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Archive for the ‘The elemets of good outdoor lighting’ Category

LED lights are long lasting, energy efficient and among the safest lights

LED lights are long lasting, energy efficient and among the safest lights on the market.

Over the last 12 years, we’ve designed and installed over 1,000 outdoor lighting systems. Some would say we’ve seen it all – all the trends in outdoor lighting. In reality, well designed outdoor lighting is just not trendy. You’re just not going to see new color bulbs or new ways to light a tree. Classic upscale lighting is classic upscale lighting. Clean soft white lighting illuminating facades and landscapse are timeless. If we’ve seen one change, it’s in the emergence of LED outdoor lighting here in St. Louis. At its debut, LED was an expensive bulb technology although none disagreed that it would probably pay off. LED outdoor bulbs can last up to 50,000 hours – or more! But, LED outdoor bulbs are significantly more expensive. On the one hand, they don’t need annual replacement but it’s still difficult to make an exact case, in dollars and cents, of the long-term financial savings of going with LED.

Let’s look at just a little of the math. Let’s say you run your outdoor lighting system for 8 hours/night. On a bulb that lasts 5,000 hours, you would get 6,250 days out of that one single bulb. There are a couple more factors to add to this cost savings equation. In addition to long lasting bulbs, the bulbs utilize about 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Calculate the savings of using 90% less energy over 6,250 days!

Take the cost savings one step further. In our calculation, we considered running your outdoor lights 8 hours/night. This is an important number. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis, we utilize outdoor lighting control automation systems. The system is programmed to fit your needs. Let’s say you want your lights to come on at 8PM and stay on to deter intruders and illuminate your facade for 8 hours. This might mean you need to remember to turn your lights on and off. Lighting control automation is designed to take care of that for you. It’s truly a set-it-and-forget-it technology.

led or halogen with caption

There are a couple additional benefits of outdoor lighting control.

We can program your outdoor lighting control to illuminate at different levels at different times of the night. For example, we can program it to come on at 50% at dusk, 100% for the next 3 hours, turn off during the night, and come back on for 2 hours at dawn as your family leaves for work and school. One of the keys to that equation is the ever-changing dusk and dawn times and how these change further with daylight savings time. Our “smart” system follows these changing times. Just like the time on your cell phone automatically changes for daylight savings, our smart system knows the changing dusk time, dawn time, and new time after daylight savings time.

So how can St. Louis LED outdoor lighting be even more affordable? Lighting Automation. You never have to worry about turning the lights off. They will only run when you want them to and you don’t need to lift a finger to make this happen.

Longer lasting bulbs, dramatic energy efficiency, programmed usage, big savings. These savings are both on your pocket and also the environment.

Schwartz family Christmas 2012

Jim Schwartz, owner of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis, and his family.

If you are considering adding outdoor lighting to your St. Louis area home, give us a call for a free consultation at at  (636) 561-1818 or email JimSchwartz@OutdoorLights.com. We look forward to your call!

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AristotleWhen it comes to a truly professional outdoor lighting design and installation, things are not always as they seem. You may have read my posts warning of the reason why homeowners should steer clear of the “Jack of all trades” to install their outdoor lighting. In addition, I was recently forced to elaborate on this theory after witnessing more less-than-professional outdoor lighting  installations by trades that should quite frankly, know better.

Many homeowners may think that an electrician is a good choice when looking for someone to take care of their outdoor lighting needs.  Indeed, it seems an electrician in theory would be perfectly suited for the task of designing and installing outdoor lighting. After all, outdoor lighting revolves around electricity and just as Aristotle said ” the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, right? I can testify from my experience, from the spectacles I have witnessed first hand while in the field that this assumption is wrong. Take for example the photograph below of an outdoor lighting installation completed by this homeowners’ electrician:

Outdoor lighting by an electrician.

Outdoor lighting by an electrician.

How many things are wrong here? As an outdoor lighting professional, I can see many aspects of this installation that are less-than-professional. First of all, the wiring, placement and mounting is lacking and haphazard. The goal of professional outdoor lighting is to be as unobtrusive as possible in installation and presentation. These lights not only stick out like a sore thumb, the wiring has now succumbed to the elements from being so far above ground. The lights are placed erratically and are crooked. Not to mention the poor quality of the fixture itself which is showing damage from exposure. In addition, it takes two poor quality fixtures to do the job of what one of our high-quality fixtures are capable of.

Our classic copper path light is a work of art in itself

Our fixtures, like this classic copper path light, is a work of art in itself. One of our classic copper path lights takes the place of two, or more, less reputable fixtures commonly used by electricians.

My next example of “how not to do outdoor lighting” comes to you courtesy of a decking company. Deck lighting is an amenity that is meant to bring ambiance, safety and beauty to an outdoor living space. Part of the mystique of deck lighting involves the concept of seeing the light, but not the lighting source. In order to create the feel and look of an outdoor oasis you must demonstrate obscurity throughout the installation. Below is a photograph I recently took of a deck lighting installation prior to our team straightening it out:

Lighting installed by decking company.

Lighting installed by decking company.

One of the key elements to a professional outdoor lighting installation involves making sure that unsightly areas are obscured. This plays a huge role in how we create a total lighting package for our customers.The installation above is an example of an installer who has thrown this caution to the wind. Do you think this is what the homeowner had in mind when they imagined a tranquil outdoor space bathed in light?

Deck lighting

How we do deck lighting. Cohesive and elegant with all components out of sight and out of mind.

When we design your outdoor lighting, including deck lighting, we think beyond the lights and the lighting design. This includes always placing transformers and wiring out of view in places where they aren’t likely to become an eyesore. Our philosophy involves presenting you with a total lighting effect. It’s as if by some magical unseen force; wiring, cords and transformers are made to seem invisible and all you have left is an outdoor lighting installation that enhances beauty and safety.

Outdoor Lighting Customer Service St. Louis

We treat our customers like they are our only customers.

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis is a professional and experienced company that takes outdoor lighting very seriously, because it is all we do. We don’t offer “add in” services, or promote anything other than quality outdoor lighting design and installation. We stand behind our fixtures and our installations. Our commitment doesn’t end when we leave your home, we also offer annual maintenance plans to ensure your outdoor lighting system is operating beautifully one day from now and years from now. Our products are warranted to give you the peace of mind that comes along with quality made outdoor lighting fixtures and components as well.

Schwartz family Christmas 2012

Jim Schwartz, owner of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis, and his family.

If you are looking for outdoor lighting design and installation that is focused on every detail and customer satisfaction, contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis today. You can call us at (636) 561 – 1818 or send us an email at JimSchwartz@OutdoorLights.com

 

 

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Outdoor lighting with curb appeal

Notice how our quality fixtures blend into the landscape, leaving the focus to the lighting itself.

You may have seen an advertisement that reads something like this:

Oil and waterFor Hire, we do drip irrigation installation, install  lawn sprinkler systems, our other services  include low water installation, landscape lighting, drainage & erosion control and more.” 

Look closely at the services this irrigation company offers and see if you can identify the one which doesn’t fit. Clearly the trade that rises to the top like water in oil is landscape lighting.  The old saying “choosing the right person to do a certain job is as important as the job itself” comes to mind when I see an advertisement such as this, or visit a home to fix the outdoor lighting completed by an irrigation company left behind.  This statement rings true when it comes to choosing the right person to install your outdoor lighting. You cannot imagine how many times I have responded to a homeowner in dire need to get their outdoor lighting straightened out by a professional after hiring  someone not qualified, nor with any knowledge or experience of how to install outdoor lighting. I can’t stress enough how important it is to hire a professional outdoor lighting company to do it right the first time.

Irrigation Nightmares in Outdoor lighting

This outdoor lighting installation was completed by an irrigation company complete with tremendously cheap fixtures and a very sloppy, overworked and under maintained installation.

Within this industry the fault line is usually drawn when a homeowner decides to let his landscaper or irrigation company install their outdoor lighting. Many people assume that since these trades are well versed in the areas where most outdoor lighting is typically placed, that they are capable of doing the lighting. Many times the homeowner says ” why not let my irrigation company or landscaper install my lighting while the area is already cleared and dug up for the task.” Regretfully, what usually ensues is a poorly executed outdoor lighting installation with improper fixtures, poor design execution, or not enough of the appropriate fixtures to achieve the desired effect. Many times, the fixtures are the wrong kind, the wiring is done incorrectly and in some cases once they leave your property you will never see them again. Outdoor lighting installations such as these usually come with no service , no warranty and no one to help you when things turn out to be  less than expected.

Our classic copper path light is a work of art in itself

Our fixtures, like this classic copper path light, is a work of art in itself.

The fact remains that those trained and certified in their specific area of expertise deliver better results when you hire them to do what they do best. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis is a professional and experienced company that takes outdoor lighting very seriously, because it is all we do. We don’t offer “add in” services, or promote anything other than quality outdoor lighting design and installation. We stand behind our fixtures and our installations. Our commitment doesn’t end when we leave your home, we offer annual maintenance plans to ensure your outdoor lighting system is operating beautifully one day from now and years from now. Our products are warranted to give you the peace of mind that comes along with quality made outdoor lighting fixtures and components as well.

Schwartz family Christmas 2012

Jim Schwartz, owner of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis, and his family.

If you are looking for outdoor lighting design and installation that is focused and pays attention to every detail, contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis today. You can call us at (636) 561 – 1818 or send us an email at JimSchwartz@OutdoorLights.com

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how not to do lighting

The old stake light in a planter technique?

Being in the business of professional outdoor lighting here in St. Louis for over 14 years, we have seen our fair share of outdoor lighting fails. From the solar “hit or miss” lighting attempts, to stake lights distributed along pathways that mimic the look of an airport runway at night, the list goes on and on. Still, the things I still witness when I arrive at a property never cease to still amaze me.

Most recently, I arrived at a property to begin installation of a professional outdoor lighting system and noticed this — A solar stake light stuck into a planting urn placed at the edge of the driveway. This makes the list of  firsts for me as a way of implementing outdoor lighting that I have not witnessed until now.

Copper path light

Let’s try this again…shall we?

I could begin to elaborate about all the things that are wrong in this scenario, but the picture speaks for itself. I cannot begin to stress the importance of quality fixtures and placement enough when it comes to professional outdoor lighting. The specific term that comes to mind when describing what elements go into creating a successful outdoor lighting design is artistry. Many factors come into play in order for a design to appear effortless and these cannot be found by way of solar stake lights, or an inexperienced installer.

We take outdoor lighting very seriously because it is all we do!

We take outdoor lighting very seriously because it is all we do!

Do you remember when people said “well-behaved children are to be seen and not heard“? A good outdoor lighting design takes its cues from this. The goal is to make the focus of your attention the light itself, not the light fixture. There is a certain elegance in the creative design of fixture obscurity when it comes to proper outdoor lighting. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis is experienced in knowing which fixture will enhance the space you are illuminating, rather than overpower it. Our fixtures are also designed to blend into the landscape and will weather to an elegant patina and become one with the landscape over time.

Outdoor Patio lighting St. Louis

Outdoor lighting made even better knowing you have the added value and efficiency of LED technology.

In addition, making sure that unsightly areas are obscured plays a huge role in how we create a total lighting package for our customers. We think beyond the lights and the lighting design. This includes always placing transformers out of view in places where they aren’t likely to become an eyesore. Our philosophy involves presenting you with a total lighting effect. It’s as if by some magical unseen force; wiring, cords and transformers are made to seem invisible and all you have left is an outdoor lighting installation that enhances beauty and safety.

St. Louis landscape lighting garden lighting

Our landscape lighting is “seen and not heard.”

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis knows the importance of design when it comes to a successful outdoor lighting installation. Our goal is to gently illuminate and beautify your home and landscape, not light it in bits and pieces. Our designs are cohesive. Our experience in lighting design and our use of high quality outdoor lighting fixtures make the perfect recipe for proper outdoor lighting. A properly designed and installed outdoor lighting application leaves your home and property enhanced with soft washes of light. Expert design is the difference between Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and other St. Louis outdoor lighting companies. It only takes one look to see the difference is clear.

Schwartz family Christmas 2012

Jim Schwartz, owner of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis, and his family.

Contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis today to learn more about enhancing your single biggest investment with quality outdoor lighting. (636) 561 – 1818 email: JimSchwartz@OutdoorLights.com

You can see more examples of our outdoor lighting designs hard at work in the landscapes of satisfied St. Louis residents by visiting our landscape and garden lighting photo gallery and our architectural lighting photo gallery located on our website.

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Landscape lighting done right

Landscape lighting done right.

I recently came across an article about a landscaper who is now using landscape lighting as a basis for boosting revenue while in the field. Keep in mind, his area of expertise is landscape and landscape design, not landscape lighting.  The article describes in detail how the demands of his customers have forced him to begin offering lighting even though he found it a “dreadful” project. First by offering line-voltage lighting which he terms “bulky” and difficult to establish even illumination, and then LED lighting because of his ability to hide the wiring. After reading the article, I was left with a feeling of surprise that any conscientious homeowner would allow someone with so little experience install their outdoor lighting, and especially someone who obviously only views lighting as a way to make another dollar.

Have you ever heard the old saying “Jack of all trades?” Unfortunately those trying to take on more than their area of expertise gives some insight as to the basis for the rest of the saying..”master of none.”

We are passionate about outdoor lighting because it is all we do.

We are passionate about outdoor lighting because it is all we do.

Landscapers are good at what they do, which is landscaping. Outdoor lighting should be installed and executed by an outdoor lighting professional. Tradesman who offer specialization within their chosen trade have experience, knowledge and the know-how to make sure their job is completed correctly. Therefore if you hire them to do a job outside their spectrum of expertise just because they happen to already be at your home or they offer to do a job for you at a price that seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

St. Louis landscape lighting garden lighting

Landscaping and outdoor lighting should beautify in harmony.

Although our designs are placed in landscaping beds, if we are asked to dress the area with  landscaping, we will recommend one of the great landscapers we would consider an expert in the field. If you are looking to illuminate your building, home or landscaping, ask your landscaper to recommend a professional outdoor lighting company instead of asking them to do it for you, or better yet, just give us a call. Our consultation is free.

Outdoor lighting is all we do, and we take pride in what we do best. This pride shines through on each project we design and install. “I believe in providing great lighting to my customers to improve the look and feel of their home and it is something I am passionate about.” Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis has been in the outdoor lighting business longer than other outdoor lighting companies in St. Louis. We are in our fourteenth year and have stability with our office staff, installers and ownership. Our installers are full-time salaried employees and feel the same passion and dedication toward outdoor lighting. We service over 3,000+ customers in St. Louis, and are still servicing some of our first outdoor lighting installations that have been with us since the beginning, including many customers in Chesterfield and Wildwood.

Copper path light

All our fixtures are custom made for us right here in the USA.

We are also part of a family, an outdoor lighting family that is part of a national company. All our products are made exclusively for us right here in the USA. Because of this close-knit relationship we are able to provide our customers with special order and customized projects that aren’t possible with other outdoor lighting companies. We are in a unique position to be able to provide the best products, the best overall solutions and the right customized solutions for each project we partake.

Our products are backed by the manufacturer; this means if it fails, we replace it. Cut rate companies won’t stand behind the products they install and cut-rate installers won’t care. If your landscaper installed your outdoor lighting, they won’t warranty their product either. If a product fails on our watch all you have to do is pick up the phone and call us, we will do the rest. If any facet of your outdoor lighting installation is in question our technicians are on hand to personally see to your situation. Any problem, no matter how large or small, we stand behind our service and our products.

Schwartz family Christmas 2012

Jim Schwartz, owner of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis, and his family.

Outdoor lighting is our passion. We don’t view it as an “add-in” or “upsell”  to generate additional revenue, or as a “dreaded task.” Our home is the single biggest investment many of us will make in our lifetime. Don’t trust your outdoor lighting to anyone other than the best. Contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis today to learn more about why we are the outdoor lighting company you keep — Phone: (636) 561-1818 Email:JimSchwartz@OutdoorLights.com

Please visit our  landscape lighting and other outdoor lighting photo galleries located on our website, our quality shines through!

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We take outdoor lighting very seriously because it is all we do!

We take outdoor lighting very seriously because it is all we do!

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis, we have seen many less than professional outdoor lighting designs and installations here in the St, Louis area since we have been in business. We have unfortunately gone in behind many of the other “so called” outdoor lighting professionals to fix the headaches they have left homeowner to deal with over the years. This includes fixing the failed attempts at of landscapers trying to properly install their own outdoor lighting. The problems we have fixed range from poor design, to fixtures that don’t deliver on their promises, to whole systems that just don’t work. Even if you set out on a journey with all good intentions to save a few bucks by hiring a cut-rate installer, in the end it usually ends up costing you more instead of less. Our outdoor lighting service is full-service. This means we will stand behind our work from start to finish, and we will maintain your system after installation is complete.

Landscape lighting pool lighting St. Louis

Using this backyard oasis at night would be impossible without outdoor lighting.

Outdoor lighting is our business and it is all we do. Installing outdoor lighting is difficult, requires lots of knowledge, and can be fraught with perils if not done correctly. These perils include the risk of fire and the risk of cutting important power and other lines just for starters. Our outdoor lighting services include architectural and facade lighting to bring out the best features in your beautiful home or storefront. We offer LED outdoor lighting, including LED conversion service that can save a lot of green in terms of power costs and environmental benefits. We also offer our customers the most up-to-date lighting control automation (LCA). We also specialize in landscape and garden lighting, pool and water feature lighting, deck and patio lighting, multiple facets of commercial outdoor lighting and of course, our holiday lighting designs have been providing St. Louis area residents joy during the Christmas holiday for many years.

One of the biggest benefits of using an established company like ours for your outdoor lighting needs is that we have proven that we have staying power within our market and demographic region. We have a great product and great service, as well as a group of dedicated people to go along with it. Remember your home is the single biggest investment most of us will make in our lives, why trust anyone but a professional for your outdoor lighting needs?

Take a look at just a few of our satisfied customers in this video:

Schwartz family Christmas 2012

Jim Schwartz, owner of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis, and his family.

If you are considering the addition of outdoor lighting at your residence, or have an existing outdoor lighting system in need of an upgrade to bring it up to the standards you deserve, contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis at (636) 561 – 1818
Email: JimSchwartz@OutdoorLights.com

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Bad box at good property for lighting

This transformer box was found at an upscale property, zip-tied to a tree.

Just take a gander at the picture to the right. You are probably wondering what it is and why it is zip tied to a tree. The picture serves as a good example of just one of the things that can happen when you hire a less-than-professional company to do your outdoor lighting. This particular image shows a rusty, worse-for-wear lighting transformer box affixed to a tree within the homeowner’s landscape. Believe it or not, this was found in the landscape of a very high-end property. Upon arriving at the residence to work on their outdoor lighting woes from another company, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis found other elements not completed up to par. Along with the transformer’s ill placement and disregard for aesthetics, we also found where the previous company had broken a light cover and carelessly left it atop a wall instead of replacing it. These details were more than likely left unchecked because the homeowner had hired their irrigation company to do their outdoor lighting. Since outdoor lighting is not their bread and butter, they may not have replacement light parts handy in their truck.

bad_lighting_when_transformer_is_on_front_porch

First impressions are everything. This home welcomes guest with a lighting transformer on the front porch?

Making sure that unsightly areas are obscured plays a large role in how Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis creates a total lighting package for our customers. We think beyond the lights and the lighting design. We always place transformers out of view in places where they aren’t likely to become an eyesore. Our philosophy involves presenting you with a total lighting effect. Professionally appointed outdoor lighting should appear like it operates as if by some magical unseen force; wiring, cords and transformers are made to seem invisible and all you have left is an outdoor lighting installation that is seamless.

Being in the business of outdoor lighting, and only outdoor lighting, I have seen things over the years that would leave you astounded at the lack of effort and experience people outside their given trade have tried to pass off to the homeowner as a professional job. This is especially true for landscapers or irrigation companies who try to install outdoor lighting for homeowners under the guise that they have the knowledge to design and install the lighting correctly. I constantly see unsafe wiring practices, fixtures that are falling over or leaning the day they are installed, and even outdoor lighting that doesn’t even light anything by haphazard placement with no rhyme or reason. Just because you specialize in a trade within a landscape, doesn’t make you the master of the landscape as a whole!

bad_lighting_when_your_fixture_is_falling_over

Oops! The fixture is falling over, unstable and bound to point light in the wrong direction as a result.

Outdoor lighting should be installed and executed by an outdoor lighting professional. Tradesman who offer specialization within their chosen trade have experience, knowledge and the know-how to make sure their job is completed correctly. Therefore if you hire them to do a job outside their spectrum of expertise just because they happen to already be at your home or they offer to do a job for you at a price that seems too good to be true, chances are, it probably is.

Notice how this outdoor lighting transformer sticks out like a sore thumb as you walk up to this home-

Notice how this outdoor lighting transformer sticks out like a sore thumb as you walk up to this home-

We take the integrity of our products and services very seriously. If a customer asked us to install some irrigation since we’re installing product in their yard, we refer them to a respectable, high quality, and knowledgeable irrigation company. Every company has its sweet spot. But in addition to that, every company has a specific area of expertise. Your home is the single biggest investment many of us will make in our lifetime, why trust an amateur to do a job that requires a professional just to save a few bucks. The bottom line is don’t hire a landscaper or Irrigation Company to install your outdoor lighting, leave it to the pros.

Schwartz family Christmas 2012

Jim Schwartz, owner of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis, and his family.

Contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis to ensure your outdoor lighting is done right the first time – no unsightly transformers, haphazard fixtures, or missing lens covers. We deliver the total package the first time and stand behind our products and service after we leave your home or business.(636) 561 – 1818
email: JimSchwartz@OutdoorLights.com

Check out outdoor lighting as it was meant to be by viewing our landscape and garden outdoor lighting photo gallery, and our architectural outdoor lighting photo gallery located on our website.

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