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Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of
DC Metro Blog

Choosing the Best Material for Your Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Lighting fixtures come with several material options such as plastic, aluminum, brass, copper and stainless steel. When choosing the right lighting fixture option, it is important to take into consideration the weather patterns in our area, level of humidity, your gardening or landscaping habits and your long-term expectations. Let’s check out each material option for the pros and cons.

Plastic

This is the least durable but usually the cheapest option. Plastic is easily manipulated by the weather with warping and overall structural damage. Plastic fixtures will usually only last short-term, meaning customers will have to spend more money in the long run with replacing fixtures and bulbs.

Aluminum

Aluminum is a low-quality metal that will not last long term in outdoor terrain. There are finishes that are added that can aid in decreasing corrosion, but eventually, they will need to be replaced.
If the aluminum is powder coated or marine coated, it does extend the life of the fixture to about three and a half years. This is another option to save money upfront but not necessarily in the long term.

Stainless steel

If choosing a stainless steel option, be sure to use fixtures with the electro-polish finish in order to prevent discoloration from the weather. Also, be aware of the grade of steel, as some are more prone to corrosion than others. Stainless steel fixtures may be less suitable if you live in a high humidity area. Stainless steel features also require cleaning to keep that shiny look as well as decreasing corrosion or discoloration. These may be time-consuming to maintain.

Copper

Copper is a quality metal to use for fixtures due to the high corrosion resistance. Copper does “patina,” turning green or overall discoloring over time due to weather. This does provide protection from corrosion and rust. Copper is often used to coat other metals, such as brass, to give added protection to stronger metals. Overall, machined copper is a better quality than rolled or stamped, though costlier. This is an option for long-lasting and quality lighting fixtures.

Brass

Brass is a quality metal that can hold up in weather very well. Over time, it will patina like copper. Brass will last years to come, as it has a high corrosion resistance. Brass is a hard metal that is durable but also costlier than the other options up front. Though, it may save money in the long run due to not having to replace fixtures. When choosing brass fixtures, be sure to look at the zinc content. You want to stick with something that is less than 15% zinc to ensure great quality. Brass is the most popular material used for lighting fixtures.

Interested in Outdoor Lighting?

Now that you know about all the fixture material options, schedule your free consultation with an outdoor lighting designer to discuss your lighting needs. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of DC Metro has decades of experience creating elegant designs and completing flawless installations. Our team takes pride in creating lighting designs that look great at night! During our free nighttime assessment, you’ll meet with one of our lighting designers to discuss all your lighting needs. Call us today (202) 888-2718 to make an appointment!

Benefits of Hiring a Landscape Lighting Professional

You invested money in your landscaping and want your home to look it’s best at night. Hiring a landscape lighting professional or company that specializes in outdoor lighting ensures the best possible end result. It takes years of experience to expertly light a home’s exterior in a way that enhances its features and increases curb appeal.

Outdoor lighting professionals serve a purpose for projects big and small. From helping you bring your ideas to life to providing an expert opinion, hiring a professional is a wise and sensible choice. Here are some of the top benefits of hiring a landscape lighting professional for your project:

Save Money

It may seem unusual that hiring a professional to light the exterior of your home would save you money. But, online and big-box retail store products are not the same quality as what you would get working with a professional. More often, DIY’ers end up replacing their lighting with low-quality fixtures. An expert can help you avoid these costly mistakes. Not only will you save money but a professionally lit home boosts curb appeal and increases the value of your home.

Save Time and Headaches

An outdoor lighting designer will give you a professional assessment based on your lighting needs, wants, and desires. They will give you a solid plan of action with options for lighting your home, which can be installed all at once or in phases.

Experienced lighting designers will know all the tiny, little details that may otherwise get overlooked. They’ll know what to install before the cement is poured, hardscapes are formed, or as structures are built, which also saves you money.

Act as a Liaison

A professional landscape lighting designer will work with you and your architect, builder, or contractor. Even in the early stages of your project. They can help you avoid any common mistakes that can impact your overall lighting design.

Availability of Resources

A professional will have access to high-quality products (architectural Specifier Grade fixtures, bulbs, components, etc.) not accessible to the general public. By utilizing these resources, your designer can give your home a more unique and cohesive style.

Wow Factor

A professional lighting designer will know how to give your home the “wow” factor you desire. They know how to see the “big picture” while clients often cannot.
Someone with years of experience will know what works well, and what does not. They’ll know what color temperature and beam spread will enhance your space and create the desired mood. When professionally done, exterior lighting creates ambiance and adds distinction to your home.

Home Value

A professional landscape lighting design can add to the nighttime aesthetics of your home, which, in turn, can increase its value.

Knowledge & Experience

Landscape lighting designers are professionals with years of knowledge and experience understanding the art and science of light. They understand which techniques will work best given the situation and the elements. A professional can help solve all of your lighting needs while adding beauty, distinction, and functionally to your home.

Schedule your free consultation with an outdoor lighting designer to discuss your lighting needs. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of DC Metro has decades of experience creating elegant designs and completing flawless installations. Our team takes pride in creating lighting designs that look great at night! During our free nighttime assessment, you’ll meet with one of our lighting designers to discuss all your lighting needs. Call us today (202) 888-2718 to make an appointment!

Stairway Lighting Helps Keep You Safe!

A dark stairway can be dangerous. Every year, over a million people are either injured, hospitalized, or killed due to stair trip and fall issues. Proper stairway lighting can help prevent accidents and provide guidance as you and your guests as you traverse the stairs. Don’t underestimate the importance of illuminating your exterior stairways!

Exterior stairway lighting is one of the best home improvement investments you can make to your property. To light your outdoor stairway, there are several different types of lights and mounting options to consider, as follows:

Tread lighting – This type of lighting fits right into the vertical face of the steps. The light shines down onto the step directly beneath it. The fixture looks natural and is barely seen because of the way it is installed.

Down Lighting – Fixtures are mounted high up in a tree or architectural elements and illuminate the steps below. Directed onto a staircase, this type of lighting can provide effective lighting, while also maintaining a serene atmosphere.

Path Lighting – Path lighting is done to illuminate pathways, but can also be used to light up the steps.

Rail Lighting – These fixtures are mounted onto the post or railing of your stairs. They are an effective way to light the steps beneath the railing.

Stair lighting installations often require precise placement and technical knowledge so it’s important to hire experts, such as Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Metro DC.

Looking for inspiration for your stairway lighting project? At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Metro DC, a landscape lighting designer will have the experience and knowledge to consider safety, security, and beauty when creating a custom lighting design. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your exterior stairway lighting needs, please feel free to contact us. If you’re ready to start spending more evenings enjoying your outdoor space, schedule a free consultation and night-time demonstration! Call us today (202) 888-2718!

Lighting Up Your Outdoor Water Feature

Do you have a water feature in your backyard that makes you feel calm and content whenever you look at it? Of course, you want to spend time enjoying it, but days are getting shorter. With our help, you can enjoy your water feature whenever you choose to with the right lighting. An investment, such as a water feature on your property, should not only be shown off during the day but also after sun sets!

Submersible lights have been a popular way to provide light in dark backyard water features. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Metro DC provide submersible lights in specific situations, and offer lifetime warranty on select fixtures.

Our designers prefer to use downlighting around water features to make the entire landscape look great at night. Here’s why:

Multiple angles: In addition to lighting from one angle within the water feature, our designers use lights from multiple angles above and around the pond in trees or within the bordering landscape.

Safety benefit: Downlighting shines the light not only on the pond, but also on the area around the water feature, which is a great safety benefit.

Highlight surrounding landscaping: Downlighting also spotlights surrounding landscaping, making it the most aesthetically pleasing area of the pond.

Downlighting your water feature can create beautiful effects to capture rockwork, plant life, and more. We look forward to working with you to bring your water feature to life whenever you choose to enjoy it.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we understand the art of blending safety with the aesthetic aspect of a lighting design. During our free nighttime assessment, you’ll meet with one of our lighting designers to discuss all your lighting needs. Call us today (202) 888-2718 to make an appointment!

Feel Safer in Your Home or Business with Security Lighting

These long days of summer are wonderful, but sadly they don’t last forever. With darkness creeping in earlier every day, you may be considering adding lights for security and safety at your home or business. Security lighting can be a great asset and unobtrusive – when properly installed and used – but like most improvements, it takes a bit of forethought and preplanning.

The Best of Intentions

Security lighting can increase visibility, boost feelings of safety, and deter criminal activity. The following are some additional advantages of lighting:

● A clear view of outdoor home/business areas
● Feeling safe and secure by eliminating dark areas
● Safety around troublesome areas like pools, stairs, and other trip hazards
● Deterring wildlife. Deer, possum, skunks, raccoons are all less likely to wander near lit areas.
● Visibility for cameras and other surveillance devices

Security Lighting Doesn’t Need to Be Harsh to Be Effective

When most people think of outdoor security lighting, they automatically picture harsh floodlights and blinding motion detectors. This is useful, but addresses the issue only when something or someone is already on the property. Studies show a lighting system is the most effective deterrent to keep trouble away. In addition to acting only as a last warning, too often these harsh lights overpower a property and take away from the home’s natural beauty. However, lighting doesn’t need to be harsh and startling to be effective.

Professionally installed low-voltage landscape lighting softly illuminates and elegantly enhances your home and property while protecting the whole family.

When lighting for safety and security, we’ll focus on eliminating several trouble areas. Areas such as:

● Dark shadows, or “blind spots” on the house facade.
● Near doors or posts that show your address. This aspect is offer overlooked. If your address isn’t easily seen at night, it can slow down the response to of emergency services.
● Walkways, paths, landscaping, outdoor living areas, and all outdoor structures.
● The perimeters of the property. Trees or wooded areas can be inviting hiding places for trespassers and wildlife. Illuminating those areas will give you peace of mind.

Strategically lighting your home, the areas surrounding your home, and the perimeter of your property, makes it less inviting for a potential intruder. Instead of looking for access, they move on to an easier target.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we understand the art of blending safety and security with the aesthetic aspect of a lighting design. During our free nighttime assessment, you’ll meet with one of our lighting designers to discuss all your lighting needs. Call us today (202) 888-2718 to make an appointment!

Lighting for Outdoor Kitchens, Grills, and Dining Spaces

Cooking, grilling, and dining outside is a summertime staple. Now that the warm weather is here, you might fire up the grill for some burgers and brats, while partying with friends and family by the pool or in your backyard.

If you’ve ever tried cooking in an outdoor kitchen at night, you know that good lighting is essential to making sure the burgers get cooked to the right temperature. A properly lit area will save you multiple trips inside the house and will add a lovely ambiance and more light to your cooking space. Whether you have an expansive outdoor kitchen or a modest grill area, the right lighting can dramatically change your food preparation, cooking, and dining experience.

Consider the following outdoor kitchen and grill lighting ideas to brighten your space:

Light Above the Grill: Light shining down from directly above your grilling area is best to ensure the entire food prep and cooking areas are adequately lit.

Cafe/String/Bistro lights: Nothing makes your outdoor dining space more inviting than glimmering outdoor string lights, café lights, or bistro lights. Whether it’s daytime or the sun is setting behind the horizon, these lights can create a warm ambience and a memorable dining experience.

Under-Countertop Lighting: Under-countertop lighting is not only aesthetically pleasing, especially when highlighting stonework, but also functional. Finding your mini fridge, cabinets, or other built-in compartments just got easier.

Colored LED Lighting: LED tape lighting is used for many of the under-counter areas. Color changing options are available because of the advances in LED technology. Have it set to regular white light or mix it up for holidays, special occasions, or just because you can. It makes for a perfect and memorable evening.

For separate grilling areas: If your grilling area is separate from your patio seating area, consider subtly linking the two zones with lighting.

Direct lighting is more important in the kitchen zone than mood, so go for an overhead option, such as recessed lights or adjustable fixtures that can be pointed exactly where you want them to go.

Consider Other Outdoor Areas

Be sure to consider any other areas that could use lighting to increase the safety or enjoyment of your outdoor space. Lighting walkways, paths, and steps will increase the safety of your backyard by preventing trips and falls.

Planning an Outdoor Kitchen? Call us to install proper lighting!

Having an outdoor kitchen is a wonderful addition to any outdoor space, and proper lighting will make food preparation and entertaining easier and more enjoyable. If you are in the beginning of planning phase, contact us for the lighting aspect of planning and designing your outdoor cooking space.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Metro DC, a landscape lighting designer will have the experience and knowledge to consider safety, security, and beauty when creating a custom lighting design. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your outdoor kitchen and grill lighting needs, please feel free to contact us. If you’re ready to start spending more evenings enjoying your outdoor space, schedule a free consultation and night-time demonstration! Call us today (202) 888-2718!

Contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is here for all your outdoor lighting needs. During our Free Custom Design Plan, we will show you the optimum locations around your home and throughout your yard to achieve stunning outdoor lighting effects. If you already have a lighting system but need it serviced or upgraded, we are happy to help. Please fill out the form below to contact us.

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