It’s incredible the way lighting can change outdoor spaces. As is the case with indoor spaces, spending comparatively little on lighting can produce dramatic results. A DIY outdoor lighting project might be just the thing to make you fall in love with your home all over again. But before you begin an outdoor lighting project, it’s important to think about your options. Here are 10 tips for 10 approaches to outdoor lighting.
Do me a favor and imagine that you are in need of suggestions for a Fourth of July party. You head to Pinterest (where else?) and search “Fourth of July.” You are blinded by a barrage of red, white, and blue. On the screen are colored pretzels stacked into a replica of the American flag; painted mason jars (lots of mason jars); twine; tin cans; stars lovingly painted in water soluble paint on the grass. But here’s the thing. Fireworks are so much more important than any of these crafts or decorations.
Here’s why I think so.
Earlier this week, we received a question from a customer who wanted to know how bright our solar deck lights are. Are they bright enough to illuminate outdoor stairs, for example? Although we know the specifications of all the solar deck lights we sell, this question inspired me to complement my own abstract knowledge of solar deck lights with concrete, hands-on, experiential learning. This is an attempt to give our customer more than just a mere “Yes. They are bright enough.”
It’s full-on spring, and there seems to be a lot of activity in the landscape lighting world. That’s probably because landscape lighting is generally a great and affordable way to significantly improve the curb appeal of your home. Landscape lighting ideas abound on the internet, and, since it’s a popular season for landscape lights, I thought I would curate for you some of the best landscape lighting I have seen out there on the Web.
Step lights are both attractive and functional, as they illuminate stairs, paths, and hallways, in indoor and outdoor applications. Step lights are universally brilliant, but there are so many kinds of step lights, we figured we would help clarify your options in order to help you make an informed decision for your home, garden, or other space.
On a bright day in May 2006, J.R. Whitley attended his graduation ceremony at Appalachian State University. The person next to him, an English major, asked J.R. his major. When J.R. replied “Appropriate Technology,” the English major looked stunned. This anecdote is hilarious to me, because I was an English major, and, when J.R. said the words “appropriate technology” to me, I could only tentatively mmhmm because I had never heard of the field.
You know the sound of floodlights snapping to life in a stadium. In sports movies, the sound (usually enhanced for the sake of drama) heralds the movie’s climax. That final showdown. If the movie is any good, you really don’t know what’s going to happen, who’s going to win. It’s the sound of our attention being completely drawn into the drama before us. Floodlights symbolize our full engagement with the spectacle before us. Any of life’s quotidian stresses that may have bothered us before this showdown are forgotten.
Even when glimpsed from the highway for a split second, stadium lights engage our imaginations. The fact that we would construct such colossal, expensive contraptions in order to get lost in the drama of competition and spectacle is, actually, pretty heart-warming. In society, there are so many things that superficially divide us: Nothing brings us all back together like a football stadium on a Friday night. To see this emblem of our shared love of drama, our helplessness against the tendency to hope and dream and aspire despite our practical sides, on such a large scale is always cool to me.
So, in honor of the magic of giant stadiums and the way their giant lights capture our imaginations, here are five things about stadium lights I bet you didn’t know.
What is the Christmas season without Christmas lights and music? But what happens when you combine the two? Well, a wonderfully awesome Christmas light display of course! Check out our picks for the top 5 homes that combined the elements of lights and music to create unforgettable Christmas light displays.
1) The Holdman Family
Beautifully done, and extremely well organized, the Holdman family has been setting their Christmas display to music for years!
2) A Colorado Springs Home
This home goes above and beyond to spread the holiday cheer!
3) Gangham Style
What is 2013 without the widely renowned “Gangman Style” theme song? This home combines the funky fun song with a perfectly timed Christmas display.
4) Let’s Dance!
Although this one seems a little more fitting for a nightclub then a home, it still shines a fun light on combining music with a Christmas light display. Kudos for the creativity!
5) Fit for a Princess
So, maybe this one isn’t exactly “set” to music, but it is still one of the best home Christmas light displays we’ve seen. Even if this particular “home” is actually a castle belonging to a fairytale princess.
Do you know of any cool Christmas lighting displays that are timed to music?
When 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.
- 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. (more…)
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:
Kaboom Town in Addison, TX: