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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Celebrate National Outdoor Lighting Month in Colorado

national-outdoor-lighting-month-2013-logo@2x-c7e66e50Autumn is a beautiful time of year in Colorado with warm days and pleasant evenings. As the sun begins to set earlier and earlier, there is no reason to stop using  your beautiful outdoor spaces that you’ve enjoyed throughout the rest of the year.

That is why Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado is helping to support and promote National Outdoor Lighting Month throughout the month of October. Coinciding with the end of Daylight Saving Time (that occurs on Sunday, November 3rd), National Outdoor Lighting Month will be an annual consumer awareness effort to educate homeowners about the safety, security and lifestyle/property enhancements that outdoor lighting can add to their homes.

To support the educational aspect of the campaign, a free guide on How to Choose An Outdoor Lighting Professional can be downloaded from the website. The guide provides helpful design tips on pathway lighting, up-lighting and grazing, outdoor living space lighting, deck and step lighting, and festival lighting. The Guide also provides helpful tips on product selection, installation guidelines, and on-going maintenance considerations.

DNV-005

Outdoor lighting can also add to the curb appeal of any house this time of year. Anyone who has ever tried to purchase or sell a house this time of year can also attest to the value that outdoor lighting can bring to the real estate transaction. Which house will get noticed more – the house with only one carriage light or the one that is beautifully illuminated that basically says welcome home?

You can read more about National Outdoor Lighting Month in a recent article in Turf Magazine.  If you have any questions about lighting techniques or how outdoor lighting can add to the beauty and usability of your home, please call us at 303/948-9656.

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Celebrate National Night Out 2013 in Colorado

30th-Anniversary-POV-LogoThe 30th anniversary of National Night Out , Americas’s NIGHTOUT against crime, will be celebrated throughout Colorado and the country on Tuesday, August 6, 2013. Founded by the National Association of Town Watch initiative, National Night Out (NNO) has become an annual event to bring communities together to fight crime. NNO now involves over 37 million people and 15,000 communities in all 50 states, US territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.

Since it is well known that outdoor lighting can be a deterrent against crime, homeowners have been asked to show their support with this community effort by turning on their porch lights. Of course, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado has always been a strong proponent of the use of landscape lighting every night of the year to enhance a home’s safety and security throughout the property.

To participate in a NNO event near you, the following is a partial list of Colorado cities and counties holding events tomorrow evening:

City of Arvada, City of Denver, El Paso County, Jefferson County, Larimer Country, City of Lakewood, City of Littleton, City of Longmont, City of Lone Tree,

So turn on your outdoor lights and get to know your neighbors, and celebrate National Night Out 2013!

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Outdoor Lighting Enhanced with LEDs at Ya Yas Euro Bistro Restaurant in Greenwood Village

Ya Yas Restaurant LED Sign Lighting

Ya Yas Restaurant LED Sign Lighting

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives (OLP) of Colorado recently completed an outdoor lighting project at Ya Yas Euro Bistro restaurant at 8310 East Belleview Avenue in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Ya Yas has been a very popular restaurant in the south metro area of Denver for the better part of two decades, and they recently installed a new monument sign at the intersection of East Belleview Avenue and East Crescent Parkway.

Since there was no available line voltage power in the imDaytime View of Ya Yas Euro Bistro Restaurant Signmediate vicinity of the newly constructed monument, OLP of Colorado installed their factory’s low voltage model of the LC-50, 24W LED rocket-mounted flood light with a 50,000-hour rated life. This newly illuminated monument sign will make it easier for both long-time and first-time patrons of Ya Yas to find this great restaurant in the evening hours.

Ya Yas Restaurant LED Path Lighting

Ya Yas Restaurant LED Path Lighting

OLP of Colorado also replaced the restaurant’s three outdated line voltage pagoda-style path lights with OLP’s low voltage BB-09 (9-inch diameter copper path hats), 8W LED at the main entrance of the facility. The previous path lights used 60W incandescent bulbs for a total of 180W – compared to the new LED path lights that use a total of 24W. That represents a reduction in energy use of 87-percent!

So the next time you dine at Ya Yas Euro Bistro, check out our new LED lights.

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Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado Finds Local LED Lighting Solution for Problematic Step Lights

TerraLUX LIne Voltage Linear LED Engine

TerraLUX LIne Voltage Linear LED Engine

Sometimes when you are looking for a particular lighting solution, you need not look any further than your own back yard. We had met some homeowners at a recent show who said that they had problems with their line voltage step lights (21 total) that had been installed throughout their brick outdoor living area (steps, patios, and retaining walls). The Progress step lights used 20W bulbs that are typically used in exit signs, and the way the lights were designed made it virtually impossible to keep water and moisture from entering the lights. That’s not a good thing when water comes into contact with a line voltage incandescent bulb – and the homeowner practically had a full-time job replacing bulbs.

After doing a quick Google search, I was pleased to learn about TerraLUX – a leading edge manufacturer of retrofit LED products that is located a few miles up the road from us in Longmont, Colorado. TerraLUX has developed a line of linear line voltage LED engines that can be used for retrofitting recessed step and wall lights, and for other lighting applications as well. The linear light engines are available in 4-, 6-, and 8-inch lengths and they are fully-integrated, self-contained and plug and play. Best of all they are IP-65 rated which means they can tolerate water sprays in somewhat leaky step lights. We chose the 3000K LEDs and they have an L70 of 60,000 hours, and a five-year warranty.  By the way, L70 = 60,000 hours is a shorthand way of saying in lighting nomenclature that at an operational elapsed time of 60,000 hours, the LEDs will still be generating 70-percent of their maximum lumen output.

In the photos below, you can see what the step lights looked like (with the louvered faceplates removed) when we started the work.

Pre-Retrofit Step Light in Bad Condition

Pre-Retrofit Step Light in Bad Condition

Pre-Retrofit Step Light In Good Condition

Pre-Retrofit Step Light In Good Condition

 

 

 

 

 

 

The linear LED engine mounts to the same reflector that the original incandescent bulb socket was mounted to, and this assists with heat dissipation away from the LED module itself. TerraLUX has patented the LEDSense® thermal management circuitry that optimizes the lumen output in conjunction with the LED’s operating temperature. In the photo below, you can see the results of the completed LED retrofit:

Step Light Retrofitted with TerraLUX Linear LED Engine in Denver Country Club

Step Light Retrofitted with TerraLUX Linear LED Engine in Denver Country Club

These linear LED engines are dimmable and can be used to retrofit a wide variety of lighting applications including wall sconces, ceiling fixtures, and recessed step and wall lighting fixtures in both residential and commercial settings.

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National Night Out 2012 in Colorado

Please join your neighbors and other community members in Colorado on Tuesday, August 7th to help celebrate National Night Out 2012. Please click on Local Registered Sites to see if your local Colorado community is listed.

Started in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) (a non-profit anti-crime and anti-drug organization), National Night Out is also known as America’s Night Out Against Crime. Over the years, people have participated by turning on their porch light and other outdoor lights and standing watch by conducting front porch vigils. Sometimes it’s as easy as strolling down your street on a warm summer evening and introducing yourself to a new neighbor – or to someone who’s lived there for ten years that you never got around to meeting.

In recent years, these events have  become more all-encompassing with neighborhoods and communities offering block parties, BBQs, parades, neighborhood walks, and anti-crime and safety talks by law enforcement officials. We at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives certainly appreciate the role that proper lighting can play in deterring crime, but we also know that knowing your neighbors and being aware of any suspicious activity can go a long way in making our Colorado communities safer.

To Zone, Or Not to Zone… Important Landscape Lighting Design Question

Preliminary Landscape-Outdoor Lighting Design with Zones

One of the first questions a landscape lighting designer or contractor must ask a client is how they intend to use their outdoor space – and what the primary motivation is for them to be adding this new lighting. One of the mistakes that inexperienced lighting designers make is to assume how the client will be using their outdoor living space and lighting. After all, the client is the one who lives there 365 days per year and not the designer.

Landscape and outdoor lighting provides aesthetics, safety, security, and usability for a homeowner’s property. Oftentimes, homeowners will want the lighting for all four of the above categories or as few as one; e.g., security. If security lighting is the primary purpose, then chances are the homeowner will want to have the lights operate from dusk to dawn – and from a control standpoint you would only have to have one zone.

 If the primary purpose of the lighting is for aesthetics only and the homeowners go to bed around 11:00 PM every night, then there’s no point in increasing their electricity bill to operate the lights until 3:00 AM if they are not awake to enjoy them. The same thing can be said for usability of the outdoor living space. If the pond has been drained for the winter and there are three-foot deep snow drifts on the back patio, most homeowners will not be outside barbecuing in the dead of winter – and probably will not be using their lights quite as much. As far as safety, most homeowners do typically like to leave a few of their lights on all night long whether they be carriage lights by their front door or a few landscape lights to light the way along the sidewalk. 

 

All of the zones have been programmed to turn on and off automatically, but the homeowner can turn off any of these zones manually using this 8-button switch. So even after the installation of the low-wattage LEDs, no energy will be wasted at this homeowner’s house.

 Most homeowners typically want to control their back yard lights separately from the lights in the front yard – and they typically have their front yard lights operate for a few hours longer. We have also installed quite a few systems where the homeowners operate the path lighting all night long but have the uplighting for the house and trees turn off at midnight or earlier. We once did a landscape lighting installation for a former Denver Bronco offensive lineman. We had lit up his kids’  jungle gym but he wanted to be able to turn those lights off when he had get-togethers at his house with his team mates. He didn’t want anything to get broken – neither the play equipment or his fellow team mates. For smaller properties that require fewer landscape lighting fixtures, there is typically not much of a need for separate lighting and control zones – and separate zones can unnecessarily drive up the installation cost for a small system. For larger systems, however, separate control zones can help a homeowner save money on their monthly electric bill while also helping the environment. 

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