Sep 272013
 

victorian solar led lamp and post 7 foot height 17 300x199 How To Choose Solar Lights For Your YardWhen given the choice between spending money or getting something for free, which would you pick?

While this dilemma seems a little too good to be true, in the outdoor lighting industry, it’s an increasingly valid question. Conventional outdoor lights run on the electricity you pay for, but solar lamps are powered by the always-free sunlight. Once you invest in your favorite solar lights, the costs stop. No money spent on difficult installation, upkeep, or energy.

Who doesn’t love that?

However, because solar powered lights are still a fairly new technology, you need to make sure that the lights you buy aren’t going to let you down. Until just recently, most solar powered lights only produced a dim amount of light, and weren’t very reliable.

To choose good solar lights for your yard, you need to be informed. Here’s what you need to look for when you’re shopping:

LED lights: We recommend you always use solar powered lights with durable LEDs. They last longer than other light sources, and can hold up under harsher elements. LEDs require less energy to produce light, so they are much more dependable.

Efficient Photovoltaic Cells: You should stay away from older models, making sure your lights have durable solar cells and the most efficient batteries.

Function and Decoration: Make sure your lights will be able to perform the functions you require. When lighting an outdoor area, we recommend you use 3 kinds of solar landscape lights – accent lights, path lights, and task lights. Here are some examples:

  • Solar accent lights: Accent lights are used to mark areas or highlight features in your yard, but not illuminate a large object or area. They aren’t as bright as other kinds of lights, meaning they last longer. Their purpose is mostly to add visual interest.

hanging basket with solar led accent light 7 How To Choose Solar Lights For Your Yard

  • Solar path lights: Path lights are brighter than accent lights, and used to guide you around an area in the dark. They come in a variety of sizes, and operate in a range of different ways – timers, motion sensors, or dusk-to-dawn photocells. Continue reading »
 Posted by on September 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm
Jul 032013
 

We like to talk at length about the importance of long lasting lights. But, there’s one day when all of that flies out the window (or up into the sky, as it is). The fleeting light from fireworks on the Fourth of July can be among the most dazzling and memorable lights you’ll ever see.

Since July 4th is tomorrow, I’m dedicating this blog post to some of the most amazing light shows in the U.S.

Fair St. Louis at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO:

fairsaintlouis org 10 Spectacular Fireworks Shows For July 4th

Image via FairSaintLouis.org

Kaboom Town in Addison, TX:

Addison TravelChannel com 10 Spectacular Fireworks Shows For July 4th

Image via TravelChannel.com

Continue reading »

Jun 262013
 

bigstock Modern stone house in Istria 9183125 1 300x144 Are LED Outdoor Lights Bright Enough?
In a word – yes.

Here’s why:

We’ve all had one of those free, or next to free LED flashlights that doesn’t give off enough light to help us see anything. So naturally, you might have some doubts about trusting LED lights to illuminate you exterior, especially at night. Unlike those cheap flashlights, LED outdoor lights – like floodlights, step lights, and landscape lights – are created for important outdoor use. So, they’ll generate enough light to brighten your stairs, driveways, porches, paths, and yards, just like any other outdoor lights.

To be sure that you’ll get lights you can trust to work and to stand out in the dark, just check how many lumens your current outdoor lights emit (halogen, fluorescent, etc) and make sure your new lights have a similar number. Continue reading »

Jun 172013
 

stock photo outdoor space vertical The 5 Rules of Outdoor Universal Lighting Design
Every space you inhabit should be safe and welcoming.

If you’re a designer, or if you live with a person who has special needs due to age, you’re probably familiar with universal design. It’s all about making a living space accessible to everyone. Universal lighting design specifically uses light to make these improvements and accommodations possible.

Most often, you hear about universal lighting design for task areas in kitchens and bathrooms, but it’s also a very important concept for the exteriors of homes and buildings.

When night falls, universally designed exterior lighting ensures a smooth transition between inside and out. It keeps porches, patios, steps, and walkways always inviting.

Use these rules to create an outdoor environment that is safer for everyone.

1. Create a visual destination.

Aging eyes need more light to distinguish detail. So, when an elderly person navigates in the dark, he needs the light to clearly indicate where he should go. All the lights should converge on, or point to a single destination, usually the front door or entrance. This spot is the brightest spot on the property.

bigstock Contemporary grand entrance 6548309 The 5 Rules of Outdoor Universal Lighting Design

2. Clearly define outdoor “zones.” Continue reading »

Jun 102013
 

camping 236x300 How To Choose Good Camping Lights
When planning your next summer camping trip, you should always have a quality headlamp, flashlight, and lantern on your packing list. The right battery lights will keep you safe and comfortable throughout your journey through the wilderness.

Here are some essential qualities you should look for in a good camping light:

1. Battery Operated. As nostalgic as those old kerosene lamps may be, battery operated lights are much more practical. You can turn them on and off whenever you need to, and they require much less paraphernalia. During bad weather, they’re a lot safer to have in your tent. Make sure to find one with a long battery life, or one with a recharge crank so you’ll have light until you choose to return to civilization.

2. Small. When you’re lugging your belongings up a mountain, an extra pound or two makes the biggest difference. You want something light, compact, and easy to carry.

3. Bright. Your light may need to be small, but its impact should be big. When rummaging through your knapsack, cooking your food, or scoping out a campsite, your lanterns, flashlights, and headlamps need to emit a massive number of lumens. This will keep you organized and out of danger. You may also find it helpful to invest in a light with several different brightness settings. That way you can set up your camp and read yourself to sleep with just one light. Continue reading »

Jun 032013
 

Outdoor Kitchen HGTV 300x225 Using Under Cabinet Lights In Your Outdoor Kitchen

Image via HGTV.com


Whether you’re building an outdoor kitchen for the first time, or updating yours for summer, under cabinet lights can be a valuable addition. Today’s blog post will explain what under cabinet lights can add to your outdoor kitchen, and how to find the right kind for you…

What Under Cabinet Lights Will Add To Your Space:

You need a light to rely on.

Most outdoor kitchens don’t have a constant source of ambient light. Unless your space is complete with a ceiling and some sort of overhead fixture, you can’t just rely on the sunlight. If you like the feeling of cooking in the open air, you’ll need some sort of task lighting, especially when preparing food after dark.

Despite all the variable conditions in the outdoor kitchen, adding lights to specifically illuminate your countertops will ensure you’ll always have adequate task lighting. The lights will come in handy when you grill meat or veggies, allowing you to check that they’re fully cooked before serving. Under cabinet lights help you see when mixing and pouring drinks, and fixing snacks as well. Having extra task lights will also help you see to thoroughly clean your outdoor kitchen, so leftover crumbs won’t attract unwanted pests.

Not to mention good task lighting adds a lovely ambiance to an outdoor space after dark. Continue reading »

May 202013
 

rope light coil 300x300 How To Use Outdoor Rope Lights
Summer is just around the corner. If you’re one who enjoys long nights under the stars, you’re probably already thinking of way to spice up your deck, patio, or yard for the season.

To add a little no-fuss accent light to your space, you may want to try a few strings of LED outdoor rope lights. They’re flexible and weatherproof, and they come in 6 different lengths and 2 different color temperatures.

Here are some of the many ways you can use rope lights to liven up your yard for summer:

  • Highlight a deck or porch by wrapping lights around the handrail.
rope lights around handrail via Apartment Therapy How To Use Outdoor Rope Lights

Image via ApartmentTherapy.com

  • Use rope lights for safety, lining steps and garden pathways with the bright LEDs. Continue reading »
Apr 112013
 

Bike Lights Oval 300x300 Bike Lights For Night Riding
My town is about as bike friendly as you can get. Most roads have designated bike lanes, or friendly “Share The Road” signs. All in all, bikers and motorists get along well here, but we’re not immune to accidents. Last week, I was driving in the evening and I saw a car accidentally force a cyclist off the road near a stoplight. He wasn’t hurt, but I could tell he was shaken. As an enthusiastic cyclist myself, that worried me. Did the car just not see him?

Whether you’re hopping on your bike to enjoy the spring weather, or to be a little more environmentally friendly, safety should be a priority.

The most important thing to consider when riding at night is how to see and be seen.

Here are a few of our favorite LED bike lights for night riding:

1. Clip On Bike Lights  

Clip On Light 300x300 Bike Lights For Night Riding

These LED lights attach easily to the front and rear of your bike. The white light clips to the front break cables to help you see where you’re going, and signal to others that you’re heading their way. The red light clips to your seat rails, brightly marking your bike’s rear. They both operate in steady beam and continuous flash modes, visible from up to a mile away. They’re weather resistant and have a long battery life. Continue reading »

Mar 122013
 

LED Step Lights At Home 233x300 How Durable Are LED Step Lights?
We recently received this question on our website about the durability of our LED step lights:

Can the lights set flat on the landing and be able to withstand the removal of snow, or are they too fragile for that?

If you’ve considered installing step lights on an outdoor staircase or an indoor staircase that gets a lot of wear and tear, this question has probably crossed your mind. After doing some research and hearing from a few customers about their own experiences, here’s what I’ve found:

The Hearty Light Source

For a quality outdoor step light, you couldn’t do better than an LED. LEDs don’t have delicate filaments or electrodes like other light sources. This lets them withstand jarring vibrations like heavy foot traffic or shoveling.

Also, LEDs love the cold – they actually last longer in lower temperatures. So, they’re perfect for outdoor lighting in chilly climates. Fluorescent lights, on the other hand, don’t thrive in the cold. They have difficulty starting in temperatures lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Fragile Are The Housings? 

While LEDs by themselves are downright robust, they aren’t the sole component of a step light. The glass, metal, or plastic housings and covers might not hold up to vigorous scraping or pounding if installed flat on a stair. Plus, if they’re not completely flush, they could be a tripping hazard.

Jim from PA. a proud owner of LED step lights, offered us his solution to this problem:  Continue reading »

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