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Archive for the ‘Holiday Lighting’ Category

The 2013 Birmingham Home and Garden Show just concluded. The attached video made its debut at the show. All of these landscape lighting and architectural lighting projects were designed and installed by the staff of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives in Birmingham.

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We recently completed an extensive LED accent lighting project in Gadsden, AL.  During the design consultation, the customer stipulated that he wanted all fixtures to be LED rather than halogen.  He has a very demanding schedule, and his goal is a worry free, maintenance free, and time free system.  We were able to accommodate his wish by installing all LED fixtures.  Bullet lights, pathway lights, flood lights, and deck lights were incorporated into the design.  Additionally,  some recessed LED puck lights were incorporated into his boat dock.  We even used some LED C9 holiday cords to provide a festive look to a flower trellis.  To make the system even more maintenance free, we controlled the systems with an Intermatic astronomic timer.

The merits of LED lighting are well documented.  Lower power consumption and longer lamp life are primary advantages.  This project included 42 fixtures that collectively amounted to 232 watts–approximately 5 watts per fixture!  This lower power consumption will reduce the homeowner’s power bill by $200 annually.  Just as attractive is the 50,000 lamp rating and five-year warranty.

Oh, and by the way, the fixtures are all very robust.  All of them are copper or brass and they will withstand the travels of the customer’s pet dog and pet pig.

 

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Today marked a milestone for Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Birmingham.  We completed an outdoor lighting project for our 1000th customer!  Admittedly we are proud of this achievement, but it is also fun to ponder the ten-year history of OLP Birmingham.

Customer #1     2001   in Vestavia Hills community                            

Customer #1000    2010  in Eagle Point community

Largest  job      184 accent lights  – Cullman, AL                

Smallest job   1      numerous times

Most installations by neighborhood  

   #1 Greystone in North Shelby (147)  

   #2 Ross Bridge in Hoover (72),

   #3 Harbor Ridge in Tuscaloosa (29)

Longest commute

Selma, AL   92 miles

Shortest commute

across the street

Best locations to visit customers  

Lake Martin, Smith Lake, Logan Martin Lake, or Lake Tuscaloosa

Largest commercial job 

 Crowne on 10th apartment complex in Birmingham

Trade Partners

Signature Homes

Shoemaker Pools

Aquatic Gardens

Fun Facts

Participated in “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” in 2005

Nominated for “Home for the Holidays”  residential Christmas lighting.

Featured in Birmingham News for “My Landscaping Success”.

We are grateful to all 1000 of our customers.  Thank you for your confidence in us when you honored us with your business.  Thank you as well for the countless referrals to your friends, family, and neighbors.  Many of these referrals resulted in new customers.  I trust that Outdoor Lighting Perspectives met all of your expectations.

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Most of the holiday lighting installations that we have done this year have been at homes which also have accent lighting.  I have been asked countless times if the Christmas lights will detract from the accent lighting, or if it would be best to turn off the outdoor lights during the Christmas season.  The answer to both of these questions is NO.

Actually, the classiest, most elegant “look” is achieved by mixing a well designed accent lighting system with some roof line holiday lighting.  If homes don’t have any accent lighting, the holiday lighting tends to lose the three-dimensional look.  Rooflines often look two-dimensional, especially from a distance.  Likewise,  homes fade into darkness and the decorative lighting then becomes the focal point and creates the curb appeal.

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At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives in Birmingham, we design and install Christmas lighting systems.  (Yes, we do prefer to call it Christmas lighting rather than holiday lighting). 

As you can imagine during this time of year, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  Most Christmas lighting must be installed in a 2-3 week window regardless of weather, illnesses, or any other challenges.  Nevertheless it is a fascinating business, and when you see children’s faces light up with joy, it makes the long days well worthwhile.

Most of our product is purchased from Holiday Bright Lights, and we are proud to be a member of their organization.  HBL is best known for their popular light links which come in various patterns.  Since they are constructed in 4′ lengths and are pre-lit, they are installed quickly.

We also have the numerous requests for lighted lawn decor.  These ornaments come in many patterns and can often be placed in the yard or mounted on the side of the house.

In addition to the more contemporary lighting, we also do the traditional roofline lighting with cord sets.  We have selected John Deere Landscape as our source for traditional C9 and C7 cord sets.

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Why is it that so many of us thoroughly enjoy the annual tradition of watching the movie Christmas Vacation, yet none of us want our house to look like the Griswold’s house?    The answer is quite simple…we want a professional design and we want a professional installation.

Although Clark Griswold thought it was best to have the most lights, most homeowners disagree.  Our approach at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is to let the homeowner participate in the design process.  We let you browse through a catalog while we take a digital photo of your house, then by using our Holiday Decorator software, we can illustrate what your home will look like with the decor that you select.  If you want to make changes, it is very simple.  No guesswork, no surprises, no neighbors that despise your decorations.

Regarding the installation, the techniques are just as important as the design.  We are a certified member of Holiday Bright Lights.  The technology that has been developed by Holiday Bright Lights would have made Clark’s job simple.  By using LED lights, the need for many extension cords has been eliminated, thus minimizing those irritating tripped breakers.  By using “light links” to decorate roof lines, the need for staple guns has been eliminated.  Likewise the lights links have a patented locking gear system which adjusts the decorations to look uniform regardless of the angle.  The inclusion of  “always lit” technology prevents missing or broken bulbs from disabling the entire set.  Sorry Clark, no more climbing on the roof trying to figure out why your lights aren’t working.

This year, why not leave your holiday lighting needs to the professionals.  Invite the in-laws to visit, party with your neighbors, and enjoy your visit with cousin Eddie.

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One of our Birmingham customers called earlier this week and said he had a  lighting project for us.  Although that is always good news, it was particularly moving this time.  Mr Fant, who is a retired veteran, recently installed some flag poles at his home.  The lighting project that he eagerly awaited was to light these flag poles…..prior to July 4.  After a slight change to our schedule, we gladly accommodated Mr Fant’s request.

Lighting flag poles can be somewhat tricky.  It is imperative to choose the correct fixtures, select the proper bulbs, and determine optimum placement of the fixtures.  Mr Fant’s flag poles are 30′ tall which is easily accommodated with low voltage lighting. 

We chose to illuminate the flag poles with two well light fixtures.  Well lights are easily adjusted, both by rotation and angle of the bulb, so they are better for this application than stake mounted fixtures.  Each flag pole was illuminated with two fixtures since they are only viewed from the front and sides, but not the rear. 

The bulbs that were used in the well lights were 35 watt PAR36 bulbs with a ten degree beam spread.  The bulbs are manufactured by GE  Lighting.  Narrow spots were chosen due to the height of the poles.  These bulbs provide a bright illumination of the flag as opposed to a softer look that a regular flood light bulb would produce.  Brighter is always better when illuminating flags.  The colors are much richer and the white “pops” in the night-time sky.

Placement of the fixtures is very important.  If the fixtures are placed directly beneath the flag, the bottom of the flag will block most of the light and obscure the top.  If the fixtures are placed too far from the pole, you lose the perspective that the flag is actually on a pole.  Consequently, for proper illumination of these 30′ flag poles, we placed the two well lights approximately 8′ from the pole.  The fixtures were placed at the “4 o’clock” and “8 o’clock” positions.  This provided optimum night-time effects and a stunning symbol of patriotism.

As we celebrate our Independence Day, we proudly display our flag and our colors. 

May God bless the United States of America!

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