Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How to Use Landscape Lighting to Transform the Outdoors

Lighting your landscape is probably one of the most challenging home renovations you’ll ever have to do. It gets tough because outdoor areas are lit differently during the day and at night. There are also so many outdoor spaces that you may want to light. You may consider lighting the pathways or draw attention to a particular object or area in your landscape. So in general, landscape lighting requires a lot of planning.

Determine the purpose
First, you need to understand why you have decided to lighten the backyard. Do you simply need to illuminate the area for security reasons? Do you want to create a relaxing and romantic feel in your backyard? Understanding what drove you to invest in landscape lighting will help you identify the best lighting features. You may want to lighten up a path that leads to your garden in order to mark its boundaries. Sometimes lighting the area where your water fountain or pond is located will give the backyard a completely different look.

Decide on the areas that need lighting
There are basically 3 types of lighting for you to consider: overall lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. Overall lighting is basically where you want to illuminate the entire space. This is usually done for security reasons. There are lighting fixtures which are beautifully designed to illuminate a large space. When you choose outdoor fixtures remember to check the lifespan and energy consumption of each bulb. Look for fluorescents that come in a variety of colors and are designed to consume less energy. LED lights are way better because they have a longer life and consume very little energy.

Task lighting on the other hand is used for specific purposes. It can be used to light a path or a secluded pond in your backyard. It can also be used to light up your swimming pool area. Accent lighting is meant to draw attention to a specific area or object. It uses spotlights or floodlights to create this effect.

Problems with landscape lighting
Remember that outdoor lighting comes with its fair share of challenges. It’s important to understand these from the get go. Positioning and shielding must be carefully considered when choosing the best landscape lighting in order to prevent glare. Areas like paths need to be well lit in order to enhance security and safety. Other areas that need to be well lit include the entries, driveway and steps.
Landscape lighting must also be properly installed. Poor installation can lead to light pollution and also create glare. Make sure the lights are positioned correctly so that you don’t end up wasting energy and time in outdoor lighting. You can also use reflectors on your bulbs in order to ensure light is concentrated on areas where you want.

You should also opt for low-wattage bulbs because they consume less energy and also provide proper illumination. Other features that you can invest in when installing outdoor lighting include timers and motion sensors which help to conserve energy and also enhance security. 

Posted By: Blackstock Electric http://blackstockelectric.com

Monday, October 20, 2014

Common Mistakes To Avoid In Exterior Lighting

Exterior lighting is important as it boosts security, adds beauty and safety to your property. But most people still install exterior lights disregarding quality, efficiency and function. Being knowledgeable on where to put the lights and the types to use is very critical. Mistakes can be costly in the long run and give visitors to your property the wrong first impression. Below are some vital considerations when installing exterior lights.

Failing to consider function

We've seen this in many homes: people install lights on the driveway that are directed to the driver's eyes instead of illuminating the entrance to the garage. It is important to identify the focal points before installing exterior lighting and aim the light towards that point.

Trying to highlight every area

Not every part of the landscape or garden needs excess illumination. You can consider installing landscape lighting to target specific prominent features of your garden or landscape. Aim the light down to the areas you want illuminated to avoid overkill.

Ignoring money-saving light fixtures

There are certain fixtures and timers that can help you save on exterior lighting. For instance, you can get exterior lights with times that go on and off depending on a schedule. The timers will not only help you to save on the cost of energy but also to enhance security in your home whenever you are away on vacation.


Over-lighting is not only annoying to your neighbors but it's expensive and contributes to pollution. If your main concern is security, instead of over-lighting your home's exterior, consider investing in motion detectors. The exterior lights should be subtle and provide just enough illumination to enhance safety and beauty. To avoid over lighting, you can use dimmers which adjust the level of light in your exterior as the evening approaches.

Failing to consider landscape features

If you have a good garden which you'd like to flaunt using exterior lighting then choose the locations and type of lights that will bring out its beautiful features. Also make sure you don't put lights in areas that are difficult to reach. The lighting fixtures should not interfere with regular maintenance like pruning. Make sure they are out of the way.

Installing exterior lighting without a plan

Most importantly, installation of exterior lighting should be done after formulating a proper plan. A plan will help you to assess issues like costs, the types of lighting available and the areas where to install them in order to avoid oversights. You shouldn't consider just your immediate needs like the cost of lighting when doing the installation. Consider also the service life of the light elements and bulbs used.

Overlooking environmental challenges

The other major challenge when installing lights outdoors is the insects. Insects are generally attracted to bright lights so you have to make sure you position the lights in the right manner. There are lights that are designed to discourage insects. You can ask an expert electrician to recommend lighting fixtures that are best suited for your garden, driveway or landscape.
To fully understand your electrical needs, a lighting designer factors in aesthetics with functional aspects.This is where Blackstock Electric, with over 15 years of practical experience, comes in handy. With several niche specializations, we cater to a plethora of electrical services and needs.http://blackstockelectric.com