Creating Depth and Intrigue In Your Landscape Lighting

A well planned and executed outdoor lighting design is one that has dimension and creates visual interest. In order to do this, we need to consider layering different types of lights which helps to capture the interest of the viewer. A good design does more than just light up the pathways or some random trees and gardens, it is a cohesive design that connects each element of your property seamlessly into a pleasing scene.

Outdoor lighting can be for practical reasons, lighting up spaces that will be used by you and your guests; it can be for security reasons, illuminating spaces where potential intruders may try to hide; or it can be for aesthetic reasons, showing off architectural features, gardens or other ornamental features. The key to a great design is combining all of these purposes into a layered approach that draws the viewer in and captures their interest. As a general guideline we have broken down lighting into three types of lighting for consideration as you consider the lighting plan for your outdoor spaces.

The Basics – Ambient Lighting

To begin, the first layer of your lighting design is the ambient lighting. This lighting should be enough for a comfortable level of light in your outdoor space. Overhead or wall lights that provide good spatial lighting are key for this layer. The focus is not on lighting specific spaces or features, but overall space lighting. This layer of lighting is the general layer of lighting and provides overall lighting for the spaces.

Practicality – Task Lighting

The next consideration is more specific and functional. Task lighting is lighting that is intended to help you or your guests with specific activities. This layer can include things like walkway lights, security lights, cooking area lights, or any other task specific lights. This is the practical layer in your lighting design, helping to improve with safety and security for you, your guests and your property.

Setting The Mood – Accent Lighting

The final layer for consideration is the accent lighting. Accent lighting is the finishing touch on your landscape lighting. Accent lights are the decorative lights that give your outdoor space some personality. This is where you can get creative with fixtures and lighting styles. This layer of lighting helps to set the mood for your outdoor space.

Each of these layers adds to the overall effect of your outdoor lighting design. While each type of lighting could be used independently of one another, a good design will incorporate elements from each layer into one cohesive design.

Professional Design

If you are considering developing a plan for your outdoor lighting why not contact Nite Time Décor Oakville? Even if you already have some pieces, we can help you combine what you already have with some new elements to create a visually intriguing lighting plan that will be functional and beautiful. Our design team has the experience and knowledge to help you create a visual masterpiece that you can be proud of. Contact us today to get started!

Pool Lighting Ideas That Aren’t Boring

A pool can make your backyard feel like a resort, but how do you keep that feeling after the sun goes down? Adding some outdoor lighting to your pool and surrounding area can transform your backyard into a beautiful oasis! There are many considerations for lighting in and around your pool. Some lights can be about helping you enjoy the pool at night. Some can turn your pool into a beautiful property accent, and some lights need to be more focused on safety around your pool. Here are a few ideas from Nite Time Decor Oakville that you can use to highlight your pool area this summer.

Overhead Deck Lighting

This type of outdoor lighting can give the illusion of moonlight, and we all know that swimming in the moonlight is a magical thing. Overhead lights can be mounted in surrounding trees or on gables and soffits of surrounding buildings.

In-Deck Lighting

Lights can be mounted right in your deck and pointed upwards to create an interesting effect. These lights can be installed in existing decks of all types including many concrete decks. Deck lights of this type can really help to accentuate surrounding architectural or garden features in a fresh way that is very attractive. In-deck lights can also be a safety feature by showing you and your guests where the edges of the pool deck are.

Stair Tread Lights

Since pool areas are often accessed with a set of stairs, why not take advantage of this and install lights under the edge of the treads. This is a great feature to have that not only looks great, but also helps improve safety for those navigating the stairs.

Professional Tiki Torches

To really capitalize on the resort atmosphere a pool can add, a few well made tiki torches can help add to the resort feel around your pool. Tiki torches can be purchased with either lights or wicks in them. It’s is wise not to go cheap with these if you would like them to last.

Water Features

If your pool includes a waterfall or other water feature it should be considered individually. Waterfalls lit from behind can be very attractive, or a light that captures the point where the water lands can capture that movement and create a very desirable effect.

Adjacent Buildings

Lighting on and around adjacent buildings is usually a good and economical way to add lighting to your pool area. If this building is part of the pool area – an outdoor bar or shed for example – there are many options for lighting these types of buildings. For a structure like a pergola, string lights can create that bistro feel, or up lights can highlight the structure’s architecture.

All of these are great ways to light up your pool area for an evening swim or just for entertaining around the pool in the evening. Of course some of these options help improve the safety around the pool as well. For more options and help to design an outdoor lighting system that ties your pool area in with the rest of your landscape lighting, contact our team at Nite Time Decor Oakville to get started today!

Landscape Lighting: Set It And Forget To Worry

It’s an overstatement of the obvious, but landscape lighting is only effective when it is turned on! For some homeowners, remembering to turn on their outdoor lighting may be a challenge. For other homeowners, the idea of leaving unnecessary outdoor lights on all night seems wasteful and potentially irritating for neighbours. This is where timers and controllers can help you keep the different parts of your yard and landscape lit exactly when you want them to.

Here is a brief overview of the types of timers and controllers that are available to help you think about what system would work best for you.

Analog Timers

An analog timer is a manually set timer with a dial and pins. The dial turns at a set rate and the pins tell the timer when to turn lights on and when to turn them off. This is the most basic outdoor timer you can set up. They are a simple, cost effective solution, however they will require reprogramming as the seasons change.

Digital Timers

Digital timers function in a similar way to an analog timer, however they offer many more customization and programming options. Many types can be set to automatically adjust for things like daylight savings, however they do not automatically adjust for sunset and sunrise changes.

Photocell

A photocell is a great option and automatically adjusts as the seasons change. One disadvantage of a photocell is that this type of timer cannot be programmed to turn on and off at any times other than dusk and dawn so all the lights controlled by a photocell will be on all night. Another consideration is the location as a photocell will need to be in a location where it can easily sense the sunlight.

Timer/Photocell Combination

Many systems use a combination of a timer and a photocell to customize a system which will give homeowners a little more control of their outdoor lighting system. This will yield a system that will adjust as sunset and sunrise timings change, but will allow some lights to be turned off when they are not needed in the middle of the night.

Astronomical Timer

This is a much more advanced type of control that allows for very intricate programming. These systems can be set for a specific location so that sunset and sunrise will be automatic instead of depending on a photocell to sense the sunlight levels. Although it may sound very complicated, once these systems are set up they require very little adjustments.

Smart Home Systems

There are some systems that can be integrated through wifi or bluetooth with your smart home system. These systems allow a great deal of control and programming to be done. With some systems this programming and customization can be done remotely through your phone while you are away from home.

This was just a brief overview of what types of timers are available. For more information on integrating a timer with your landscape lighting system, contact Nite Time Decor Oakville today!

Lighting Up The Gathering Areas

It’s now summer and the perfect time to make your outdoor spaces come alive with outdoor lighting. This is a great time of year to have your friends and family over, or just to get out there yourself to enjoy these warm summer evenings on your deck or patio.

Of course being able to entertain properly or even just enjoy these spaces on your own means having an outdoor lighting system that strikes a good balance between creating perfect ambiance and being bright enough for entertaining or your personal enjoyment. Here are some tips for making the most of your deck or patio lighting.

Know Your Purpose

Before you get too far into your lighting design, think through a few questions to help you determine what exactly you are trying to accomplish with your lighting. How do you most often use the area? Is it mostly for entertaining, or for your own enjoyment? Do you enjoy eating meals or relaxed conversations? Once you know how you use the space, decisions on how to illuminate it will be much easier.

Secondary Considerations

Once you have an overall purpose in mind, there may be some secondary things to consider. Do you have walkways or stairs that require additional attention? Any steeper slopes that you or your guests should be able to navigate safely? Any posts or pillars, doors or other obstacles that should be highlighted? Knowing these secondary considerations will further focus your decisions on outdoor lighting.

Feature Lighting

Are there some special features you would like to highlight? Are there some textures, architectural details, ornaments or landscaping that you want to show off or enjoy after dark? With the right lighting, these favourite features can play an integral role in filling your outdoor space with some character and ambiance after the sun goes down. Think through the things that are unique or special during the day and consider how you can add lights to include them in your evening decor. Lighting these special items helps create depth and intrigue in your outdoor lighting scheme.

The Final Details

The last consideration in your outdoor lighting plan are those final details to help give your overall lighting design something extra. Task lighting, stair lighting, deck edge lighting, or even ornamental lights are small things that can set your lighting apart and have a big impact on the ambiance of your outdoor spaces.

Contact Nite Time Decor

Whether you’re just beginning to design your patio or deck lighting, updating your existing lighting or just adding a few new elements, our lighting design experts can help you meet all of your needs with your outdoor lighting. 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 Decor Oakville today to start planning your own outdoor retreat!

Landscape and Outdoor Lighting Maintenance Checklist

Regular maintenance can help to keep your lighting system functioning properly and extend your system’s life. Basic maintenance for your outdoor lighting system is neither difficult nor complicated, but it should not be overlooked.

Here is a helpful checklist that you can use to give your lighting system a checkup a couple of times each year. Be sure to review the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance specific to your lighting system and various fixtures. And if your system was installed by Nite Time Decor Oakville, we are happy to come check things out.

Before you begin working through this checklist, remember to disconnect or turn off the power supply for your outdoor lighting system to avoid a nasty or even dangerous surprise while you are completing the cleaning and maintenance of your system.
 

  • Check for New Plant Growth

Review your lighting on a regular basis to make sure that as your trees, shrubs and flowers are growing they are not damaging or obstructing your fixtures. Prune or trim back branches and leaves to make sure that each fixture can provide the illumination it was intended to provide, and so that you can complete the other maintenance tasks.
 

  • Remove Loose Debris

Depending on the location of the fixture you may need to clear away some debris. Things like fallen leaves and branches, mud and dirt, and even debris from citters can find themselves blocking or partially covering your fixtures – especially if they are located on or near the ground. For higher fixtures, remove nests and cobwebs and even those dreaded wasp nests – but be careful with that one!
 

  • Check Cables and Wiring

Review the wiring and cables, looking for any signs of damage and any unintentionally exposed wiring. If you find any damage here, you may need to contact a professional electrician to replace some of the wiring. If there is no damage you could look into ways to protect the wiring – cable molds, direct burial, or conduits. A professional electrician or lighting installer can also help with this.
 

  • Check Fixtures

Review each fixture for signs of damage. You may need to order replacement parts if there is any damage present that cannot be left as is.
 

  • Replace Light Bulbs

If you’ve noticed that your lights are not as bright as they once were, perhaps it is time to replace the light bulbs. This may be a good time to convert to a more energy efficient or longer lasting LED bulb. Be sure you choose a new bulb that is compatible with the fixture.
 

  • Clean Exterior of Fixtures

Now it’s time to clean. Wash the housings and glass – in most cases warm soapy water will be enough, but if you opt to use a stronger cleaner be careful not to damage the exterior of the fixture.
 

  • Adjust Fixtures

Now that your fixtures are cleaned and unobstructed, re-energize them and make sure they are properly adjusted to provide light where they are intended to. This may need to be done after dark to make sure they are adjusted just right.

For more advice on all your outdoor lighting needs contact our team at Nite Time Decor Oakville today!