The Many Benefits of Landscape Lighting

Many people are hesitant about adding landscape lighting to their homes. Some do not want to pay the extra expense and others are concerned about the installation or design aspect. Regardless of the reason, homeowners want to understand a little more about landscape lighting before taking the plunge.

A landscape design without lighting is similar to a TV stand without a television. One does not serve its function without the other. The two work together in harmony to create a beautiful backdrop for your home. Lighting not only enhances a landscape, but it also illuminates it in the darkness so the design can be appreciated for longer than just the daytime hours.

Here are some additional benefits to landscape lighting:

Safety

Safety outlines one of the top reasons for installing adequate landscape lighting. Pathways, steps, walkways, driveways and porches should be lit enough so people can see where they are walking. Your lighting should illuminate the area so visitors can feel safe navigating through your landscape. Walk around your landscape and notice where people will walk during the night hours. These are the areas that should be adequately illuminated.

Dark homes are an easy target for burglars who can enter a home without being noticed. Proper landscape lighting or even security lighting can deter burglars from entering your property while urging people in your neighborhood to follow suit and encourage a safe environment for all.

Easy Install

One of the reasons people decline landscape lighting is because they think the installation is too difficult or time-consuming. If you have the money and you want to hire a professional, then by all means do that. But if you are short on cash and you want to install some lights, the job is not as hard as it may seem.

Plan your lighting design before you start. If you want some professional assistance, consult with a professional just for the beginning stages and cut your costs. If installing on your own, take some time to go over the landscape in detail and bring your lighting design plan to your local home improvement store for review.

Solar lights are the easiest to install so if you are worrisome, stick with solar. If you want to tackle other lighting, all you will need is a shovel to dig and lay wire while installing the lights. The next steps involve filling in the holes while plugging in the lights see the results of your hard work.

Cost

As stated before, the cost is somewhat of an issue when you hire a professional, but if you “DIY” you can save a bundle.

It is also not expensive to run the lights if you use either solar or low-voltage lighting. Low voltage lights use up less electricity than traditional fixtures and many come with eco-friendly bulb capability which can further cut down your energy costs.

Home Value

Any time you improve your home, you are increasing its value. If you plan on selling your home, these extra enhancements can create a winning curb appeal and entice buyers before they even enter your home.

 

“Do It Yourself” Motion Sensor Lighting Tips for Your Landscape

Motion sensor lights are an essential component of any landscape lighting design. They are often overlooked because they don’t offer the beauty and majesty of an elegant lighting design, but they are very important for safety reasons.

Motion sensor lighting will illuminate walkways, paths, gates, stairways and any other area where safety is a top priority. They not only serve to light the yard, but also act as a deterrent to crime and theft.

Motion sensor landscape lighting powers on when the sensors detect movement. Once the sensor detects a signal in its range, it will power on until the signal is no longer detected and a period of time has elapsed, at which time it will shut off.

Installation

Installing motion sensor lighting is not difficult. You can purchase pre-wired outdoor lighting kits at a your local home improvement or hardware store. The kits are inexpensive and replacement bulbs are easy to replace. If you are interested in a “green” landscape, research your options for solar motion sensor lighting.

Varieties

Motion sensor lighting is available in two types of sensors: active and passive. Though most of the motion sensors you find in a landscape design are passive, active sensors are also beneficial for specific functions.

Active – Active sensors are often used in garage door openers since they detect active movement. When your vehicle interrupts the beam, the garage door will either open or close depending on whether your vehicle is nearby. If your car was stuck under the door while it was closing, the beam would detect it and the garage door would automatically open once again.

The active sensor emits energy into its surroundings to detect any movement. Once movement is detected, the energy is reflected back to the sensor, resulting in a particular action. In the above example, the garage door would open or close.

Passive – The passive sensor is similar to the active sensor in that it detects movement; however, the level of movement is at a much smaller scale. In fact, these sensors detect infrared energy changes which are as small as the energy emitted by your skin. Passive sensors constitute the majority of the motion sensor lighting seen in homeowners’ landscapes.

Set Up

Since your passive sensor will detect small frequencies, it may pick up on unwanted movement like a raccoon or stray cat scurrying through the yard. Wind can blow branches in front of the sensor and cause the light to go on and off incessantly as well. Temperature changes can also set off the motion sensor. For these reasons, adjust the sensor to an appropriate range so as not to trigger it too often.

Also, do not install sensors near any venting system since temperature sets it off. When you walk near a motion sensor light, the beam is detecting the change in temperature given off by your body heat. The heat or air from vents can result in unwanted light flickering.

Tips:

  • Shut down the power to the area in which you are working. You can also shut down the power to the entire house. Make sure to let other people in your household know you are working on the lighting and you need the power to stay off during installation.
  • Position the lights away from any air vents.
  • Keep the lights away from the area around windows since sunlight can reflect off the window and trigger the sensor.
  • Check all openings to ensure the light is tightly fastened so no debris or bugs enter the sensor area.

Have you ever installed motion sensor lighting in your yard? Please provide any helpful tips!

“Going Green” With Your Landscape Lighting

From hybrid cars to recycled shopping bags, the world is “going green” in an effort to save the environment and provide a better future for our children. If you look around, you will see many people trying to do their part, no matter how small, to make this world a better place to live.

If you want to take a stab at “green” living or you are a green living aficionado looking to expand your horizons, you can adopt green living habits in your landscape lighting easily and without much effort.

Many people shy away from practicing green living because they become overwhelmed at the prospect. Even if you need to start off small, a small gesture is better than no action at all. If you have never attempted to try a green living habit, why not start with your landscape lighting?

The energy consumption from your landscape lighting can be a big constraint on your energy efficiency. With just a few simple techniques, you can be on your way to creating a safer environment.

1. A Blueprint

If you haven’t started your landscape design or you want to re-design a new blueprint, sketch out your design so you can show others when you need assistance. If your blueprint is already completed, you can take it your local garden store and ask them for tips on creating a more “green” lighting landscape. Sometimes the people in your local area will have the best tips that will work for your specific location. Your local store will also have experience in what works for your budget, labor and time investment.

2. Low Voltage Lighting

Here at Best Pro Lighting, we encourage low voltage lighting because it provides superior lighting to your landscape design without sacrificing price, energy or beauty. Low voltage lighting is energy efficient and maximizes power to save you money on your electric bill. Besides the “green” seal of approval, this lighting is a perfect addition to walkways, paths, decks and sidewalks. Low voltage landscape lights are easy to install as well.

3. Timers

Many landscape lights can be hooked up to a timer which will automatically turn your lights on and off according to your schedule. By setting your lights to a time, you will avoid wasting power when your lights are on at unnecessary times of the day. You can opt for a mechanical timer which requires manual adjustments or an astronomical timer which is programmed to operate based on your location on the map. Your lights will automatically turn on or off depending on the settings.

4. Solar Lighting

Solar panels have become the wave of the future and many homeowners are using them in their landscapes. Since their inception, solar panels have dropped in price, yet have become more efficient and able to absorb more power. Though some older model solar lights provide a weaker illumination, the newer models burn brightly for longer periods of time. Set solar panels where they will receive maximum light during the day.

Take the time to research the ways you can create a “greener” environment with your landscape lighting. With only a small amount of effort you can make a large impact on the environment.