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!

Portable Lights For Summer Entertaining

Summer is the season for backyard barbeques, meteor showers, camping trips, and midnight dinner parties. Call the babysitter, and spend time with friends new and old while basking in your own backyard oasis. When sunset turns to nightfall, don’t let glaring flood lights ruin the atmosphere. Portable outdoor lights are a fantastic way to keep things safely illuminated without compromising on style.

Backyard Camping
There’s no doubt about it – camping is a ton of fun. But sometimes coordinating an out of the city camping excursion knowing you’re going to have to make dinner over a fire you have to start isn’t really the relaxing summer adventure you had in mind. There’s a certain appeal to roasting marshmallows over a hibachi in the backyard with modern plumbing and running water reliably nearby. Just because you’re glamping it up in the backyard doesn’t mean you can’t make it feel like the real thing though. Use portable camping lights to set the mood. Go traditional with the Coleman Easi-Lite Lamp or bring your camping trip into the 21st Century with the LED version of the same lamp.

Modern Portable Outdoor Lighting
One of the best things about outdoor lighting and landscape lighting is its versatility. Simply by changing the intensity of a single light, or updating a fixture a whole new look can be achieved. If you love everything modern, there is no shortage of portable lights designed for outdoor use to suit your style. For example, these portable orb lights. They come in a variety of colours and sizes. They create a surreal, atmospheric effect when placed strategically around your backyard! Alternatively, these LED cubes act as both seating and beacons of light – and look how fantastic they look beside a pool!

Relax and Rejuvenate After Dark
Who says you have to retreat indoors to read your favourite book once the sun has set? Or, that you have to eat inside just because it’s dark outside. Summers in Vancouver feel their best when the sun has set and the ocean air is wafting in from the beach. Acknowledging the need for stylish outdoor lighting many lighting designers are introducing their own line of outdoor lighting that mimics the same level of style and design you have come to expect from interior lighting. For example, Metalarte. These luxury outdoor lighting options prove that you don’t have to compromise on style just because you’re using their products out of doors. Book lovers will rejoice when they see the Mate Floor Lamp, which makes reading al fresco easier on the eyes than ever before. Homeowners with pools know that lighting the pool in an aesthetically pleasing way makes the space even more enjoyable. Imagine going for a late night swim while these floating lanterns light illuminate your surroundings!

Portable outdoor lighting is becoming trendier every single season! And in beautiful Vancouver, we are lucky enough to be able to make use of our outdoor living space year round. Take the opportunity to customize it to suit your lifestyle and design aspirations!

Lighting the Way – Tips for Pathway Lighting

We want our homes to be welcoming places for our family and friends even before they enter through the front door. Even getting out of their cars or walking up the street, you can make your home look friendly and inviting by lighting your pathways and walkways. It doesn’t have to be so bright that it looks like you’re trying to re-create sunlight, but a gently lit pathway enables your guests to see clearly so as to avoid injury as they make their way to your front porch, or backyard oasis.

Walkway lighting doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but you should consider a few things before you buy.

Professional or DIY?
Purchasing a DIY lighting system, whether solar or electric will often be less expensive than hiring a landscape lighting professional, but the lighting kits often aren’t as hearty as what the pro’s would use, leaving you in the dark after a season. You’ve probably seen the cheap solar dome lights that spike into the ground, and they either seem to not work at all or are so dim they don’t provide any useful light, or they’re falling apart or tipping over when the ground gets too soft.

The great thing about hiring a professional outdoor lighting specialist is that they not only just install the system, but they have the inspired ability to create ambiance and mood, making the most of your home and gardens. They know all the products available and have an eye for perfect placement, not only to make it look beautiful, but safe.

How much maintenance?
Depending on how many fixtures you have, maintenance could be minimal from replacing burnt-out bulbs to removing debris and leaves or trimming back bushes to keep your lights from over-heating. Replacing individual fixtures or the whole system will depend on the level of warranty your fixtures have. Cheaper ones made of plastic could last a couple of seasons, whereas high quality brass fixtures could last for decades.

Professional landscape lighting companies will often have maintenance packages so you don’t have to spend your weekends cleaning your fixtures.

Types of Pathway Lighting
When you’re choosing what type of lighting best suits your needs, make sure that the lighting isn’t glaringly bright or shines in the eyes of you and your guests. Here are some choices:

Step Risers – lights installed in the risers of your stairs, or a wall beside the steps

Down-Lighting – create a moonlit effect with a gentle light positioned in a tree above the walkway

Path Lamps – lights on stakes which light up the path around your feet

Walkway Lighting Design
When deciding where you place your light fixtures along your pathway, you don’t want it to look like an airport runway, so watch that you don’t place the fixtures too close together. Also, professionals suggest to not place all the lights on the same side of your walkway, but instead stagger them on either side, placing them every 10 feet or so. Remember, you don’t need to illuminate every inch of sidewalk, but have gentle areas of light to guide the way.

Making it Pop: Enhancing Your Home with Outdoor Lighting

Have you ever driven through neighbourhoods at night, seeing homes and properties lit up and thought “wow, that house looks really good?” Outdoor lighting, when properly used, can make even the most modest of homes look like it came from the pages of a magazine, focusing on well-manicured landscaping and unique features of your house.

Adding Value

If you’ve ever looked into purchasing a home, or tried to find a new home to rent, you know how difficult it can be to look past other people’s stuff and imagine what it would look like if you lived there, especially if the place reminds you of a pig sty. The same applies to the outside of your home. According to an article written by home guru Bob Vila, a professionally landscaped home can increase your home’s value by as much as 20%! Though most open houses happen during the day, you can be sure if someone is interested in purchasing your home, they’ve driven past it at night, so you might as well show off your investment!

Make Your Neighbours Literally Green With Envy

Make others notice when you focus on your perfectly manicured grass and neatly trimmed bushes during the evening as well as during the day. Perfectly positioned outdoor lighting will draw attention without being showy or gaudy as it will show off everything you love about your home, whether it’s a magnificent garden, show-stopping stonework or fantastic pool. You might as well show off your hard work to your neighbours at any time of day! Uplighting works best for this. The lighting professionals at Nite Time Décor have an eye for placing lights and pointing them upwards to highlight a tree or sculpture, or highlighting a silhouette by placing a light behind an object.

Keep Troublemakers at Bay

Vandals or thieves typically do their dirty work under the cover of darkness, so adding outdoor lighting automatically increases the safety level of your home. A crook doesn’t want to risk being seen and since lighting draws attention, a neighbour is more likely to notice if something or someone doesn’t belong. Downlighting is typically used to increase home safety by placing lights above eye level, facing down. This can look quite natural when done properly, not tacky like some old security lights.

Safety is Important

As a homeowner, the last thing you need is someone having an accident on your property. You can’t rely on streetlights or the moon to ensure someone doesn’t stray off a sidewalk or trip over an artistically placed stone. By lighting up your pathways, stairs and patios, there is less risk a house guest or paperboy doesn’t have a slip and fall. Not only can placing lights under railings and steps increase safety, but it can increase usability. No longer do you have to go inside when the sun goes down. You can party on your deck all night long!