Step Lights – Tips from a Landscape Lighting Designer

Step lights on deck, by Twilight LandscapingThere are many design considerations when choosing a step light for your project. To help navigate through the many choices available, we turned to a professional landscape lighting designer.

Flush Mount vs. Surface Mounted Step Lights

According to David Bilik, owner of Twilight Designs in Las Vegas, flush mount (recessed) step lights are often the fixture of choice when used indoors. He credits this to how easy it is to cut into and run wiring through drywall, especially when installing step lights after construction is completed. “While planning ahead is helpful,” says Bilik, “there are many products available for running wires post-construction.” He recommends 110v wiring to fish through walls and attics or low voltage wiring when 110v is not an option.

For less penetrable surfaces like concrete and stone, surface mounted fixtures are ideal because they mount directly to a wall or flat surface. These step lights commonly have a profile of as little as 3/4-inch up to 3-inches and a trajectory that directs light at the wall or at the surface below.

Open-Faced, Louvered, Shrouded Step Lights

Open faced, louvered and smooth step light faceplate stylesRegardless of whether you are using a flush or surface mounted step light, you must consider the type of cover (or faceplate) the fixture has. Bilik says that in his experience, most covers will fall in one of three categories, each with its own series of benefits:

  • An open-faced step light will offer the most amount of light with only a frosted glass lens to soften glare from the bulb. There is nothing to deflect or redirect the light with an open-faced step light, so proper placement is crucial as to whether or not the fixture will complement the design elements of the area, or overwhelm the space. Avoid this by mounting the fixture to the left or right of a staircase instead of on the face of a step.
  • Louvered fixtures have a cover that functions much the same way as an air vent in your home or car would. They have a grated cover that directs the light down. Although a louvered faceplate blocks the most amount of light, it is ideal for mounting on the front of a step as they mount flush with the surface and block all glare.
  • Shrouded fixtures capture the light coming out of the front of a fixture and redirect it down, focusing the light on the ground where you need it most. However, even with flush mounted fixtures, the shroud itself still sticks out making this fixture unsuitable for mounting on the front of a step.

Retrofitting Step Lights

Although LED fixtures are becoming more popular, a lot of step light fixtures are still outfitted for conventional light bulbs, but this does not mean that you are saddled with inefficient lighting. Retrofitting a conventional fixture with LEDs is sometimes as easy as changing a light bulb. “Look for LED bulbs that are direct replacements for their conventional counterparts, and use socket adapters when necessary,” says Bilik.

Many step lights are universal in size, meaning they are designed to fit within a single gang electrical box. For landscape lighting designers like Bilik, this makes the process of upgrading to LED step lights simpler and more cost-effective for the client.

 

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48 foot outdoor string light kit by Bulbrite

Pegasus Lighting Featured on CBS’ The Talk!

On July 17th at 2pm ET, you would’ve thought the first intergalactic space shuttle landing was being televised. Pegasus Lighting employees across the East Coast gathered around our televisions like gleeful school kids. What’s all the hubbub about? We’re famous!

For a few seconds, anyway.String lights quote from CBS' Chi Lan Lieu

Friday afternoon, five Pegasus Lighting products were featured on CBS The Talk’s “Must Have/Must Give” segment, showcasing the very best products to make outdoor dining easy, entertaining and exciting. We were proud to share the stage with five other amazing vendors — Plow & Hearth, Cuisinart, Juliska, RIV Audio and Zazzle.

Lifestyle expert Chi-Lan Lieu chatted with Sheryl Underwood about our 48 ft outdoor string light kit, commenting “I’ve always been charmed by these wonderful string lights. I just love these things.” But what really won her over were our solar lanterns. A day before the show aired, Lieu posted this sneak peek on her Instagram: (more…)

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10 Solar deck and patio lights under $10

10 Solar Deck and Patio Lights Under $10

Creating a stunning deck or patio doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are 10 no-maintenance solar lighting options for use in and around your outdoor living space — all under $10.00.

10 solar deck lights under 10 dollars
1. Solar LED Mini Deck Light$7.90

2. Solar LED Decorative Jar Light, $9.90

3. Solar LED Post Cap, $8.90

4. Remmington Solar LED Deck Light, $7.90

5. Solar LED Mini Deck Light, Round, $7.90

6. Solar LED Mini Postap for 4×4 Posts, $5.90

7. Saguaro Solar LED Deck Light$8.90

8. Marion Solar LED Deck Light, $4.90

9. Solar Umbrella Clip Light, $6.90

10. Solar LED Color Changing Flame Light, $7.90

Note: Prices are subject to change. Visit our website for current pricing and to view all of our solar outdoor lighting products.

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Surprising Ways to Get Rid of Bugs at your Next Outdoor Party

Last week I tackled the question of whether or not yellow bug lights actually work to reduce the swarms of insects you usually see around a light. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the cliff notes: Yes, they do. But you’re going to need more in your arsenal.

How to Deter Those Pesky Pests

I’m one of those lucky few that seem to attract every mosquito within a 5 mile radius (my Daddy used to say it was because I was ‘so sweet’ 🙂 ). There are a handful of methods that have always been my first plan of attack: Citronella candles, dousing myself with insect body spray, and even employing the use of wonderfully entertaining bug zappers. But I’ve recently learned that there are some highly effective, though less-common methods of bug-banishment that many people swear by:

Bring out the Big Guns

Unleash your inner Clint Eastwood with this salt-laden bug obliterator. The Bug-a-Salt fires a lethal grade of table salt to destroy its winged victims.

Bug-a-Salt sprayer

Did You Know? Opt for LED light bulbs in your outdoor fixtures. Insects are attracted to high levels of ultraviolet light. Though any light will attract some bugs, LED’s emit almost no UV light, so they don’t attract as many insects as a regular bulb would. Incandescent & CFL ‘bug lights’ also attract less insects by using yellow bulbs to change the color temperature that bugs can see. (Read more in Bug Lights: Do They Work?)
(more…)

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bug lights, do they work

Bug Lights – Do They Work?

IMG_5970-new
An outdoor barbecue is going to lure insects into your yard. Aside from eating your hamburger in a dark void, there’s not much you can do that will totally eradicate all insects from your lawn, but will using bug lights help?

The smoky aromas, good music and friendly laughter from your outdoor BBQ may have drawn the neighbors in, but chances are good that it also drew in a few unwanted guests. Mosquitos. Flies. Bees. They love the sweet lure of barbecue sauce, along with one of the necessary ingredients for an evening party — Light.

You may have seen yellow “bug lights” in your department store and wondered if they actually worked or if they were just another marketing gimmick. (more…)

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LED solar hanging planter basket for the garden.

This Solar Light May Have Turned Me into a Green Thumb

With the bounty of Spring upon us and Summer right around the corner, I decided to shine some light on a product that I’ve been itching to unbox: A hanging garden basket with ultra bright solar LEDs.

Just one problem…

I’m not much of a green thumb (truth be told, I’ve been known to kill a cactus) so I was a bit hesitant to – literally – put a spotlight on my inability to keep anything green alive.

What it Is
Solar LED hanging basket

  • A solar-powered LED light is suspended above a hanging garden basket.
  • Kit includes a solar panel, a coconut husk-lined basket, bracket and chains.
  • Automatic dusk-to-dawn solar light illuminates your plant.
  • Provides about 12 hours of warm white light when fully charged.
  • Currently priced at $49.00 (Note: The light is also available for purchase without the basket)

Where to Hang It

One of the features of solar lights is that they need to be positioned, well, in the sun. But the blazing hot Southern summers (and this non green-thumbed gal) can spell tragedy for plants. I’m much more likely to keep a shade loving plant alive. Thankfully, the remote solar panel can be installed up to 8 feet away from the planter which means I can hang my flowers in a shady area while positioning the panel in the sun for optimal charging.

Tips for Installing the Light

When you’re searching for the right place, make sure you have a nice sunny spot available within 8 feet of the basket to install the solar panel. For bright light throughout the evening, the panel should be exposed to direct sunlight for several hours a day. (more…)

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