How to Transform the Look of Your Deck with Outdoor Lighting

Is your deck not what it once was? Everything grows old over time, even our home features. And it can be quite costly to bring them back to their original luster. Though some homeowners may have thousands of dollars to spend on refurbishing or building entirely new decks, many struggle just to make ends meet. They need a solution they can do themselves that won’t cost them more than they can afford.

Now that you are no longer afraid of sticker shock, you will be pleased to know that you can transform the look of your deck with a few creative lighting ideas. Tailor your selections to your taste and requirements, and make your deck safe for your family and welcomed guests.

Below are some deck lighting types:

1. Post Lights – Post lights emit light downward and are a great safety feature for railing posts. This light is generally soft and will work well for safety lighting. A great feature about LED post lights is that they come in varying styles and designs. Use them to add life to your deck while insuring your guests are safe.

2. Post Cap – These lights sit atop corner posts and add sophistication to the deck. There are also numerous designs from which to choose. Opt for solar if you do not want to deal with creatively hiding the wires inside the posts. Solar lights will also save you money on monthly energy costs.

3. Step LightsLED step lights are an essential deck element to light steps and keep deck entrants safe from tripping or stumbling. The newest designs go beyond just function and offer stylish alternatives that will add a new level of ambiance to your deck. Consider lighting effects or installing the lights in the sides and risers for an entirely different look.

4. Umbrella Lights – Umbrella lights serve as fixtures for a more relaxed setting. They create a subtle ambiance perfect for a dinner party or a serene night under the stars.

5. Recessed Lights – Recessed lights illuminate the main deck areas and function as one of the most important lights. They light most areas of the deck and should be the first addition to your deck lighting design. All additional lights will enhance them.

Many homeowners choose LED lights since they last much longer than their competition (incandescent, fluorescent, etc.) They are also cooler to the touch and safer to use. Low-voltage and solar lights are also safe choices and all three will consume less energy than traditional options. Use one type throughout your deck or choose specific types for each area. Consult with your local hardware store or research the internet for ideas.

The deck of your dreams is only a few lights away. Lighting is a quick fix for homeowners who don’t have the budget to take on thousand dollar projects, but want to improve their deck. The right lighting will turn a drab deck into one you will cherish for many years.

 

How to Incorporate Pendant Lighting into Your Landscape

Pendant lighting is a type of light that suspends from a ceiling or roof area. It is most often used to illuminate patios, porches and entryways. Pendant lights are known for their aesthetic value and their ability to not only illuminate a space, but also to add a layer of elegance, sophistication and style to a backyard. Pendant lights give homeowners the chance to bring their indoor décor to the outdoors to offer a seamless transition to their landscapes.

Pendant lights must be hung from a sturdy ceiling; the higher the better. Homeowners also use them to light outdoor islands when they are part of backyard kitchens. They are a great feature over granite or marble and make the colors pop.

Selections

There are many pendant lights from which to choose. Glass pendants are very popular because they are traditional, yet modern, and they offer a timeless appeal. They also come in varying colors so the light passing through the shade appears colored. Hand-blown glass is popular as well as crystal pieces. Pendants also come in fabric shades, which are not as popular because they do not offer as much light as glass. However, they are less fragile and well-suited where bright illumination is not a major concern.

Pendant lights also come in a variety of metals such as antique brass, brushed nickel, steel, and chrome. The type of metal you choose is important because it must match the overall décor of the space. If you are leaning towards a rustic style, the brushed varieties will be a good choice. If you are a modern homeowner who likes contemporary finishings, the polished steel look will add to the space nicely without overpowering it.

Design

Pay attention to your overall décor when choosing the pendant lights. Because they come in so many shapes, sizes and styles, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or choose a fixture based on interests alone. When choosing your lights, bring along with you a picture of the space and your indoor décor. Ask a salesperson for help if you are confused. This step is one of the most important because pendant lights are more decorative than functional and they must match the style of the space and not clash with it.

Covered Areas

Pendant lights are also exquisite in covered spaces around the garden. Add them to covered walkways and paths to illuminate gardens and foliage. Coordinate your pendant lights with your landscape lighting so both do not illuminate too brightly, but complement each other nicely.

Consider pendant lights as an extension of your personal style and a feature that adds an extra design element. Pendant lights will never go out of style and you can get as creative as you want with the shades and fixtures. Spend some time researching the lights online and don’t rush the decision. Plan properly, and when you are ready they will be worth the wait.

The Many Advantages of LED Lighting Technology

LED technology has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its many advantages. LED, which stands for Light Emitting Diode, has been touted as one of the most efficient lights on the market. We are seeing LEDs surface in homes for indoor lighting as well as part of outdoor landscape designs.

The main benefit of LED lighting is its minimal power consumption. In contrast to incandescent bulbs which operate at 20% efficiency, LEDs operate at 80% efficiency with less energy lost as heat. Furthermore, LEDs last a lot longer than incandescent bulbs, so in addition to the efficiency, you will save substantial amounts on light bulbs and energy costs.

  • Long life – LEDs can last anywhere from 35,000 to 50,000 hours or 5+ years when the proper conditions are met. Fluorescent tubes last up to 15,000 hours while incandescent light bulbs burn out before 2,000 hours. That’s nearly 18 times less than the life of an LED on the low end of the scale. Many LEDs outlast 50,000 hours if conditions are satisfactory.
  • LEDs are perfect for outdoor landscapes since they perform well in extreme climates and temperatures. Temperatures as low as -40F and as high as 170F are no match for LEDs. Also, LEDs are stronger and more resistant to wear and tear in contrast with fragile fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.
  • Traditional lighting requires color filters to produce pattern sequences. LEDs emit any color light without the need for filters which lowers initial operating costs due to increased efficiency.
  • LEDs are a perfect enhancement to landscape lighting designs because they do not produce a large amount of heat. They can be applied to most fixtures and design features without damaging delicate surfaces. Traditional lighting can be harsh and radiate heat towards people in their vicinity. LEDs do not emit any UV light which can also help to protect sensitive surfaces.
  • LEDs are extremely durable and easy to move around and re-locate. They are shock resistant due to their plastic housing.
  • LEDs dim over time instead of turn off abruptly like incandescent light bulbs. You can catch the bulb as it is losing light before it dims out completely. This is important for safety reasons as abrupt loss of power can endanger people walking in the dark of night.
  • Incandescent and fluorescent lights require external reflectors to focus light on a specific area. Landscape design often contains water features, fountains or specific structures or plants that necessitate light that does not bleed into surrounding areas. LEDs can collect light and project it at angles in any direction.
  • LEDs have a short warm up time and reach full brightness in less than a second. Fluorescent lamps require a delay to reach their color temperature.
  • LEDs contribute to “green” living with no filaments or toxic gas emissions.

LEDs have many advantages over traditional lights. Whether to light a beautiful landscape or illuminate rooms, LEDs provide many benefits for homeowners inside and outside their homes.