Tips To Light Up Your Deck Or Patio After Dark

Tips To Light Up Your Deck Or Patio After Dark

It’s summer!! Finally! The calendar says so, so it must be true. This is the perfect time to extend your use of your outdoor space 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.

What things should you consider when planning your patio or deck outdoor lighting? Here are some of our best tips.

Things To Consider When Planning Patio Lighting

Plan First
You always want to measure twice, cut once as the saying goes. It’s no fun to come up with this grand design and then have to backtrack on things because it’s not what you needed or won’t work in that space. First, how do you most often use the area? Is it mostly for entertaining or for your own enjoyment? Do you enjoy eating meals on the patio, reading at night, or just having relaxed conversations? Once you know how you use the space, decisions on how to illuminate it will be much easier.

You’ll know how bright the lights need to be, if they need to be on all the time, or if you can double up some lights to serve more than one purpose.

Always Keep Safety A Priority

Do you have walkways or stairs that require additional lighting at night? Any steeper slopes that you or your guests need to be able to navigate at night? Any posts or pillars, doors or other obstacles that should be highlighted? Pools or ponds? Don’t compromise on safety.

Do you need task lighting? This will be brighter lighting to do work by, but you may not need it to be on all the time. Consider a light to cook by at night by the bbq, or a light for the shed or back gate.

The market for outdoor lighting continues to grow and many fixtures provide adequate safety lighting without sacrificing aesthetics.

Creating An Outdoor Lighting Plan For The Patio

What do you most love about your patio or deck area? Are there textures, architectural bits, ornaments, or landscaping details that you want to show off or enjoy after dark? Why let those details remain hidden after dark? 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? The many levels to the deck?

Don’t stop with the bigger lights or fixtures. The smaller details can really make your deck or patio feel like part of your home. 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.

Some aspects of your patio are simply functional and some features are purely aesthetic. Balancing both is important!

What Outdoor Lighting Trends Are Popular?

Rope Lights Combine Flexibility And Aesthetics
Rope lights are versatile and with proper installation are weather-proof so you can leave them up all year long. We love these for under small overhangs like steps or the edge of a deck, bench or railing. The trend is to hide the light fixture so a deck offers many grooves and nooks to install rope lighting. LED lights are available in a variety of colours so if you’re having a themed party you can add some sparkle to the patio with these.

A close cousin of rope lights are string lights. These are fun and easy to install, they’re portable, and often fairly affordable for even a one-time use for that special party. You can also get solar-powered string lights so you can place them and forget about them for the whole season (make sure you get waterproof, rated for outdoors, string lights).

String lights offer a lot of versatility and have the added bonus of generally being easy to install. String lights are available in LED in a variety of colours. Stringing lights over a sitting area or patio table creates an ethereal outdoor ceiling.

Fairy lights are fun when wrapped around plants, posts or in a tree. Incandescent bulbs offer the sought-after soft white light. Be sure the lights are rated for outdoor use, or plan to take them down after each use.

We think these are a fun way to brighten your deck without making a years-long commitment.

Mimic Moonlight From Nearby Trees
A popular landscape lighting design feature is to add spotlights high up in a tree so the light filters down through the leaves. This muted light can add a romantic feel to the landscape with light filtering down onto your deck or patio through the waving leaves. This type of light casts a wide path, but doesn’t have to be harsh or glaring. You’re trying to mimic moonlight, not the ambiance of a night-time game at Rogers Centre.

Knowing what type of atmosphere or aesthetic you want will definitely influence your choices and ultimately create an effect you’ll love for years to come.

Natural residential patio lighting
If you want your outdoor lighting to look more natural, consider adding a mixture of Tiki lamps and natural fixtures. Tiki lamps are really fun because they add the sense of real flickering flames rather than artificial light. Placed strategically around your yard or patio, they produce gorgeous natural shadows.

Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to soft white to create a natural look. Using soft green lighting among foliage creates the appearance of the sun or moon bouncing off the leaves. How fun! Additional lights could be subtle ambers to illuminate other natural features of your yard.

Ethereal Elegance
Want your patio or deck to have an enchanted magical feel possibly with fairies hiding in the shadows or playing among the foliage? Small pinpricks or lights hidden within foliage (gardens, planters, hanging pots, etc.) produce the appearance of a magical gathering within. Use this technique throughout your yard to extend the suspension of disbelief in your enchanted garden paradise.

Lighting Where Feet Tread Creates Subtle Ambiance
A continuing trend in outdoor lighting are fixtures that are low to the ground or recessed flush with a deck or walkway. This light isn’t so strong that guests are blinded, but by hiding the recessed lights among foliage or along the outside edge of stair treads, you create a pop of unexpected light shining all the attention on the texture, colour and shadows, or even something as basic as to highlight the safety aspects of your deck.

Pendants
Pendants are very versatile. Whether you’re looking for an upcycled bohemian creation or something sleek and polished for an outdoor kitchen, pendent lights are a great option. Hang a pendant light (or two or three) from a tree branch over a table. Upcycle a hanging light for the evening over a sitting area or table for that special event.

Pergolas offer ideal structure to hang a pendant light. Hang a pendant light just for the night, or choose a style with some flair and let it stand as a focal point of the patio area during the day as well.

Stair Lights Can Serve More Than One Function
Small one and two step stairs can be more problematic than larger staircases, because people can miss that the stairs are there. Be kind and add some lighting to those one and two step changes on your decking or down to a pathway.

LED rope lights are effective used this way if an outlet is nearby. Landscape lighting can also be effective if the lights are placed in the adjacent flower bed so that light and not shadows are cast on the stairs.

Nite Time Décor Oakville specializes in helping our clients design a truly unique lighting plan for their home or business. Contact our lighting experts to learn more about our lighting services or view our gallery of one-of-a-kind designs.

7 Tips For Landscape Lighting At The Cottage

With the month of May here and almost gone, that means COTTAGE SEASON has started!! Whoop! Why not make the most of your home away from home even after the sun has gone down and install some outdoor landscape lighting!

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 in the summer. While you might use your cottage to get away from the city and enjoy the great outdoors, it’s important to remember that outdoor and landscape 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.

Being able to see the stars is what people want from the cottage so minimizing light pollution is paramount. Design follows function, my friends.

Point Light Down

In order to preserve that view of the starry night sky, keep light pointed down. 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.

Using fixtures that are low to the ground such as stake and post lights may be a happy compromise that allows your family to safely navigate the yard or pathways at the cottage without blocking your enjoyment of the night sky or the moon on the water.

This doesn’t mean you can’t put a light over the front or back door, but you may want to skip the uplighting to highlight the façade on the front of the cottage or avoid the spotlights pointed up at trees for curb appeal.

Use Lower Wattages

You don’t want to miss out on the fireflies, shooting stars or seeing the Big Dipper at night, so using dimmer lights at the cottage makes sense. Not all fixtures can accommodate lower wattages, not all locations can accommodate this (pool or dock lighting for instance needs to remain bright).

Solar powered lights might can be the perfect compromise here.

Lights On When Needed

Timers and motion sensors can be super helpful at the cottage. Regardless of what lighting options you choose it is helpful to have them controlled by a timer. Timers can help to save energy and minimize the impacts of artificial lighting. Not only will your human and wildlife neighbours appreciate it, you’ll have better control over your hydro bills.

This way lights only come on when needed or when you want them to, and you won’t forget to turn them off! Plus, it can help security if it appears there are people there all the time and not just on weekends.

Maintaining the dark sky is important to many cottagers. Consider a self-imposed light curfew and have all lights off by 11PM for instance.

Security Is Still Important

Security at the cottage is important too, but the risks may look a little different than in the city. Cottages are notorious for uneven terrain, exposed roots, steep slopes, docks and ponds, unfamiliar paths, etc. Ensure that where sure footing or staying on the path is important that appropriate lighting is provided.

The last thing you want to do during a weekend away is take a trip to the
emergency room for an injury caused by 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. Don’t forget the signpost or number for your cottage. Whether it’s a weathered sign nailed to a tree, a dedicated post, or some numbers next to the door, make sure this is clearly visible at night. This not only helps your family and friends find your cottage after dark, but it’s essential should emergency services ever be required.

This doesn’t mean your security lighting be entirely utilitarian. There are a lot of options to provide safety lighting in attractive and appealing ways that don’t cause light pollution. There are a lot of attractive plastic and resin options that will require less maintenance and withstand the elements better than metal like cast iron.

Lighting Work Areas

Are there areas where you do work after dark? A nighttime fishing trip, an evening swim that requires some foot washing, or a late night barbeque may all require additional outdoor lighting on a deck, dock or boat house.

Motion sensors may be just the ticket for areas where activity at night is more sporadic. This way you have light, but only when you need it. The most important consideration here is safety, but also keep in mind where the light is directed to keep the skies dark.

Keep It Simple

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.

You might want to skip the chrome or polished fixtures for something more traditional. Choosing a black or pewter finish means the fixtures will blend in at night when not in use. Ornate and intricate fixtures will look out of place in a rustic cabin or cottage. Instead, consider fixtures that incorporate reclaimed wood, or textured natural elements.

In the city you set up outdoor lighting so that you can enjoy your landscaping and architectural features, but while you’re at the cottage you want to enjoy nature. It’s hard to see the stars and the fireflies when there are lights everywhere. Another consideration is the impact excessive lighting can have on wildlife behaviour when artificial lighting is added to their natural habitat.

One more consideration – extra lighting means extra bugs. Bzzzzz!

Don’t Want Electric Lights?

Some cottage owners prefer not to have electric lights at the cottage at all. Depending on the layout, location, and the soil conditions of your cottage property, it may be impractical to run wiring to things like the dock or along steep pathways.

For these areas consider using battery or solar powered lighting fixtures. While they may not be as bright, they may be perfectly suited for this type of application. For other lighting consider using LED fixtures to save on energy. LEDs may have a higher initial cost, but they will typically require less energy and less maintenance over their lifetime, resulting in a net benefit.

Contact Nite Time Décor

The wrong design can 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. Cottages are meant for relaxing weekends away. Contact our outdoor lighting experts and have a unique-to-your-cottage landscape lighting design to create the perfect getaway!

11 Tips For Lighting Up Your Patio Or Deck After Dark

Whether you enjoy summer barbeques, entertaining guests by your pool or just relaxing on the deckafter dark, you’ll want an outdoor lighting system that can create just the right ambiance for your specific needs. The outdoor lighting experts at Nite Time Décor Oakville have put together our best patio and deck lighting design ideas to help you make your outdoor living space feel like an extension of your home.

Design Serves Function With Outdoor Lighting

When it comes to creating a lighting design for your patio or deck, it’s always best to think through what exactly you want to do on your deck or patio. What do you need light for? What effect do you want the lighting to create?

How you use your patio and deck is important. Do you entertain guests? Do you host family dinners? Do you just like to sit outside and relax? Do you need lighting to cook by or to illuminate an intimate sitting area or table?

Some aspects of your patio are simply functional, and some features just look nice. Balancing both is important!

Use Outdoor Lighting Accent Your Patio’s Best Features

What structural or architectural aspects of your deck or patio are you most proud of? Why let those details remain hidden after dark? 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? The many levels to the deck?

Highlighting these unique architectural features will help add character and depth to your outdoor lighting design.

When Lighting Your Patio, Consider What’s Around It As Well

When planning a lighting design for your patio or deck, make sure to look at what landscaping elements are nearby. Is there a beautiful garden 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.

Choose Fixtures That Are As Unique As Your Patio

Once you’ve determined what you need the outdoor lighting to do (and it’s OK if “looks great” is its only function), identified fun architectural elements, task lighting needs as well as safety concerns, now it’s time to really look at fixtures and ambiance! This is where the art comes into your outdoor lighting design.

The small, well-thought-out details will add personality, intimacy, and even a little bling (if that’s what you’re looking for) to your deck or patio! Task lighting, underlighting (think benches, railings or stair treads), and movable fixtures are all small detail elements that can have a big impact on the overall mood and ambiance of your space.

Rope Lights Combine Flexibility And Aesthetics

Rope lights are versatile and with proper installation are weather-proof so you can leave them up all year long. We love these for under small overhangs like steps or the edge of a deck, bench or railing. The trend is to hide the light fixture so a deck offers many grooves and nooks to install rope lighting. LED lights are available in a variety of colours so if you’re having a themed party you can add some sparkle to the patio with these.

A close cousin of rope lights are string lights. These are fun and easy to install, they’re portable, and often fairly affordable for even a one-time use for that special party. You can also get solar-powered string lights so you can place them and forget about them for the whole season (make sure you get waterproof, rated for outdoors, string lights).

String lights are available in a variety of shapes, lengths, and price points so whether you’re looking for something for Halloween (ghosts, jack-o-lanterns) or Thanksgiving (pumpkins maybe) or just romantic, you should be able to find what you’re looking for. We think these are a fun way to brighten your deck without making a years-long commitment. 

Mimic Moonlight From Nearby Trees

A popular landscape lighting design feature is to add spotlights high up in a tree so the light filters down through the leaves. This muted light can add a romantic feel to the landscape with light filtering down onto your deck or patio through the waving leaves. This type of light casts a wide path, but doesn’t have to be harsh or glaring. You’re trying to mimic moonlight, not the ambiance of a night-time game at Rogers Centre.

Be Sure To Match The Existing Décor And Aesthetics

Thoughtfully consider what the existing features and aesthetics are and work with them. The result will extend your living space outdoors seamlessly and add value and appeal to your patio or deck.Outside of structural elements that often won’t change much or at all, you can use outdoor lighting to create specific aesthetics or a kind of ambiance with the thoughtful selection of fixtures to create ethereal, natural, or dramatic chic (as examples) effects.

Knowing what type of atmosphere you want and need will definitely influence your choices and ultimately create an effect you’ll love for years to come.

Dramatic chic

If you’ve decided on dramatic chic, there are a couple of techniques to keep in mind. Under lighting is one method that will create an urban, stylish feel.

To use this technique on your patio, choosecolours to accent your patio—optimally colours you have in your garden. Then, pick the features of your patio that you want to under light. The best options are usually the patio itself, permanent furniture, or even gazebos and ponds. Once you’ve done that, position your Nite Time Décor Oakville fixtures underneath the chosen features so that the entire base is washed in a soft glow.

Under lighting provides added safety as well as aesthetics. By highlighting the bases of fixtures, you’re showing your guests where there are potential trip hazards.

Natural residential patio lighting

If you want your outdoor lighting to look more natural, consider adding a mixture of Tiki lamps and natural fixtures. Tiki lamps are really fun because they add the sense of real flickering flames rather than artificial light. Placed strategically around your yard or patio, they produce gorgeous natural shadows.

Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to soft white to create a natural look. Using soft green lighting among foliage creates the appearance of the sun or moon bouncing off the leaves. How fun! Additional lights could be subtle ambers to illuminate other natural features of your yard.

Ethereal Elegance

Want your patio or deck to have an enchanted magical feel possibly with fairies hiding in the shadows or playing among the foliage? Small pinpricks or lights hidden within foliage (gardens, planters, hanging pots, etc) produce the appearance of a magical gathering within. Use this technique throughout your yard to extend the suspension of disbelief in your enchanted garden paradise.

Lighting Where Feet Tread Creates Subtle Ambiance

A continuing trend in outdoor lighting are fixtures that are low to the ground or recessed flush with a deck or walkway. This light isn’t so strong that guests are blinded, but by hiding the recessed lights among foliage or along the outside edge of stair treads, you create a pop of unexpected light shining all the attention on the texture, colour and shadows, or even something as basic as to highlight the safety aspects of your deck.

Lighting solutions from Nite Time Decor Oakville will beautify and highlight any patio or deck! Create a look that’s as unique as you and your home that you’ll love for years to come! Why not extend your living space outdoors? Contact our outdoor lighting professionalstoday for more information or to book an appointment!

Landscape Lighting Zones Create Maximum Versatility

Outdoor lighting has come a long way in a short period of time. Not only is landscape lighting available as LED in a variety of colours, beam spread, and intensity, by creating zones that are controlled with smart technology controlling individual fixtures all right from your phone or tablet, there’s never been more options for style and versatility.

Want your landscape lighting to fit different moods, gatherings, or purposes? You need to create zones in your property!

Creating Zones With Landscape Lighting Maximizes Versatility

Zones are groupings of fixtures placed close together on a single line from the transformer, all controlled with smart technology. Each zone then can be controlled independently depending on any number of factors.

Outdoor lights used for security can be programmed to turn on at dusk and off at dawn, and that control is independent of the programming for the lighting in the rest of your yard.

Need lights for special events or just while you’re outside on patio, set those to automatically turn of at 11PM. Create a timed light show to music if you want.

By using zones, you’re going to get maximum flexibility and versatility on your outdoor lighting investment.

Level Up Your Outdoor Landscape Lighting With Independent Zones

When we talk about a lighting zone, we’re talking about fixtures that are grouped together on one electrical line. You can create multiple electrical lines that all go to one transformer, allowing for individual control of each line or “zone.”

You might create zones based on the proximity of the fixtures to one another or a particular feature (a fence line, a building, a feature in the yard), or based on their function (security, pool, cooking). If creating zones based on function for example, you might want to create a design where you can leave your security lighting on all night long, but be able to shut off your garden lighting before you go to bed.

Draw a rough diagram of your yard and make note of any features you want to highlight at night such as a fountain, pond, statue, etc. Those individual items you want to light up at night will need their own electrical lines if you wish to control them separate from other zones. Identify which parts of the yard require specific kinds of lighting. Pathway lighting for safety. Downlights in the tree for entertaining. Uplights along the foundation to highlight the house façade. Spotlights for the garage for security. This allows you to conserve energy and only use the lights you want when you need them.

Just remember, the more zones you have the more complicated the design becomes and sometimes simple is best!

Maximum Flexibility With Simplicity
You can now decide which parts of your yard you light up at night, which landscape lights you only turn on for special events or specific uses and which ones stay on all until the sun comes up. You can program zones to turn on and off with the different seasons, or to coincide with your own sleeping patterns. Prefer to stay up late on Fridays and Saturdays, but have the lights turn off earlier the rest of the week? You can do that. You’ll also have the option to turn the lights off manually.

With the range of smart technology now available, this maximum flexibility is available with a tablet or phone. Smart equals efficient.

Conserve Energy With Landscape Lighting Zones

Wasted energy leads to higher utility bills, which in turn take a toll on your wallet. If energy consumption is a top-of-mind matter for you, creating lighting zones adds more control (and efficiency) when lighting your home, yard, and landscape.

While flexibility and convenience are great benefits, the best part of lighting your outdoor space in zones is the ability to limit your energy consumption. Without zones, you may put yourself in an “all or nothing” situation.

If all your outdoor lighting fixtures are on the same electrical line, you may not have the ability to turn on the pathway lights without also turning on the garden, gazebo and patio lights as well. Similarly, if you have to turn your lights on and off manually, you may find yourself turning on the garden lights and forgetting to turn them off.

You will be able to control which zones remain on all night and which turn off early. You don’t need to completely light up the front yard to deter thieves.

Be Environmentally Conscious With Landscape Lighting

LED lights are now affordable and in popular use among landscaping lighting companies. These lights are more efficient and last longer, and they come in a wide array of colours and fixtures.

Be considerate of neighbours and of light pollution in general. Zones allow you to turn off the majority of your landscape lighting 11PM if you want. You can choose to put the lights that are closest to your neighbour’s house on a separate zone so they only come on when you’re entertaining for instance.

But where do you start when designing zones and choosing fixtures?

Basic Design Principles To Enhance Custom Landscape Lighting

Cohesion: Usually the home is the focal point of the landscape lighting design, but other areas of focus can be included. A good design will tie these separate elements together to establish a cohesive appearance.

Depth: By only adding outdoor lighting to the front of your home, the effect flattens the viewing experience as the gaze starts and ends with the house. Instead, create a three-dimensional viewing experience by adding depth and contrast.

Quality and Direction: Just because you have lights near your front door doesn’t mean you’re maximizing your home’s nighttime potential! Many builders incorporate minimal lighting so the effect is utilitarian rather than aesthetic. Lights installed improperly point in the wrong direction or are too harsh. Instead, highlight the architectural features of your home and landscaping with their best side forward day and night!

Security: Lighting only the house neglects the yard and gives intruders places to hide. Strategically placed landscape lighting aimed at the shadows in your yard can increase the security of your home. Don’t forget pathways, driveways, walks and stairs that also need adequate lighting to provide safety for guests and family. If you have a pool or some other feature that poses a safety risk, proper lighting is a must!

Functionality: Different aspects of your home are used for different purposes. You not only want to highlight the architectural details at the front of the house, but you also want the deck and patios adequately lit. Why not create compelling and inviting lighting throughout your entire property! Many of these fixtures can pull double duty and provide light for multiple purposes to maximize your investment. Never accept a light fixture that’s only functional, search for the fixture that’s functional, looks great, and provides just the right kind of light.

Beauty: When you invest your money in some landscape lighting, you expect the result to look good. You shouldn’t have to compromise aesthetics, ambiance, or thematic elements in order to have functional lighting in any part of your yard or landscape.

Nite Time Decor Oakville can create a unique-to-you landscape lighting plan with zones that make sense for your home and how you like to enjoy it at night. Let us show you how simple changes can improve the aesthetic and functionality of your system. Contact Nite Time Decor today at 1-800-952-3006 and we’ll be sure to leave your home or business looking better than ever!

Landscape Lighting Improves Curb Appeal And Home Value

When you drive down a nice street in Oakville, your eye is probably drawn to the house with professional outdoor lighting that not only highlights the home, but the landscaping as well. Wouldn’t it be awesome if your home looked that amazing at night! It always feels great to have friends and company comment on how your house looks, even if they visit at night.

Creating dramatic curb appeal isn’t as hard as you think! In fact, your daytime curb appeal might be just fine, but no one can see it at night! Don’t settle for just safety or security with your outdoor lighting, create an effect you love, that’s welcoming, and gets noticed for all the right reasons.

We’ve put together a short list of our best tips on how outdoor lighting can improve curb appeal below.

How Landscape Lighting Can Improve Curb Appeal

Most homeowners put a lot of time and effort into the curb appeal of their home. They work on gardens, lawncare, porch decorations—but all that effort goes unnoticed at night. Professionally designed outdoor lighting will accentuate your home’s architecture and landscaping as well as improve security and safety. Gables, symmetrical pillars, stone facades, don’t lose any of those fabulous features because the sun went down!Good landscape lighting design is understated and subtle (the opposite of flood lighting) but still points all the attention to the features of your homeyou’re most proud of.

Outdoor lighting ensures your home has its best side turned to the street day or night!

Increases the Security of Your Property
Thieves search out darkened lanes and doorways, but effective landscape lighting makes your home less attractive to them because there’s no longer any dark spaces to linger in and neighbours can see clearly what’s going on. A well-lit home or business is far less likely to be targeted by criminals.Burglars and vandals look for the easy targets, entry points they can get to and from without being noticed.

Thieves aside, outdoor lighting also helps prevent minor injuries from slips and falls due to unseen walkways or paths, changes in elevations such as on stairs or porches, and guides guests directly to your door in a way that’s warm and welcoming.

Look out for family and friends’ safety and have them convinced the outdoor lighting is just there to make things look nice—how clever are you!

Outdoor Lighting Adds Value
According to the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, professional landscaping can increase the value of your home by a minimum of 15%. This often equates to the homeowner recouping 100% to 200% of their investment!

Imagine the value added by being able to see the landscaping and architectural features that make your home stand out morning, noon, and night all year round!

Front Door

Your front door is the focal point for your home. It needs to be functional, yes, but it can also be stylish and a reflection of your taste and personality. You need more than a fancy wreath on the door to make it a focal point! Don’t skip adding the perfect lighting to your front door or porch. You need to ensure there is adequate lighting simply to ensure you can see to get the key in the door or punch in the code after dark, but outdoor lighting draws the eye and can be either stark, ineffective, or WOW your guests and neighbours.

Old or dated fixtures don’t put your home’s best foot forward when it comes to curb appeal. For instance, a single door entrance would be served well by a single fixture that functionally illuminates the door and house number, but don’t forget to choose a style that fits the look of the home. For a double-door entry, symmetry is a great effect with matching fixtures on each side to highlight not just the house number but any decorative touches you might add.

By updating or adding fixtures, your front door can create visual appeal to make your home pop from the street.

Porch

Good design is all about balance and many homes have front porches that are too small to create an eye-catching focal point on their own. Add some fantastic outdoor lights and BOOM! Suddenly your neighbours are commenting on how nice your home looks.

Consider replacing tiny fixtures with larger pieces to make a great statement. Eye-catching pendant lights are growing in popularity. Post lights can functionally light up stairs and still look amazing. Recessed lighting (lights flush with the surface they’re mounted into) can cast subtle light from under a railing, bench seat, or stair treads.Lighted plant containers and planters are growing trends. They highlight not only the plant in them, but cast ambient light that’s not glaring or harsh—and can be a great conversation piece.

There’s so many great ways to effectively light up your porch, you’ll just want to stare at the front of your home!

Landscaping

We love our flowers and trees and shrubs, and outdoor lighting can ensure you enjoy them at night too. Whether the fixture is flush with the ground and pointing up through the leaves and branches, placed behind to cast shadows and highlight shapes and movement, or placed among tall branches looking down to mimic moonlight, your landscaping won’t go unnoticed at night any longer.The eye is drawn to the landscaping details without overpowering the other aspects of your outdoor lighting for curb appeal.

Remember, a lighthouse makes no noise but everyone notices it.

Architectural Features

Every home has unique architectural features worth highlighting that add character to your curb appeal.  Century homes often have peaks, scroll work, or other unique features. Modern homes have sharp angles and clean lines. Lights looking down from beneath the eaves highlight columns, pillars, and other symmetrical details.

We made fun of flood and wash lights earlier, but they have their place in outdoor lighting because they can maximize the perception of height and can make even plain walls looks attractive at night.

The best outdoor lighting design often maximizes simplicity to draw the eye to the details of the home and not the light itself.

Pathways and Sidewalks

No one wants their front walkway to look like an airport runway. Add some style and class to you outdoor lighting—even lighting meant primarily for safety, by using recess lighting to provide subtle up light. Place lights among the foliage in walkway gardens to cast ambient light that highlights the garden and guides your guests’ feet on the walkway.Post and stake lights come a variety of styles, power needs, and can highlight unique features like stone pathways and ground cover plantings. Add a romantic feel by placing lights in the shrubs and trees along the pathway to cast shadows on the walkway that still provide safety light but create an ethereal effect at the same time.

Pathway lighting is really versatile so don’t aim just for utilitarian—reach for a style that makes you smile whenever you’re walking that path or walkway.

Driveway Lighting

The easy way to light up a driveway at night is to place lights at evenly spaced intervals down the length of the drive. Ho-hum. Can you hear the drone of airplanes in your ears looking for your runway? *grin* Neighbours walk or drive by and nod – that’s a driveway. Instead, use outdoor lighting on your driveway to draw the eye right up to the house and make them go WOW!

Try staggering the lights on alternating sides so that drivers can see clearly but the lighting isn’t overpowering or intrusively bright.

Focus lighton places where there are bends or curves in the drive, and highlight close obstacles such as trees, walls, fences, boulders, or a hillside. A lamppost or entry pier at the entrance to your driveway can add curb appeal, provide safety lighting, and also illuminate an address marker. This style of light would require a little extra work (underground wiring), but this means they’ll shine bright no matter the weather or season.

Let your personality and the character of your home shine by choosing a fixture that draws the eye.

Solar Lights

Solar lights are a great option and have come a long way in terms of reliability, holding a charge, and storing power for cloudy days. Solar lights are incorporated into a wide variety of fixtures now, and the stake lights offer interesting versatility if desired. Ask one of our experts about solar lighting because they are not all created equal.

We want your home to shine from the street day and night! Why not chat with our expert team at Nite Time Décor Oakville for a professional evaluation of your home and yard. We’ll take care of the details to ensure everything is done right the first time, and then sit back as the compliments from neighbours and guests pour in!

Fall Landscape Lighting Ideas

We’re still enjoying the last days of summer, but already the garden nurseries and craft stores are packed with fall décor. Fall doesn’t have to mean the end of your backyard paradise or outdoor entertaining! Our Nite Time Décor lighting experts have put together a list of ideas to keep your fall landscape lighting on point. Need more ideas or looking to update or expand your current outdoor lighting, give our team a call today!

String Lights

String lights have come a long way and are available in a variety of colours and styles. There’s sure to be something that matches the look you want or your existing outdoor décor. We think these are a fun and inexpensive way to change up your patio for fall that you can either remove for winter or move depending on the occasion or gathering.

Rope Lights

Like string lights, rope lights are available in an array of colours, which is great for seasonal entertaining. Some rope lights come with changeable light colours for maximum flexibility. Be sure if using rope lights that they are weather proof so you can use them all year long.

If you’re planning a Thanksgiving, back-to-school, group or club kickoff, or just getting together to cheer on your favourite team, rope lights provide subtle lighting and double as safety lights highlighting changes in levels on patios and stairs or walkway borders.

Trees

Who doesn’t love fabulous fall foliage. Placing downlights high up in trees can mimic moonlight or placing uplights on the ground can bring attention to the array of colours on display. But once the leaves drop, those lights can either be moved or left in place all winter to provide lighting with unique moving shadows on the snow.

If you love Halloween, why not highlight those bare branches for a creepy look. If you don’t mind the bare branches, dimming the lights can give a romantic look. Consider adding frosted or coloured lenses to mute or add colour to your trees to create the mood you’re looking for.

Make Use Of The Dark

The days will be growing shorter soon and what better time to make sure of your outdoor lighting! Dark spaces don’t have to be creepy or foreboding. A softly-lit patio in an otherwise dark yard can create a feeling of an oasis and extended privacy. Enjoy an evening cuddled up under a blanket with a loved one and gaze at the stars.

Pathway Lights

If you’ve gone all summer without pathway lights, chance are good that you’ve tripped, stumbled, or stepped where you didn’t want to. Pathway lights are not only a great safety feature, but they can add great contrast and highlight features (like gardens) often lost at night. Stake lights with hoods, or covers to point the light down, minimize the light that reaches your yard so you can focus on unique brickwork or paver patterns instead of blinding guests.

We’d love to answer your outdoor lighting questions or help you design a truly unique lighting plan. There’s still plenty of time left to install outdoor lighting for fall entertaining. Contact Nite Time Decor Oakville today!

Creating Outdoor Living Spaces With Outdoor Lighting

Maximizing your living space is about more than renovating your basement. Have you looked outside for other possibilities? If you have a deck or patio space, you can extend your living space outside and create an inviting oasis you can even enjoy after the sun goes down with unique-to-you outdoor lighting.

Our Nite Time Decor experts put together this list of outdoor lighting ideas that work well on any patio. If you don’t have an outdoor outlet, our team employs qualified electricians to ensure that all upgrades are done to code and done right the first time. We’ll take the worry out of installing electrical outlets and lighting fixtures across yards and patios.

Pendants

Outdoor pendant lights have been popular and continue to remain so with many low-cost options now available across a variety of retailers. Be sure the light is rated to be outdoors and water proof. Pendant lights are great for sitting areas, a dining table, or outdoor kitchen area. Choose a fixture that provides soft warm light or a brighter task lighting depending on your placement.

Pendant lights are also great a focal point for your outdoor space. Don’t be afraid to be creative and try something new to really bring your outdoor space to life.

Outdoor Cooking

Outdoor kitchens can be as simple as a bar-b-que or as elaborate as a brick oven or full kitchen set up with running water. You could almost include outdoor bars in with these as the lighting needs would be similar. These fixtures have always been popular, but maybe it’s time to take your outdoor cooking game up a level or two? You’ll be looking for fixtures that provide task lighting so you can tell how well done your food is, but you also want it to match the look of the outdoor space.

Outdoor fireplaces are another fixture that’s popular in outdoor living spaces. These can be simple and utilitarian or elaborate and high end. You can cook by them or simply lay back and relax by the natural light of a contained fire. These are available in a variety of shapes and colours and utilize wood, gas, and other fuels.

Fire Pits and Bowls

If a full-fledged outdoor fireplace won’t fit your space for whatever reason, there are a nice range of fire pits and bowls available as well. The added benefit to these fixtures is that they’re often easily relocated to a less conspicuous location during the daylight hours.

This is a great way to have a fire when you want it and have the container be very stylish and match the rest of your outdoor décor—but not be in the way or obtrusive when not in use.

Enhance What’s Unique About Your Space

Many outdoor spaces lack walls and can sometimes be challenging to create an eye-catching focal point. Do you have overhead beams, posts or pillars, something unique or interesting in your outdoor space? Do you have a wall with an interesting texture that would make great use of shadow and light? These might all be a great starting place to place some lights to highlight what’s already there.

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

Don’t Compromise Aesthetics For Safety With Outdoor Lighting

Gone are the days where a floodlight and a lamppost by the front door is considered effective outdoor lighting. There are a whole range of outdoor lighting options that can incorporate safety, theft prevention and aesthetics. If you think of your home or business as a canvas – what textures, contrasts (shadow & light), and colour would you incorporate to create an appealing look? Let’s look at some of the enduring trends in outdoor lighting.

Function

Design follows function always. What do you need the lighting to do for your home or yard? Are you thinking of adding lighting just to the patio, looking to highlight the textures on the front of the house, or add security lighting around a pool? Each of these will use different fixtures installed for a different purpose.

Don’t think you can’t combine functions. Yes, you can get attractive security lighting for paths or pools that’s attractive and highlights aspects of your yard you’re proud of.

Artistry

Just as an artist plays with textures, contrast, shadows, light and shapes, your outdoor lighting can be just as nuanced and varied to create a one-of-a-kind nighttime landscape for your home and yard. A great design evokes emotions, just as art does, so whether you’re looking to relax, entertain, celebrate, impress, or just extend your living space outdoors, your outdoor lighting can create a feeling that can serve many functions.

LED lights come in a variety of colours, you can even change them out for different occasions. Want a Canada Day party and a Christmas light show, you can do that with the same fixtures.

Tips for artistic landscape lighting design:

Gentle Transitions – Ideally, light from one zone doesn’t overpower or glare into another zone, but rather blends artistically without compromising safety lighting.

Depth – Creating depth is easily accomplished by placing fixtures looking up a little farther from the object being lighted. The same goes for lighting placed overhead. Allowing the light to pass through moving foliage, for instance, is a great way to add interest.

Focal point – Whether you have a bloom-covered gazebo or arbor, a fountain, pond or other feature, highlighting these at night and making use of shadows and contrast can create a dynamic focal point for your yard.

Balance – Balance isn’t difficult to create because most of the time it’s simply symmetry. If you light the column on the right side of the door, also light the column on the left side of the door. If you light up a group of trees on one side of the pool, give the trees on the other side of the pool the same treatment. Balance means consistency and proportion with light and shadow.

Safety – Lighting pathways, stairs, docks, pools, ponds and other features is important to keep family and friends safe. There are many fixtures that can provide enough light for safety and still create nice ambiance or serve another purpose such as lighting foliage or other features for aesthetics.

We’d love to answer your outdoor lighting questions or help you design a unique lighting display for your home or business. Contact Nite Time Decor Oakville today!

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!