Archive for the ‘Driveway lights’ Category

Moonlight, Beautiful: When to Use it Smartly

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Moonlight – when we think of the term, many romantic, elegant images come to mind. Within the realm of outdoor lighting, moonlighting is oftentimes equivalent to downlighting. This technique usually involves placing a fixture up in a tree or other structure to cast light down onto the ground, and it has become very popular in New Jersey.

Moonlighting and uplighting in this playground give the children ample light to play and accentuate the majesty of the tree.

Moonlighting and uplighting in this playground give the children ample light to play and accentuate the majesty of the tree.

Much of the appeal and allure of moonlighting comes from the name itself. Truthfully, it is only functional and beautiful in very specific settings. Some of these include large driveways needing additional light for navigation, decks and patios, swimming pool beaches, or playgrounds.

A moonlighting/uplighting combination elegantly lights the patio.

A moonlighting/uplighting combination elegantly lights the patio.

Like the moon itself, moonlighting forces all light emitted from the fixture downward. We refer to the technique as moonlighting because it approximates this effect. While it can create enticing shadowing on the ground, the world above the fixture remains in the dark, limiting considerably the depth-of-field and the volume of the entire decor.  Moonlighting projects light on the upper side of the leaves, limbs, and branches, instead of the underneath that you enjoy seeing from the ground or from afar.   When moonlighting is used in a tree, light does not envelop the tree, and the scope of the crown is shrouded in shadow.

Moonlighting is most striking when used in conjunction with uplighting, which allows the tree’s magnificent texture and features to shine.  When combined, these two design techniques create enticing shadowing at ground level and reveal with force the full height, shape, strength, and vitality of the majestic oaks and maples we enjoy so much in our New Jersey landscape.  This needs to be done by a professional who knows how to work (and play!) with the light.

Uplighting highlights the textures and grandeur of this ancient tree.

Uplighting highlights the textures and grandeur of this ancient tree.

If you have beautiful trees you want to illuminate this spring while enhancing the quality of the navigation on your property, contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Northern New Jersey. By demonstrating our outdoor lighting techniques in the evening, we can show you firsthand the difference professional outdoor lighting can make. We may use moonlighting to accomplish this, but first we will do what’s right for you and your property, and … you just might be surprised by the effects of our other design techniques.

 

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of New Jersey Blog copy

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Northern New Jersey
email: northernnj@outdoorlights.com
973-486-0819

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Is LED the right choice for your Outdoor Lighting system?

Monday, April 15th, 2013

LED technology is fairly recent. But today’s buzz is all about being green and reducing one’s carbon footprint. So this new technology makes a lot of sense. But, what are the facts?

Being “green” has become a hot topic. We cannot (and wouldn’t!) speak about green technologies that do not apply to outdoor lighting, but, yes, we can and will speak about LED lighting as it applies to what we so dearly love: creating beautiful, unique, and customized outdoor lighting décors.

We can achieve this soft lighting with either LED or Halogen technology

LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes. This technology has been in use for many years. By example the On/Off light of your cell phone or laptop is an LED light, among so many other applications. Unlike a traditional halogen bulb, the LED bulb does not produce light by heating up a filament, thus it has a much longer lifespan: 50 to 100 times longer! An LED bulb can last up to 50,000 hours vs. 3,000 on average for a halogen one.

Our LED well lights include a heavy duty glass cover

Because they last longer, they do not fill our landfills as rapidly as other type of bulbs, and because their energy consumption is so much lower, they can be run with a much-reduced impact on the environment. Running an outdoor lighting system is never very expensive; however, an all LED system could reduce your cost by about 80%!

This is a relatively new technology: the bulbs and the fixtures are more expensive than their halogen equivalent. But, because it costs a lot less to run and because you do not need to worry about changing the bulbs every year, we determined that the additional cost of installing an LED system is amortized in 3 to 5 years depending on the number of lamps installed (the more lamps, the faster it is amortized).

The questions on everybody’s mind are about color and quality of the lighting. One of the main concerns being that LED is always very bright and that LED lighting has a different color tone – bluish and cold. Not so long ago this was absolutely true. But today, the technology has progressed so much that you need an experienced eye to “see” the difference. The Color Rendition Index (CRI) is very close to matching the CRI of an halogen bulb and the warmth has been dropped to an average of 2,700 to 3,000 degree Kelvin bringing it within range of the halogen technology.

Our lighting designs will enhance the property and make it safer to navigate

We have access to new fixtures specifically designed to accommodate LED bulbs, and the ever growing diversity of the beams, intensity, and styles available allows us to be as precise and inventive (we wouldn’t have compromised this aspect of our work; the artistry is still there!). We can also completely retrofit existing halogen systems with LED bulbs cutting your running costs by 80% in average.

If you want to see for yourself, request a FREE nighttime demonstration. Call us at 973.486.0819 or email: northernNJ@outdoorlights.com to learn more about LED outdoor lighting technology and to see if it may be the right fit for you.

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Planning for a new Outdoor Lighting installation

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

How do I get ready for a new Outdoor Lighting installation? What do I need to plan for? Here are a few simple tips to ensure you get the most beautiful result.

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is a dedicated outdoor lighting company. Outdoor lighting is our specialty. From design to installation to service and maintenance, you will find a highly trained and responsive team (we service all systems, even those we didn’t install ourselves!)

Let’s consider the technique.

We need power. We use low-voltage, running a 120V line through a transformer able to drop that power to 12V. Low-voltage is more economical (it consumes a lot less electricity); thus it is “greener.” It is also easier to install and to maintain (none of these destructive deep trenches are needed to run the wires). It is best to place an outlet at all future transformer location (we help you with this); at least one in the front and one in the back to limit the amount of wiring and therefore reduce the risk of having a wire cut inadvertently. If we install 2 transformers, we will have 2 timers and this gives us greater flexibility if we want to dissociate the On/Off times (the lights in the front are usually on all year long, but the lights in the back can be turned on solely when the pool is in use). These outlets should be placed in discreet locations: behind shrubbery or near utilities (i.e. A/C units or pool equipment).

These transformers are hidden behind bushes and are easily accessible to our technicians

These transformers are hidden behind bushes and are easily accessible to our technicians

Garage or basement also work but having the transformers outside allows access to the system without having to enter your home for future service.

These outlets must be GFCI protected; they need to be hooked to 120V and 20A-dedicated lines (when no other device is using the dedicated outdoor lighting circuit, the risk of breaker tripping or GFCI going bad is reduced considerably).

A GFCI outlet with its cover

A GFCI outlet with its cover

In case you are planning for new construction: if there is a concrete or stone walkway, or a driveway where you feel future lighting will be necessary, install a 2” PVC conduit at marked locations

If the conduit is underground, a marker will show the exact location

If the conduit is underground, a marker will show the exact location

A clearly marked PVC conduit

A clearly marked PVC conduit

so we can run the wires without the risk of damaging the look of your finished driveway (these conduits can also be used for stereo speakers or irrigation).

 

You are ready! Call Outdoor Lighting Perspectives at 973.486.0819 if you have any other questions or if your property presents any specific challenge. We stand by to create a design that will bring your dreams to light.

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See LED Outdoor Lighting at SpringFest

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Known as “a show FOR garden lovers produced BY garden lovers”, the 2013

 Springfest Flower and Garden Show will take place this week, Thursday Mar. 14 - Sunday Mar. 17, 2013, h
ours are 10am to 5pm daily at the Sussex County Fairgrounds,

37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ.

SpringFest is a different kind of home show, who’s main purpose is inspiring and educating gardeners. Perhaps a preview of beautiful flowers and garden displays, or an interesting lecture by a Master Gardener will inspire your outdoor living plans for this year.
The Springfest Garden Show is housed in 35,000 square feet of indoor spaces and features full Garden displays, Pond and Waterfall displays as well as shopping and horticultural services, a Kids Plant Zone, Container Competition, Educational Lectures and Workshops and more. Outside you will find designer Sheds and outdoor furnishings and sculpture. A delightfully decorated Garden Cafe is available for delicious snacks or full meals.
The show takes place at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Rd., Augusta, NJ 07822. Hours are Thursday through Sunday, March 14-17,  10am to 5pm daily.
We have our new display for this show, and you can meet us and discuss any landscape lighting projects you may have in mind.  We will extend a 10% discount on new installations for customers we meet at SpringFest.
If you cannot make it to the show, please be sure to call us at 973-486-0819, or visit our website: www.NJOutdoorlighting.com.

 

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Outdoor Lighting Spring Care

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Mulching, Landscaping, Planting – Are there any steps to follow to get ready for the warmer months?

Here are a few simple tips. Of course Outdoor Lighting Perspectives stands ready to answer any additional question you may have.

Spring is (finally!) around the corner after the long winter. Most certainly your landscaper already called to schedule mulching and plant care.

Just a friendly reminder: be extra careful with your outdoor lights. Do not let them be covered with mulch or other landscaping material: dirt, leaves, pine needles, etc. (Snow is not an issue: the heat produced by the bulb melts the snow away.)

The heat generated by the Halogen bulbs melts the snow

The heat generated by the Halogen bulbs melts the snow

Mulch and debris are detrimental to the lighting effect (the light cannot shine through) and they may create a hazard as the fixtures accumulate heat and may be permanently damaged. Any dirty lens will decrease the amount of light diffused.

Bad mulch and screen

Light cannot get through this dirty glass cover and mulch has piled up on top of the fixture

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives uses heavy-duty glass covers on its well lights thus reducing this type of hazard. Nevertheless, any dirt accumulation creates a potential damage.

If possible, guide your landscaper through your lighting system, showing him where the fixtures are located so he can avoid covering or knocking them, causing breakage and long-term damage. When he digs holes to plant new shrubbery or remove dead ones, he should avoid digging, pulling, or moving wires. In doing so, he may break a connection or cut a wire. (Even a slightly snipped wire will not carry the power efficiently and the subsequent lights on the damaged run will look dim or will not have enough power to turn on.) In doubt, give us a call and we’ll help you locate the wires.

Get ready for the season. Your outdoor lighting system requires the same yearly attention than the landscape in your yard. Do you need a service call to prep your system (we are specialists and we service all systems!)? We re-adjust the lights, re-bury the wires pushed up by the freezing/thawing cycle, clean the lenses, check the timer, and check the voltage at the transformers and at the fixtures to make sure no wire is damaged.

Good mulch and screen LED

Clean glass cover, mulch around the fixture, the lighting effect is perfect!

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is a dedicated outdoor lighting company. Outdoor lighting increases the value of your property, and allows you to use the full potential of your outdoor living space. Spring is the perfect time to start planning!

To learn more or to contact us call 973.486.0819 or email at northernnj@outdoorlights.com

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