Category Archives: Outdoor Lighting Ideas

Winter Lighting

Moon Glow now offers a way for you to show your holiday spirit with your existing landscape lighting system! Red, Green, Blue and Amber colours are available to exchange in your up-light and in-ground fixtures. Call us today to pick your colours for the season!

Short, dark, and colder days – all part of the Winter Season that no one enjoys.  Moon Glow wants to shed some light on a way to brighten this time of year (excuse the heavy puns).   Lighting for the entire Winter Season is a way to get the most out of your lights and bring a certain joy and pleasure to your household.

Extended periods of light use – November through March – has become more common.  Lit roof lines and wrapped trees bring life to the property as darkness settles in early. The sensation of returning to your glowing home after a day at work is sure to provide great cheer.  The view from inside your home is of equal or greater importance

Warm white is a popular choice.  It’s a welcoming tone that blends well with other outdoor light sources, plus resembles the glow that emits out the windows from inside the home.  Pure white is a strong alternative to compliment the season.  This sharp white tone stands out and draws positive attention to your home. Evergreen trees are enhanced as the crisp colour brings a ‘pop’ to the natural blues and greens. Snow and frost will have an enriched appearance.

Restaurants and businesses also benefit from attractive light displays that they can appreciate over the full-length of Wintertime.

Look no further than Moon Glow Lightscapes to start your Winter lighting experience!

Trends: Patio Essentials

The dilemma with trends is that they come to pass. It is important to us at Moon Glow that we get behind a trend that will stand out and last beyond being a fad. Not to mention selecting based on quality. A few recent trends have lent nicely to the outdoor living movement, long term.

Bistro Lights

Also referred to as patio string lights, this style of lighting has seen a major upswing of usage.  Complimented by LED filament lamps to give a classic feel, these stringers can accentuate any patio.  A warm, welcome glow from overhead is inviting, not to mention its amazing appearance.  The key elements for us is that they are properly installed, durable and have a consistent colour output.  Lots of retailers offer this type of product, but we have discovered a few low-voltage options that will tie in nicely to your current system.  A simple switch can be added to provide separate control.

Outdoor Chandeliers

Another hot item that has staying power, but no, we are not referring to the crystal chandelier. Three and five bulb fixtures are the most common choice with several tasteful and timeless styles existing. Now with LED bulbs that make the simple conversion from line voltage to low voltage, we have a large selection.  A well-placed outdoor chandelier can set the mood just right or get everyone to the dinner table. A dimmer switch is the perfect complement for control.

BBQ lights

Not the first time we have brought this option up, but a definite patio essential! Mounting a switch controlled down-light to a structure and directing at the cooking area is one way to achieve functional BBQ light; another alternative and personal favourite is a table-mounted gooseneck design.  This fixture includes a convenient switch at its base, and an adequate amount of light to get the steaks cooked to perfection.

If you are inspired by these trends, give Moon Glow a call today.

Contact us

5 Ways Outdoor Lights Help Increase Your Safety and Security

Adding outdoor lights to a patio, backyard or other type of outdoor living space is a great way to increase the functionality of the area while also improving the aesthetics. Incorporating a gentle warm glow will make any space feel relaxing and inviting, but lights do so much more than add ambience. Installing a combination of lighting systems in your yard will aid visibility, deter intruders and make guests feel safe. Here are a few of the ways you can increase safety and security in your backyard by using outdoor lights.

1. Spotlight Hazards

No matter how flat the landscape, there are always a few hazards for people walking around. Curbs, steps, hills, raised flowerbeds and trees are just a few of the possible obstructions found in a yard that could easily injure someone if they’re not aware of these obstructions. Adding spotlights to areas that present risks is essential for anyone planning to have guests on his or her property at night, whether entertaining or just walking around (Halloween!).

2. Deter Intruders

Deter IntrudersBright lights that focus on the street, alleyways, the side of the house and all entrances and exits don’t just make your house look bright and cheery from the outside; they also make the house look like an unreasonable risk for burglars, who will likely look elsewhere for an easier target. Motion detecting lights are particularly good for deterring intruders, as they’ll scare anyone lurking in the dark by suddenly popping on, as if someone manually turned the lights on them.

3. Illuminate Cooking Areas

Illuminate Cooking AreasIf you love hosting backyard parties or dining outside, cooking on the grill is probably a common occurrence. Coals, gas and fire add some light to the area but cooking by moonlight isn’t always great. Install some specific task lighting to limit any risk of burns, fires or other issues. Handheld lanterns work well if the BBQ doesn’t see much use, but if summertime means outdoor dining regularly, consider setting up a dedicated lighting system that illuminates the cooking area without flooding other sections with uncomfortably strong light.

4. Light Pathways

Walkways leading up to the house and around the garden outside should always be well lit. Anyone walking can easily trip or slip if it’s rocky or wet. Solar pathway lights are easy to install and turn on automatically when the sun goes down without any effort on your part. Because they use the sun’s energy to charge, they’re eco-friendly. Additionally, pathway lights are appealing and they come in a variety of decorative styles that enhance the area both in safety and beauty.

5. Appear at Home

Appear at HomeA darkened house is likely an empty house, and one burglars will recognize as a prime opportunity. While it can be wasteful to leave lights on inside the home to make it seem as if someone is there, solar lights and inexpensive outdoor lighting can be left on to dissuade uninvited guests from popping by without driving up your utility bill. Better yet, a motion detecting light will only turn on when someone pops by, scaring away would-be robbers but only using a bare minimum of energy.

There are many benefits to adding outdoor lighting to your home, but most important of them all is the increased safety and security to both you and the friends and family who visit. Safeguard yourself and loved ones from falls and your house from intruders by installing a few essential lights where they will do the most good, and sleep well at night knowing you’re protected.

We can design an outdoor lighting system that is both beautiful and functional. Call us today for a consultation.

Outdoor Lights for Long Weekend Entertaining

Outdoor Lights for Long Weekend EntertainingIt’s lovely spending a long weekend evening watching the moon and stargazing but as beautiful as these cosmic lights are, they’re not bright enough to provide enough light for entertaining groups big and small in the backyard. To make the most of an exterior space, outdoor lights are essential. Fortunately, there are many different styles of outdoor lighting that can add a warm glowing ambience, clear direct spotlight or subtle highlight to various areas of the yard when you’re entertaining Canada Day weekend. These lights allow homeowners the chance to enjoy extended gatherings with friends and family in luxurious surroundings regardless the time of day. Here are just a few ideas of how to add beauty and functionality to a garden or patio this long weekend with outdoor lighting.

Solar Lights

One of the most versatile and eco-friendly options for lighting an outdoor space is solar lighting. Easy and attractive, solar lights come in a variety of different forms, including minimalist pathway lights, vintage lanterns and direct spotlights. Most solar lights provide a warm glow that adds a welcoming ambience to get-togethers – exactly what you want for wine and cheese as fireworks light up the sky. Spotlights, floodlights and motion detectors, on the other hand, serve well for safety and security reasons. A clear view of the sky is necessary wherever the lights are installed, so if there are many overhead trees or buildings, it may not be possible to use them or they may not charge enough during a regular day to last late into the night.

String Lights

String LightsOutdoor lighting is as much about decoration as it is visibility, and string lights definitely add a stylish touch to any patio. String lights are easy to hang in a variety of locations, including on gazebos, in trees and around fences. Soft yellow or white colours are the most popular choices, but they come in an unlimited array of shades, making them particularly suitable for a holiday event or special occasion with a theme – perhaps red and white this weekend. Another benefit of string lights is that they can stretch as long as you want them to. Extensions are easily added to suit any surface. They are more labour intensive than more permanent light fixtures and chances are you won’t leave them up after the weekend is through. But you could! More designers today are using these “twinkle lights” as regular additions to smartly designed and regularly used outdoor spaces.

Task Lighting

Task LightingWhile lights should always add beauty to a space, many must also serve more functional purposes. Task lighting in areas where people congregate is essential not only for safety reasons, but also to ensure that friends and family can converse, drink, dine and move around with ease. Task lighting should never be so bright that it causes discomfort or breaks the mood of the festivities, but it should provide enough illumination to make activities comfortable. Areas that call for task lighting include pathways, cooking areas like the barbecue, dining areas and entrances/exits. Make sure all your bulbs are working before guests arrive this long weekend and showcase your property at its best.

Garden Lighting

It’s easy to behold the beauty of a well-kept garden during the day, but at night all the unique details and features may disappear in the darkness. Using garden lighting to highlight the various floral elements in the garden is an art form that can instantly improve the look and feel of an outdoor space. Pathway lights on stakes at knee-height work well to illuminate stone walkways that may otherwise go unappreciated. Solar lights disguised as rocks can brighten bushes and shrubs, and swinging lanterns featuring candles or flameless battery-operated lights help outline the border of a yard elegantly.

Adding outdoor lighting serves two important purposes: function and aesthetics. To celebrate our beautiful country, most people like to move their evening activities to the backyard, where they can better appreciate the cool summer breeze and colourful fireworks. But in order to make the most of this location, a few well-placed lighting elements are necessary to fully capture the mood and beauty desired of outdoor entertaining.

Contact us today to get your outdoor space properly lit and celebrate Canada Day in style.

How to Extend the Use of Your Outdoor Living Space

Warm summer evenings and longer days beg for more time spent outside, and what better way to make the most of the season than to enjoy drinks, dinner and parties out on the backyard patio? There are many ways to extend the functionality of your outdoor living space in order to make the area more inviting for friends and family to use, and many are easy to complete and inexpensive to finish. Here are a handful of ideas that not only make it more comfortable and easier to enjoy the backyard, but also make it more attractive. Pick and choose between elements to build your ideal outdoor space.

Furniture

The first step to creating an outdoor living environment is setting up a cozy area to relax, enjoy a beverage and talk about the weather. Patio furniture comes in a nearly limitless selection of styles, colours and designs, so there’s something for every taste and backyard. Wicker furniture is particularly popular, as it’s durable and lightweight, but wood, cast iron, wrought iron, cast aluminum and plastic furniture are also available. Start with a simple table and chairs so friends can enjoy a bite to eat together. If there is space, adding lounge chairs for sunning or napping is certainly appreciated. Don’t forget about hammocks, pillows and sunshades; these items create an especially welcoming, and varied, space.

Lighting

LightingIlluminating your outdoor space does more than make the area visible and functional after the sun goes down, it also adds a warm and inviting ambience both to the area as a whole and certain highlighted parts of the yard. Outdoor lighting is essential in every area that sees use. Add overhead lighting with LED bulbs where guests will dine. Install solar pathway lights along walkways for safety and highlight garden features with spotlights. Finally, make sure to include brighter task lighting where important activities like cooking, playing games or entering goes down. While soft lighting works best where people are relaxing, direct, bright lights are necessary over the barbecue and wherever there’s a hazard.

Dining

Move meals out of doors by setting up a small outdoor kitchen and dining area on a patio or under a pavilion. A large all-weather table surrounded by comfortable chairs, pillows and fresh air is the best way to enjoy a casual dinner with friends and family throughout the summer. Make sure to invest in a quality barbecue or grill, either charcoal or gas, and equip the area with all the necessary tools for cooking under the stars like tongs, a meat thermometer and excellent lighting. Another way to cook food is over a fire pit, which also doubles as a gathering area to tell stories and connect. Keep bugs away by using lighting all over the yard, ensuring the insects aren’t focused on one source of heat.

Sports

SportsSummer isn’t all about relaxing; it’s also an opportunity to enjoy activities outside. Popular yard games include croquet, Frisbee, bocce ball and toss games. Set up a play area or a few play areas to keep both parents and kids busy. When the sun goes down, make sure to set up lights around the yard so the games don’t have to stop just because it gets dark. Lanterns, pathway lights and spotlights all work well for this purpose. Remember, using lots of lights spread out over the yard helps keep bug swarms to a minimum while also making the yard safe for activity.

Summer means more time spent outdoors, thankfully. But summer also means it’s time to spruce up the yard and patio so others want to hang out there. Adding comfortable furniture, welcoming and functional lighting, a grill and a play area instantly transforms a typical lawn into an outdoor living space everyone will enjoy.

Give us a call today to see the difference our lighting designs can make to your property.

Badminton photo credit to Patrick

How to Safely Install Christmas Lights

IMG_7617-HDR(3)Your Christmas lights are beautiful, and they should fill your family and your neighbors with joy this holiday season. Since the results are beautiful, what you might not expect is back pain and endless amounts of frustration, as the task itself can be less than pleasant.

Follow these safety tips to install all of your lights with minimal stress:

Plan Your Project Ahead of Time

Before you put a single light up, make a list of all of your existing holiday decorations. It’ll help you stay organized, and you can make a trip to the store without forgetting one set of lights or some garland, which will require a separate trip and waste your time.

With your list in hand, take a walk around your property. Visualize where you’re going to hang your holiday light strings. By developing a plan ahead of time, you’ll minimize how much time you spend adjusting your decorations later.

Test First, Install Later

Installing a string of holiday lights requires climbing up and down ladders for about 15 minutes. Imagine spending all of that time only to realize that your lights won’t turn on, and you can’t figure out if a bulb is broken or if an inline fuse is destroyed. You have to spend another 15 minutes to tear everything back down, but you could have saved yourself a headache by simply plugging in the lights first. At the very least, you’ll find out if a string can be repaired or salvaged for parts without wasting your time.

Avoid Endless Strings

As a general rule of thumb, don’t connect more than three sets of lights together. Additional strings increase the risk of a short and can even throw your circuit breaker, which will put a quick end to your holiday cheer. To protect your home, use a surge protector on any outlet with multiple light strings.

Automate Your LightsIMG_7027-HDR(3)

Millions of families go on vacation during the holidays. If you’re going to be out of town for more than a day, consider using automatic timers with your Christmas lights. Burglars often look for homes with unlit holiday light displays, which is a sure sign that nobody’s home. Many timers come with batteries, and they’ll continue keeping track of the time during a power outage. When power is restored, they’ll turn your light display back on.

Set your timer to turn the power on around 5 p.m. and turn the power off by 11 p.m. or midnight at the latest. You’ll save electricity by not leaving your lights on 24 hours a day, and you’ll still look festive (and protect your home from burglars).

Never Hang Lights AloneIMG_7040-HDR(3)

Now comes the hard part. Once all of your lights are in good working order, try to wait for a day with beautiful weather. You don’t want to climb up and down a ladder that’s slick with rain, and you certainly don’t want to rest it in soft mud. Install lights during the afternoon when there’s still plenty of daylight.

Unfortunately, homeowners don’t have the same kind of equipment that professional holiday light installers have access to for the safest installation. Don’t hang lights by yourself if you need to use an extension ladder. You could easily break a bone if you fall while installing lights on the second story. A spotter can help stabilize the ladder and call for help if you do fall.

Don’t want to bother with the onerous task of installing your holiday lights this year? Give us a call for a free quote.

4 Landscape Lighting Trends for 2013

Sustainable design is on everyone’s mind these days. For both interior designers and landscape designers, there is an increasing emphasis on making ecologically responsible design decisions. Materials are chosen not only for their appearance, but for their carbon footprint; how much energy they use over the course of their lifespan. This sometimes translates into interesting and unexpected design ideas, both in the home and in the yard.

This focus on sustainable, or green, design has also impacted the landscape lighting industry. In particular, recent trends include significant use of LED lights and solar powered lighting. Homeowners will find this has resulted in new and exciting ideas and products for the home landscape.

LED Lights in the Landscape

LED Lights in the LandscapeLight-emitting diode, or LED, light bulbs are much smaller and brighter than traditional light bulbs, while using much less energy. Just a few watts of power can light up a long string of bulbs. Rope lights, clear plastic tubing with a series of lights inside, are a fun use of LED technology. Tucked under the edge of a deck, handrail or step, these subtle lights can be both unobtrusive and dramatic.

Walkways and paths can be lit much more efficiently and safely with LED lights. A larger number of low level lights creates more even lighting than a smaller number of high wattage, bright lights.

Lighting the Ground, Not the Sky

Lighting the GroundWith the extent of outdoor roadway, street and building lights present today, in many places, it can be difficult to truly see the stars in the nighttime sky. This is why we opt for subtle lights that diffuse long before they disrupt a black night sky.

Pathway and walk lights will typically have caps or hats directing light toward your feet, not your face.

Softer light is often the most effective approach for the landscape. Harsh, bright lights create a lot of contrast, making it difficult to see beyond the immediate circle of light. A softly lit patio or garden gazebo is a more pleasant place to be on a summer evening. Consult with a professional lighting designer to figure out the best light levels and effects for your landscape.

Enhancing Your Architecture

Enhancing Your ArchitectureGone are the days of bright overhead lights above your entry door, letting the interest of your architecture get completely lost in the darkness. Subtle lighting from lower points on the home can give enough light to guide you in and out safely, while bringing texture to your home (rather than the flattening effect of strong exterior lights).

A hidden benefit of this kind of gentle home spotlighting is that it creates fewer dark shadows around a home where trespassers could be easily concealed.

Giving an Overlooked Feature a Chance to Shine

Chance to ShineThat tree in your backyard that nobody pays much attention to? The one that seems boring during the daylight while it’s surrounded by colourful flowers and vibrant shrubs?

It’s unique geometry makes it a striking focal point for the evening. When illuminated, the shadows that are created can be quite dramatic, bringing forth a feature that might otherwise me overlooked.

Don’t Lose your Curb Appeal when the Sun Goes Down

The presence of this new technology means you can creatively light much of your landscape with very little impact on your electric bill. Underwater lights for fountains or pools and lights for decks, patios, paths and individual trees are only a few of the possibilities.

Landscape lights will make your backyard an enjoyable place to be at night. Contact us if you’d like to start getting more out of your property.