Landscape Lighting: Protecting Your Investment

There are many benefits to a well designed and professionally installed landscape lighting system for your home or business. From the highlighting of key aesthetic features to increased safety and security, the impact of landscape lighting cannot be overstated. Like the rest of your home’s beautiful and functional features, landscape lighting is only beneficial if it is working.

If your landscape lighting system is a few years old, chances are there’s components not functioning the same as they did when it was first installed. In cases where landscape lighting has not been updated or maintained, this may be especially true. Here are a few tips as we approach fall that can help keep your landscape lighting in tip top shape.

Fixture Locations

When installing a new system, or even making some changes to an existing system, an important consideration is the location of the fixtures. A properly located fixture will be less susceptible to damage.

Areas where people are frequently walking may not be the best places to place your lights. It is important to illuminate these areas, however fixtures should not be placed in locations where people are walking. Look for locations to place your fixture in a way that protects the fixture, but illuminates the areas where people will be gathering or walking.

A second consideration related to location is the environmental effects. Consider things like rain, snow and wind along with effects from plantings. Look for areas that are protected from weather effects and possible damage from falling branches and leaves or even fertilizer placement.

Awnings, eaves, or overhangs can provide protection which will help your fixtures last longer. If your fixtures are in a location where fertilizers are being used another helpful tip is to regularly apply glass protectors or look for ways to keep the fertilizers from contacting the fixtures.

 Routine Maintenance Reviews

Another tip that will help to diagnose problems early and keep your lighting system functioning properly is to check it over regularly. This can simply be a walk around your property reviewing the landscape lighting fixture by fixture looking for any signs of damage. While doing this checkup it may help if you are able to do it at night with the system on, this will allow you to make sure they are properly cleaned and aimed correctly.

Careful Yard Maintenance

One last tip to help you protect your lighting system is to take extra precautions when you are doing other yard maintenance. Things like pulling weeds, raking leaves, or mowing and trimming the grass can cause damage to your lighting system. Take extra time to point out your fixtures to anyone else you may have doing any yard maintenance on your property.

Contact Nite Time Décor Oakville

Protecting your landscape lighting system begins with a good design. Quality materials and proper planning are essential. Our team of landscape lighting professionals would love to help you make these important decisions. Contact us today to learn how we can help you design and install the landscape lighting design of your dreams, and how you can properly protect that investment for the future.

Outdoor Lighting For Your Outdoor Kitchen

With the recent heatwave, it is becoming more and more convenient to have an outdoor space for food preparation. Most homeowners have a grill as a minimum and these range from a small, simple propane or charcoal grill to expansive, multi burner grills with side burners and outdoor counter space. Proper outdoor lighting when it’s time to cook is essential, and as the days get shorter, this will be even more important.

Here are some ideas from Nite Time Décor Oakville on how you can incorporate some outdoor lighting for your outdoor cooking spaces that can dramatically improve your enjoyment of the food preparation and dining.

Overhead Grill Lighting

Placing a light above your outdoor grill is the best place to start. In order to cook properly on a grill it is essential to be able to see what you are cooking to make sure it is done before it’s removed from the grill. An overhead light is the best way to get enough light to cook properly on your grill.

Your overhead (or task) lighting should be fairly bright with a true white light in order to see what you are cooking accurately. It’s also helpful to have this light on a separate control or a dimmer so that when the cooking is done you can have the right ambiance for a truly enjoyable dining experience.

Dining Area Lighting

The lighting needs for an outdoor table are much different than the task lighting for food preparation. An outdoor dining area should be lit well enough to encourage conversation, but not so bright that it’s uncomfortable. Finding that right balance can be tricky and vary for different groups. We often install dimmers to make the lighting options more versatile and adjustable.

One common solution for the dining area is an outdoor ceiling fan with speed controls and lights with dimmers. The fan can help to keep those unwanted pesky mosquitoes and flies away.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting can help to create the right ambiance in the dining area. Some ideas include under-counter lights. Some LED tape lights just under the edge of a counter can be a very appealing effect. String lights can also be used as accent or general lighting for that outdoor bistro feel. Wall sconces can also be added to highlight attractive outdoor architecture and add to the overall lighting plan.

An outdoor cooking and dining space is wonderful this time of year. Not only do you get to enjoy this fabulous warm weather, but you can keep your house cool by cooking outside. Proper lighting for this outdoor space will make it attractive and welcoming for your guests as well as making food preparation more enjoyable and easier.

If you are considering adding lighting to your outdoor space or if you are just designing your outdoor cooking and dining space and are looking for help with your lighting design and installation, contact the professionals at Nite Time Decor Oakville. Our experts can help you design a space that you will want to enjoy over and over again!

4 Reasons To Hire An Outdoor Lighting Specialist

Once you have decided to add landscape lighting to your home or business property, you may find yourself debating whether or not to hire a company to help you. Perhaps you are having trouble reconciling the added cost of having a professional give input on a design and completing the installation. Here are a four reasons why we think hiring a professional will pay off in the end and make you glad you never went DIY.

Experience

Our designers have extensive experience on a large variety of projects. We understand what’s essential for your outdoor lighting and will help you realize your dreams for lighting those outdoor spaces while keeping your budget in mind. We understand what works well together and what doesn’t. We are able to see the overall project and we understand how smaller changes affect the big picture. We work with you to help personalize your system with your own sense of style, while showing you the available options each step of the way and making suggestions that will help bring the whole system together into one cohesive lighting design.

Safety

Our designers and installers are trained in working with electricity and electrical systems. It only takes one wrong move when dealing with electricity and you are dealing with damage to the equipment and wiring or worse to you or a loved one. Understanding how to work around other utilities means we know who to contact for proper locates and how to design and work around them safely without compromising your vision for illuminating those outdoor spaces after dark. Safety for everyone is a priority for us before, during and after the installation of your outdoor lighting system. We also understand electrical code and inspection requirements and will work with the local authorities to ensure all required permits and inspections are completed.

Fixture Selection

For the average homeowner, fixture selection is limited to what is available at the local hardware store. This is not the case for us as a professional lighting designer and installer. We have access to many different high quality manufacturers and suppliers (some unavailable in big box stores) and can help you choose not just an adequate fixture for each space, but the fixture best suited to the aesthetic, budget and lighting requirements for that space. With us, your options are endless when it comes to available fixtures and styles.

Warranty and Maintenance

We stand behind our work and will work with you until it’s done to your satisfaction. We are eager to help you understand the programming and regular maintenance of your system. We are here for you long after the installation is complete. Having a good maintenance plan and ongoing support is value that cannot be replaced when installing your own outdoor lighting system.

Those are just a few of the many benefits of hiring a professional landscape lighting designer and installer to help you with your outdoor lighting project. Contact us at Nite Time Decor Oakville to get started today!

Landscape Lighting Makeover

Landscape lighting has many benefits for both business and homeowners. Outdoor lighting enhances your property’s natural and architectural beauty, increases security and safety, and creates a warm and inviting atmosphere for you and your guests. A well planned design can accomplish all of that and more.

But maybe your fixtures are starting to look a little outdated or worn. Maybe you need an update on some fixtures. Where do you start? Things have changed significantly over the past few years when it comes to styles and lighting technology and it may be hard to make sense of all of the information that is out there. Here are a few ideas that may help you to determine how to upgrade and update your existing lighting system. A small change, properly done, can have a significant impact on your landscape lighting system.

New Fixtures

Have a look at the style of your existing fixtures. Is it still the look you are seeking? Updating the style of the fixtures can make your lighting system look fresh and current. New fixtures can also upgrade the performance of your existing outdoor lighting.

LED Conversion

If you’re updating your outdoor fixtures, maybe it’s time to convert some of them to LED. This can be done by replacing the existing halogen or incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs on some newer fixtures, or by investing in new complete LED fixtures where LED bulbs are not compatible. LED bulbs are typically brighter, have longer life expectancy, and are very energy efficient.

Please be sure to review the owner’s manual and manufacturer recommendations for your fixtures before you replace the existing bulb with a LED bulb. If you are unsure, it may help to have an outdoor lighting expert review your existing fixtures and provide you with advice on what would be required to complete a LED conversion.

Design Adjustments

It may be that you have done some renovations, adjusted your landscaping, or changed the exterior of your home. This is an excellent opportunity to review your outdoor lighting design and make any adjustments that you would like. Have a look at your current lighting system at night and take note of anything that you feel is not adequate or performing as you’d hoped it would. This is the best place to start.

If you are not sure about how to proceed when it comes to reviewing your current outdoor lighting system and design, hire our professionals for the most current trends and products available within your budget. This is also a great time to expand an existing design. Have some great security and exterior lighting, now it’s time to treat your back yard or that new garden.

 

The outdoor lighting experts at Nite Time Decor Oakville have extensive experience in the landscape lighting industry and would love to bring all of that experience to help you meet all of your outdoor lighting goals for your property. We can provide design advice, fixture selection advice and even do the installation for you. Contact us we would love to meet with you to discuss all of your outdoor lighting needs.

3 Ways To Light Up Your Patio After Dark

Who doesn’t want to expand their living space outdoors in the warm summer months? Let Nite Time Decor Oakville help you light up your patio and go from blah to ahhh in no time at all!While aesthetics are important, outdoor lighting from Nite Time Decor will also improve safety and security for your family and guests.

Where To Start?

Decide on your focus. Do you have an idea of the kind of look or feeling you want to create with your outdoor space at night? Do you want outdoor lighting to mimic natural moonlight, provide functional lighting for cooking or reading, or just a calming glow to relax to in the evening? This little bit of research and thought will help you create the look and feeling you’ll enjoy for years to come.

An Urban Dramatic Chic Feel

Under lighting is one way to light up your patio with flair. With LED lights, you can choose from a variety of colours that compliment what’s already there in your house or garden. Anything that’s stationary on your patio can be lit up from underneath with under lighting. Consider the patio itself with a string of perimeter lights under the edge. Lights under stair treads, railings, benches, planters, gazebos or ponds are all popular options. This lighting allows for ambiance that’s subtle but effective and also provides safety for guests by highlighting trip hazards.

Mimicking Natural Light

Natural outdoor lighting is very popular right now. Some favourite options include Tiki lamps, a gas-powered fire table, and moon lighting. Each of these will create a different feel for your patio. Uplighting placed among the foliage of nearby gardens can create interesting shadows and flickering lights at night. If your patio has trees nearby, placing down lights high up in the tree so the light shines down on the patio through the leaves is a great romantic lighting option.

Create An Otherworld Feeling

Wish you could step into your own oasis on your patio every night? With the right outdoor lighting from Nite Time Decor Oakville, you can achieve a mystical and enchanted space you’ll want to relax in and invite all your friends to experience. Small fairy lights hidden in foliage provide a soft glow hinting at magical gatherings. Moonlighting is also a great for mimicking that full moon experience every night of the month regardless of cloud cover.

Wrapping trees with lights isn’t just for Christmas. In the summer evenings, this can lend a romantic and magical feel to a patio space. Add some twinkling lights to potted plants around the patio or deck to shimmer and wink as the evening wears on. String lights amid table top decorations provide low light perfect for late night chats. If you have a pool, underwater lights can lend a magical glow to the water you won’t be able to resist playing with the water sprites late into the evening.

Begin constructing your perfect patio oasis with outdoor lighting services from Nite Time Decor Oakville. Receive your complimentary quote to start planning today!

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!