An experienced outdoor lighting designer understands that there is much more to a good design than simply illuminating architectural features on a home. Depending on the profile of the feature, the size, and the position, shadows will be created. The resulting shadows can be either stunning or distracting.
A few points to consider.
- If architectural features are symmetric, the resulting shadow should also be symmetric. Carriage lights at the main entrance, and columns along the front of the house are prime examples. If fixtures are improperly positioned, the shadows will veer in different directions. It is much more pleasing to the eye to have identical shadows when possible.
- Never create a shadow that obliterates other features. Once again, the carriage light is an example. The shadow should never be cast across a decorative foyer window. Likewise, shadows cast by landscaping and trees should not be cast on key architectural features.
- Shadows from overhanging features such as awnings, false balconies, roofs, etc, should never be cast all the way to the roof line. Whenever possible, move the light away from the house to minimize this effect,
- Never try to eliminate all shadows…just manage them effectively. This is the difference between a skilled lighting designer and someone who installs lights strictly for illumination.
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Do you prefer a crisp, clean look when lighting flagpoles? With a little bit of creativity, gaudy fixtures can be eliminated, and replaced with recessed fixtures. This becomes a relatively easy task with the introduction of high output low voltage LED lights.
Our most recent application was to illuminate the flagpole at the Greystone Golf Club outside of Birmingham. It was an approximate 30′ flagpole. We selected fixtures that accommodated 10watt 15 degree LED PAR lamps. The photometrics of these lamps proved adequate for strong illumination at this distance.
By following a few simple guidelines, installation is relatively simple.
First, begin by creating a layout. Most times, three fixtures will adequately illuminate a flag pole. They should be equidistant from the pole and equidistant to each other.
Next, using a post hole digger, remove sod and dirt to the required depth for the fixture, allowing several inches for pea gravel. The gravel will facilitate better drainage.
Next, insert the fixture into the hole, ensuring that it will be “flush” with the sod line, so that mowers can pass over the top. Also be sure that the adjusting mechanism for the fixture will facilitate bulb adjustment toward the flag pole.
The next step is to clean debris off of the lens, and cover it with a clear plastic or glass cover. This cover will keep trash and debris from settling into the fixture.
The final step is to place a grated cover over the fixture. These covers are typically available in aluminum or brass. Brass is the recommended choice because it will be much more resilient and durable.
Once Spring arrives and the grass begins to green, these recessed fixtures will be virtually non-existent.
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Tips on how to retrofit conventional incandescent systems to LEDs. You too can experience lower maintenance, 80% less utility costs, exponentially longer lamp life, and cooler operating temperatures.
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Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality.
Each year, The Best of Houzz Service awards are issued. To win this award, companies must be nominated by their customers. The various testimonials are reviewed by the Houzz staff, and they in turn, recognize deserving companies with this award. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Birmingham proudly accepts this award for 2014.
Be sure to check out houzz.com if you are planning a home improvement project. Additionally, you might like to stay abreast of new products and services. Houzz.com is the best site for this type of research.
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The Birmingham area has experienced a rebound in the amount of light commercial projects during 2013. There is also an increasing tendency that many of the new projects specify low voltage accent lighting. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives has been fortunate to be the beneficiary of 11 of these projects since January.
The feedback that we keep hearing from architects, contractors, and landscape architects is that “we want LEDs for this project”. During the past several years, the advantages of LED technology for outdoor lighting has been well documented. The reduced maintenance, longer lamp life, and lower operating costs are very attractive to building owners and management companies. Gone are the days of the icy blue look, because warm white LEDs have the same color rendition as their halogen counterparts. Additionally, the amount of lumens generated by low-wattage LED lamps is phenomenal. In many cases they are comparable to commercial grade line voltage fixtures. Since most commercial facilities opt to leave the lights on from dusk to dawn, it is more palatable since LEDs consume approximately 80% less power than halogen systems.
We are very pleased to have partnered with the following companies/organizations during 2013:
Capps Cove Bed and Breakfast
Hampton Heights Condominium Park
Overlook Office Complex
Farmlinks Golf Course
Forest Lakes HOA
Greystone Legacy Country Club
Varicosity Vein Center
The Gardens Neighborhood Entrance, Tuscaloosa, AL
Greystone Legacy Country Club, Birmingham, AL
Mentone Inn, Mentone, AL
System Controls, Trussville, AL
Farm Links at Pursell Farms, Sylacauga, AL
Capps Cove Bed & Breakfast, Springville, AL
Overlook Office Complex, Birmingham, AL
Posted in Architectural Lighting, Commercial Lighting, Company Information, Going Green, Installation Techniques, Landscape Lighting, LED Lighting, Outdoor Lighting Designs, Sign Lighting | Leave a Comment »
Since we are in the Outdoor Lighting business, we proudly boast that we are much more than a landscape lighting company. We provide professionally prepared designs that incorporate architectural lighting, landscape lighting, garden lighting, and underwater lighting. We also strive to accent unique focal points into the design. This might be as simple as illuminating house number plaques, possibly entire statues, or some small garden feature that has sentimental value for the homeowner.
This copper wall art provided a conversation piece on the customers deck.
This wall art complete with the customer’s initials covered an entire wall along the customer’s back yard garden.
This swimming pool project included accent lighting for three water jets mounted adjacent to the pool.
This wall plaque is mounted on the column next to the security gate.
Statues, especially at home entrances, provide a stunning night time focal point.
This small statue comes to life at night.
Accenting the pottery was an added bonus from lighting the column.
Posted in Architectural Lighting, Bullet spot lights, Company Information, Deck Lighting, Garden Lighting, Hadscape Lighting, Installation Techniques, Landscape Lighting, Outdoor Lighting Designs, Sign Lighting | Leave a Comment »
During this time of year, I prepare quite a few outdoor lighting designs that involve patio lighting, deck lighting, and pool lighting. Conventional deck lights are a good choice when handrails are available to mount fixtures. Pathway lights do a good job of illuminating the deck around pools. The major challenge is for outdoor living areas that don’t lend themselves to deck lights or pathway lights. Typically, the fundamental requirement is to create a mood; thus soft, even illumination is required. We have what we consider to be an ideal solution, as long as there is an elevated area to mount a fixture. The fixture of choice is a small box flood. The fixture is only 4″ X 5″ and is a very low profile. It can accommodate halogen or LED lamps, and it is available with and without louvers which minimize any resulting glare.
For outdoor patios, we mount the fixture adjacent to the rain gutter which aids in concealing the wire. Likewise, we use this fixture above garage doors, entrances, and even as an accent for various garden applications.
Posted in Architectural Lighting, Company Information, Deck Lighting, Garden Lighting, Going Green, Hadscape Lighting, Installation Techniques, Landscape Lighting, LED Lighting, Outdoor Lighting Designs, Pathway Lighting | Leave a Comment »