Easy Preventative Ways to Maintain Your Landscape Lighting

Just like a car, maintenance for lighting will always be ongoing. It starts with preventative measures.

Plant Placement

Where you place your new plants, flowers & greenery can have an effect on the performance of your lights. Be careful not to place new plants in front of or too close to your lighting fixtures. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that the small plant you just put in your garden won’t be small forever. Plants can quickly over grow and obscure your fixtures.

Trees

When you have a down light mounted in the tree, its best to have your lighting specialists come relocate it for you. If the tree is cut down without removing the fixture first, the fixture could be damaged.

Make sure that your fixture placement is allowing for eventual tree growth. If your fixtures are located too close to this type of tree, they will be enveloped by tree branches in just a year or two.

Keep LED Lamps Dry

The biggest threat to your landscape lighting system is moisture.

If moisture somehow enters the fixture, it needs to be addressed right away. Putting this off can eventually lead to water build up and corrosion inside the fixture. Water damage will lead to failure of an LED lamp faster than anything else.

Moisture can be detected by the presence of a small amount of condensation on the inside of the lens.

Retrofitting LED

This is the best kind preventative maintenance! Retrofitting your old halogen system with an LED upgrade. Halogen lamps burn out every year or so and will have to continually be replaced. LED bulbs are different. You will most likely have to replace an LED lamp after 15 – 20 years.

Annual Service

Having Custom Lighting of America’s team come out once a year to service your system is a highly recommended preventative measure.

They will check the entire system, including:

  • Transformer – timers set correctly, blocks securely fastened, photocells and line balances checked.
  • Fixtures – lenses will be scrubbed and scraped clean, vegetation will be trimmed back and cleaned up.
  • Each LED is examined during the annual maintenance service. If one is found faulty (if it has a burned out diode or other issue) it will be replaced under its warranty.
  • Wire – All exposed wire reburied.

Why Servicing Your System Is Important

Servicing your system and keeping it maintained is the key to ensuring that you will continue to enjoy it. If you wait a long time or just simply keep putting off servicing your system, it will require a lot more work and time to get everything back to the condition it was in when the system was first installed.

If you think your landscape lighting system is in need of a tune up or servicing,  call Harold at  561.204.3000 or fill out our consultation form here. One of our lighting experts will do a free consult and evaluation on your lighting today.

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10 Landscape Lighting Effects That Light Up Your Lawn

As homeowners, we work hard to select unique plants, trees, shrubs and flowers that make our landscaping beautiful. But there is one aspect of landscaping that is often overlooked. When night falls, without landscape lighting, the perfectly planned landscape design literally disappears.

Making Goals for Your Landscape Lighting

Is your goal to illuminate pathways and patios to prevent slip or falls when walking up to your home? Are you looking to light up your backyard space for weekend entertaining? Or are you  adding landscape lighting for increasing your home’s security.

Discover the best techniques for highlighting trees, emphasizing a fountain, or lighting
a garden path.

Download a landscape lighting infographic showing these effects in action.

Here are some of the amazing effects you can achieve:

Down-lighting also referred to as moon lighting, gives the appearance of a full moon shining down on your lawn. This gives a romantic feel to your landscape and is achieved by mounting lighting fixtures facing downward typically from a tree.

Up-lighting provides a bolder, dramatic effect by pointing lighting directly at featured elements within your landscape. This technique uses low-voltage light fixtures that light a tree from the ground up to show off its shape and trunk structure.

Cross-lighting provides your landscape with more depth by lighting featured elements in your yard from both sides. Cross-lighting works well to eliminate unwanted shadows.You don’t want to overdo this effect since that can lead to over lighting and a washed out look.

Silhouetting requires placing a spread light between plant material, sculpture or a fountain and an adjacent structure. The object is then silhouetted in black against a soft white background. Spread lights are halogen bulbs with a mirrored background. They create a wide band of white light, perfect for backlighting.

Shadowing involves washing a feature such as a tree or statue so that it casts a shadow on a wall or fence. The play of light and darkness can be quite dramatic.

Grazing involves spread-lights or up-lights placed right next to the wall with beams directed upwards. This casts shadows that capture the texture of the wall. This effect shows off your stone work on walls and pilasters.

Pathlighting used along paths and steps exists to keep the walker safe. YA carefully lit path can give a sense of romance or adventure – it should make the viewer want to go and see where the pathway might lead.

Spotlighting uses a fixture to highlight a focal point such as a flag, statue or water fountain.
Use one or two spotlights to highlight your favorite feature in the garden.

Pool Lighting is important both for safety and for aesthetics. You can also use underwater lights or ambient lighting in the surrounding landscape to make after-hours swimming inviting to you and your guests.

Washing involves placing the light to the side of what you want to illuminate and let the light “wash” over it, bathing an entire wall or row of bushes. This will create a soft glow over the whole area.

With a little imagination there’s no limit to the number of ways you can add magic to your nighttime landscape with outdoor lighting effects.

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How LED Landscape Lighting Keeps You Safe and Secure

security led landscape lighting palm beach

Properly designed landscape lighting can beautifully highlight architecture, gardens, trees, walkways, fountains and other interesting features of your landscape. [Read more…]

How to Create Patina on Copper Fixtures. An Easy Tutorial.

led outdoor landscape lighting palm beach county
This is one of the few times when natural aging is a good thing! Such is patina, that process when copper, left to its own devices, transforms itself from a bright, shiny new penny shade, to a burnished brown, and finally to a distinct green color.

This unique characteristic of copper is completely natural and actually preserves the copper and protects it from the outside elements.

Fixtures in natural copper and brass are a living finish and are intended to change color or patina over time. If you want to speed up the patina process, here is a tutorial on how to get the patina  look you want overnight.

** CAUTION – When handling and applying patina solution, wear gloves and safety glasses. Follow safety instructions carefully on the containers.

Spread newspaper under plant material to protect it. It is best to install pathlight fixtures first, then apply solution. Fixtures should be cleaned to remove oil and dirt with Windex®-type cleaner.

GREEN PATINA FORMULA

2 parts white vinegar
1 1/2 parts non-detergent ammonia
1/2 part non-iodized salt

Application:

•  Clean fixture with soft cloth Windex®-type cleaner to remove oil and dirt.
•  Premix patina solution in Windex-type spray bottle
•  Spray Windex® cleaner on fixture to break surface tension, leaving it on when you apply patina solution.
•  Apply patina solution by spraying onto fixture, preferably in the early evening on a high humidity night.
•  Allow to set for 1 hour, then reapply solution observing where you missed applying on the first coat. If there seems to be oil that is repelling the patina solution, clean it off with the Windex® cleaner.
•  Allow to sit overnight.
•  The result will be a bright green powdery patina. Do not rub off. In time (and re-applications) this finish will become permanent. The brightness will fade with time. To reduce green, cut back on the salt content. Color and effect is greatly affected by application ambient temperature and humidity.

** Courtesy of Unique Lighting Systems

Remember to call Harold at 561.204.3000 for all your LED landscape lighting needs.
– By Harold Salkin
Find Harold on Google+

Make Elegant First Impressions with Lighting Design

led landscape lighting, palm beach

This is the time of year when everything must shine and sparkle and look its best. First impressions are everything as friends and family visit for the holidays … driving up your winding driveway, many of them coming upon your stunning home for the first time!

The perfect place to start is with the installation of the best and most beautiful LED landscape lighting system in The Palm Beaches.

Our installation team only utilizes heavy gauge direct burial copper wire, not the thinner gauge home store quality wire that deteriorates quickly overtime and does not permit the lamps to get as bright as they were designed to be.

LED Fixtures With A  Lifetime Warranty

Our fixtures are all cast brass and they have a lifetime warranty as well as the stainless steel lifetime warrantied transformers which come with a removable lifetime warranted timer.

Many different techniques will create a variety of effects for your home and property.  For the very best first impressions …  here are the techniques we use to illuminate your property:

STEP LIGHTING
LED landscaping lighting palm beachDesigned for safety, step lighting will clearly illuminate the steps designed into your living space, providing easy walking paths and directional assistance.

MOONLIGHTING
LED landscape lighting jupiter flIn the garden, moonlighting can be used to create the shadowing patterns of a moonlit night. Moonlighting is a subtle and natural effect, often using cool bluish LED lamps to create the look of natural moonlight.

SHADOWING
shadowingShadowing utilizes the shadow created by a tree or object to enhance a design. The lighting fixture will be placed in front of the tree or feature and create the shadow on the object behind.

SUBMERSIBLE
led landscape lighting wellington flWater features create a vivid design into the landscape. When illuminated properly it will intensify their effect. When illuminated with cool white LED lamps the water sparkles and fish are brightly highlighted.

AREA LIGHTING
led landscape lighting boynton beach flArea lighting is used to enhance flower beds and also safely illuminate pathways. Area lights are often staggered and alternating from one side to another when used on a pathway.

led landscape lighting palm beachGRAZING
Grazing is used to highlight and enhance interesting textures and architectural elements. Fixtures are placed less than a foot from the vertical surface and provide vertical illumination.

downlightDOWNLIGHTING
Downlighting is illuminating an object or surface from above. Downlighting can be used to highlight specific garden elements and large spaces for safety, security or recreational purposes.

UPLIGHTING
UplightingArchitectural and landscape elements become visually dramatic features when illuminated from below. Uplighting is the most common technique used to accent key focal points in the landscape and to create shadows on walls.

WALL WASHING
led outdoor lighting services palm beachWall washing is the effect of illuminating an entire surface evenly to create a beautiful and subtle glow.
Illuminating the front face of a home evenly provides an elegant appeal.

For more information on our LED landscape lighting system, call Harold Salkin at 561.204.3000 … your Palm Beach County professional, licensed landscape lighting installer.

New Tree Ring Lighting Adds Drama To Your Palm Trees

tree rings led landscape lighting palm beach county Breathtaking.  Brilliant.  Novel.  All words used to describe our new12v tree ring lighting system.

Palm trees are so beautiful during the day, but as the sun sets and without proper illumination, the trees become all trunk as nothing directs the spectators’ eyes to the canopy.

A Tree Ring is a light fixture that is designed to attach to a tree by encircling the trunk or a branch. It usually accommodates up to six lights that can be pointed in varying degrees of rotation. Tree rings are a must-have for landscape lighting designs.

Typically, tree rings are installed about three-quarters of the way up the tree. It’s not right in your face, and the lights shining up cast dramatic accents into the canopy.

Our resin Tree Rings come standard in 3 different sizes: 18 inch, 24 inch and 32 inch diameter.

Each light can be arranged in a full 360 degrees of rotation, so some can point up, some can point down, whatever combination you like, it’s all yours. Point them all out to shed some light on the area. Point them all down to light the way around the roots. Point them all up to illuminate the branches and leaves to create an artistic, dramatic canopy effect.

Our new Tree Rings for up to 6 lights are ADA Code compliant for night time swimming pool/tennis court/parking lot illumination in multiple foot candle choices for all requirements needed for any situation, including Hotel and HOA lighting.

For installation call Harold at 561.204.3000 … your Palm Beach County professional, licensed landscape lighting installer.

– By Harold Salkin
Find Harold on Google+
Or, call Harold at 561.204.3000.

Nightscaping. The hottest outdoor lighting trend.

Soft lighting in a dark outdoor environment can be magic. It provides a warm, inviting ambiance that beckons us outdoors. It creates mood, romance, and drama. It adds interest and intrigue to any setting. A growing number of homeowners are capturing this magic in their gardens through “nightscaping”.

Landscape lighting is more than just shining some direct light at a walkway or up a tree. There are techniques and methods for creating ambiance with lights (download our Lighting Effects Guide).

Some contractors even prefer to accent the architecture of the home rather than the trees or walkways or patio areas. Home lighting gives you the chance to highlight pillars or columns, or enjoy the shadow play of lights on the craggy surface of stone veneer.

Use this free guide to easily scan the options for landscape lighting effects. See how 9 different techniques and fixtures create unique lighting results.

lighting-effects

Contact Harold at Custom Lighting of America for all of your landscape lighting projects.

– By Harold Salkin
Find Harold on Google+
Or, call Harold at 561.204.3000.

Landscape Design With Subtle Moonlighting

A wonderful and natural way to light up your landscape is to mimick moonlight. The moonlighting technique refers to the chiaroscuro pattern of light through leaves.

Moonlighting is achieved by placing a large fixture with a full glare guard high up inside a tree, and angled downwards. This effect looks like moonlight shining down through the branches.

A dappled pattern of light and shadow is created along pathways and over low-level plantings providing  a very beautiful lighting effect.

landscape lighting

The color of the moon may surprise you.
It turns out that the moon absorbs twice as much violet as it does red.  For this reason, the moon is slightly reddish!

At very low light levels, the human eye can no longer perceive the color red, but can perceive blues and greens.  So moonlight, which  has very low luminance level, can appear slightly blue.  But ever so slightly … as the brain easily shifts its perception to judging the moon to be white!

landscape lighting designMoonlighting and Palm Trees
Since leaves are at the tops of palm trees, mounted tree lights are used as a general light wash on the ground, or  to create shadows of neighboring trees.

Heights and Angles
To simulate the light of the moon,  fixtures are mounted at least 25 ft. high and project the light through lower branches. This illuminates the ground with the kind of dappled light that suggests the moon.

– By Harold Salkin
Find Harold on Google+
Or, call Harold at 561.204.3000.

New Trends in Modern Outdoor Lighting

Both practical and beautiful, outdoor landscape lighting can easily transform your backyard into a new room. For your front yard safety and security come first. Good lighting design along paths and walkways will make it easy to see and navigate at night.

Here are at least five types of outdoor lighting that can achieve stunning effects for your home:

outdoor landscape lighting palm beach countyRope Lighting
Inexpensive and very adaptable, rope lighting comes in spools and can easily light up a porch, patio or gazebo. It only requires a twelve-volt system. You can also stretch it along walkways, pool edges and driveways for some gentle lighting.

Recessed Lighting
Recessed lighting is modern with a chic finish. It is perfect when you want ambient light for your porch or patio. It offers great control as it can easily be put on a dimmer so you can adjust output.

Paver Brick Lighting
These are lights in the shape of bricks that are incorporated into your landscape. You can replace regular bricks with these lights to create a cozy glow on your patio. You can also use them to line driveways and walkways to add a little light without blinding the neighbors. The bricks can be driven over without breaking.

LED Plant PotLighted Pots
Lighted pots are a new twist on gardening.  They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. You use them like any other pot and put in any kind of flower or small tree that will complement your landscape. Lighted pots have a glowing effect and require no wires or cords.

outdoor landscape lighting wellington floridaLanterns
Lanterns add an elegant look to your outdoor decorating scheme. You can find lanterns that can be placed on a wall, that hang from ceilings and ones that can be placed on fence and porch posts. Many of these come in “green versions” so they take advantage of the daytime sun to provide lighting at night. These are usually easy to install and will either hang from a hook in a ceiling or require just a few screws to fix them to a wall or a post.

– By Harold Salkin
Find Harold on Google+
Or, call Harold at 561.204.3000.