A few garden landscaping tips for springtime

 low voltage lighting

The chilly temperatures of winter are slowly becoming a distant memory, which means that with warmer weather it’s time that you got out into your garden to start your spring landscaping. While the months of frost have probably kept you cozy indoors, a change of season means that you’ll be spending more time outside in your backyard. Maybe the harsh winter conditions have left your lawn damaged or your flowerbeds have accumulated some serious overgrowth? Fortunately for you, with the right tools and the time to get the job done, your property’s surroundings will be looking healthy and luscious in no time! Here are a few spring maintenance and landscaping tips that you can follow if you want to have your garden in ship-shape for BBQ weather.

Start dethatching

Did you know that when leaves, thatch and other debris build up they can actually suffocate your grass and its roots? So, after the winter months have passed it’s safe to say that your lawn could probably use some fresh air after being subjected to all the snow pile up and frozen soil. That’s why dethatching should be an important part of your gardening routine, as it increases airflow, reduces unwanted pests and allows your grass to start its own process of spring recovery.

Get rid of the weeds

Removing plant debris that’s been left over from the transition between seasons is a good way to prepare for a healthier yard because much like dethatching, compacted soil, mulch and other debris can disable vegetation from growing in your garden. So, grab a compostable bag and make de-weeding part of your spring cleaning. After all, now is a better time than any to start planting!

Add mulch to plant beds

After your yard is all tidied up, make sure to lay down a generous layer of mulch amongst your plant beds. In fact, mulch helps to lock in moisture and prevents the soil from drying out too quickly. Mulch also provides a nutrient-rich environment for your plants to grow and thrive in while deterring weed and pests.

Beautify your landscape

When your property is all cleaned up and you’ve finished planting an array of beautiful flowers, your final step in your spring landscaping project will include adding some entertainment essentials. Spring up some vibrant patio furniture, roll out the handy BBQ and install some low voltage lighting to illuminate your landscape. Start by strategically placing some path lights along your garden walkways, continue by installing some step-deck lights on the siding of your deck’s footsteps, then anchor some pond lighting for a unique aesthetic glow and even place some directional lights within your garden to uplift a ray of illumination across your property. Now, if you already possess some state-of-the-art illumination perhaps you should consider a budget-friendly upgrade to some low voltage lighting. It’s an eco-friendly, long-lasting and economical investment for any homeowner.

What type of low voltage lighting do you use in your garden? Tell us in the comments section below.

What’s the difference between commercial, industrial and residential lighting?

outdoor lighting

Outdoor lighting installations and upgrades come in all project shapes and sizes, including small residential ventures, medium-scale industrial plans all the way up to some larger proportion commercial lighting schemes. While you already know that each game plan requires illumination, what you probably don’t know is that an assortment of fixtures and bulbs may be required depending on which field you’re building or upgrading. That’s why we wanted to outline the similarities and differences between residential, industrial and commercial grade lighting.

What is residential lighting?

The light fixtures and bulbs that you use in and around your home, such as your kitchen, garage, garden and driveway. Although many lighting components are best suited to either indoor or outdoor conditions.

What is industrial lighting?

The light fixtures and bulbs that are used in various manufacturing buildings and factories are built specifically suited to industrial lighting. Many industrial lights are more durably equipped to withstand tougher, more hazardous conditions in places such as chemical plants, mines or refineries.  

What is commercial lighting?

The lights and fixtures that are used in any type of business that isn’t manufacturing, such as hotels, restaurants, retail shops, warehouses and offices are considered commercial lights. Also, the outdoor lighting that is seen in your city, such as public street lamps, bridges and what surrounds government buildings is also typically commercial grade lighting.

How do these lighting systems differ?

The key things to consider between all the varied fixtures and bulbs are flexibility, energy efficient and maintenance costs. However, each type of indoor or outdoor lighting is versatile to the needs of the industry it’s used in.

  • Residential lighting: The lighting fixtures and bulbs that are used in and around your home are generally the cheapest and offer the shortest lifespan. However, there are many LED and low voltage products on the market that is changing this perception. The best part about residential lighting is that it’s also the cheapest to operate, requiring a small amount of maintenance (replacing bulbs etc.) and even comes with a reasonable warranty on the fixtures.
  • Industrial lighting: Generally speaking, industrial lighting fixtures and bulbs are significantly more expensive because they’re manufactured to endure rougher conditions (sparks flying from welding, heavy items falling on or near them etc.). However, industrial lights are able to provide a high level of durability and usually come with a longer warranty than your traditional lighting fixtures.
  • Commercial lighting: The lighting fixtures and bulbs that are used in and around commercial buildings cost a mid-level amount because the initial outlay takes longer. The lighting products are more expensive than residential lighting, but they typically last longer and are made to enduring harsher conditions. The best part about commercial lighting is that there are more options for energy savings because you’re typically able to buy low voltage commercial products in bulk. The downside is that upgrades and installations usually involve hiring a contractor to do the work which limits the ability for many commercial properties to perform regular maintenance.

What fixtures do you have in your home or business? Post in the comments section below to join in on the discussion.

 

Are you on top of your outdoor lighting safety?

outdoor lighting safety

Outdoor lighting radiates far more prominently in the winter months, where the daylight is scarcer and the constant wind and rain make for gloomier, grayer skies. Although illumination is an essential home adornment, as a homeowner, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all your lighting gadgets in order to prevent any accidental short-circuiting or unexpected fires. That’s why as a responsible lighting connoisseur, you should take a few minutes to enlighten yourself and become acquainted with these outdoor lighting safety tips.  

Never use a damaged cord

Whether you haven’t found the time required to replace it, or you simply were out shoveling the snow and pulled the cord too hard, it’s incredibly easy and common to damage an outdoor extension cord. If your extension cord is run-down at either end or is starting to fray in the middle, you may receive an electric shock when you go to plug in into your lights. Also, even though it seems secure, you’re not exercising appropriate outdoor lighting safety by using electrical tape. It’s much easier, and more prudent, to just purchase a new, dependable extension cord.

Use timers on your outdoor lights

Timers are not only a great eco-conscious tool that you can to help you save money, but they’re also a marvelous way to ensure that your home is secure with lighting. The timers can be set to shut off your outdoor lights when the sunrise in your area is expected and vice versa for when the sun goes down. Not to mention, the best part about lighting timers is that you’ll never have to leave the comfort of your home to turn on your outdoor lights.

Don’t overuse your outlets

Plugging an excessive amount of lighting into a single outlet has the ability to wear down and even trip your breaker. As an outdoor lighting safety measure, be sure to check that the electrical devices you’re plugging it do not exceed the recommended watt load.

Utilize your GFCI outlets

Many modern-day homes possess ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets on their exterior. The benefit of these outlets is that there is electric shock protection, which aids in keeping you safe around wet environments. The GFCI outlet trips when there is an electrical current on an unintended path. So, considering it’s only the start of winter, utilizing these exterior outlets are an incredibly advantageous way to promote outdoor lighting safety.

Are there any other outdoor lighting safety methods that you use? Please share them with us in the comments section below.