Come See Us at the 2016 Colorado Garden & Home Show

The 2016 Colorado Garden and Home Show is less than a week away2006 Colorado Garden and Home Show Label! For the 17th year in a row, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado will be exhibiting our latest outdoor/landscape lighting designs and products. Stop by our exhibit (Booth #1442) to see the latest energy-saving LED lighting products that will beautify your home and property, make them more safe and secure, and extend your outdoor living hours well into the evening.

2016 Colorado Garden & Home Show; Colorado Convention Center, Denver

Saturdays:   Feb. 13th &  Feb. 20th         –    10:00 AM to 8:00 PM &nbsp
Sundays:      Feb. 14th & Feb. 21st           –    10:00 AM to 6:00 PM &nbsp
Mon. – Fri.   Feb. 15 through Feb. 19th   –    12 Noon to 8:00 PM

Booth #:       1442

In the next few days, we will also be posting a $2.00 Off Discount Coupon for use in purchasing a ticket. We look forward to seeing you at the show!

Mead Signature

 

Turn Your Outdoor Living Area into a Year-Round Fiesta with Permanent Festival Lighting

Nighttime View of Festival Lighting in Denver Courtyard

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives just completed a truly fun and unique lighting installation – festival lighting for a courtyard at a downtown Denver townhome. The five strands of line voltage festival lights used a total of 44 bulbs (11W each) to span the courtyard between the townhome and its garage at the rear of the property. 

 

 

With the installation of a 1000W dimmer switch, the lights are now controlled manually and can be dimmed to the desired setting to establish the mood for a party or to just relax at the end of a long day.  To support the weight of the electrical wiring and bulbs, stainless steel aircraft cable was first installed for each of the five spans.

 Most area residents have seen festival lighting used in Larimer Square and the Denver Pavilions, but may not have considered it for their own properties and outdoor living spaces. Through the use of commercial-grade lighting products and professional installation, now homeowners can truly enjoy this very cheerful lighting at their own homes as well. 

Another first at this installation was seeing the live birth of kittens when an alley cat took up temporary residence in one of the homeowner’s large pots on the courtyard. So I guess even alley cats cannot resist the ambience and warm glow of festival lights!

Landscape Lighting Specials at the 2012 Colorado Garden & Home Show

7-Light Special

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives (Booth #1442) will be offering two extremely attractive landscape lighting specials at the Colorado Garden and Home Show that starts Saturday, February 11th.

 
We will be offering a 7- light show special (7 halogen well lights, transformer, and complete installation) as well as a 10-light show special (7 well lights, 3 copper path lights, 600W transformer, and complete installation) – at prices not seen since 1999.
 
To learn more details and to take advantage of these special offers, please plan to visit us at the show. And, if you would like to discuss a specific lighting project for your home or garden, stop by with a photo and we would be glad to discuss it in more detail with you.
 
See you at the show,
 
 
 

Can Landscape Lights and Mulch Coexist?

 

Mulch Covering Well LIght Causes Acrylic Lens Cover to Melt

During the spring months in Colorado, most homeowners start turning their attention to their outdoor living spaces, gardens, and lawns. A big part of this effort includes cleaning up any remaining leaves and other wind-blown debris from the property, and freshening up  the planting beds by re-mulching.

 

For those homeowners who also have landscape lighting systems installed on their property, it is critically important that none of the landscape fixtures become carelessly covered up by mulch during this process. If an outside landscaping contractor or handyman has been hired to do the re-mulching, it is encumbent on the homeowner to alert them to the location of each and every fixture – and instruct them not to cover up the fixtures. Many years ago one of our customers was out of town, and on a Friday afternoon, their landscaper carelessly dumped a 6-foot tall pile of mulch on one of the well lights. The landscapers didn’t plan to go back to the house until Monday to distribute the mulch – and early on that Saturday evening a girl riding her bicycle saw the resulting mulch fire. Fortunately, she summoned her father who was then able to douse the fire with a garden hose.

Our national company initially installed well lights without lens covers – and then quickly transitioned to the acrylic lens covers. For about the last four years, we’ve been using tempered glass lens covers on every well light that we install. The glass is thick enough that it prevents the outside of the lens from becoming as hot as the previous acrylic ones, and it keeps flammable materials from contacting the bulb directly. Surprisingly, most of the other major landscape lighting manufacturers are still not using lens covers of ANY kind. It’s not been uncommon when our crews are servicing non-OLP systems to find other manufacturer’s well lights that are totally covered by mulch. In some instances, we have found situations where a mulch fire had started previously.

OLP Well Light with Tempered Glass Lens Cover

As with everything else around the home, it does not take a lot of time to do some preventive maintenance to ensure that the lights are not being covered up by mulch, tumbleweeds, or leaves. Another rule of thumb is not to purchase the least expensive mulch (usually the lightest) that tends to blow away during the first good wind storm. In the early 2000’s, the National Electrical Code also addressed this issue by requiring that low voltage transformers have secondary circuit protection (the wiring that goes to the fixtures in the landscaping).

 
As lighting systems transition from quartz halogen to LED, mulch-related heat buildup problems and issues will decrease. However, in addition to safety, another main reason to ensure that your lighting fixtures are not covered up by mulch or dirt is because the light will be blocked – but you will still be paying the electric company for it anyway!
 

From day to night – lighting done right

One of the things we offer is a free nighttime demonstration so that you actually get to see what a particular lighting design will look like for your home and property – prior to an installation.  That eliminates all of the guesswork and surprises – and you will know exactly how much you will have to invest to achieve that desired lighting effect.

Most of our typical lighting installations in Colorado range in price between $3,500 and $6,500. Not surprisingly, most homeowners have no idea how many lights they may need or want – or what their investment range might be until we do the evening lighting demonstration.  And that’s perfectly OK because we do not want you to purchase a lighting system sight unseen.

Additionally, we do our nighttime demonstration for these other reasons:

  • It is your house, not our’s – and you know best how you would like to have your house and property illuminated in the evening.
  • Exact placement of the fixtures can be determined in order to safely light steps and other hazards, and to effectively light architectural features.
  • We can show you several different lighting options that you may not have considered previously.
  • The evening lighting demonstration is an event that your entire family can participate in and provide input to the lighting design.

Here is what you will see.

 

Outdoor lighting Colorado before and after
Outdoor lighting Colorado before and after

My Landscaper Did My Landscape Lighting But It’s Never Worked Right

Inferior Quality Low Voltage Bulb

I certainly do not want to pick on landscapers, but one of the most frequently heard comments at the recent Colorado Garden and Home Show was – my landscaper did my lighting but it’s never worked right.

During the last two weeks, I evaluated two lighting systems that coincidentally had exactly the same fixtures.  The low voltage path lights were manufactured by a well-known national lighting manufacturer that had rolled out a lower-priced line of fixtures for landscapers to use. The path lights use the incandescent T5 wedge-base bulbs that have an average life of only 500 to 1,000 hours. In addition, the manufacturer states that these fixtures are rated for damp locations (somewhat sheltered from the weather) instead of wet locations (snow, rain, sleet, etc.). The fixtures have no lenses to protect either the bulb or the socket from moisture, moths, and spider webs – and that degrades the bulb life even further.

Making the situation in both installations even worse is the fact that the installers used the daisy chain method of installation – that’s when numerous fixtures are connected in series one after the other on the same circuit. Invariably with that wiring technique, the installer typically sets the voltage higher than it should be to ensure that the light at the very end of the circuit receives enough voltage to light up. What that also means is that the first light in the series is receiving 14, 15, or 18 volts – and since the bulbs are only rated at 12V – the first bulb starts burning out very quickly causing a domino effect down the line.

In one of the locations, the landscaper installed over a dozen step lights in poured concrete steps and patios – and it appears that no sleeves had been installed so that the system could be rewired if necessary. More problematic is the fact that as the concrete continues to cure over time, it will react with and break down the protective insulation and eventually corrode the wiring.

Outdoor lighting systems can last a lifetime if high quality products are used and professionally installed – and it’s very disconcerting to see a beautifully landscaped yard with an inferior lighting system. Sometimes we can come up with a cost-effective solution for the homeowner to remedy the lighting system – but sometimes we almost have to start from the beginning.

Landscape Architects Select Lighting as Top Outdoor Living Feature for 2011

Landscape Lighting Makes Outdoor Living Spaces Warm and Inviting

A recently published survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects asked residential landscape architecture professionals to rank the relative popularity of a wide variety of design features to be included in outdoor living spaces in 2011.  Lighting was selected by 96.2% of the landscape architects, making it the most popular feature to be included in upcoming outdoor living projects. Ranked below lighting were fire pits/fireplaces, seating/dining areas, barbecue grills, and installed seating. Based on our experience, we know that most homeowners also need landscape lighting after dark to safely reach their outdoor firepits and seating areas, and to have adequate  lighting for both barbecuing and dining outdoors.

Landscape lighting not only makes your outdoor setting warm and inviting but it also allows you to enjoy your outdoor oasis from day into evening.