Landscape Lighting: 5 Illuminating Ideas
When we decided to landscape the front of our home, our landscape designer sent us on a tour of the town’s most beautifully landscaped front yards. We loved driving around to different neighborhoods, admiring the flower-filled beds in front of one home and the mature trees towering over another, but it wasn’t until he asked us to revisit some of those homes again, at night, did we see the full picture of exterior accent lighting. Landscapes that looked merely pretty by day seemed to come to life in the evening, glowing with mystery and drama. And that’s when we first discovered the power of landscape lighting.
Fortunately, adding warmth and magic to an outdoor area through the use of landscape lighting is easier than ever thanks to the stunning array of lighting available today. Hopefully, these 5 simple steps will show you how easily you can create an inviting outdoor living area through the use of lighting.
New to the art of landscaping? Hinkley Lighting is one of the leading experts on landscape lighting. View this Hinkley video first to help with some tips and tricks of the trade to getting your landscaping project underway.
1. Survey Your Space: The first step will be to decide which area of your outdoor space you want to tackle first. Keep in mind that while landscape lights are beautiful, they are also an important security measure. Which areas would benefit the most from being well-lit and inviting?
Incandescent Light Bulbs: The Controversy
As children, many of us were afraid to sleep in what seemed like then our pitch-black bedrooms, and we begged our parents to leave the bathroom or hallway light on. If you were lucky, they agreed after many outbursts. If you were truly lucky, you had a night light or a portable lamp on a bedside table. Kids still play the light game at night, turning lights on and off continuously. It seems they haven’t heard, according to some sources, this kind of behavior could get them arrested in 2013.
What Led to the Ban on Incandescent Light Bulbs
As it is often the case, the truth is less dramatic than the hype. The legislation that has everybody all worked up over incandescent light bulbs actually passed back in 2007, and is known as the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007. The entire energy act is 822 pages long, and encompasses everything from building regulations to fuel standards, but the section that has generated the most speculation is the one on the simple household light bulb.
So what does the government have against these harmless looking incandescent light bulbs, anyway? It turns out, they are the household equivalent of a gas-guzzling SUV; they require energy to run, and lots of it. Light bulbs that are used in chandelier lights are the incandescent bulbs they are talking about. The scientists at Michigan State University explain the process this way: “Incandescent bulbs use heat caused by an electrical current. When electrical current passes through a wire, it causes the wire to heat. The wire, or filament, gets so hot that it glows and gives off light.” All to power a single light bulb.
How to Use Lighting Design in Your Home
Have your ever thought about the fact that people used to live in the dark? Many people still live in the dark or at the very least, limited lighting conditions. Most people notice poor lighting well after they've moved into a new home or apartment, and they have to bring in an expert for assistance. However, a lengthy, expensive consultation with a lighting designer is not an option for everyone. Lighting Patterns for Homes is a budget-friendly way to design your home's lighting scheme. The website that allows homeowners, builders, and contractors to choose the right light bulbs, fixtures, dimming controls and even track lighting systems, to create a lighting design that meets the demands of each room and each project. You can also compare energy savings, cost of ownerships, and pollution reduction.
How Lighting Design Affects Your Home
Lighting Patterns for Homes demonstrates how lighting can improve the energy efficiency, visibility, and appearance of common residential rooms in a home, including bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and even exteriors. Users select the room type, approximate room size, and desired lighting effect. The website the provides a lighting plan, including equipment used, and calculates the cost and energy savings.
If kitchen lighting ideas are what you are after, use the site’s interactive features to create a customized kitchen lighting design plan, complete with light fixtures, controls, and light bulbs. The site also allows you to view the rooms with both traditional lighting and updated lighting, using newer, more energy efficient technology and bulbs. Whether the goal is to maximize energy savings or to create a safe, well-lit environment for seniors, the right lighting design is essential.
Westinghouse Wants You to Recycle Your Old Light Bulbs
Recycling used to mean only one thing to most of us: tin cans. And maybe the occasional cardboard box. But that is so 2012. Today, H&M offers a coupon for a bag of your old clothes, the military will recycle your unwanted cell phones, and Apple will gladly take that retired MacBook off your hands. Environmentally conscious consumers are composting food scraps and reusing milk jugs, and words like repurpose and upcycle have entered the mainstream. Many people are even recycling ceiling fan light bulbs.
Reasons to Recycle Your Old Light Bulbs
Energy-efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) contain a trace amount of mercury, an essential component in attaining energy savings, and while these light bulbs help consumers and businesses reduce their energy use and energy costs, it's important that any product containing mercury is properly handled in order to protect public health and the environment. It is estimated businesses recycle 30 percent of the used light bulbs annually, and this number is only set to increase as more switch to energy-efficient lighting. Consumer are also embracing this practice with Westinghouse Light Bulb Recycling Program. You can bow recycle the light bulbs from your Westinghouse fans as well as any other household light bulbs.
Hinkley Outdoor Lighting Takes Life Outside
When our friends first purchased their 1920s Spanish-revival style home, we weren’t mesmerized by the tray ceiling in the dining room or the Chicago brick throughout the first floor. Instead, we were first enthralled by the Hinkley outdoor wall lights and lantern lights.
There, in the middle of the sloping yard, was a tall majestic wrought iron lantern encasing three golden globes of light, casting a warm, welcoming glow over the entire area and lighting the nearby hammock. And although we love the mysterious looking iron sconces throughout the living room to the Art-Deco era fixtures in the bathrooms, the backyard lighting impressed us the most.
Hinkley outdoor lighting makes it easy to extend your own living space through the use of a few well-chosen light fixtures. If winter’s walls felt like they were closing in on you, or your existing living space seems too small to entertain, simply open up your home and your mind to the possibility of outdoor living.
Whether you enjoy hosting a casual al-fresco dinner party on a warm summer night or you have a favorite reading spot under the shade of an old tree, your home's exterior is a pivotal part of your home design. Here are five simples lighting tips for using Hinkley outdoor lighting to make your outdoor spaces warm and welcoming: