OUTDOOR LIGHTING DESIGNERS: NOT TOO BRIGHT?

OUTDOOR LIGHTING DESIGNERS: NOT TOO BRIGHT?

The human eye is naturally drawn to the brightest spot in the field of vision. That’s one of the most basic principles experienced outdoor lighting designers live and work by. Our designs and installations use this understanding to shape the overall impression a home...
LANDSCAPE LIGHTING FOR SMALLER HOMES

LANDSCAPE LIGHTING FOR SMALLER HOMES

Turns out, a surprising number of homeowners think landscape lighting is too extravagant for their modest properties. A perk for the owners of estates, mansions, mini-mansions, and grand residences. That is to say, for people with something to show off.  A little...
COLOR IN LANDSCAPE LIGHTING?

COLOR IN LANDSCAPE LIGHTING?

The First Law of Residential Landscape Lighting is “less is more”. A design achieves the greatest drama and beauty with as little lighting as possible. How little is “as little as possible”? Generally, just enough to meet safety, security, and functionality needs. An...
DIY OR PROFESSIONAL?

DIY OR PROFESSIONAL?

A quick search of the internet turns up a lot of content on do-it-yourself (DIY) outdoor and landscape lighting. As a matter of fact, there are literally thousands of articles, blogs, and guides on the subject. Retailers of outdoor lighting hardware naturally promote...
REPAIR OR REPLACE?

REPAIR OR REPLACE?

New clients are not always starting from a scratch. Quite a few explain they’ve got outdoor lighting systems already in place. They’re not satisfied with the performance of the system, or perhaps with its general condition. Long-time owners of a property realize one...
THE WIRE

THE WIRE

The goals of outdoor and landscape lighting are to make a property look amazing at night. This is the artistic side of the profession. On the technical side, the proper choices in hardware and configuration must support the designer’s art. This is where hardware...
2019 TRENDS IN OUTDOOR LIGHTING

2019 TRENDS IN OUTDOOR LIGHTING

2019 has been an interesting and active year in outdoor and landscape lighting. As its days dwindle to a precious few, let’s pause and highlight some of the year’s top outdoor lighting trends.  Path lighting, if you will, to next year. The standout markers of 2019...
HARDSCAPE LIGHTING

HARDSCAPE LIGHTING

  HARDSCAPE AND SOFTSCAPE Outdoor living spaces have two basic ingredients: softscape and hardscape. Softscape is all that’s alive and growing. Trees, shrubs, lawns, flowers, succulents, and so forth. Hardscape is pretty much everything else. It’s not living....
SELECTING TRANSFORMERS

SELECTING TRANSFORMERS

WHAT IS A TRANSFORMER? A transformer is a box which takes in electricity at X volts and puts out electricity at Y volts.   In fact, by the laws of physics voltage isn’t the only thing a transformer changes. In brief, when voltage is stepped down, current steps...
OUTDOOR  LIGHTING FIXTURES GUIDE

OUTDOOR LIGHTING FIXTURES GUIDE

  OUTDOOR LIGHTING FIXTURES Guides to outdoor and landscape lighting usually suggest specific design uses for the various types of fixtures. Readers, however, aren’t always familiar with the trade lexicon. Let’s go over the outdoor lighting fixtures menu and shed...
LANDSCAPE LIGHTING POWER COSTS

LANDSCAPE LIGHTING POWER COSTS

Landscape lighting systems consume electrical power.  And alas, electrical power costs money. Therefore, unless money is no object, it’s reasonable to ask how much it costs to power a landscape lighting system. Obviously, any homeowner thinking of having a system put...
OUTDOOR LIGHTING MAINTENANCE

OUTDOOR LIGHTING MAINTENANCE

Outdoor lighting systems need a modicum of maintenance to live long and prosper. The lighting designer ’s mantra is “less is more”. The maintenance version is “a little goes a long way”. It doesn’t take much to keep an outdoor lighting system in tip-top shape. It just...
LIGHTING YOUR TREES

LIGHTING YOUR TREES

In 1913 the poet Joyce Kilmer wrote: “ I think that I shall never see, A poem as lovely as a tree”. Trees are indeed magnificent works of nature. They ’re the most impressive natural features on most of the properties in our area. Lighting trees with 21st-century...
HOME SECURITY LIGHTING

HOME SECURITY LIGHTING

  WILL OUTDOOR LIGHTING MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER? From time to time there’s an item in the media suggesting that outdoor lighting doesn’t improve home security. One of the arguments is that outdoor lighting is as likely to help a burglar as to deter one.  Others note...
DARK SKIES

DARK SKIES

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s Dark Skies Program estimates that 80% of Americans have never seen the Milky Way. The reason isn’t poor eyesight, bad weather, or lack of a telescope. Rather, it’s because the nights in our developed areas aren’t dark...
Landscape Lighting Design: BRIGHTNESS AND TEMPERATURE

Landscape Lighting Design: BRIGHTNESS AND TEMPERATURE

How much light? Outdoor lighting designers hold to the maxim that “less is more.” Homeowners are concerned with security, safety, and utility. A good design, professionally installed and maintained, fully addresses these practical concerns while knocking...

POOL DECK DESIGNS

A residential swimming pool with basic underwater lighting is like a blank canvas. It practically begs for a deck and area lighting design that elevates the merely attractive to a boutique resort feast for the senses. The guiding artistic principle is subtlety. We...
OUTDOOR LIGHTING FOR BUSINESSES AND INSTITUTIONS

OUTDOOR LIGHTING FOR BUSINESSES AND INSTITUTIONS

The basic goals of outdoor lighting designs for businesses and institutions are much the same as those of homeowners but are often prioritized differently. Private homeowners do have to comply with codes and ordinances that are intended to limit the intrusion of one...
TRENDING SMART LIGHTING CONTROLS

TRENDING SMART LIGHTING CONTROLS

The digital revolution is transforming outdoor lighting designs just like everything else in our lives. Smart lighting is trending up across the board. The term “smart lighting” is a broad one which refers to two related paths of innovation. Lighting...

BACK TO THE FUTURE: LED CONVERSIONS

If an outdoor lighting installation was put in before 2013, it could well be a line-voltage system powering halogen bulbs with 120-volt house current. If it’s older than 2010, it’s nearly certain that’s what it is. These systems were state of the art...