How To Illuminate Flag Poles, Chimneys, Sheds, And Gazebos

 

Lighting up your home is a large undertaking, but with the proper outdoor lighting design, the hard-to-light features of your home don’t have to disappear in the after-dusk landscape. The benefit of Nite Time Décor Oakville outdoor lighting is that you can accentuate the unique aspects of your home like chimneys, flagpoles, sheds and other outbuildings.

Flagpoles are often a source of pride for many individuals and businesses and we’d love to see yours any time of day! Here are our best tips!

Well Lights Add A Natural Look

To get a more subtle, natural look, try well lights. These little fixtures can be hidden in the ground or shrubbery around your flagpole in order to illuminate it from below. What’s more, well lights will give a sense of grandeur to the flagpole as they emphasize the height. You’ll need more than one to fully light up the structure, however. Generally, depending on how bright you want it, two well lights are enough to create the right level of illumination.

Use Spotlights From the Base

If you want to produce more light than well lights offer, try installing spotlights at the base of the flagpole. Residential and commercial needs will differ so be sure to consult our experts first. Using one light will provide a dramatic, sharper effect. Using two lights, intersecting from opposite directions, can provide a softer lighting. The method you choose may depend on the lighting currently used to illuminate the rest of your business or home’s façade.

Light the Flag Directly

If you don’t want to emphasize the height of the pole, try an uplighter. These can be attached directly to the pole, further away from the ground. This is used to make the flag pop out as an important feature of your yard.

For flagpoles that are beginning to peel or become weathered, uplighting may be a good option. It’s a great method to use if you don’t want to draw attention to a flagpole that needs to be replaced or repainted.

Remember, you want a gentle light that highlights the flag and/or the pole, not a theatre spotlight effect in an otherwise dark yard.

Chimneys

Chimneys might seem like an odd feature of your home to think about illuminating at night, but many newer homes don’t have them as natural wood fireplaces have fallen out of fashion. Chimneys are also, often, the highest point of your home which make them fantastic focal points to increase aesthetic appeal as their height offers visibility and clarity.

Create A Cohesive Design Plan

Make a plan for adding landscape lighting to your entire home, it would seem odd to add lighting to just your chimney. Study your chimney and identify any unique angles, textures or facades to highlight. There are a few different ways to add outdoor lighting to a chimney so that it fits into the larger design of your home.

Types of lighting

There are three common types of Nite Time Décor Oakville fixtures that are used on chimneys: up lighting, down lighting, and recessed lights.

When you’re trying to decide whether or not to use an up light or a down light, figure out the visibility of your chimney. If your chimney begins being visible at the roofline, rather than at the base of the home, you’ll want to use a down light. This ensures that more of the chimney is highlighted, while a spotlight on a chimney like this will light up more of the wall. Spotlights are great for chimneys that begin at the base of the home toward the roofline.

Recessed lighting, though not as common as up or down lighting, can still be used on chimneys if you don’t want your landscape lighting to be visible from below. The only negative quality of these is that you’re going to have fewer options for lighting if you choose this route.

Plan your chimney to match

If you’re adding chimney lights to pre-existing outdoor lighting, make sure it matches in style and doesn’t add too much light. You don’t want to over light the area and create an unbalanced effect in your yard.

Lighting Up Backyard Sheds And Rural Outbuildings

From time to time, we need to access these buildings after dark – whether you’re searching for a shovel for that surprise snow fall or you need a spare part, or you want to add additional security to a darker part of the yard, outdoor lighting can be very handy!

Floodlights and spotlights are perhaps the main go-to, along with unattractive bare bulbs over doors, but you can ensure these buildings are just as secure and attractive as the rest of your yard at night.

Rural outbuildings and backyard sheds are well-suited to motion-sensor lights that can also be equipped with a timer so they only come on if there’s movement and only at certain times of day. Then you can set it and forget it.

If you have any gardens or plants, highlighting those can also be attractive – particularly if this is a building with a great façade, garden, or placement in the yard. Pathway lights around the front or on the pathway to the building can add safety while still being attractive.

Every Good Gazebo Deserves To Be Used At Night

Gazebos can breathe life into any yard gathering, particularly when properly lit for nighttime entertaining.

The first thing to consider when designing a gazebo lighting system is wiring and electrical requirements. If you hire one of our electricians, you can be sure that your commercial or residential gazebo lighting system will be properly hooked into your electrical panel.

Our technicians will take care of installing the wiring underground to prevent tripping. We can also decide whether it’s best to hook it up to an outdoor outlet or an interior circuit.

This is not a job you want to attempt on your own. The professionals at Nite Time Décor are trained to handle complex electrical work. Our team of designers and electricians are here to give you the best consultation and continued maintenance for your Burlington outdoor lighting system.

Lighting the Interior

Something like a chandelier or our down light would be perfect for lighting the interior of your gazebo. Either of these fixtures allow for stylish lighting that illuminates the area without creating too much glare.

Remember to consider voltage when planning for interior gazebo light fixtures in your outdoor lighting design. There are some activities that will require brighter lighting. If you are planning on reading, playing boardgames or cards, you’ll want the option of adding brighter lights to tables or seating areas.

Exterior Gazebo Lighting

Lighting the perimeter of your gazebo is all about accenting the right features. When you’re conceptualizing your gazebo lighting, decide what sections of the gazebo’s structure you want to highlight.

Think about up lighting versus down lighting. Down lighting has the benefit of also illuminating the interior, as well as the exterior. Don’t forget to light the pathways and entrances to your gazebo. You want to make sure that your guests don’t trip on the way to your gathering. These can easily be incorporated into your outdoor lighting design and will help improve safety as well as ambiance.

Think about coloured lights if your yard has an insect problem. Coloured lights are less likely to attract bugs than bright yellow or white lights.

For the best advice for your outdoor lighting design, contact one of Oakville Nite Time Décor’s experts today!

Fall Maintenance And Winter Outdoor Lighting Design Ideas

Just like that, August has practically come and gone. It’s hard to believe that fall is just around the corner. As the days start to get shorter, and the temperatures begin to cool off, it’s important to prepare your outdoor landscape lighting for fall. To help you check this task off of your to-do list, our lighting experts have compiled a helpful list of tips for preparing your landscape lighting system for fall.

Do a ‘Walk About’

The best way to start prepping your landscape lighting for fall is to go outside in the daytime and do a complete ‘walk about’ of your property. Inspect your light fixtures and assess the condition of all wires.

If you notice any scratches on the lenses of your lights, take the time to buff them out or replace the lenses altogether. If your landscape lighting design operates all year long, scratches can take away the effectiveness of your system. And don’t just stop with the scratches! Spend the extra hour to clean your fixtures. Clean fixtures are well-maintained fixtures. You’ll have an easier time in the spring maintaining your Oakville landscape lighting fixtures if you start off winter with them in the best condition.

Take a minute to tighten the screws on your transformer’s terminal blocks and remove any debris from the inside cabinet housing. Now’s a great time to replace any batteries used in timers or motion sensors. Trim back any landscaping that’s become overgrown and is covering light fixtures.

Search For Exposed Or Damaged Wires

If you happen to notice exposed wires, or wires that are torn or damaged, you’ll need to resolve this issue right away. Exposed and damaged wires present a safety risk on your property, especially if you have children or pets in your household. Exposed wiring could get damaged in the heavy winter months also creating additional expenses come spring.

If you have exposed or damaged wires, contact Nite Time Décor and have one of our experienced technicians cover, repair or replace the problem wires.

Straighten Fixtures

During your ‘walk about’ you may notice that your fixtures have shifted since their original installation. This is typical as fixtures may fall victim to foot traffic and lawn maintenance activities over the summer months. If you have any leaning light fixtures on your property, simply restore them to their correct position by straightening them out and tighten the mount if applicable.

Clear Leaves

Most homeowners are diligent about removing fallen leaves from the yard, but if you needed an additional reason know that leaves can not only cover your lighting fixtures but they can trap moisture against the fixture and wiring causing damage that will need attention in the spring.

Clear mulch and dry leaves from the bulbs. This is especially important if your light fixtures emit a lot of heat. Mulch and dry leaves on uncovered bulbs can be a fire hazard.

Renew and update

As with anything else, your landscape lighting fixtures can become tired. Fall maintenance is a great time to update your landscape lighting system. Replace old fixtures with new, and if you haven’t already, change your bulbs to LED. You’ll save money and energy in the long term with LED lights from Nite Time Décor.

If you’ve had the same landscape lighting setup for quite some time and you’re looking for a change, now is a good time to change up your fixtures. Cast bronze is a timeless finish that needs to age to get that nice old-penny brown or greenish blue patina. The winter months offer the perfect aging elements so that your fixtures really stand out and look like they were part of the home’s original design by spring. Cast bronze fixture and not only beautiful but are made to withstand cool, wet weather. The cast bronze alloy is strong, impervious to corrosion, and will last a long time.

Alternately, if you’re trying to prevent your cast bronze fixtures from taking on that aged look or patina, fall is a great time to reapply a coating of WD 40 or a clear matte coat finish to protect against the winter elements.

At Nite Time Decor, we work hard to offer our clients environmentally friendly landscape lighting options. One of our most common lighting choices is the LED light. Not only do these incredibly versatile lights offer remarkable savings, but they also last forever, and do not cause harm to the environment. LED lights, or “light emitting diodes” are proven to be more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. They also emit significantly less heat, thereby reducing pollution. You can count on your LED landscape lights to last as long as 20 years, while still providing the same versatility you would expect of an incandescent bulb.

Any change of season is a great time to think about an upgrade or changing out outdated fixtures.

 

Change Up The Landscape Lighting For Winter
Around now you may want to make some changes to your landscape lighting design to fit the winter months. Perhaps you want to add a blue bulb to accent that evergreen? Maybe the red lights you had on the flowers in your garden should be changed to white for a more natural effect?

With the new silhouettes created by dormant deciduous trees, you can reposition your lights to cast pretty shadows and silhouettes on the walls of your home. Maybe it’s time to reset those lights highlighting the evergreens in your yard? Keep in mind that when the leaves fall, your lighting needs to be adjusted to accommodate the lack of foliage. Bare branches are fun when a soft light is used, but the light used in the summer upon foliage might be harsh and severe against bare branches (unless you’re going for a haunted house look).

Consider not using some lights over the winter or tilting them to focus on the trunks of the trees instead of the grim bare branches?

If you haven’t added any string lights to your yard, winter is the perfect season. Twinkling lights across a snowy patio or front porch railing add visual appeal and hint at warmer weather activities. Just a change in the lighting will increase your winter curb appeal.

Keep in mind what’s under the snow so make sure pathway lights clearly mark pathways that may be unseen. Fire pits are a great feature to highlight in the winter that might be overlooked in the summer. Switch the focus to seasonal plants or planters in the landscaping or on a deck or porch. Try to imagine where the snow lays in your yard and plan the lighting so that it helps direct steps even when there’s snow on the ground.

Don’t forget to reset your timers to match the changing daytime hours. This may be done closer to the winter season, in order to ensure maximum efficiency.

Creating Natural Outdoor Lighting Effects For Your Gardens

 

Creating Natural Outdoor Lighting Effects For Your Gardens

If there’s no snow on the ground, it’s a great time to consider adding landscape lighting to your home or business. Many people think of the illuminating the front of their house for security or safety or curb appeal, but don’t forget the softscaping—gardens. You’ve worked hard to make those spectacular during the day, why not also enjoy them at night!

Here are our expert’s top five types of garden lighting.

String Lights

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. The soft glow or gentle twinkling can evoke a bit of fairy magic or romantic elegance.

Up Lighting Creates Depth

This landscape lighting technique can create depth and show off 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.

Down Lighting Mimics Natural Moonlight

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.

Highlight The Tall Flowers First

Consider adding downlights to nearby fences or posts. This should be a narrow light, not a glaring spotlight or floodlight, to add height to the design. Be sure to consider balance and symmetry where possible. From there, you can move into smaller areas and focus on highlighting individual plants.

Ensure Garden Lights Enhance Overall Outdoor Lighting Design

It’s tempting just to add outdoor lighting to the pathways around the garden, but there’s so many more possibilities than that to really show off your yard and gardens! A beautifully lit garden will look out of place if the rest of your property is under-lit or features few too many fixtures.

Do – Use lights to improve the safety of garden walkways.

This will ensure that all areas, especially those that change levels (steps and stairs) receive the right level of lighting to prevent trips and falls.

Do– Prevent glare.

Use shields to ensure that the light is properly directed.

Do – Illuminate shrubs and other shadowy areas to improve security.

Shining a light on these areas will eliminate possible intrusion points and improve the overall safety of your garden and yard.

Do– Make use of uplighting for a natural look.

Uplighting draws the eye upwards, giving the plants in your garden the illusion of size and grandeur.

Do – Get creative with specialty lighting and coloured bulbs.

Coloured lights can add unique textures and effects to you garden, highlighting the shades that appear naturally on your property.

Do – Consider daylighting lighting options.

When planning your garden lighting design, be sure to take dawn, dusk, and evening activities into consideration. This is when you’re most likely to be utilizing your garden for parties and social gatherings. Play with effects in these lighting situations in order to produce the perfect mood.

Do – Consider Small Areas

Sometimes the biggest impacts can be made through the smallest lighting improvements. Consider highlighting smaller features or areas of your garden in order to increase the “wow” factor of your design.

Do – Create And Make Use Of Shadows

Allow moving foliage and shadows to add interest and create depth to avoid a flat-looking design in your yard. Know where you want to draw a visitor’s eye and create a visual surprise! Make sure that you avoid positioning any beams on open trellises, bare trees, or spindly branches.

Do – Use Hoods And Light Shields

Many pathway and post lights come with hoods or light shields to help direct the light down. Play with the height of these to create visual interest without blinding guests as they walk by or annoying neighbours.

Do – Experiment With Wattages And Beam Spreads

Use different wattages and beam spreads in order to create a truly unique lighting experience in your garden.

Tiki Lights Add Flair

These fixtures are versatile and cast great light. Nothing creates a more romantic ambiance than candles with their flames flickering in the breeze, creating shadows and reflections. They add that magical feel to your garden, but still have style.

Why Use A Professional Installer For Your Outdoor Lighting System

When it comes to lighting your outdoor garden, you have a variety of options of light sources. Our professionally installed systems are “line volted” which uses the same reliable 120 volts your house uses. These are placed and left in one place. We also offer solar options that last longer than the models you find in the big box stores and don’t need constantly sunny days to work well. These are popular placed low to the ground along paths or around gardens to highlight a tree or an ornament.

Create Visual Interest That Works At Night And During The Day

Give some thought to placement with pathway lighting along your gardens. Avoid straight lines down both sides of the path which can resemble an airport runway. Instead, stagger them while still giving light for safety but strategically choosing which plants are illuminated.

Haphazardly throwing a few spotlights amongst the shrubs will leave you ultimately disappointed. While there are no hard and fast rules for garden lighting (every garden is different, after all!), but doing so shouldn’t ruin the look of your garden during the day.

The ideal garden lighting installation is inconspicuous – you notice the lighting effects at night, but the fixtures don’t attract your attention during the day. This landscape lighting design is difficult to achieve when working with solar power fixtures as the solar batteries require direct sunlight in order to charge during the day. Low-voltage lights or energy efficient LED lighting fixtures are a much more aesthetically appealing option.

Position Light To Shine On An Angle

It doesn’t matter whether the light source is positioned above or below your garden, just make sure that most of the light is positioned to shine in on an angle. Front lighting is very unforgiving and can wash out your landscaping. Angled and side lighting results in better modelling and will create a more interesting shadow effect in the end.

Create Pools Of Light In Gardens

When lighting large flower beds, many professional designers will choose to use many smaller lights rather than one large lamp. When placed correctly, these lights will create soft overlapping pools of light rather than one harsh beam. These areas of overlap can be places where you need stronger lighting for cooking, reading, etc.

You spend a great deal of time, effort, and money on your garden. Make sure it looks lovely long after the sun has set with sophisticated landscaping lighting from Nite Time Decor. Receive a custom quote from one of our professional designers today.

What Is Moon Lighting And Why Does It Remain So Popular?

 

What Is Moon Lighting And Why Does It Remain So Popular?

There’s nothing more beautiful on a breezy spring night or warm summer evening than moonlight whispering in soft beams through tree boughs to your deck below. With landscape lighting, you won’t have to worry about clouds blocking your moonlight ever again with a simple technique. Read on for our tips for getting this beautiful permanent moonlight.

Moonlighting imitates the natural light of the moon in your yard. This type of lighting is subtle, elegant, and creates a ton of ambiance.

What Is Moonlighting?

Moonlighting, generally speaking, isn’t used for security or for task lighting – it’s soft, utilizes the natural movement of the trees so you’re looking for that sweet spot of providing light without being bright or harsh. Light cast down from above, often filtered through trees and other features, results in a soft, full moon glow, regardless of the actual moon or the weather. As such, a tree with a large canopy is the best candidate for a moonlighting installation.

One of the reasons moonlight is so beautiful is its subtlety. The soft glow from a round silver sickle creates ambience and romance in a way that bright yellow outdoor lighting cannot. So, when you’re mimicking the moon with your Nite Time Décor landscape lighting, imitate its softness as well. Use low voltage landscape lighting to create your moonlight effect.

Create A Layered Design For Natural Effect

Where the “moonlight” looks most natural and gorgeous will depend heavily on your home’s unique features and landscaping. You’ll want the effect somewhere close to a heavy traffic area, so that you can enjoy it while relaxing on the deck. If you’re choosing a tree, pick a tall, full tree to make it look like natural moonlight has been caught in its boughs.

The moon and stars produce amazing natural light at night, but it’s a layered light. To create a realistic effect with your landscape lighting, you want several lights criss-crossing each other in your tree, angled down to the ground. One light won’t get the shimmering moonlight effect, and will be too harsh a light source.

Placement For Best Recreated Moonlight In Your Yard

When recreating moonlight, the effect is diminished if guests can see the fixture casting the light (because it’s obviously not the real moon). Attaching the fixtures within the tree hides the mechanics from view, offering light without a visible source other than the moon above. A good height to use is about 20-25 feet up into the tree. The dappled shadows on the ground, particularly in the lower, silvery blue tones will make your guests forget about lighting fixtures.

The other benefit of securing the fixtures high in the tree is that you avoid the glare that comes from lower angled lights. Bright, lower placed lights are harsh and stark on the human eye, and certainly would not create the moonlight effect that you want to achieve with your Oakville outdoor lighting.

What If You Don’t Have A Tree

Many of our tips for moonlighting refer to placing lights in trees and taking advantage of the natural movement of the leaves to create a dapples or filtered light. But what if you don’t have a large tree, or a large tree in the right place? That’s OK. Moonlighting doesn’t always have to be from trees.

Choose a location that has a considerable amount of height over the rest of your lawn. Moonlight effect won’t be believable unless it’s higher than most of your other architectural and natural features. Consider the tallest feature you have on your lawn that is within reach of high traffic areas such as your roof, patio, pillars or columns, gazebo, etc.

Take Advantage Of Other Landscaping Elements

If you have any water sources – whether it’s a pond, pool, fountain, or otherwise, moonlighting can create a fantastic effect on a reflective surface. Moonlight glimmering on water has been the source of poetic imagery for generations, so why not include that lovely ethereal scenery in your yard? Position your fixtures so that they’re in an architectural or landscape feature close enough to the water to create a shimmering design on its surface.

Choosing The Right Colours

Moonlight has a silvery blue tone to it that can be difficult to mimic with outdoor lighting services. The best way to imitate the tone is with slightly blue lights. Be careful with the shade of blue you choose, though. If you use too much blue the illumination will appear artificial, tacky, and provide a nightclub vibe. A light blue tone will do the trick, by creating a silvery blue tone that is closer to how the human eye perceives moonlight.

Choose a blue that is subtle, silvery, and low. When this filters through branches or onto the ground, the colour will hit the human eye in much the same way that moonlight does, creating the same colour perception.

Low Voltage Oakville Outdoor Lighting

When you are trying to imitate moonlight you need to use low voltage, softer lighting. You don’t want something that’s too bright, because it won’t look natural. If you do want bright lighting for security purposes, use these in other areas of your property in which you don’t want the natural feel. For example, you could use bright lighting on pathways or cast onto textured walls, rather than use the bright lighting for the down lights in your trees.

What Kind Of Fixtures Are Used To Create Moonlighting?

Flood lights are the most common products used. These will need to be placed at different angles and areas of the tree, depending on what you want to highlight. For lighter and less shadowing, ask your outdoor lighting service to mount the lights near the edge of the canopy and closer to the ground.

If you want to highlight just the tree trunk, place a light lower in the tree, just above the trunk and point it straight at the ground.

Does Moon Lighting Harm The Trees?

Some DIYers will use staples and hammer the wires to the tree. This isn’t terribly professional looking but it is effective in the short term. However, the staples do cause injury to the tree. The staples aren’t great for the wires either. Trees grow. A couple of years after installing those moon lights, the tree may have grown enough to damage or destroy all that hard work and now you have to cut into the tree to remove or replace the wires.

We use specially designed hangers that keep the wires secure and intact without harming the trees at all.

Leave It To The Pros

What part of hanging lights in a 25 foot tall tree (that’s a really long way up!) and running electricity across your yard (to code) sounds fun or easy to you? No one wants to spend his or her weekends or holidays engaging in something that could easily lead to an injury, cause damage, or fail to work as you want it to. This should be the time to relax, after all.

The best way to get landscape lighting in the Oakville area to fit your needs is to hire a professional. Seasoned experts can tell you exactly what fixtures will provide the most appealing aesthetic effect for your lifestyle and needs, and how to enhance the usefulness of your yard after dark, as well as the safety, security, and curb appeal of your home. The warranty and lifetime maintenance is another huge benefit and the peace of mind knowing it was done properly and professionally the first time and won’t cause damage to your landscaping!

For any outdoor landscape lighting job that needs doing, we can do it for you! Don’t wait to enhance the night time beauty of your home. Contact Nite Time Décor Oakville for your complimentary quote, more information, or to book a consultation.

Planning Outdoor Lighting, Even If You’re Not A Pro

 

Landscape Lighting 101: Planning Outdoor Lighting, Even If You’re Not A Pro

As a homeowner, you work hard to make the inside of your home reflect your own unique style and personality. Why stop there! Designing and decorating the outside of your home, even for night time, offers unique opportunities to show off your own style and personality.

A landscape lighting system can highlight the most unique elements of your home’s architecture, all while adding valuable curb appeal, security and even safety. But, form follows function. Take a minute to read through this list of things to think through before you jump head first into selecting fixtures.

Know what you’re looking for in a design.

How Will You Use Your Outdoor Space?

Before choosing any outdoor lighting designs, consider how you will be using your outdoor space. Do you only want security and safety lighting for your front walkway and entrance? Or do you intend to light up your back porch to BBQ diner and entertain family and friends? Some neglected areas are the front steps, driveway, patio or porch, backyard, pool, unique architectural elements. The lighting design you choose will reflect the way you plan to use your space, so be sure you’ve considered all the ways you’ll use your outdoor spaces at night before making a final decision.

Determine Lighting Style

Deciding on the needs of each area of your home helps streamline the decisions on what kind of lighting and lighting fixtures to use. You may want task lighting over the bar-be-que for instance. Maybe you want to brighten up the darkest parts of your yard for security, then strategic flood lights or uplighting of trees might be effective. If you want to illuminate a unique architectural feature on your home, you’ll want to use accent lighting such as spotlights. And you’re not limited to one style. If you want light to help bar-be-que, that same lighting doesn’t have to light up your dining area.

Let one style and brightness compliment another. This is where smart technology and creating zones for your outdoor lighting comes in!

Creating Zones With Landscape Lighting Maximizes Versatility

With LED technology, landscape lighting is available in a variety of colours, beam spread, and intensity. Zones signify a particular focus or intended use, each zone complimenting and blending into another. Smart technology allows you to control individual fixtures with your phone or tablet. You can have multiple electrical lines go to one transformer, allowing for individual control of each line or “zone.”

There’s never been more options for style and versatility.

Each zone is grouped on a single line from the transformer. Each zone then can be controlled independently depending on any number of factors. For instance, you’ll want lights used for security to come on at dusk and turn off at dawn – set it and forget it. Smart technology can automate that independent of the lights on your patio or pool for instance.

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.

How To Determine The Best Zones For Your Outdoor Lighting

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.

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

Basic Design Principles To Enhance Custom Landscape Lighting

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.

Be sure to avoid a flattening effect by only adding outdoor lighting to the front of your home. Instead, create a three-dimensional viewing experience by adding depth and contrast.

Maximize your home’s nighttime potential! Many builders install minimal lighting so the effect is utilitarian rather than aesthetic. Instead, highlight the architectural features and landscaping to create a unique-to-you effect day and night!

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!

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. Many of these fixtures can pull double duty and provide light for multiple purposes to maximize your investment.

Types of Outdoor Lighting in Oakville

In order to better understand your outdoor lighting design needs, consider the following outdoor lighting classifications:

Decorative Lighting: this will add to the overall value of your home by illuminating areas of your yard where you can socialize with family and friends. Our tiki lamps provide a nice downlighting effect and enhance the mood around the pool or near the BBQ.

Landscape lighting: if your garden is the envy of your neighbourhood, why not show off all of the interesting features that make your yard beautiful with a little lighting? Try our mini wash light for garden areas or our above ground well light for trees or fountains.

Security lighting: Use lights that illuminate a large area to discourage trespassers. Sensors or timers are also effective. Decide where there are “risk zones” in your yard. Pick areas that need to be lit up for safety reasons, such as steps, around the pool, dark zones, and other areas where guests may be in danger of tripping. This has the benefit of adding security from trespassers.

Think of the Effect of Your Landscape Lighting in Oakville

Rather than just considering what the fixture looks like, you should be thinking of what the desired effect is. What are you trying to achieve? Common techniques are grazing, silhouetting, spot lighting, moonlight effect, and cross lighting.

Consider factors such as the height of the feature highlighted, the type of feature (hardscape like fire pits, walls, and ovens, or natural landscaping), the colour of the feature, and the sort of texture. Texture can do a lot to enhance the effect of the lighting by creating shadows.

Go Green

Consider the greener options to help out the environment, and your bank account. LED lights may be more expensive at the initial purchase, but will save you in the long run – especially with the many lights needed for landscape lighting in Oakville.

Hire a Pro

The best way to get landscape lighting in the Oakville area to fit your needs is to hire a professional. Seasoned experts can tell you exactly what fixtures will provide what effect, and how to enhance the usefulness of your yard, as well as the safety, security, and curb appeal of your home. The warranty is another huge benefit.

Don’t wait to enhance the night time beauty of your home. Contact Nite Time Décor Oakville for your complimentary quote today.

 

Outdoor Landscape Lighting Tips For Your Best Pathway

 

Outdoor Landscape Lighting Tips For Your Best Pathway

We want our homes to be welcoming places for our family and friends, even before they enter through the front door. Whether getting out of their cars or walking up your street, you can make your home look friendly and inviting with attractive outdoor lighting for your home, pathways and walkways.

But don’t settle for the ho-hum out-of-the-box look everyone else is using. Outdoor lighting is a great way to highlight the character and design of your home. From your front walk, the path to the pool, or the sidewalk to the back deck, all of these areas can come alive at night with effective use of pathway lighting.

Path lighting doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but you should consider a few things before you buy.

Tips For Pathway Lighting

When choosing what type of lighting best suits your needs, form should follow function as designers say. What do you need the pathway lighting to do? Are you lighting a path for aesthetic reasons or is there a safety element involved as well? Are there gardens along the path that could add diverse tones or shadows?

Glow Not Glare

You want to highlight the unique details of a stone path or the walkway garden you’ve spent so much time on, not blind your guests. Pathway lighting should provide subtle light to help people navigate the walkway easily. The walk to your back deck is not a crime scene so don’t light it like one.

Tip: Select fixtures that direct light at your feet not in your eyes. This might mean a cover, shield, or other decorative device that directs the light to the ground.

There are a wide variety of lights available on the market from whimsical to minimal to historic. Whatever you prefer, try to keep the same theme with style and materials throughout.

Avoid Row Upon Row

You don’t need to direct guests down a runway, so don’t light your pathways like one. Instead of placing your lighting row on row making sure each fixture is precisely the same distance from all the others in a straight line, why not mix it up? By alternating sides, you can guide guests down the path in a subtle way that lets you highlight the landscape elements you’re proud of. Use natural curves or angles as a guide of where to place pathway lighting instead a rigid design.

Tip: If straight lines fit the style of your home go with that, but don’t be afraid to hide a light in a bush or ornamental grass next to the path. Light the path from the side here and there. Mix it up.

Tip: Space fixtures as much as 10 to 15 ft apart, depending on the length of your pathway, to guide people instead of direct. Place a bollard, pillard or other type of light that’s brighter than the pathway lighting to provide a focal point.

Mix It Up

Mixing up the styles of lighting, three kinds of stake lights on a single pathway, is not wise, however mixing up the height of the pathway lighting is a great way to highlight details. There are three main types of pathway lighting: downlighting (stake lights are an example – the light is pointed down), recessed or paver lights (the light is mounted in the walkway or recessed on the edge of a pathway or other fixture), and pillars, bollards, or something similar. Use a low light to highlight your favourite ground cover plants.

Tip: Set lights slightly back from the edge to highlight plants along the walkway.

Tip: Adjust the height of the light in relation to the plants surrounding them. The light should be slightly taller than the plant.

Professional or DIY?

There can be a significant price difference between a professionally installed outdoor lighting system and one done DIY – with good reason. You’re not just paying for the better fixtures, wiring, timers, etc. but you’re also paying for the expertise of the professional designer and installer.

Purchasing a DIY lighting system, whether solar or electric will often be less expensive than hiring a landscape lighting professional – no question. But the lighting kits often aren’t as hearty as what the pro’s would use, leaving you in the dark after a season. The cheaper the kit, the less reliable the lighting will be.

The great thing about hiring a professional outdoor lighting specialist is that they bring top-quality fixtures, wiring, timers – everything you’ll need plus they’ll install the system. There’s no willy-nilly placement. A pro will create ambiance and mood and make the most of your home and gardens. They know all the products available and have an eye for perfect placement, not only to make it look beautiful, but safe.

How much maintenance?

Depending on how many fixtures you have, maintenance on a professionally installed outdoor lighting system could be minimal from replacing burnt-out bulbs to removing debris and leaves or trimming back bushes to keep your lights from over-heating. Replacing individual fixtures or the whole system will depend on the level of warranty your fixtures have and the quality you’re looking for. Cheaper ones made of plastic could last a couple of seasons, whereas high quality brass fixtures could last for decades.

Professional landscape lighting companies will often have maintenance packages so you don’t have to spend your weekends cleaning your fixtures.

If you’re thinking of going DIY with your outdoor landscape lighting for your pathways, here are some of the most common design faux-pas we see.

Landing Strip-itis

This is one of the most common DIY path lighting mistakes – assuming that it’s all about symmetry. Placing lights parallel to each other on either side of a path creates an unattractive landing strip effect. Not only does this lack subtlety, but it will cast shadows and leave dark spots that can be disorienting.

The Hollywood Premiere

With this outdoor lighting mistake, we’re never sure if there’s a movie premiere, a car dealership or someone signalling to extraterrestrials. Using lights that are too bright or beams that are improperly focused can cause unwanted light pollution for you and your neighbours, which is especially hazardous when the glare affects safe navigation of pathways.

Fashion Faux-pas

Most outdoor lighting kits from your local hardware store are designed to catch your eye with a slick design and finish, and the actual quality of lighting and fixture construction is secondary. Also, kit lighting isn’t engineered to take into account custom power requirements or runs of various lengths, which means you will find yourself constantly replacing bulbs and fixtures.

With these kinds of path lights, you definitely get what you pay for. For some people, they aren’t able or don’t want to invest in quality outdoor lighting and are happy to replace what they have every year or two. Ultimately, the point is to draw attention to attractive lighting and not necessarily attractive fixtures.

Watch Your Step

Even if a DIY-er accomplishes an effective pathway lighting setup, we often see major safety issues when it comes to step lighting. Whether it’s at the front door or the deck area, steps are sometimes left in pools of shadow in between lights – or worse – they’re not lit at all. Improperly lit steps in a nighttime lighting design is worse than no outdoor lighting at all, since a person’s eyes become accustomed to a certain amount of illumination which makes unlit steps seem even less visible.

Set It and Forget It

We assume that the culprits of this mistake never have their chimney cleaned or their furnace serviced either. A lack of maintenance of your Oakville outdoor lighting will start to show in the number of burnt-out bulbs or in power lines that come to the surface of the soil or mulch. Plants and shrubs that border the pathway may grow over a fixture to the point that you forget it’s there.

All of this creates further hazards at night, and decreases the value of whatever investment you made in your system.

We love to hear our clients’ DIY design ideas and translate those into a lighting system that makes a home look spectacular at night. A professionally-designed system doesn’t have to break the bank to get the results that you want, and the added services available to keep your system humming will ensure that you will enjoy it for years to come.

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 you can sit back as the compliments from neighbours and guests pour in!

 

 

Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Ponds, Pools, Hot Tubs And Other Water Features

 

Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Ponds, Pools, Hot Tubs And Other Water Features

Outdoor lighting isn’t limited to lawns and gardens. What about those water features that you love so much during the day? Adding some outdoor lighting to your pond, fountain, pool, or other water feature opens up many new opportunities for visual impact at night.

Water features are often focal points of yards, gardens, and patios and should be properly showcased! Highlighting your water feature can provide a beautiful backdrop for nights spent socializing or just soaking up the relaxing sounds of the water. Nite Time Décor Oakville provides you with landscape lighting design and services that you won’t forget. And neither will your friends – they’ll be talking about it for years to come!

Leave It to the Pros

We have over 20 years of combined experience with creating unique-to-you landscape lighting designs. There are a lot of electrical wires involved with adding any type of lighting, which can be a fire hazard. On top of that, combining those wires with water can make for a very “shocking” experience. We are very knowledgeable about our products and can definitely help you find the lighting options that will bring out the best in your landscape and water features.

Submersible Lighting Adds Additional Layer of Drama To Water Features

Submersible lights are placed below the surface of the water in a basin and then directed back towards the body of water. Fountains look especially beautiful when this type of lighting feature is used. Adding submersible lighting creates a shimmery effect, as well as illuminating any fountain streams. This can look very magical and be quite awe-inducing when done properly.

You can even enhance the effect by adding colour filters to your submersible. This is a fantastic way to show off creativity, as well as add a vibrant, trendy effect to your landscape.

How To Keep Your Pool Safe At Night

Make your pool a warm and inviting location for a summer dip. Whether your pool is in-ground or above ground, outdoor pool lighting will create a look that is not only warm and inviting, but safe.

As noted above, submersible lights are common in pools and are often found at various intervals in the pool below the water line. These are a fabulous feature, but don’t let your imagination stop there!

Foliage

Why not place lights in the planted areas around your pool? If you don’t already have some plantings around your pool, maybe this is the year to put some in! Place an ornamental tree in the yard with a four to five-foot planting bed around it. Place some lights in the planting bed and they will cast a warm glow into the pool water.

If you have large trees in your yard, why not place one of our down lights in them so they can shine directly on to your pool! Cool beans. The natural movement of the lighted leaves create fun shadows and other elements that help diminish the feel of the city in your back yard.

Tiki Lamps can give your pool the accent lighting that your backyard has been lacking, while providing a nice amount of light to see with. The great thing about tiki lamps is they don’t have to be lit every night, only when you need them, and can be moved around the yard if desired.

And of course, if you have a pool waterfall, you simply cannot neglect it.

Keep Your Pond Looking Its Best Even At Night

Lighting up a pond can be a tricky task. However, ponds are a special kind of feature of your commercial or residential yard that can look absolutely gorgeous when lit properly.

Perhaps the first thing people think of with a water feature at night is keeping everyone safe. But this can be easily achieved without sacrificing aesthetics. Of course you’ll want to make sure the perimeter of your pond is clearly visible at night, but how can we do that and still keep things looking amazing?

We can go back to the submersible lighting idea as outlined above. Placing lights in the pond looking up or into the centre of the pond can be quite attractive, particularly in combination with fountains and other features. The downside of this is that you won’t get the natural moonlight reflecting on the surface of the water. Less is often more with underwater lighting, so this is usually used in combination with fountains, waterfalls, and sculptures.

Again, like with the pool, you can place lights in the surrounding foliage to catch the movement of the leaves while still illuminating the edges of the pond or the surface of the water. Subtle white lights are a great choice here because ground level lights can cast a glowing reflection across the water or mimic moonlight when cast down from a nearby tree.

Lighting Water Features With Surrounding Landscaping

You don’t need to overdo it. Lighting around the edge of the pond, highlighting protruding rocks, or small channels is an important safety consideration that doesn’t have to be garish or harsh. Hiding lights among rocks around the pond can be a great way to provide subdued, but effective, lighting. Many restaurants or event halls with ponds tend to have bridges over the water. Place lights along the bridge to highlight the edges of the water while creating a romantic feel.

Coloured filters on the lights can also be quite nice. Subtle blues or yellows can provide natural tones to glow from the surface. A silvery blue is great for creating that moon on the surface of the pond look that’s so appealing at night.

Avoid colours that are too bright or bold, particularly for commercial properties.

Keep Your Hot Tub Looking Romantic Even After Dark

Hot tubs are becoming more and more affordable, but they’re another water feature that needs to be lit properly to keep friends and family safe. If your hot tub is on a deck or some other raised platform, be sure the change of levels and stairs is clearly visible.

Again, surrounding the hot tub with recessed lighting is a great idea that’s both subtle and safety conscious. Submerged lights in the hot tub, coloured or white, create an exotic and romantic feel after dark.

Don’t Neglect The Pondless Patio Fountains

Some of us don’t have the space or time to maintain a pond or pool, but we love the soothing sound of water particularly at night. Many of the commercial patio fountains come with lights, but if yours doesn’t, why not add a string of (outdoor-rated) string or fairy lights? Give your small fountain that ethereal or other-world look after dark and create a nighttime focal point on your patio!

Lighting Choices For Water Features

The standard incandescent lights are still available, however investing in LED lighting will result in fixtures that are more energy efficient and adaptable. With LED you can add colour filters more easily to change with the seasons or for special holidays.

Low voltage lighting combined with water features creates a subtle and appealing visual. It’s neither overpowering or glaring but still provides enough light to answer safety concerns. Use the surface of the water to reflect the light over a greater distance instead of high-powered lights. Low voltage will get the job done, and continue to encourage safety.

Don’t hesitate to contact us about your commercial or residential Oakville landscape lighting project. Contact Nite Time Décor today for your complimentary quote. You’ll be happy you did!

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!