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Posts Tagged ‘outdoor lighting austin’

If you haven’t seen this website, it’s a great source for decorating and remodeling project ideas.  Published by homeowners and professionals it’s categorized nicely into different areas of the house for easy reference.  I’m proud to say that we were selected for a “2013 Best of Houzz” award for our reviews, ideabooks, and some of our project photos on landscape lighting.

Here’s a sample slideshow highlighting some of our recent work with outdoor lighting:

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It’s been a busy spring for us. Lots of new clients and we are grateful. One of the more popular trends that we are getting lots of calls on is for lighting outdoor living spaces. Decks, patios, outdoor kitchens, dining areas, water features, seems like everyokumpne is doing construction projects to enhance their back yards.

Finding lighting to enhance these spaces is an essential. Trying to entertain in the dark or off “porch lights” just doesn’t cut it anymore. If you are planning a project of this type, here are a couple ideas on how to complete the look with elegant outdoor lighting:

Safety: One of the absolutes of nearly every project is dark stairs and railings that drop off into darkness in the back yard. This picture is an example of a project we just completed. Notice at the bottom, the small step down into the kitchen area. We added some LED strip lighting on the stair riser to safely light the area so no one will trip entering this potentially dark area.

Downlighting: It’s interesting to see our clients struggle with grilling in the dark or dining on a dark table. Again, looking at our sample work, you see a series of small fixtures installed in the rafters of the pergola to provide lighting for cooking as well as bar top eating.

Aesthetics: Consider some LED strip lighting tucked up under the bar or cap of a stone wall (or wood railing) as we have done here to really make your spaces pop. Notice both the bar front and far back wall are washed with soft ambient LED light. You can even add color changing LED that’s controlled with a remote and you’ll have the coolest back yard in the neighborhood.

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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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We recently were called to a home in the West Austin area because the owner was having multiple problems with his outdoor lighting system and he wanted us to repair it.  Upon investigation, he mentioned that he had this system installed about 20 years ago with a combination of line voltage and low voltage lights, 45 in total.

Before proceeding, I’d like to share what this translates to in terms of energy consumption.  He had 25 lights connected to line voltage at 100w/bulb, or 2,500 watts/hour.  Add another 400 watts for the low voltage lights and he’s consuming 2,900w, or 2.9 kilowatts (kwh) for every hour that the lights are on.  Assuming that he runs the lights an average of 6 hours / day x 30.4 days in a month, he’s consuming 529 kwh every month.  Austin Energy is pretty cheap electricity and their bills are a little confusing, but just for energy usage, they charge about $.06 per kilowatt hour.  Doing the math, our new customer was spending about $32 per month just to run his outdoor lighting system.

Rather than proceeding with a system repair, we discussed the possibility of retrofitting this system to new LED technology.  The customer agreed and we ended up converting his line voltage lights to low voltage and utilizing 6w and 3w LED bulbs.

We ran the calculation again and here’s what we found:  25 LED bulbs x 6w + 20 LED bulbs x 3w = 210w, or .21 kwh.  Multiply .21 x 6 hours of usage x 30.4 days, and he now consumes 38.3 kwh in a month.    At $.06 cost / kwh, his energy cost after retrofit?  $2.29 per month.

529 kilowatts on the old system, 38 on the new, that’s a 93% reduction in consumption!  How’s that for a “green” application?

Oh, and the lights?  Customer loves it.  It’s all working again.  He loves the look of LED lighting.  The fact that he’s now paying $2.29 per month to elegantly light his yard, instead of $32, is just an added bonus.

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This client has an interesting antique bench on the side of her front yard that they enjoy.  Shaded by several large oak trees, this is a secluded part of the yard, but very dark at night.  Using several LED up lights to highlight the nearby canopies and one down light spot pointed at the back of the bench, we provided an elegantly lit oasis they can now enjoy into the evening.   Another satisfied customer from OLP of Austin.

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We were called out to this house because the homeowner was unhappy.  “my street is dark, my neighbors are dark, my house is dark” were the first words we heard when we met.  After some consultation and a night time demonstration, this recently became one of our latest customers to go with LED lighting on the front of their home.

The street is way below the house so we knew that down lighting from the trees was not going to work.  Instead we chose to up light both the front of the house and the tree canopies.  These large oak trees now with 30′ canopies now appear to tower high above street level.  We were also very pleased with the look on the facade of the house.  The homeowner had a standard white limestone rock common to many Austin homes and when lit with LED lighting provides a very rich, elegant look.  We were pleased with the results.

LED Landscape Lighting making a difference

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We’ve been using LED lighting for some time in our installations, but there’s always the questions from our prospective customers; Is it bright enough?  Is it too bright?  Does it output as much light as incandescent lights?

This last week, we did a nighttime demonstration for a potential new customer. We temporarily hooked up 6 LED lights and 2 incandescent lights in the same system and asked the prospect to see if they could identify which is which.  They couldn’t.  That’s good news.

Why?  Well it sort of puts to rest the perceived issue that LED lighting is not as good as the old standard.  It’s come a long way in the last year and now is as stable and as functional as any of the old incandescent technology.  But here’s the best part:  LED lighting is 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and that means big savings in electrical costs.  Second bonus:  LED bulbs are rated at 50,000 hours of usage which is 10 times the life of a halogen bulb and a lot less maintenance cost.  Imagine changing a bulb once every 5 years vs. every single year? Wow!

We have started offering LED conversions to our customers.  Fortunately, we have a line of bulbs that will replace the existing bulbs with just a simple bulb change – no modification to the fixture required and we are very excited about that.  It’s clear that with the green saving and lower maintenance, this will be the technology of the future.  As I’m sure Kermit the Frog once said, “sometimes, it just feels good to be green”.

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