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Archive for the ‘Plant Lighting’ Category

Recently, OLP of Austin donated a complete lighting package to be auctioned off at the annual Play Bingo fundraiser benefitting the Center for Child Protection.  The Center for Child Protection, a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center, is the first contact for children in Travis County who are suspected victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and for children who have witnessed a violent crime.

By donating the seven light system, OLP was proud to be a part of the money raised at the auction.  These funds will help provide funding for the Center for the upcoming year.

After the auction, OLP arrived at the winning bidder‘s house to install her new lighting system.  We completed the installation in a day and she loves how the LED lighting enhances her front yard.

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LED PAR36 bulb –

We recently returned from the Outdoor Lighting Perspectives annual conference.  Certainly, the biggest news on the technology front was the introduction of a new LED PAR36 bulb.

Some of the features of this bulb:

  • 6watt (over 80% reduction in power consumption)
  • 3000 degrees Kelvin (warm white)
  • 50,000 hour rating (compared to 5,000 for halogen)
  • 5 year warranty

The light quality?  Side by side against a new halogen bulb, the light output (temperature) is so close that it’s hard to tell one from the other.  This light is also an easy retrofit in existing fixtures using PAR36 halogen bulbs.  Benefits:  the energy efficiencies saves electricity and super long burn rate lowers maintenance costs.  Typical payback on an LED conversion is less than 2 years.

LED bulbs replacing the MR16 bulb is also available now and an LED retrofit bulb for path lights will be coming in April, 2012.

Clearly, LED technology has finally arrived for Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.

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Color of trees - color rendering index CRI

Tree lighting Austin

When you’re doing garden lighting, landscape lighting, or even architectural lighting, one of the things you’ll have to decide is whether to do uplighting or downlighting. Hopefully you’re working with a lighting designer that can make the best recommendations for you. With outdoor lighting, likely they will suggest mostly uplighting but there are also some areas with your landscape where downlighting makes a lot of sense.

Uplighting serves a more practical purpose. When lighting your home, you want the illumination to come from ground up. From a practical standpoint, with uplighting, the light more fully illuminates the area where you walk and live. Also, the amount of light will be greater at the lightsource then at the distant point that is illuminated from that fixture. So, naturally, with architectural lighting, you want the light source to be closer to the base of the house or structure than at the roofline.

Palm tree lighting Austin

Palm tree lighting Austin

Hearing the word uplighting might conjure up images of bright blinding spotlights impeding your vision. But, with professional outdoor architectural lighting, this is not the case at all. The outdoor lighting fixture we use to light your house will most often be a well light. The well lights are usually placed in landscaping and the shape of the fixture directs the light toward your home and away from your eyes.

With landscape lighting, downlighting often makes the most sense for aesthetic and other reasons. With low plant garden lighting, downlighting will illuminate the most beautiful part of the plant which is often the top of the plant. Also, landscaping often “lives” in an area where uplighting might get in the eyes of the beholder. For lighting low plants and paths, we usually use our copper path light.

So, you want the light source close to the most important part of the area being illuminated. You don’t want the light shining in your eyes at any time. And you never want a spotlight effect. Good outdoor lighting should have a natural effect. It should make the item look similar to how it looks during the day.

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