How about an outdoor table lamp that is installed directly on an outdoor kitchen work table outlet, then removable when it’s time to set the table and sit down, while dining alfresco. Lit by LED lamps and damp listed compliant, this hand crafted solid brass table lamp is the perfect green solution for giving perfect illuminance while being totally energy efficient. Now how great of an idea is that?
There are several good metal choices for exterior outdoor light fixtures, some of which are more durable than others. Let’s start with the most high end material, which, in this case, bronze will be the first article on this topic – then we’ll work our way down the list:
Bronze: There is a perceived luxuriance characteristic with the word “bronze”. Bronze metal has been used, historically, for weapons, castings for tools and hardware, sculpture and an array of beautiful commodities. Bronze exterior outdoor lighting fixtures assembled from castings, are usually fabricated from an alloy mixture of copper, zinc and silicon. The alloy mixture has a low melting point, reaching fluidity at about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, which creates the perfect molten liquid for adhering to the casting process. Once the castings have cooled, the bronze material is considered corrosive resistant. Bronze becomes the perfect metal material for outdoor lighting fixture use – being superb in all types of weather environments. Bronze castings can be seamlessly connected when welded or soldered, to make an outdoor fixture or outdoor lantern look like one continuous piece. By protecting the outdoor lantern with wax or lacquer, you can achieve a natural aging or patina over time that will lend itself beautifully to your custom designed outdoor lighting fixture or lantern.
Landscape lighting and pathway lighting fixtures are designed to be used as accent outdoor lighting for your yard, hardscape areas, gardens, shrubbery, sculpted trees and to highlight the architecture of your home’s surroundings. Outdoor landscape lighting can be powered electrically, often by low voltage which require transformers, evoking soft illumination at night which is aesthetically appealing. Solar lighting is also any option, however, the energy is dependent upon the sun and does not offer consistent lighting when needed. Pathlights come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and are highly durable when fabricated in a heavy gauge brass material which will not fail or rust. Tree lights designed as wren or hummingbird houses are also another way to highlight beautifully trimmed saplings, imparting effective shadows with light cascades, while continuing to create a more secure outdoor landscape lighting area.
Landscape Lights to light up your backyard!
Landscape lighting! Spring is here and most of us want to get outside and work in our gardens, barbecue and spruce up the outdoors after a long, cold winter. What better way to make your front and backyard more inviting then by providing specialty lighting for your garden, deck and porch areas.
Lights make everything in your backyard look better!
Outdoor landscape installations are on the rise, creating stunning effects when installed in specific areas to highlight beautiful trees and plants, creating an area of beauty, safety and security as you move your living time from the inside to the outside. Outdoor lighting installed around your residence can light up porches, decks and patios, as well as, your home, making for a beautiful place to relax and spend time, while discouraging trespassers from venturing on to your property.
What types of Outdoor Landscape Lights work best for specific areas of your backyard?
Outdoor well lights, organic pathway lights and outdoor recessed deck lights are just a subtle and unique way to dress your backyard living area while adding value to your home and property. Custom fabricated outdoor pathway lights cast delicate outdoor light across gravel pathways, while highlighting plants and illuminating walkways. Outdoor well lights are wonderful for casting light on walls and structures. Outdoor hanging downlights from trees are also another way to cascade outdoor light down tree trunks and across lawns and shrubbery. The options for creating the perfect outdoor lighting atmosphere is just a matter of using one’s imagination while utilizing the specific outdoor landscape lighting solutions available!
Outdoor Pendant lights come in a variety of styles, compatible with many different types of architecture and suitable for landscape design, as well. Outdoor pendant lighting and landscape lights should provide the proper amount of illumination, so that the area being lit up is safe and secure for pedestrians and guests arriving at the entryway of a home or business. Outdoor pendant lights should emit light from the side and bottom of the lantern or pendant so that the proper light spread illuminates pathways and stair adequately to ward off potential accidents. Security minded architects, interior designers, lighting specifiers and builders often specify outdoor pendant lights as an acceptable form of light spread to ensure a safe entrance or approach to a business or residence. A variety of finishes should be available with the outdoor pendant lights or outdoor lanterns, with the option of selecting the most light emitting glass that produces a softly lit glow without any glare.
Is it important enough for a client to insist upon custom fabricated fixtures versus off the shelf, mass produced lighting fixtures? Absolutely, if the client wants a one-of-a-kind fixture based on careful research of a historic antique or simply a fixture that you won’t see on every other house in the neighborhood. Custom outdoor exterior lanterns are based on careful research of 17th and 18th century custom exterior lighting that is timely today and perfect for residential and commercial use. Custom light fixtures are hand crafted by highly trained artisans, with very high standards and hand finished with beautiful patinas and specialty art glass.
Custom outdoor lighting fabricators have always involved themselves with creative projects that include the client’s input, because, after all, the client has a vision of how they want the final outdoor light fixture to look like, upon completion. From the initial design to an actual full scale hand drawn draft and pattern, prototype molds, the completion of the prototype, the fabricator should show the client each of the steps to make sure he has done exactly what the client wants. After the design prototype has been approved, there is the finish selection, the glass choice and the actual trial testing of the fixture, the photographing of the fixture, then the careful packing and handling, prior to the outgoing shipment.
Custom outdoor light fixtures should be UL compliant outdoor light fixtures, whether they are gas or electric. When dealing with a custom outdoor lighting fabricator, it is important that the manufactory has an excellent reputation, supported by many years of careful fabrication and expertise, with in house designers who give their attention to every detail. Whether it’s home lighting you seek or an innovative historical reproduction for your business, a custom outdoor lighting fabricator should also offer energy saving solutions in a complete range of outdoor lighting fixture styles.
Lighting designers, lighting specifiers and manufacturers of outdoor lighting fixtures are in a quandary about whether they should be using High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs over LED lights. The hot question right now is whether people actually favor white light over yellow light. Here is what could be asked regarding the preference: 1) Does LED light provide the broad spectrum white light that is conducive to night vision for both pedestrians and drivers? 2) Which type of light source is more pleasing to the eye? 3) Which light source is more cost effective in the long term? 4) Which light source is more energy efficient?
LEDS cut energy usage by over 50% when compared to using HPS lamps. So, in this case, they are more energy efficient. Remember, these bulbs/luminaires are being used for street installations in commercial applications, not residential projects. LED lamps also have a longer lifetime (about 60,000 hours when using a 67 watt bulb, then a HPS, which usually last about 20,000 to 30,000 hours, using a comparable 90 watt bulb.) Generally speaking, most people prefer the white light emitted from the LEDS over the yellow light coming from the HPS lamps.
LED bulbs are more expensive (but coming down in cost as the demand continues to grow) than HPS bulbs since they last twice as long as High Pressure Sodium bulbs (with a life expectancy of up to 15 years depending upon the type of streetlamp). This last feature truly makes them more cost effective since they don’t need to be replaced as often as HPS lamps, thus also reducing maintenance costs in the long run.
Do clients want to select outdoor lights from the big box stores, with everything being made overseas, or should they consider enlisting the creative energies of a knowledgeable lighting designer? A seasoned lighting designer can not only deliver the custom designed goods from the original concept to the actual installation day – they can also bring the outdoor light design within budget (within reason with today’s rising cost of materials) and deliver the outdoor light fixture within a reasonable lead time.
Outdoor light fixtures have taken on a whole new meaning when a client insists upon special sizes for each outdoor light application. When uniquely sized and designed backplates, decorative “baubles” for finials, gas lights over electric lights, tweaking the outdoor light fixture’s “roof” ever so slightly are called for – Voila! – you have yourself a completely custom designed outdoor light. You cannot go to the “big box stores” and pull something off the shelf that doesn’t look like everyone else’s outdoor lantern. If you’re looking for outdoor lighting with that classically modern aesthetic or a lantern that is totally traditional, then a lighting designer can give you that personalized service, high quality materials, custom matched finishes, high end art glass, project management to ensure every detail is attained and the correct UL Label for the proper exterior or interior application.
If you want an outdoor light to last a lifetime, with all the qualities you’d expect from a uniquely made, finely crafted outdoor lantern – then enlisting the services of a design professional will not only save you money in the long run, but add value to your home, which, in today’s economy, a very important feature.