Tag Archives: landscape lighting

A Lighting Solution for Any Property

Through various social media channels and the Moon Glow website, we love to share and showcase the amazing results we create with landscape lighting.  The sites we highlight are of all shapes and sizes, although a perception exists that only large homes and estates have landscape lighting installed.  To the contrary, we provide lighting solutions for any property.

Our first meeting with a potential client quells these concerns early on as we discuss how lighting can be phased-in over several years and/or steps.  With close involvement of the homeowner, we discuss priorities of not just the now, but also the future.  Perhaps a patio area is most-important to start, followed by the remainder of the backyard, and lastly the front of the property. It is most important for us to learn from this initial conversation what is your big-picture plan. From this we can develop a scheme for the infrastructure – namely transformer(s).  Selecting the right size and location will not just help today, but down the road as we add on to your system. A transformer is the lifeline of any system, and as such it is critical to install something that will accommodate potential growth.  Some sites may be better suited to have multiple transformers due to size or layout.  Having an electrician provide new receptacles could come from this conversation. With the right transformer in place we can build you a lighting system that will suite your wants and needs, now and in the future.

If you plan on adding landscape lighting to your environment, give Moon Glow a call to formulate your plan.

Tools that get the Job Done

There might be a better way.

A good contributor to what makes our success is the equipment and tools we use to produce great lighting results. At Moon Glow we are continually investing in items to make us more efficient, effective and productive.

In 2017, a second bucket truck was added. With two of these types of vehicles in our fleet we are able to execute a great deal of holiday lighting installations on trees, homes and commercial sites. The large amount of on-board storage allows us to have a mobile warehouse of materials and tools for our landscape and holiday seasons. Each of these trucks is equipped with three ladders – one extension plus 6’ and 10’ step ladders.

We also elected to add a wire tracker to our arsenal. As the name would indicate, this tool is used for locating wire. Using this tool could lead to finding so much more – like a buried light fixture. When it comes to servicing lighting systems this tool is invaluable when seeking breaks in the wire.  Another benefit is the ability to map a site making future service calls easier with the knowledge gained from mapping.

Not all of the equipment we use is owned. Our rental partners provide us with an array of tools to get the job done. Extended lifts are necessary when we want to reach beyond the 35 feet offered by our trucks. We have also taken advantage of narrow trenchers and vibratory plows to efficiently install large amounts of wire.

It is important to us here at Moon Glow to be able to do the job right, in a tidy manner and on time. Having the right tools allows us to handle these tasks accordingly.

If you want to see us put these pieces to work for you, call Moon Glow today.

Trends: Low Voltage Security Lighting

It’s been well documented that landscape lighting has a great impact on security and safety within residential properties. By creating safe passage, awareness of changes in elevation along walkways or just a well-lit area that provides a wall of light to keep the unwanted out, lighting lends greatly to the sanctuary that is your home.

To take it one step further, we now have available to us a line of heavy duty lighting made specifically for the commercial and industrial security market.

This line of simple fixtures is available in a finish similar to galvanized, and is rugged enough to take the site conditions expected.

  • Area lights (similar in appearance to traditional path lights) can be fastened to the top of chain link fencing to give high, bright coverage.
  • Rectangular wall packs are also available for areas that don’t have the fence to fasten to.

Both styles of light fixtures draw a small amount of hydro as they are lit with energy efficient LEDs. These LEDs are a bright white colour to ensure high amounts of visibility to not only impact intruders, but to also positively aid those using the yard. This light colour is also most effective for visibility for security cameras. In summary, these fixtures are high quality, glare free and targeted light.

For more information about this or any other landscape lighting ideas, contact us today!

Path Lighting Done Differently

When discussing path lighting, there will be many whose mind runs to Noma Moon Rays or a similar kind of product that they once installed at home. At Moon Glow, our thoughts turn to other opportunities to light the path. In fact, we often look at how we can light a path without a path light. Here are some of our favourite options:

  • Downlighting. In our opinion, when done right, nothing is quite as striking as downlighting. We look for options of downlighting from trees, soffits and other outdoor structures. From a tree, you will not only gain the obvious safe passage from this lighting technique, but also the allure of shadows from the foliage and branching. When trees are not available we go to structural mounting, always keeping in mind that the light source needs to be concealed as much as possible.
  • Post and Under-Coping Lights. In many home scenarios, we find that there is a narrow pathway to the backyard that has the outside of the wall on one side and a fence on the other side. This presents another unique opportunity to light the path. Under railings, on posts or as part of stone pillars or walls are also very popular for path illumination.
  • Last but not least is the most obvious – using a Path Light. Path lights are the most visible of any kind of lighting fixture, so we pay close attention to the style of your home, your input and any other property features to ensure a very complimentary product is installed.

To see what we have in store to light your path and property contact us today!

New Lighting Technologies

Like many other industries, landscape lighting has seen its fair share of innovative-technologies introduced. These products add energy savings and options to make the control of your system easier and customizable.

LED continues to evolve and has essentially made halogen & incandescent bulbs a thing of the past. LED not only matches the look of traditional lamps but can also offer additional benefits like a greater array of colour tones, warranty, and (the obvious) incredible energy savings.

Transformers and timers have come a long way as well. We can now offer the ability to control your lights from a smart phone. As simple as a Blu-tooth connection for turning on and off, to the control of colour and brightness, phone apps can be a powerful option.

Devices also exist to add in the control of not only your low voltage system but also things like pond pumps, water features, and 120v outdoor lights.

If you wish to incorporate these technologies into your existing system or discuss how they would work with a new system, contact us today!

Light Pollution

I remember as a child growing up in the country, the sheer joy of being able to go outside and lay in the grass at night to look up at the stars. Mom and Dad bought me a telescope to enjoy the experience further. I also remember being guided up the road to my grandma’s house in the dead of night by the Northern Lights.

Today, many folks don’t get to search for the Big Dipper because it can’t be seen. The culprit?

Light pollution.

Increasing urban populations has led to more light requirements. The biggest issue here is that this lighting is often done poorly or just plain wrong. Light trespass, glare and clutter all combine as the elements of light pollution.

For our part and how it relates to landscape lighting, we focus on some key points so as not to contribute further to the amount of light pollution. Up-lighting is a major component of what we perform, but we are cautious to use shrouds, guards, lenses and not overly bright lamps to minimize or eliminate glare. It is also important to monitor our directions and angles. Path lights, post lights and linear lights are chosen because of their ability to throw light downward to an intended target and not spilled to unwanted places.

For more information on this topic, click here.

Servicing Your Lighting Investment

It never fails – you’re driving down the highway when a little light appears on the display. Time for service.

Just like a car, your landscape lighting system needs service. Unlike your car however, there isn’t any sort of indicator as to when this needs to happen.

More often than not, servicing becomes a reactive process only. Proactive lighting service is seldom discussed, but it is essential every one to two years.

So, what could possibly need servicing on your lighting system?

  • Re-positioning due to frost heave and plant maturity
  • Tree-Mounted Fixtures require ‘backing-off’ of the fasteners to keep them from growing into the tree
  • Other Servicing includes cleaning the lens and inside of the fixture; lubrication of seals, application of an anti-corrosion compound to the bulb pins, and checking connections
  • Modifications like retro-fitting to LED bulbs, upgrading to digital timers or smart phone app-based controls

This Spring, contact us to service your lighting system so you can get back to enjoying beautiful evenings outside!

Want to spread your love of landscape lighting? A referral is the best compliment you can give! Feel free to share the post cards and business cards with your friends and family. We would be happy to meet with them.

Lighting for Special Events

Are you looking for a way to WOW your guests this year? Have you considered lighting as part of your special event?

It seems obvious that you need light to carry the party into the evening, but how much emphasis have you placed on this very important component?

At Moon Glow, we specialize in two basic categories of lighting – landscape and holiday. Both of these formats can complement your function regardless of the time of year.

Holiday lighting can extend its usefulness into the warmer months for outdoor weddings, parties and other events.

  • A selection of trees lit with closely wrapped white strands adds a warmth and balance to the festivities.
  • Temporary or permanent up-lighting of trees and other subjects invites your guests outside to enjoy the evening hours.
  • Path lighting will guide your friends, family or colleagues to a wonderful night!

Contact us today to bring light to your event.

Why Light?

In Landscape Lighting we feel that there are three key elements to represent the answers to the question “why light?”

It is important to note that not all of these are required when choosing how your lighting will appear. It is important that the elements you request are fulfilled.

1. Aesthetics & Beauty

This would seem to be the most obvious reason to light. Most people who look up landscape lighting on the internet are looking to see beautiful images of trees, pathways and other garden features elegantly lit.

A well-balanced display of eye-catching light will wow not only you, but the guests that you are sure to invite in to see the results!

2. Safety & Security

When it comes to providing safety and security through light, it is so important to make sure this is achieved 100%.

Changes of elevation, steps, railings, and pathways are key areas to light with regard to safety.  Too bright can make for overly dark spots and ‘unknowns’ in the property. The right light level not only gives safe passage but also creates somewhat of a barrier beyond the light, keeping intruders outside.

Getting your family and friends on and off of the property at night is most important.

3. Functionality

With the ever-growing popularity of the ‘stay-cation’, light is an integral part of the yard. Patios, decks, pergolas, gazebos, and pool and hot tub areas deserve the proper light levels to be able to enjoy your investment well into the evening.

Whether you are enjoying a dip in the pool or a glass of wine, light will make it that much more inviting!

No matter which of these points matter to you, we are excited to meet to discuss your lighting dreams and make them a reality! Contact us today.

 

Professional Landscape Lighting Installation vs. DIY

IMG_6893Landscape lighting is really the icing on the cake when it comes to having a gorgeous landscape that looks finished and provides maximum outdoor enjoyment for homeowners. It is critical to maintaining safety on patios and along walkways, as well as highlighting features such as accent plants, raised beds, and water features.

But what’s the best way to do it? And where to look for fixtures that won’t require annual replacement?

Without Investing in Quality, You Will Have to Redo Your Work Every Year

You want to sit back and enjoy your sparkling landscape, not labour in it, right?

While the do-it-yourself kits at home improvement warehouses may seem like a good deal for the frugal homeowner, the fixtures are often shoddily manufactured and won’t have the quality and durability that a professional system will provide.

They frequently require regular, possibly even annual, replacement of cheaply made fixtures and parts such as timers and transformers, creating additional costs and labor when one wants to enjoy the landscape instead of constantly maintaining it.

A professional landscape contractor will provide a comprehensive warranty to ensure against defective parts and premature wear and can also quickly troubleshoot the system whenever there is a problem. Even better- on your average professionally installed LED system, you won’t even have to change a bulb (they might only burn out every 10 years).

The Downfalls of Box Store EquipmentMR16-Green-Base

As with anything, design and installation by someone that knows what they’re doing costs money.

Homeowners looking for landscape lighting solutions might be tempted to spend time and save money by purchasing a ready-made kit from a big box store, but they’re risking doing a lot of work for substandard results. These kits are usually not easily customizable or expandable, so having to install multiple kits becomes a distinct possibility, increasing the likelihood of installation issues and future problems.

Professional Design

The primary key to beautiful landscape lighting is the design. A professional contractor will have the design experience to know exactly what types of lighting to use in different areas of the garden landscape to get just the right effect and highlight distinctive features in the yard. A professional will know how to place fixtures to avoid creating annoying glare or strange shadows that produce creepy effects. This is one area where planning with a professional will really pay off.

This field is about the result fixtures create, and unlike regular garden design- the final result is not just about where something is placed. Working with a specialized contractor will give noticeably better results than working with a generalized one. This is because they’re used to creating designs based on effect, and not just on placement.

Professional Installation

Another crucial aspect to having a gorgeous end result is installation. Landscape lighting installation can be extremely complicated and time consuming for the non-expert. Frequently kits end up being returned to garden centers after unsuccessful attempts at DIY installations. Calculating the proper voltage based on cable length and number of lights installed on a specific line alone can be difficult at best and disastrous at worst for the amateur installer.

An experienced, professional landscape lighting contractor will do all the work the right way the first time, including hiding cabling throughout the yard, correctly splicing fixtures into the wiring, properly installing halogen bulbs to ensure maximum life span, and adjusting brightness so that each fixture produces the desired effect.

A pro will also program the system to make sure that the lights come on at the right time for the geographic location and seasonal variance in daylight hours.

Expert Results

By spending a bit more up front instead of over time, homeowners can give their average IMG_6868landscape a real wow factor with professionally designed and installed lighting. For those who will be content with mediocre results and aren’t concerned with potentially having frequent problems and making future expenditures, a cheap, standard do-it-yourself kit might be the answer. Unfortunately, they will likely never realize the full potential of their outdoor living space and the comfort, safety, and satisfaction a magnificently lit landscape can provide.