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 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!

Security Doesn’t Have To Sacrifice Beauty in Outdoor Lighting

There are two main reasons to place lights outside around our homes – security and beauty. Many times, these two functions are considered independent of one another, but is there a way to add beauty in our security lighting and vice versa?

Security Lighting

Nearly every house has some sort of outdoor lighting. Often the primary concern for this outdoor lighting is security. Security takes into account prevention of theft and unwanted guests, as well as prevention of injury for friends and family who are visiting.

To prevent unwanted intruders there must be adequate lighting to make your property unattractive to potential trespassers. The lighting should provide ample opportunity for physical detection and reduce hiding spots, without being too bright. Over-illumination can draw unwanted attention to your home and belongings and can contribute to light pollution.

The second consideration for security lighting is preventing injury of your visitors. This must be well thought out and should provide ample lighting along walkways, stairsand in areas where people will be gathering. It is also important to provide adequate lighting around things like pools, decks, gazebos and patios – where much of your entertaining will be taking place.

Security lighting for both of these functions may also incorporate things like timers and motion sensors intended to provide lighting when and where it is needed. Timers can help to provide security even when you are not at home, and motion sensors can turn on lights only when movement is detected which will deter would-be intruders from continuing onto your property.

Lighting for Beauty

Decorative lighting is designed around a much different purpose than security lighting. These lights are designed to accentuate physical features and create an atmosphere that is inviting and attractive. Decorative lighting can help to showcase the outside of your home, including attractive architectural features, gardens, and ornamental decorations.

There are many considerations that are made with decorative lighting that are different from those made for security lighting – symmetry, balance, focal points, depth, light, colour, and others. These considerations are made in conjunction with one another to create one cohesive, beautiful design.

Beautiful Security

Combining the functionality of security lighting and the aesthetics of decorative lighting is not an easy task, but with some good planning it’s achievable. Security lighting does not need to be harsh or alarming to be effective. Sometimes security lighting is so bright that it actually detracts from a home’s aesthetic beauty. A good landscape lighting design will incorporate security lights in a way that accentuates the beauty of your home and landscape and provides ample ambiance for your outdoor living spaces.

Consider consulting with our trained outdoor lighting experts and designers. We can help you create a custom design that blends security with aesthetics that enhances your landscape and makes your outdoor living space feel like home.

For more information on how we can help you achieve all of your landscape lighting goals contact our team at Nite Time Décor Oakville to get started today!

4 Ways To Save Energy With Outdoor Lighting

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!

Tips for Illuminating Your Pool or Pond

Water features like pools and ponds often become focal points for homeowners and guests, so it makes sense that they should garner attention even after the sun goes down. With a landscape lighting design that is customized to the unique features of your property, you can continue a pool party long into the summer evenings, or stay out late relaxing to the trickling sound of your water feature. Whether you’ve got a pool, a pond or any other kind of water feature, our landscape lighting professionals have put together this list of tips for illuminating these important areas of your property.

Pool Lighting Tips

Tips #1: Keep the liner colour in mind

When it comes to illuminating your pool, remember to consider the colour of your pool liner when creating your design. Lighter colours tend to reflect light while darker colours will absorb it. Factoring in the colour of your pool liner and how it might reflect or absorb the light will help you decide what kind of bulbs to use and how to place each fixture so that it achieves your desired effect.

Tip #2: Cheaper is not always better

While incandescent lights may be cheaper to install, they will cost you more in the long run as they use more electricity and may need to be replaced more often. LED and Fiber Optic lights on the other hand, will likely cost you more up front but are less expensive to run, easy to maintain and usually last a lot longer than incandescent bulbs.

Tip #3: Don’t forget the pool deck and walkways

When creating a landscape lighting design for your pool, it can be easy to focus on the pool itself and forget about the surrounding area like the pool deck and the walkways leading up to the pool area. These surrounding areas are essential to creating a full-bodied and even lighting design, so make sure you factor them into your design.

Pond Lighting Tips

Tip #1: Choose the right technique for your pond

When illuminating a pond, there are two lighting techniques you can choose. The first is underwater lighting and the second is exterior lighting.

Underwater lighting is great if you are looking to create focal points with features like waterfalls. This lighting technique is also best used for water that will remain clear, as murky water will take away from the lighting effect you are trying to achieve with this technique.

Exterior lighting works great when you are trying to illuminate the surrounding features of your pond. Using this technique, lights can be set up around the pond – in rocks or foliage – to create a warm and tranquil atmosphere.

Tip #2: Use soft white lights

Soft white lights work well with ponds because they create a nice, subtle surface glow.

Tip #3: Use brass fixtures

If your lighting fixture is going to be submerged underwater, or it is going to be in constant contact with water, it is ideal to use solid brass fixtures. Unlike other materials, solid brass fixtures will last in these wet conditions. While it might cost you a little more money initially, you will end up saving money in the long run with these fixtures.

Contact Nite Time Decor

Whether you’re just beginning to create your landscape lighting design or you’re ready for a professional installation, our experienced team at Nite Time Decor Oakville can help. To learn more about how we can help you create the landscape lighting design of your dreams, contact us today or visit our gallery for some inspiration.

How to Light Up Your Outdoor Space in Layers

When it comes to creating a landscape lighting design for your outdoor space, it’s more than just lighting up a pathway or illuminating your favourite tree. In fact, creating a landscape lighting design that brings all the unique elements of your home and property together takes both planning and creativity.

Whether you want a landscape lighting design that can add to your home’s aesthetics, increase the safety and security of your property or simply just add practicality to your outdoor space, a well thought-out design can incorporate all of these benefits at once. The best way to achieve multiple benefits of landscape lighting is to illuminate your home in layers. To help you understand layered lighting, and how you can achieve this full-bodied look in your next landscape lighting design, we’ve compiled this helpful list of the top three areas to focus on.

Ambient Lighting

Starting with the base of your outdoor lighting design, you’ll want to create a layer that focuses on ambient lighting. This kind of lighting can be created with a ceiling fixture, overhead string lights or even an accent light on a pillar or any other unique feature of your home.

Ambient lighting helps set the tone for your entire landscape lighting design as it helps to create a warm, inviting atmosphere by providing just enough illumination for comfort.

Task Lighting

After you’ve created just the right atmosphere with your ambient lighting, it’s time to create the second layer of illumination through task lighting. Task lighting aims to create functionality by illuminating specific areas that are used regularity such as pathways, steps and outdoor cooking areas.

While task lighting does not necessarily create the warm atmosphere that ambiance lighting does, it helps make your outdoor space both practical and functional.

Accent Lighting

The third and final layer you’ll want to consider when creating your next landscape lighting design is accent lighting. These are your accessory lighting features – they aren’t always necessary but they are the small details that will turn a good design into a great design.  If you have a water feature on your property such as a pool, pond or fountain, consider underwater lighting options to create remarkable effects. If you have a favourite tree, or if your home has unique architectural features like pillars or posts, use accent lighting to play with the angles and shadows. These are the details that will make your home stand out long after the sun has gone done.

All-In-One

While the above lighting techniques could be used on their own, a full-bodied landscape lighting design uses all three together to enhance the aesthetics of your home while also improving practicality, safety and security. With layered landscape lighting, you get all the benefits that outdoor lighting has to offer in one simple, streamlined design.

Get a Professional Installation

Creating the perfect landscape lighting design for your outdoor space can be difficult. You need to know what areas to illuminate, how to illuminate them and what techniques to use. On top of that, you have to make sure your landscape lighting system is installed safely and securely, with no exposed wires or loose fixtures that could cause safety hazards around your property. With all these different factors at play, it’s best to contact a professional landscape lighting company like Nite Time Décor Oakvile. Whether you need help creating the perfect design, or you simply need a professional installation, our experienced team can help! Contact us today to get started on your next design or installation.

Illuminating Your Lawn

During the summer our lawns become a main focal point of our homes. We take care of it for three long seasons out of every year in hopes that it will be beautiful, green and healthy during the summer months when we want to lay out on it, play fetch with the dog on it, or simply just to show it off to our neighbours.

While we work so hard to maintain a great looking lawn, we sometimes fail to include it in our landscape lighting designs. The lawn – like the garden – has required a great deal of labour and love over the course of the seasons, so why not keep it on display even after the sun has gone down? To help show the many benefits of incorporating your lawn into your landscape lighting design, our team of lighting design experts has put together this list of reasons to light up your lawn this summer.

It Increases Aesthetics 

Extending your landscape lighting design beyond your back porch is a great way to add beauty and character to your home after dark. This is particularly useful for those who like to spend time outside hosting dinner parties with friends or enjoying a nice sit-down meal with the family on warm summer nights. Not only does thoughtfully placed lighting around your lawn help create extra space that can be used at all hours of the day and night, it also helps to create added ambiance and depth in your outdoor space.

It Provides Added Safety

One of the worst feelings you can experience is being out in the dark trying to feel your way back to a familiar space. Unfortunately, without a landscape lighting design this can become a frequent occurrence, especially if you find yourself returning home after dark or outside enjoying an outdoor activity like hot-tubbing or stargazing. While pathway lighting and porch lighting can help guide you back to where you need to be, illuminating areas of your lawn will add increased visibility which will help you get back inside without tripping, falling or stubbing a toe at any point along the way.

It Provides Increased Security

Unfortunately, it’s become common knowledge that dark, shadowed areas bring with them an increased risk for criminal activity such as theft and trespassing. While lighting around your driveway might deter thieves from snooping around your vehicles and an illuminated entranceway might deter trespassers from approaching any further toward your home, illuminating other areas of your property – including your lawn – will provide increased security. By lighting up areas of your lawn, you can effectively eliminate entry points and hiding spots for trespassers and thieves looking to get uncomfortably close to your home and belongings.

Contact Nite Time Décor Oakville

Whether you’re looking to improve the beauty of your home and property, increase safety or amp up your security, incorporating your lawn into your outdoor lighting design will help you achieve all your lighting desires. See how some of our customers have illuminated their lawns by viewing our gallery, or contact our knowledgeable team today for information on how you can get started on the landscape lighting design of your dreams.

Outdoor Lighting for Small Spaces

When it comes to outdoor lighting, most people think of illuminating front entrances or walkways, large backyards, or beautiful trees and gardens. While these areas are great to highlight in a landscape lighting design created for large outdoor spaces, it’s also important to remember that small spaces – like patios and balconies – can also benefit from an outdoor lighting design.

Why Illuminate Your Small Space

Just like illuminating any large outdoor space, adding some light to a patio, deck or balcony for after the sun has gone, allows you to create some valuable extra living space. Let’s face it, the patio or balcony is great for relaxing during the daylight, but when the sun sets and the daylight fades, the use of your patio or balcony can become limiting. Why not enjoy your outdoor space as much as possible?

With the right outdoor lighting design you can create a warm, calming atmosphere perfect for entertaining guests or relaxing under the stars. To get you started with planning the perfect outdoor lighting design for your small space, we’ve compiled a list of important aspects to consider before making any purchases, as well as some popular lighting design choices you may want to incorporate into your new lighting design this summer.

Common Use of the Space

When it comes to creating an outdoor lighting design for a small patio or balcony, you’ll first want to determine how you will be using the space most often. Will you be outside after dark barbequing, eating, relaxing with a cold drink, reading a book or entertaining guests? When you’ve identified what the common use for the space will be, it will be much easier to decide what kind of lighting design to install and where exactly to install it.

Map Out the Space

Before you begin creating an outdoor lighting design for your small space, it’s important to map out the area before getting started with the installation.  If there are windows or glass doors directly facing your balcony or patio, you’ll want to consider this when deciding on the right lighting options. For example, if your balcony directly faces a bedroom window or living room door, you will want to use low, subtle lighting to avoid shining light into the living space of your neighbours, or even other family members within your household.

String Lights

String lights are a very common lighting design choice for small spaces, and the best thing about string lights is they never go out of style. Another added benefit of this lighting option is the flexibility thy offer. Depending on your space and budget, you can hang string lights across the top of your outdoor space, wrap them around railings or incorporate them within the greenery of your patio or balcony.

Warm Coloured LED Bulbs

To create a relaxing and cozy atmosphere for your outdoor space, you’ll want to consider warm coloured LED bulbs. LED lights can withstand the extreme elements of Mother Nature while also providing an aesthetically-pleasing glow that will make you want to stay curled up on your patio or balcony all night long.

Contact Nite Time Décor

Whether you’re looking for more information on illuminating your small outdoor space, or you’re searching for popular outdoor lighting trends for the summer season, contact our team of lighting design experts today. We’d be happy to help you create the outdoor space you’ve been dreaming of!

Illuminate your Outdoor Cooking and Dining Areas with Task Lighting

As summer gets closer, the days are starting to get longer and longer. This means that warm summer nights are just around the corner and your desire to spend as much time outdoors will inevitably increase.

One of the many benefits of longer summer days is that you can bring your family dining experience outdoors. But even if the sun doesn’t stay high in the sky by the time you’re ready to throw some steaks and veggies on the BBQ or sit down for a nice family meal, it doesn’t mean it’s time to retreat indoors. Instead, you can install task lighting around your outdoor cooking area or your outdoor dining area. Here are some tips below explaining how you can use task lighting to illuminate your outdoor space this summer.

Task Lighting for Safety

Outdoor lighting brings you more than just aesthetic value, and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to illuminating your outdoor cooking area. Weather your firing up the BBQ or flipping your food to perfection, you need to be able to see what you are doing. Illuminating your outdoor cooking area will not only help you keep an eye on your food, but it will also help you see any safety concerns that are present while cooking – helping to keep you safe and free from injury.

Illuminating the Cooking Area

When increased visibility is needed around your outdoor cooking area, it is best to use a white overhead light. With a variety of options on the market right now, you can easily find a fixture that fits into your overall landscape lighting design. Whether it’s a modern pendant light fixture or a simple fixed post light, you’ll be able to find an overhead light that fits your style and your budget.

Illuminating your Dining Area

While increasing visibility around your outdoor cooking area is very important, so too is illuminating your outdoor dining area. Nothing’s worse than sitting down for a beautiful dinner on the patio, only to realize halfway through the meal that the sun has gone down and you can no longer see the plate in front of you. Illuminating your outdoor dining area with task lighting will let you enjoy those fun family dinners long into the evening.

For illuminating this area, it is ideal to use tabletop lamps that are rated for outdoor use, or overhead pendant or chandelier lighting. When choosing the right task lighting design for your outdoor dining space, it will largely depend on the desired ambiance of your space and how much you are looking to spend.

Contact a Professional

When it comes to your outdoor lighting design and installation, a lot is on the line. Whether you want to create more usable space in your backyard, create the perfect ambiance for entertaining, or increase your safety and security, proper outdoor lighting design can accomplish all of these things at the same time. Our lighting design experts at Nite Time Décor Oakville can work with you to create the design of your dreams and professionally install it around your home to ensure your vision becomes a reality. Contact us today to get started!