Cody the Airedale Says to Remember Pet and Animal Safety When Decorating for the Holidays

Cody - Santa Claus

Cody – Santa Claus

Hi – it’s Cody the Airedale here. I first want to thank my human mom and dad for helping me to write this article on a topic that’s very important to me and all my other four-legged friends. That topic is a reminder to keep pet and animal safety in mind when decorating for the holidays.

I live with my mom and dad in the Ken-Caryl Ranch Valley. This time of year I have many wild animal friends stop by my house including deer, elk, raccoons, rabbits, red foxes, and coyotes. I know if the electrical cords and light strings are not secured properly, that my friends can trip or become tangled up in them and hurt themselves. If you need to run electrical cords between two shrubs or trees, don’t run the cords above ground but staple them safely to the ground with sod staples. We’ve all seen and heard stories about the inquisitive deer with a plastic pumpkin stuck on his head or a string of lights tangled up in his antlers.

deer tangled in lightsFor dogs like me and cats, interior decorations have their own potential dangers. I was born on December 19th eleven years ago, so I don’t remember too much about my first Christmas except competing with my brothers and sisters for a meal. But by the next Christmas, I sure do remember all those shiny balls on the tree that I could knock to the floor with my tail. My mom and dad quickly learned that my access to the tree should be restricted so that I wouldn’t hurt myself or damage the ornaments.

I’ve been told that cats really like to climb Christmas trees and dogs also might be tempted to jump up at a tree to get a better view. For that reason, trees should be anchored securely so that they do not get knocked over. I’ve been told that cats are also attracted to the shiny tinsel, and this is a very bad thing for both cats and dogs to swallow. Also, if your family has a real tree, make sure that the reservoir containing the water does not become a water dish. Sometimes chemicals are added to help preserve the tree and over time the water can develop bacteria, so make sure that someone in the household covers the reservoir so that it is not used as a water dish.

For any interior lighting or tree lighting, also make sure that the electrical cords are kept safely out of the reach of both puppies and older dogs who like to chew. The result of chewing into a live electrical cord could range between painful and deadly. Artificial and real pine needles, ribbon, bows, and even wrapping paper can become real problems if eaten, so for that reason the floors and carpets should be vacuumed frequently and the home kept tidy.

Also remind your family that the following plants can be harmful to dogs and cats: poinsettias, holly, amaryllis, lilies, and mistletoe. Either decide beforehand not to have these in the home at all or keep them well out of reach of the fur kids in the family. Poinsettias can irritate the stomachs and mouths of both dogs and cats, and some lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Also, any liquid potpourri should be kept out of the reach of both dogs and cats.

Although food and drink are not part of holiday decorating, they are part of celebrating the holidays. For that reason, please be careful to keep alcoholic drinks, chocolate, grapes, raisins, currants, and fatty meat scraps away from dogs and cats. And, in Colorado and other states that have legalized marijuana, please do not allow your dogs and cats to eat any edible marijuana products.

By following a few simple rules, we can all help to make the holidays safe and enjoyable for both my four-legged and human family and friends.

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Where to Buy Color Lens Covers for Your Landscape Lighting Fixtures

Where to buy color lens coversOver the last 15 years, we’ve been asked repeatedly about the availability of color lens covers for landscape lighting fixtures in general, and for the well lights that Outdoor Lighting Perspectives  of Colorado sells and installs in particular. As you can see in the graphic to the right, we do have color acrylic lens covers for the oval (above ground) well lights and the circular in-ground (flush mounted) well lights. These lenses are designed and manufactured to specifically fit the dimensions of the OLP well lights. The lenses are available in the following colors – amber, blue, green, light blue, purple, red, smoke and yellow.

What options do you have if your spot lights are smaller diameter (say the diameter of MR16 bulbs) or if your well lights have a different configuration than the OLP well lights?

There are two viable options for the owners of non-OLP systems. The first option is to simply lay or tape the OLP color lenses over the aperture of the existing non-OLP fixtures. The important thing to remember is that the lens should never come in contact with the bulb!

The second option is to find your nearest photographic or theatrical supply store, and purchase some rolls or precut squares of color gels that come in any color imaginable. You would then need to secure these gels to the landscape lighting fixtures using heavy-duty rubber bands or all-weather tape. The gels are not as durable as the acrylic lenses so you may need to purchase a new set of gels at the beginning of each holiday season.

Happy lighting and Happy Holidays from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado!

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Energy-Efficient LED Interior Lighting Installation Completed at Willow Creek II HOA Clubhouse

Willow Creek II Clubhouse Lighting - After

Willow Creek II Clubhouse Lighting (LED) – After

Even though outdoor is a very prominent part of the Outdoor Lighting Perspectives(OLP) of Colorado name, we are oftentimes asked to participate in interior lighting projects as well due to our expertise. OLP of Colorado recently completed such a project at the Willow Creek II Clubhouse in Centennial where new LED fixtures were installed in the main clubhouse area, kitchen, and restroom. Read all about it in our company’s PRESS RELEASE!

The homeowners wanted  to have more light at the table level in the main clubhouse area for meetings and events, and they wanted a lighting technology that was more energy efficient. OLP of Colorado recommended the Designers Fountain Castello family of fixtures – a contemporary design with a Spanish flair.

In the medium and large chandeliers, the new Philips SlimStyle 10.5W dimmable LED bulb (60W incandescent equivalent) was installed. Even though the bulb is shaped like a large lollipop, it provides 360-degree lighting.  And with the dimming capabilities, the overhead lighting can be dimmed for those evening Denver Broncos games or brightened during meetings.

Willow Creek II Clubhouse Interior Lighting - Before

Willow Creek II Clubhouse Interior Lighting – Before

Since the clubhouse was constructed in the ’80s, the overhead lighting in the main clubhouse consisted primarily of track lighting – one of the fads of that decade. Although the track lights had been directed downward, they provided insufficient lighting to read a book or eat a meal. In addition, the track lighting did not illuminate the soaring cathedral ceilings – so the interior space from the floor to the ceiling was just plain dark. Contrast this lighting effect with the new lighting that provides additional indirect lighting that bounces downward from the ceiling. By the way, the before photo is actually in color – but the space appears to be flat and monotone. That’s what happens to objects and colors in subdued light – everything becomes gradations of gray to black.

So which space do you feel is more inviting? We’ll be posting more pictures of this project on our OLP of Colorado website in the near future.

 

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Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado Celebrates 15 Years in Business!

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado is pleased to announce that we juCelebrating 15 Years in Coloradost completed our 15th year in business serving the landscape and outdoor lighting needs of residential, commercial, and municipal customers in the Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Loveland, Colorado Springs, and communities all along the Colorado Front Range and beyond.

Read the Press Release that our corporate Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office in Richmond, Virginia published about us.

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Don’t Forget About Your Landscape Lights During Your Spring Yard Cleanup

After a long hard winter this year in many parts of the country, many homeowners are only now beginning their spring yard clean up. That work may include raking up leaves and fallen tree branches, trimming dead tree branches, re-seeding the lawn, and removing general dirt and  grime that accumulated during the winter. When it comes to wintertime dirt and grunge, the source of this mess is truly global. I’ve read that the prevailing winds have carried sand from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and ash from forest fires in California to Colorado; and that Colorado returned the favor by sending its soot and ash from the forest fires last year to Iceland where it is now blackening the glaciers.

However, in the midst of all this outdoor spring cleaning, many homeowners overlook the need to clean and service their landscape lighting systems as well. Whether these homeowners elect to do this maintenance themselves or hire a professional lighting contractor to do it, a comprehensive servicing of the landscape lighting system should be done at least annually. The following checklist provides the required tasks to keep your lighting system looking as good as the day it was first installed:

  • Clean all fixtures and lens covers
  • Replace all halogen bulbs with new ones to provide maximum illumination; for LED systems, replace only those LEDs that have failed during the winter
  • Re-anchor and straighten all fixtures as needed
  • Cover any exposed wiring
  • Check transformer and all connections
  • Check and reset/reprogram timer or control system as required
  • Trim or lightly prune plants and bushes as required
  • Selectively relocate fixtures due to changes and/or overgrowth of landscaping

Your low voltage landscape lighting system performs nightly and is subjected to every environmental extreme that mother nature can throw at it. The good news is that it can and will provide you years and years of service as long as it receives regular and routine maintenance.

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Visit Outdoor Lighting Perspectives at the 2014 Denver Home Show

DHS_150NEWCome visit Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado in Booth #2050 at the Denver Home Show to see the latest landscape and architectural LED lighting products and services. The 3-day event will feature many home improvement and outdoor living contractors, and guest speakers include Kevin O’Connor (host of This Old House) and Josh Flagg of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing.

DENVER HOME SHOW

National Western Complex (4655 Humboldt St. – East of I25 on I70)

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado (Booth #2050)

  • Friday, March 14     10 A.M  –  9:00 P.M.
  • Saturday, March 15     10 A.M.  –  9:00 P.M.
  • Sunday, March 16     10 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

CLICK HERE to obtain $2.00 Off discount tickets for the show.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

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Outdoor/Landscape Lighting Specials at the 2014 Colorado Garden & Home Show

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado is offering some exciting 7- and 10-light specials at the 2014 Colorado Garden and Home Show that starts this Saturday, February 15th. These lighting packages will provide you with a professionally designed and installed landscape/outdoor lighting system for illuminating your garden, deck, house facade, etc. These lighting packages are available in either quartz halogen or LED bulb options. So come by and visit us in Booth #1442 to register for the following specials:

 

2014 Colorado Garden & Home Show Specials

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

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