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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
When properly designed, your landscape lighting will enhance both the look and functionality of your outdoor spaces after dark. A good design will consider your personal needs and activities as well as leave flexibility for special events and gatherings. When the sun goes down and you are ready to relax in your outdoor oasis, a well-designed lighting system will not only be safe and functional, but beautiful as well. A system that is designed around your needs and customized for your outdoor space could be the most important part of your own personal retreat in the evenings.
It is important to visualize your space at night and think about how it will be used. It can be challenging to design lighting for an outdoor space without imagining what it looks like after dark. It’s more than just guessing what kind of fixture is needed and where it will be placed, it is seeing what kind of light should be provided in each space and selecting appropriate fixtures based on those needs. A good lighting design is one that has been designed with light, not one that has been designed with fixtures.
Not only are the best lighting designs done based on the light, the light is customized to meet your needs. Areas for entertaining will have different lighting needs than areas where your gardens and architecture are the focus. Walkways, stairs and steep slopes may also have some additional safety concerns that should be considered in your lighting design. If you’re looking forlighting to help you relax and enjoy your outdoor living space, you’ll want light that is nuanced, warm, and inviting. Areas that have multiple uses should have lighting options to suit each function without compromising the ambiance and appeal. Outdoor lighting design should take into consideration how you will use each space.
The Final Design
Perhaps the most important aspect of the lighting design is how all of these needs are combined and coordinated into an overall plan. Landscape lighting done well will take all of these considerations and areas into account and create a blended, textured lighting scheme that will meet all of these needs. It will give you an integrated system that provides the proper amount of light for each activity. It will provide flexible (perhaps even move-able) lighting options that are long-lasting and energy efficient. It will provide safety for you and your guests, and it will enhance, not detract from the beauty of your outdoor space.
It can be a little overwhelming when you are looking at your space and trying to imagine what kind of lighting you will need and which of the thousands of fixtures you would want to provide that lighting. There is help available! We have a team of experts that has the right blend of experience and knowledge to help you design a system that will enhance your space and be customized to meet your specific needs. Contact our team at Nite Time Décor Oakville to get started today!
With spring in full swing, it’s time to head up north and open those cottages. Are you concerned about break-ins? Do you want to ensure your family and guests can safely navigate the yard or paths around the cottage? Are there features that require safety lighting? Maybe you’d just like to invest in an outdoor lighting upgrade. Our experts would love to help you find the best outdoor lighting solutions for your cottage, so we put together some points to think through so you have a better idea of what you need and want.
Less is Often More
As you think about and plan your outdoor lighting it may be easy to look around your home or other homes in your neighbourhood for ideas, but also remember that your cottage is a place where you go to get away from the city so it is probably better to keep your outdoor lighting to a minimum. 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 when there are lights everywhere. Another consideration is the impact excessive lighting can have on wildlife unaccustomed to artificial lighting in their natural habitat. One more consideration – extra lighting means extra bugs.
Safety Is Vital
The are some areas where you want to make sure there is adequate lighting. These are areas where safety is a concern. Features such as steep paths, steps, docks, pools, and decks should have additional safety lighting to prevent falls and other injuries. Safety lighting not only keeps your friends and family from harm, it delivers better peace of mind for you. Consider installing lighting in outdoor workspaces that get used after dark – barbecues, outdoor bars, outdoor cleaning stations, etc. The most important consideration here is safety, but also keep in mind where the light is directed to keep neighbours happy.
Available Power and Alternative Options
Depending on the layout 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 often be not 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.
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 your lighting on the nature and wildlife around your cottage. Not only will your human and wildlife neighbours appreciate it, you’ll have better control over your hydro bills.
Our experts can help you develop the right plan for your cottage. Contact our team at Nite Time Décor Oakville to get started today!
We all know energy costs have been trending up and not down for some time. When considering your outdoor lighting, it’s important to think about energy efficiency. An efficient outdoor lighting system puts money in your pocket. There are a few ways to be energy efficient when it comes to outdoor lighting, so our lighting experts at Nite Time Décor Oakville put together a few ideas that may help.
Plan For Energy Efficiency
This might sound simple and basic, but if you are in the process of developing your outdoor lighting system there are many ways to incorporate energy savings into your design. First, it is important to know and understand your goals for your outdoor lighting system. It might be appropriate to provide brighter lighting for things like walkways and stairs, however dimmer lights may be more appropriate to show off your gardens or architectural features. An effective and aesthetically pleasing outdoor lighting setup is one that varies lighting levels and creates texture and intrigue.
Select Energy Efficient Fixtures
Another consideration during design is fixture selection. Once you know what your goal is, you can begin to select appropriate fixtures. Some can be substituted for more energy efficient fixtures without compromising the lighting levels they will provide. One popular way to dramatically reduce energy consumption is to use LED fixtures. These eco-friendly fixtures may have a slightly higher initial cost, but can quickly make up for those costs with significant energy savings.
Use Programmable Timers
Not every light needs to be on for the entire night so another way to save on energy is to incorporate timers. You can program the lights to be on or off at certain times depending on their purpose. For example, area lighting for entertaining would only need to be on when you are entertaining, however security lighting would stay on from dusk until dawn. It may be helpful to coordinate certain lights into a zone or a group of lights that are controlled by one timer to help simplify the setup. By adjusting when each light is on or off, you are maximizing your energy savings.
Consider Solar Lights
Solar lights may be an option for you depending on where and how you plan to use them. Solar lights have typically been dimmer than other types of lights, however some manufacturers have claimed improved brightness more recently. For some applications such as garden lights, solar lights may be a great solution. However, for areas where a brighter light is needed they may not be the best fixture to use.
Those are just a few ideas for building some energy efficiency into your outdoor lighting system. Even if you already have some outdoor lights there may be a way to incorporate some of these ideas into your system. To maximize each of these it may be helpful to hire a professional to help provide options and customize your outdoor lighting plan to be energy efficient while meeting your specific needs. Contact our team at Nite Time Décor Oakville to get started today!
Summer might feel like it’s a long way away, but it’s not too early to start thinking about enjoying your yard and deck after the sun goes down. Our experts at Nite Time Decor Oakville are available to help you plan your landscape lighting to best highlight the features of your home or business with an eye to aesthetics, function, safety and security.
Here are some of the most popular lighting solutions for outdoor lighting.
One of the easiest solutions for outdoor lighting are string lights. These require very little preparation – just string them up and plug them in. They can be used along a wall as accent lights or hung over an outdoor living space to provide general area lighting.String lights work well in trees, or over a dining area to provide ambiance without creating light pollution.
Portable lights are a great, versatile and quick solution for some outdoor ambiance. These wireless lights come in a variety of styles, heights, and finishes.Solar powered LED lights are a great option and are well-suited to a wide range of applications from pathway lighting, garden lighting, pool deck security lighting, and many more options. A great bonus is that you can move these lights depending on your lighting needs.
LED strip lights can mounted to the underside of many surfaces to provide subtle outdoor lighting that serves many purposes. Whether you’re looking to use them to light up stairs or level changes on your deck, along a railing, bench seating, or an outdoor bar or kitchen as area lighting, this is a great option that suits almost any outdoor space. Not only will these lights look great, but they’ll also double as effective safety lighting
Edge lighting can also be used to define walkways and paths around your yard to help people navigate a dark or unfamiliar yard.
Don’t let the sun go down on all that hard work you’ve put into landscaping plants, gardens and other features. Show off all that hard work by choosing garden lights to correspond with the type of garden you have. There are several ways to illuminate your gardens to create an atmosphere that is warm and inviting for your guests. Up lights accentuate taller plants or can be shone against a light-coloured backdrop highlighting the greenery. Down lights put the focus on ground cover or lower plants and provide safety lighting for paths without blinding guests.
Your home is beautiful, why not show it off? Want to highlight the fantastic natural stone, columns or symmetry of your home? Want to create a visual focal point at night with yardornaments or features, well designed architectural lighting not only creates curb appeal and pleasing aesthetics but also helps deter theft and break-ins.
Contact Nite Time Decor
Looking to install or upgrade your outdoor landscape lighting? Contact our experienced lighting professionals at Nite Time Decor Oakville. Our experts can create a versatile, functional and beautiful lighting layout to highlight your home or business and keep your family or customers safe. Contact our team at Nite Time Decor to get started today!
With spring upon us and gardening season right around the corner, now is a great time to plan your landscape lighting. Whether you’re updating existing gardens or starting from scratch, don’t forget about your outdoor lighting so you can enjoy those gardens after the sun goes down too.
Gardens can be enhanced and add to the visual aesthetic of your home or business with a well-designed and properly implemented outdoor lighting plan. It is important to plan ahead and know what options are available to show off your hard work on that lovely garden in the evening. Here are our expert’s top five types of garden lighting.
Often used for narrow gardens along the perimeter of your property or in trees, these lights can create a warm and inviting ambiance as part of the outdoor lighting on your property. These lights can be hung along fences, in pergolas, or even directly on the branches of trees to complete the desired effect.
This landscape lighting technique can create depth and show of some of the varied textures of your garden features. To achieve this a light is placed in a lower position and directed up at the feature being accented. This effect works well with trees, foliage or other taller garden features.
As the name implies, this technique is the inverse of up lighting. A light is placed above the feature being accented, illuminating it from above. This type of landscape lighting is quite popular and especially effective at creating a natural effect, showing off the garden features in a way that mimics how it would be seen on a bright evening where the moon and stars are shining bright.
This technique can also be used in the branches of a large tree to light up the tree and the gardens below. This type of outdoor lighting not only illuminates gardens, but provides good general area lighting.
This is one of the most common and popular types of outdoor lighting. It is used for a variety of purposes and is an effective part of a landscape lighting system. Post lights evoke warm memories due to their nostalgic feel. Locations should be well planned to achieve the desired effect. Post lights can become a feature themselves and the design options for these types of lights are nearly unlimited.
Contact Nite Time Decor Oakville
These are just four fairly simple types of outdoor lights that can be used in any variety of combinations for an effective landscape lighting plan. To achieve the best results, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each system, that’s why we recommend contacting our professional landscape lighting team at Nite Time Decor.
Our outdoor lighting experts can help you develop a design and select the appropriate lighting techniques from these and many other options to create the perfect plan for your property. Whether you’re just getting started or already have a system in place, let us help you. Contact our team at Nite Time Decor Oakville to get started today!
Basic spring maintenance for your landscape lighting system will not only ensure your outdoor lights are performing well, but it’s also a time to re-evaluate whether it’s time to upgrade or update some of your older fixtures.
You don’t need special equipment or training to get started on basic cleaning and maintenance, but you will need to pay careful attention to electrical components and ensure sockets stay dry.
As always when working with any electrical elements, ensure the power is turned off before you begin to clean. If the fixtures aren’t easily reached from the ground, be sure to secure the ladder properly to avoid accidental tips or falls.
Always make sure to check the lighting manufacturer’s website for any cleaning instructions specific to your fixture.
A screwdriver is usually all that’s required to remove the globe, shields, or grills of your fixture. Any removeable components can be easily cleaned up with a soft cloth and warm soapy water to remove any dirt or bug carcasses that may have accumulated over the last season. Alternatively, any glass components can be cleaned with a standard glass cleaner.
Do not wash the light bulbs! Water in sockets can cause damage.
With your soft cloth and sudsy water, wipe down the exterior of the light fixture. This should shine things up considerably. Avoid getting water into the open sockets as this could damage your fixture.
Give things a good rinse with a clean damp cloth. You don’t want to leave any soapy residue behind. Let everything dry before applying polish or wax to metal parts.
Lightbulbs can be fragile, so handle with care. This is also a great time to replace burnt out light bulbs. Again, make sure not to get water in the sockets.
And you’re done! It’s fairly quick and easy to do basic cleaning and maintenance on your lighting fixtures for a polished and clean shine that will light up your home or business for another season.
Additional Tips for Your Landscape Lighting Maintenance
Lemon For Copper Fixtures – A great homemade cleaner for copper fixtures is a cut lemon. Take half a fresh lemon, dip the cut end in some salt, and scrub the copper clean. The acidic lemon and salt mixture scrubs and removes tarnish. Be sure to wipe the lemon juice off the fixture before applying a copper polish.
Cleaning Tiki Lamps – These are fun fixtures for the garden and landscape and if you’ve purchased a Nite Time Décor tiki lamp, it should last with little maintenance. Even with natural or propane gas tiki lamps that burn clean, there will be some carbon build up. Just clean the head with warm water and mild soap and it should be good as new again.
Is It Time To Upgrade Or Replace?
This quick spring cleaning is a great time to learn about new smart technology lighting solutions, or upgrades to LED for greater efficiency. Or maybe it’s just time to change the look of things and see what’s new. Our Nite Time Décor Oakville associates are always willing to help with any questions you might have. Contact us today!
The leaves have started to fall and the weather has started to cool down. Before you know it, winter will be here and snowflakes will be falling from the sky. When the snow starts to fall, providing maintenance to your landscape lighting system probably won’t be the task at the top of your to-do list. Chances are you’ll be focused on keeping your driveway, sidewalk and walkways clear, and getting those winter tires on your vehicle. While there is a lot to do to prepare for the winter season, our landscape lighting experts at Nite Time Decor are here to tell you that maintaining your landscape lighting system should be a priority. Here’s why:
It Prolongs Your Investment
When you purchased your landscape lighting system, you made an investment in your home and property. You installed a system that would boost your home’s curb appeal, increase safety and security around your home and create a functional outdoor space for you and your family to enjoy. It’s important to remember all of this when winter rolls around.
While conducting regular maintenance checks to your outdoor lighting system may seem like a low priority, it will actually help prolong the life of your system. Don’t get caught having to repair or replace your landscape lighting system when the damage can be easily preventable.
It Can Help Keep You Safe
A landscape lighting system does so much more than simply illuminate the outside of your home and property. It helps create a safe and secure environment. With poor weather conditions in the winter, along with prolonged periods of darkness in the mornings and evenings, your landscape lighting design can be more valuable than ever. A well maintained landscape lighting system can be effective in limiting safety hazards and helping you avoid injuries when you’re going out and about around your home.
What To Look For In A Winter Maintenance Check
If you’ve decided to make the regular winter maintenance of your landscape lighting system a priority, you’re going in the right direction! Now, you’ll need to know what to look for when you’re out inspecting your system this winter.
Dirty or Ice-Covered Lenses – If you notice your bulbs and fixtures are dirty or covered with ice, there’s a very high chance that your system isn’t working as effectively as it should be. Dirt, debris and ice will dim your light and block the beam from shining through. Make sure to clean any dirty or obstructed fixtures or bulbs with a clean, non-abrasive cloth.
Snow Drifts – After a big snowfall, you’ll want to do a quick walk-around of your landscape lighting system to clear away snow that may have piled up over your fixtures and lenses. As mentioned earlier, if the light cannot shine through the bulb, or a snow mound, it will not be doing you any good. Make sure you’re getting all the benefits your system has to offer by keeping fixtures and lenses clear.
Exposed Wires – During the early winter months, fluctuating weather conditions can cause the ground to freeze and thaw repeatedly. When this happens, wires may sneak their way to the surface. If this happens, you’ll want to make sure you rebury the wires, especially before the ground freezes. If the wire looks damaged in any way, or if you can see copper wire showing, it will need to be repaired before you rebury it. In situations like these, we recommend having a professional landscape lighting technician come out to inspect the damaged wires and make the appropriate repairs.
Contact Nite Time Decor Oakville
Whether your looking for more information about maintaining your landscape lighting system this winter, or you want an experienced lighting technicians to come out and help you with your maintenance and repair needs, Nite Time Decor can help! Contact us today to request a quote or schedule an appointment.