ve covered the basics, you’ll want to consider the more aesthetic elements of your outdoor lighting design, and highlight architectural elements that give your home its own unique style. Think back to when you first bought your home. What made you fall in love with it? Was it the textured façade? The pillars? The gazebo? Highlighting these unique architectural features will help add character and depth to your outdoor lighting design.

Landscaping  

When planning a lighting design for your patio or deck, make sure to look at what landscaping elements surround that specific area. Is there a beautiful garden that that would create a warm and inviting ambiance if illuminated? Is there a tree that would serve as a spectacular focal point if string lights were hung from the branches? Highlighting these elements not only allow you to show off all the hard work you’ve put into landscaping your property, it also adds an additional layer of depth and character to your patio lighting design.

The Finishing Touches

Once you’ve covered the basics, assessed unique architectural elements and have pinpointed landscaping features that will all contribute to a breathtaking outdoor lighting design, it’s time to add the finishing touches. This will be the small, well-thought-out details that push your lighting design over the edge. Task lighting, underlighting (think benches and railings), and movable fixtures are all small detail elements that can have a big impact on the overall mood and ambiance of your space.

Contact Nite Time Décor

Whether you’re creating your patio or deck lighting design from scratch, revamping your existing design or just planning to incorporate a few new elements, our lighting design experts can help. With our up-to-date knowledge of current trends and available lighting design options and technologies on the market, we can help you create the perfect lighting design for any outdoor space. Contact Nite Time Décor Oakville today to get started!

Landscape Lighting for the Cottage

If you are a cottage owner, there’s a good chance that you spend more of your weekends at the cottage than you do in your own backyard. While you might use your cottage to get away from the city and enjoy the great outdoors, it’s important to remember that outdoor lighting can keep you safe and secure while also allowing you to maximize your usable space.

Because of these benefits, we recommend installing a landscape lighting system around your cottage. If you’re hesitant to this idea, you’re not alone. Most cottage goers prefer the natural light of a starlit sky or and roaring campfire. That’s why our lighting experts have outlined the best ways to use landscape lighting for the cottage so you can have all the benefits that an outdoor lighting design offers while not compromising on your outdoor experience.

Take the ‘less is more’ approach

When it comes to a landscape lighting design for your cottage there’s one important thing to remember: the cottage is not the city. Because of this, you should not treat your cottage landscape lighting design the same as the outdoor lighting you have at home. When creating a lighting design for your cottage, use a ‘less is more’ approach that allows you enough light to be safe but not so much that you’re outshining the moon.

Use down lighting

Using shields to shine the light downward as opposed to up toward the sky will help create a calm and subtle ambiance in your outdoor space and help you avoid light pollution. If you have neighbours near by, down lighting will also keep you from shining light onto your neighbour’s property while trying to illuminate your own.

Use lighting for pathways, steps and docks

Providing a safe environment for your family, friends and guests is one of the biggest benefits of installing landscape lighting around your cottage. The last thing you want to do during a weekend away is take a trip to the emergency room for an injury that was obtained due to poor visibility. Pathways, steps and docks are three of the most important areas to illuminate to create a safe outdoor environment at the cottage. Before installing your landscape lighting design, take a moment in the daytime to walk the perimeter of your cottage and scout out any areas that could present a hazard in the dark  – ascending, descending or uneven areas, stairs, pathways or the dock.

Use lighting for task areas

If you find you’re often barbecuing after dark or docking the boat after the sun has gone down, you’ll want to consider these task areas when creating an outdoor lighting design. Installing a motion sensor light near your BBQ or on the dark will allow you to complete these tasks in a safe and secure manner while avoiding over-illumination.

Contact Nite Time Décor

Your cottage is meant to be your sanctuary away from the city, and if you’re not a lighting professional, creating an outdoor lighting design and performing a successful installation can become a lot of work. And we all know cottages are meant for relaxing weekends away. And if you choose the wrong design you leave yourself open to over-illumination that will take away from the whole cottage experience. If you install the design incorrectly you could spend hours trying to find a solution by way of trial and error.

At Nite Time Décor Oakville, our lighting professionals can help you choose the perfect design for your outdoor space and install it quickly and correctly, so you can enjoy your lighting design right away. Whether you’re looking to get a design installed right away or just have questions about where to start, contact Nite Time Décor today.

Create your Backyard Oasis with Landscape Lighting

With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, you’ll want to spend less time inside the house and more time outdoors.  For many, this means lounging outside in the sun, or eating meals out on the patio. So it’s no wonder that when the weather gets warmer, the best space in the entire house becomes the backyard. When a backyard can offer so much to you and your family, why not create your own backyard oasis? With these five simple landscape lighting techniques, you can turn your outdoor space into the backyard of your dreams.

Illuminate Plants and Gardens

You work hard to create and maintain the beautiful gardens and landscaping around your home, so why let these great aesthetic features go unnoticed after dark? With a landscape lighting design that illuminates your trees, gardens and shrubs you can add a sense of depth and ambience to your outdoor space.

Highlight Decks and Stairs

Illuminating hardscape features such as decks and stairs can go a long way in creating warm ambient light effects while also improving the safety of your outdoor space. Installing outdoor lighting on your steps, posts and rails will help distinguish changes in elevation while adding depth to your backyard oasis. Better yet, if your porch, patio or stairs are made of stone, integrating light fixtures will cast a warm light and emphasize the unique texture of the stone.

Shine a Light on the Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area

Whether inside the house or outside, the kitchen and dining area tends to become the main area for entertaining. So don’t leave your family or friends to dine in the dark! A well thought out landscape lighting design for your outdoor kitchen and dining area will go a long way in creating an entertaining space that you’re guests will want to come back to night after night. In this area, try spotlighting from above and hardscape lighting to see exactly what you’re doing when preparing a great meal or raising your glass for a toast.

Illuminate Pools and Water Features

To create a true backyard oasis, your landscape lighting design should illuminate more than just your porch and dining area. If you have a unique feature in your backyard, such as a pool, hot tub or water feature, make sure it gets the attention it deserves – even after dark.

A pool or water feature gives you the opportunity to get creative with your landscape lighting design. Instead of simply casting light on the water, work with different lighting techniques to create ambiance and depth. For example, a lighting design for a pool might use up-lighting on surrounding trees to cast a cool mood-setting reflection on the surface of the water.

Light up Trees

If you don’t have a pool or a unique water feature in your backyard, chances are you have a tree, or a number of trees, that add character to your outdoor space. Tree lighting is a great way to give your backyard oasis the wow-factor you’ve been searching for.

When it comes to illuminating trees in your outdoor space, there are a number of different techniques that will create their own unique lighting effects. If integrating trees into your landscape lighting design is an option for you, consider techniques such as up-lighting, down-lighting or overall lighting.

Contact a Professional

With summer quickly approaching, you’ll want to create your outdoor oasis sooner rather than later, so you can enjoy it to the fullest. If you feel inspired to get started but don’t know where to begin, contact our team of landscape lighting professionals at Nite Time Décor Oakville. Whether you’re looking for more ideas and options or you’ve already planned out the lighting design of your dreams, our experienced staff can get you started on the right track. Contact us today!

Keep Bugs Away with Landscape Lighting

 

If you thought your landscape lighting design only helped improve the look of your home, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that your outdoor lighting can do so much more for you.

Without question, installing landscape lighting around your home brings you a lot of aesthetic value and can improve your curb appeal dramatically, but your landscape lighting also triples as both a security element and also a deterrent for bugs.

Even the biggest outdoor enthusiasts can agree that time spent outdoors can be quickly ruined by a pesky swarm of bugs or worse yet, a determined group of mosquitos. Fortunately, landscape lighting can help keep those pesky bugs and insects away.

I’m sure you’ve had at least one experience where you turned on a light outside at night and witnessed a group of bugs swarm towards the light. To avoid this, the solution is as simple as changing the bulbs in your outdoor light fixtures.

On the light spectrum, different colours of light are seen at different wavelengths. Like humans, insects and bugs cannot see the entire spectrum of light. So, the higher the wavelength of the light, the less likely a bug or insect is to detecting the colour.

Warm Colours

Warm light colours such as red, orange and yellow have the highest wavelengths. So naturally, you’ll want to use warm coloured bulbs in your outdoor lighting design in order to deter large swarms of bugs and insects. Yellow compact florescent bulbs, sodium vapour bulbs and halogen bulbs are lighting options that tend to decrease bug and insect activity.

LED Lights

LED lights are another great outdoor lighting option for keeping bugs away, as they emit little to no ultraviolet (UV) light. Insects and bugs are able to detect UV light, so having bulbs that emit no light and no heat will help keep bugs away. When it comes to LED lights, the lower the Kelvin (K) temperature, the more yellow the light will appear.

Be careful when it comes to incorporating large or low quality LED lights into your lighting design, as once the temperature reaches about 6,000 Kelvins, the LED will start to emit a blue tint that bugs and insects will pick up on.

Make Smart Purchases

Knowing which bulbs to use in your outdoor lighting fixtures will go a long way in keeping bugs and insects away from your illuminated outdoor space, but sometimes a good price may be hard to pass up. Just remember when shopping for new bulbs for your landscape lighting design that the cheapest option may not always be the best one. That’s not to say you can’t find reasonably priced warm-coloured bulbs and LED lights, but it’s important to think about how the lights you purchase will contribute to, or take away from, the overall look of your outdoor space.

When it comes to bugs and insects, there is no way to keep them away 100 per cent of the time. If one insect picks up on a light, others tend to follow in the same direction. But taking steps to minimize bug presence will certainly get you closer to having a less bugs in your outdoor space. For more information on outdoor lighting design and how to use the right bulbs in your outdoor space, contact one of our lighting design experts today!

Tips For Lighting Ponds and Pools

Whether a pond or water feature was installed to offer serenity or drown out urban sounds, why not enjoy it into the night as well with some well-placed outdoor lighting? Pools require lighting at night, not only for those night-time swims, but for security and safety of family and guests.

Whether you’re hosting parties or just want a relaxing environment to unwind, lighting your pond or pool will never leave you disappointed if you go to the experts at Nite Time Décor Oakville.

The great thing about lighting a pond or pool is that the eye is drawn out into the yard from the deck or patio. Adding pathway lights or lighting other features can not only provide safety, you can create a truly unique atmosphere or add ambiance to the overall feel of the space.

Pool Lighting Tips
The standby incandescent lights, one in the shallow and one in the deep end, are slowly fading. By far, the more popular option for underwater pool lighting are LED and fiber optics. These more advanced technologies are more expensive initially, but they use less electricity, require less maintenance, and will last longer. They have the added bonus of being available in different colours, or changing colours depending on your own desires. Want a red glow for Canada Day? LED or fiber optics can do that for you along with other visual effects.

When choosing a light colour for your pool, keep the colour of the pool liner in mind. Light surfaces tend to reflect light while darker colours absorb light.

Don’t forget to add light to the environment around the pool. Adding dimmer more subtle underwater lighting in the pool can be offset by using softer lighting to the surrounding landscaping features such as pathways, decks or trees. This will help create a truly unique look, but also attract light-loving bugs away from the water.

Pond Lighting Tips
There are two ways to light a pond: underwater or the exterior. If you want natural moonlight to light the pond surface, avoid using any underwater lights. Underwater lights can also be placed behind water features or sculptures instead of underneath for an extra pop to create a focal point. With underwater lighting, a little goes a long way.

Solar lights might be a great compromise with the softer light they cast in combination with a deep water light pointing at the surface of a pond. The light will catch the ripples on the surface and cast a glow over the entire space.

Be wise when choosing fixtures as you need components that are not only water tight but will last underwater. Fixtures that are submerged or in constant contact with water (from a waterfall for example) will fail if cheaply made or flimsy components are used. Use solid brass fixtures from a trusted source like Nite Time Décor Oakville. In the long run, you’ll be happier and save yourself a lot of headaches if you use a quality fixture the first time.

We’d love to answer your outdoor lighting questions or help you design a truly unique lighting plan. Contact our outdoor lighting experts to learn more about our lighting services or view our gallery of one-of-a-kind designs.

Landscape Lighting Terminology

So you want to add some lighting to your landscape or extend the time you can spend on your deck. Whether you’re hoping to DIY the project or have it done professionally (we hope you’ll chose Nite Time Décor Oakville) you’ll better know what’s available and the different techniques used if you’re familiar with the terminology and lingo the professionals use.

Understanding these terms and the various lighting techniques, you’ll understand that the options are almost limitless with some imagination and creativity.

Up Lighting

Up lighting is basically shining or pointing a light fixture up. Whether the fixture is placed at the bottom of a wall or fence, or part way up a pillar or tree, placing the light can be used to create shadows or silhouettes and create indirect light and enhance curb appeal. These types of fixtures are usually low voltage lights and are available in solar, halogen and LED. There are a lot of options and a wide variety of fixtures and finishes to choose from.

Down Lighting

Just like the name suggests, down lighting focuses light down. Whether the fixture is placed under the eaves of a house, under a bench, or uses a shield or hood and placed along a pathway, the light is pointed down. The light may be placed in such a way during the day that it’s virtually unseen.

Wash

Wash lighting is used to create a subtle glow over a broad canvas such as a wall, fence, or row of bushes. The colour of the canvas may amplify or mute the light and different colours of light can offer fun variety – a splash of red for Canada Day for instance.

Shadowing

Light casts shadows and when done on purpose can create a fantastic play of light on dark and highlight a variety of features around your yard. Shadows are often used to create moon lighting and silhouettes. When placing new lighting, be sure that unwanted shadows are not created that hide or partially hide important features such as stairs or pathways and become a safety hazard.

Silhouetting

Silhouetting is exactly what you’d expect. This technique is most effective when light is placed between a planting or other feature and a light coloured wall. Silhouettes provide indirect light (much like a wash) but the shadows created can be a kind of art all on their own.

Grazing

If you have a home with a great textured façade such as stone, grazing can be used to cast light upwards from the ground using shadows to highlight the feature.

Spotlighting

Is there one feature in your yard that you want to stand apart from the rest? A spotlight can make a single feature the star of the show. Often two or more spotlights are often used to make use of shadow and light from different angles.

Moon Lighting

This is a newer trend in outdoor lighting where designers try to mimic natural moon light usually by placing a light high up in a tree and allowing the natural movement and shadows of the leaves to cast subtle light on the ground. This is a great technique for a patio or walkway.

We’d love to answer your outdoor lighting questions or help you design a truly unique lighting plan. Contact our outdoor lighting experts to learn more about our lighting services or view our gallery of one-of-a-kind designs.

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!

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.

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!

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!