Some Important Tips For Your Indoor & Outdoor Lighting In Houston

Some Of Robert’s Houston Outdoor Lighting Tips

Indoor

Hall & Foyer

Welcome your guests and make a grand first impression with a well-lit entry foyer or hall. Choose a correctly sized lighting fixture for the area while keeping in mind that the bottom of the fixture should be at least 7 ft. from the floor. this will also help you determine whether you want to use a chandelier, flush mount, or pendant.

When sizing a pendant or chandelier for your foyer, be sure to ass the width and length dimensions together and convert them into inches. For example, a 10 ft. by 10 ft. area would be best illuminated by a 20-inch-diameter fixture (10 plus 10 equals 20). You can use this formula in other rooms where you plan on hanging chandeliers.

If it’s a 2-story foyer featuring a large window above the front door, then it’s best to place the chandelier at the center so that it can be seen from the outside. For foyers that are extra-large, scones are more recommended and these should be installed at about eye-level, ideally 66 inches from the floor.

Dining Room

The place where you serve dinner should be as tasteful as your meals. Create a grand atmosphere by layering the light with wall scones and a chandelier placed in a way that enhances the architectural details like a built-in archway or china cabinet.

With the formula described above, calculate the size of your chandelier or the diameter of the chandelier at three quarters the width of the dining table. Ideally, the bottom of the chandelier should be about 30 In. To 32 In. above the top of the table.

Kitchen

Create a functional and comfortable space in your kitchen by combining lighting. Consider having a flush mount ceiling fixture complemented by undercabinet pendants and/or fixtures. Keep in mind that the pendants need to be placed such that the bottom of each fixture is 28 inches to 34 inches from the work surface.

Bathroom: Single-light scones can be used in small powder rooms to illuminate the room. For larger bathrooms, you can include a number of different kinds of lighting fixtures. Consider mounting a bath fixture directly above the vanity mirror to achieve horizontal illumination. They should also be installed about 75 inches to 80 inches above the floor. For double vanity setups, each sink needs to have its own source of light.

Outdoor

Curb Appeal

This is the first impression that other people will have of your home as seen from the street. As such, you need to make the most of it, whether you’re a homeowner welcoming family and friends, or a builder looking to market a home for a sale.

The exterior light fixtures are some of the first things that other people notice at the first impression. Aptly styled and sized fixtures will add on to the curb appeal, safely guide the visitors to your door, and provide a warm welcome. The key factors to consider when choosing them to include color, size, and style.

Size

One of the biggest mistakes people make when choosing their outdoor lighting is going for fixtures that are too small. If you are replacing already existing fixtures, don’t assume that the original ones were the right size, to begin with – some builders tend to use small fixtures to save costs.

Lighting fixtures will only look about half as big on your house when they’re viewed by the street as they do in the showroom. So, when choosing between two sizes, the larger one is almost always the better choice.

The front door it a very important area. As such, it should have the biggest and the fanciest light fixture on your house. Don’t let the secondary fixtures at secondary entrances, such as the garage fixtures, upstage the fixtures around your front door.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure the fixture on the front door is 1/3 of the height of a single door, and 1/4 the height of a double door – one on each side. You can cut a piece of cardboard to shape and then hold it up to your house to help you visualize the size better.

Color

It’s important to choose a color that complements the color scheme of your outdoor décor. Bronzes are quite popular with earth tones. We do offer a number of different variations of bronzes from light to dark, including black coral, architectural bronze, bronze, black gold, marbleized mahogany, and burled walnut.

Black is apt for many situations, though bronze is usually preferred when using dark brown trims and accents. Our stone finish is featured in the black family, though it has a hint of grey rubbed on top, which makes it ideal when the bronzes are inappropriate and pure black is too strong. White can be rather striking on a dark bodied house with white accents or trims.

Style

Many contemporary homes don’t have a particular style, as they incorporate different elements of different styles. When choosing a style for your outdoor light fixtures, be sure to pay attention to the main architectural features of your home and the choose fixtures that will complement these features. Get fixtures for your front door simply because it’s the most important door in your home. You can then choose the rest of your outdoor fixtures from the same family of style to maintain consistency.

What about the light intensity? Go for 60W to 75W per fixture or about 20W for compact fluorescent (CFL), which is usually recommended for decorative post lanterns and exterior wall fixtures. Many fixtures on our portfolio are rates for more than 60W. This rating represents the maximum safe wattage allowed, and not necessarily the wattage that’s most appropriate.

Using bulbs that are brighter than necessary will detract from the fixtures as they increase the total glare. The glare will be much worse when you have fixtures featuring clear glass. Focus more on the size and style of the fixture when making your decision, and only use the wattage you need.

Mounting Height

Wall-mounted outdoor light fixtures should ideally be installed slightly above eye level, for houses roughly 66 inches above the threshold. If your house has a transom or taller than normal doors, you might need to install fixtures that are a little higher than 66 inches. You should not install fixtures such that the top extends above the top of the door.

We provide several kinds of fixtures where the body of the fixture is low in respect to the junction box in order to accommodate situations where the junction box might be too high.

Specific Situations

Front Door

The most popular way of lighting the front door is with a pair of lighting fixtures, one on either side of the door. Having a fixture on only one side of the front door can also be done if the architecture or space dictates. If you’re only using one fixture, ensure that it’s installed on the same side as the doorknob, so that your visitors’ shadows won’t be cast on it when opening the door.

If the front door is under cover such as a porch, you might want to consider hanging a lantern instead. Choose fixtures that are about 1/3 of the height of the door when you opt to use one fixture, and 1/4 the height of the door if you’re using two.

Garage Doors

Use a lantern on either side of the garage door or one lantern on top of each door based on the door style and the available space. Choose fixtures that ideally match the front door but are a bit smaller or lesser important looking. The fixtures you install on your garage shouldn’t upstage those installed on the front door.

Back Doors

Here, don’t skimp. Go for fixtures that complement the décor on the rest of the house, and are not small. Using small, cheap fixtures won’t look good anywhere, and will actually detract from your patio accessories and furniture.

Post Lanterns

Go for post lanterns when the light from the front door isn’t enough to light up the parking area. Choose post lanterns from the same family as the rest of the exterior fixtures, and be sure that they are large enough. Post lanterns will look even smaller than the wall fixtures when they’re viewed from the street.

Patio/Deck Lighting

Post lighting fixtures can be installed all around the perimeter of the patio or deck using pier mounts on the wall or railing, or even standard posts installed from the ground. Certain fixtures with low-watt bulbs (between 25W to 40W) will look great and give out a more comfortable light than a single fixture with a bright bulb.

Bright bulbs placed at the eye-level will by unnecessarily glary, and will generally be offensive to you and your guests around the patio.

Other Considerations

Energy Savings

With most of our fixtures, you can use energy saving bulbs.

Dark Sky

Many states and cities are increasingly passing the “dark sky” ordinances in order to control the amount of light pollution. We provide a large selection of fixtures that direct almost all of their light downwards to adhere to these ordinances and address these needs.

Construction Material

Most of our fixtures are made from cast aluminum, which is quite a durable material for most parts of Northern America. If you’re seeking greater durability and prevention of corrosion and rusting, there are other available alternatives.

For engineering and design reasons, some incidental parts have to be made from certain materials. And since our products are often exposed to harsh weather conditions, we aim to only use materials that provide good value and durability.

Maintenance

Exposure to UV rays from sunshine will wear the exterior lighting fixtures quite fast. Other major culprits include airborne pollution and bird droppings that settles as grime and dust. For best results:

  • Wipe down bird droppings and other spills off the fixtures immediately you spot them using plain water on a clean, soft, wet cloth.
  • Wipe the fixtures once or twice a year.
  • Polish your fixtures using silicone car wax after every cleaning.

All Robert Huff Illuminations outdoor lighting fixtures are either ETL or UL listed for wet and damp locations. A fixture with a wet location listing is required when water and/or other liquids splash, drips, or flow on or against the fixtures. You can always use a wet or damp listing outside.

Call or contact us today if you require any information. Please feel free to visit our blog for more related articles.

Lightscaping In Houston; Why Light?

The Age Old Question – Why Light?

One thing that lighting designers will often end up asking their clients is “why light”? You might think that the answer is obvious, but there are actually numerous things that you might want to achieve through lighting. That’s why a professional lighting designer is going to want you to clarify your needs and intentions.

You see, there is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to clarifying a brief. The responses that can come back from that question can be surprisingly varied. It’s important that a lighting designer is able to understand exactly what the homeowner is looking for. If they produce something that isn’t in line with expectations, then they have failed the client, and no professional wants that to happen.

Homeowners have a number of different requirements and intentions. Some may be worried about keeping their home secure. Some might want a certain ambiance or to make their outdoor living area look nicer. Another motivation could be safety, especially for those who garden late at night, or who have a large garden that they want to be able to navigate after dark.

There are many other possible reasons for wanting more lighting, however, ambiance, safety, and security are the ones that crop up them most.

Lighting for Security

Even the nicest areas can sometimes have an issue with crime, and security lighting is a must to help prevent that. Landscape lighting can make life easier for you from a security perspective since it gives you better visuals yourself, and it also acts as a deterrent to would-be trespassers. Many crimes are opportunistic and if your garden or property is not an appealing target for a burglar, they will be more likely to just move on to the next potential target.

Lighting for Ambiance

Lighting can make it easier for you to enjoy your outdoor space in the evening, and that’s a common reason for people to illuminate their property. It helps to make space look more appealing, and it gives you more control over the ambiance, so you are not held to the schedule of daylight hours in your area. Lighting, if it is well thought out and carefully executed, can be the finishing touch to a wonderful landscaping project.

Lighting for Tasks and Safety

This is the most practical of the concerns. Task or safety lighting is mostly functional, but it can also have an aesthetic appeal as well. If you want to keep your steps well lit so that people do not trip, and make the walk between your door and your fire pit a little safer and easier to navigate, then you will want to spell that out in the brief. Task lighting is important in outdoor kitchens as well, because you need to be able to see clearly and perceive colors when you are cooking.

There are numerous other reasons for landscape lighting, some of which are vastly different from those mentioned here, but if you can identify exactly what the lighting will be used for that will make it much easier for the project leaders to do a good job. Lighting professionals understand that different lights will suit different tasks and you will be much happier with the results that you get from the job if you can help the lighting designer select the best type of light for your intended use, whatever that use may be.

 

 If you would like to discover more tips and tricks from Robert Huff Illuminationsvisit our blog. Call or contact us today for more information!

Creating Your Lighting Floor Plan For Your Houston Home

Considerations For Your Houston Lighting Floor Plan

Can you really live with those lights the way they are?

There are not many ways to perfectly design lighting. However, unfortunately, there is almost an infinite number of ways that a bad job can be done. That doesn’t really seem fair, but that is what the reality is.

One of the most obvious signs that disaster is imminent is when somebody says, “hey you know what I think would look great over there?” Although we would all love to equate creativity and spontaneity to artistic flair and talent, the truth of the matter is that it takes planning to achieve the right lighting design. This is true for both Houston residential outdoor lighting as well as indoor lighting.

A clear understanding is needed of the dimensions of the room, sources of natural lights (including daily exposure), the kind of furniture that will be in the room, the actual use of the room, and the various ceiling heights in each location. Living rooms or dining rooms that have vaulted ceils have needs that are completely different to the ones for a home office or den when it comes to lighting needs.

Safety First

However, that’s not all, since the individual who does the design and layout will need to know what type of power is available for sustaining the design, and whether or not there will need to be wiring upgrades. Keep in mind, Robert Huff Illuminations as certified electrical installers on staff. We do not cut corners and ensure that your installation is up to code (or even higher) and is completely safe.

Common Errors

It is difficult to blame customers for making mistakes whenever they purchase LED bulbs randomly in stores. Bulbs that have various Kelvin Temperatures look similar when lit. When you look at a bare bulb, it is practically impossible to differentiate between them other than noticing the differences in brightness.

Each Assignment Is Unique

In reality, they will, of course, be different, compared to when you are looking at them on a monitor screen since it has a bias all its own built-in already. However, the human eye is able to literally see millions of different colors, and when the human eye is trained it can recognize which colors complement one another. So lighting design is actually much more complex than you might have initially thought.

Our Knowledge Protects You

Our designs have the right knowledge to choose the right colors; they also know how to choose the right fixtures so that your lighting goals can be achieved. They know to avoid the huge influx of cheap LED lightbulbs ha recently have flooded the retail marketplace. We use only similarly priced, high-quality bulbs that last 50,000 to 100,000 hours. There are no advantages to using planned-obsolescence, short-life LED bulbs, that have been designed for sustaining the constant replacement market that has been relied on since the 1880s by the bulb manufacturers.

However, most importantly, our installers, technicians, and designers know how to ensure that the right power supply is available and can support the design in a manner that will be approved. It is your home, so that is why it must be completely safe, and you need to have real experts who have years worth of practical experience.

The proof is that every year we make sure to invest in Continuing Education hours for our designers, installers, and technicians. We have the most knowledgeable team around. We promise you that.

The Main Takeaway

There are numerous reasons why people may decide to undertake this type of job on their own. On the surface level, it doesn’t appear to be that hard. There is the perception as well that money can be saved.

If there is one thing all of our experience has been able to teach it is that it is more cost-effective and faster to have an expert do a job right the first time than it is trying to repair something that didn’t meet the goals, specifications or didn’t come out the way you wanted it to. Let us prove to you that we are your best option. We guarantee it.

Contact or call us today for further information.

Let Us Take Care of Your Houston Outdoor & Indoor Lighting Issues

If Light Flickering Issues Are Bringing You Down, Robert Huff Outdoor Lighting Specialists Can Help

Gone Before You Know It

It has been long established that flickering lights can cause people to suffer from nausea, headaches and sometimes even seizures. Because flickering lights work on a subconscious level, sufferers often have no clue what is responsible for these health effects.

When computer monitors were first released back in the old days of personal computing, computer monitors were pretty much just like your average television screen. Like television screens, computer screens had low refresh rates. Images on the screen would appear to be steady when looked at directly, but in actuality, these images would be flickering like crazy, and this could be seen when looking to the side of the image.

While the image appeared steady to your eyes, your brain would pick up what was actually happening, which would often result in stress, headaches, and even nervous breakdowns for some. Eventually, some folks discovered the cause of these health effects and monitor improvements were made that included higher refresh rates to help minimize these issues. Thankfully, this isn’t as big an issue today due to the invention of plasma, LCD, and LED monitors which don’t have this problem.

Even a Little Flicker Is Bad

If you’re having LED lighting installed in your home in the installer tells you your current lighting system is fine, chances are they are probably wrong, at least partially. Your current wiring is most likely sufficient as long as it’s reaching your light sources, but odds are your other lighting hardware isn’t.

A perfect example of a situation that often rears its ugly head for clients is when they have installed fully dimmable LED lighting in their house. Without an upgrade to the current hardware in place, chances are the lights won’t work at all. Or, they may work in a limited fashion, but could flicker, buzz and hum, and may not be adjustable at all.

Houston Outdoor Lighting Quality Tops Everything

If quality is a concern as it is with many homeowners, you should know that bulbs purchased in your local stores are not the best quality bulbs available. Most store-bought bulbs have limited operating lives of approximately 10,000 hours. In rare instances, you can find bulbs with operating lives of up to 50,000 hours, but it is highly unlikely that you will find high standard bulbs with operating lives of 100,000 hours.

If we do the math, a 10,000-hour bulb used around five hours each day has a lifespan of about five years. Using the same math, calculations show that a 100,000-hour bulb has a lifespan of 50 years when used for five hours each day.

Clearly, the bulbs available in stores aren’t the better deal, but to be fair it’s not their fault they don’t have longer life bulbs available to sell. Light bulb manufacturers make more money with bulbs that have shorter lifespans because they have to be replaced more often, so these are the ones they make available for resale in your local store. And you really can’t blame them for doing this because if everyone purchased lightbulbs that last up to 100 years, manufacturers probably wouldn’t stay in business very long.

Stick With The Professionals

After being in business for 40 years, we have accumulated the necessary experience to understand which components work best with one another and which components must never be used together. Sometimes this is due to safety issues, while other times the reason is based on functionality purposes. In addition, it makes financial sense to make sure the job gets done correctly the first time as opposed to going the cheap route initially and having to have someone come in and do the job right afterward.

Making the world a better place for everyone is a goal we should all strive for, but doing it one bulb at a time isn’t the way to go. A properly integrated lighting system combined with a well laid out design can win awards and create a stunning effect for your property LED lighting installation, whether it be new installs or replacements, is our specialty. If given the opportunity, we can set you up with an LED lighting system that won’t disappoint.

Call or contact Robert Huff Illuminations for more information or to get your project started!

Working With The Best Houston Outdoor Lighting Company

Best Professional Houston Lighting Design

‘Flow’ Is the Key To Success

We here at Robert Huff Illuminations specialize in whole house LED lighting replacements and upgrades in order to achieve the results you desire. Although we are able to handle all electrical lighting jobs, both large and small, having the entire job done at the same time definitely has some distinct advantages to it.

Transitions

Most people have had the chance to see a planetarium – it really is an incredible adventure. However, one thing that is very consistent among all of them is you never walk into the theater directly. There always is some kind of long path through various displays where you are able to watch and learn about the night sky’s different features. So why is this done?

Your eyes need a few minutes to adjust from light to dark. If there wasn’t a built-in delay, then you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the show as much as you move through areas that got progressively darker. This applies to your house as well. In this types of situations, you need professional landscape lighting in Houston.

Well-designed lighting must flow from one place to the next in a way that even if different rooms are lit in ways that are dramatically different, it won’t be a visual shock to you. You don’t want to go from your low-light media room out into blazing lights in the corridor. This will disturb your viewing experience every time you enter or leave the room. The lighting would also have to be subtle in an adjoining bathroom, so that dazzled users don’t stumble around.

Lighting in Houston Is A Skill

This might all seem like common sense, however, it really is skills that takes years of experience to develop. The first part is really knowing how to design; another part is being intimately familiar with the Electrical Code, and the final piece of the puzzle is being familiar with all of the different modern LED options and how they all work together.

It’s fine to have an avant-garde designer. We are able to work with them. However, if you have ideas of your own, we can turn them into a reality, or show you some alternatives that may be even more exciting. Just don’t settle for cheap amateurs. Their work will just need to be correct after it becomes apparent how many shortcomings there are.

Call The Professional Outdoor Lighting Experts in Houston

Now that we have been in business for almost forty years, we have learned from experience that all of the individual components need to go together and that there are other elements that should never go together. It is often a safety issue, but even more frequently it is a matter of pure functionality. Ultimately, it all comes down to money and doing things right the first time always costs less.

See how happy our customers are with the stunning results they get. It might be a bit embarrassing being loved this much, but we are willing to do little blushing to help ensure you make the best decision! See our Testimonials.

Stunning lighting wins awards and looks fantastic because it has been designed and integrated to work together as a synergistic whole. Our company specializes in bath LED lighting replacements and upgrades to achieve your desired results. It functions properly, looks amazing, and will save you money!

Contact us now to start your project! Visit our blog for more lighting tips and tricks!

Compare & Contrast: Exterior Or Interior LED’s For Lighting in Houston

Interior versus Exterior LED Lights for Houston Lighting

Make the Right Choice

LED lights offer complete brightness as soon as they are turned on. This is similar to filament or incandescent light bulbs we have had since the late 19th century. The same is not true for Compact Fluorescent bulbs or CFLs. In some cases, these take more than a minute to turn on to provide complete brightness.

The filaments in bulbs are weakened from thermal expansion and contraction when they are turned on or off. They become prone to burning out when they are put through this constant action. With CFL bulbs their lifetimes are shortened when they are turned on and run for less than 15 minutes. They use up more power and the result of all the on-and-off cycles shortens their lifetimes significantly.

Durable

LED bulbs do not go through these problems. They are also not made of glass. This means that they are not fragile and they do not get so hot that they explode from thermal shock if they are exposed to drops of water or rain suddenly.

Outdoors

For outdoor applications, these bulbs are especially suited to providing superior lighting. They are tough, weather resistant and offer better lighting than you are getting from traditional light bulbs. They also use a smaller fraction of power than traditional bulbs do which means they save power and money.

More importantly, if your family spends summer nights outside or you like entertaining in the evenings, these LED lighting sources do not emit UV light. There are some bulbs that are designed to emit ultraviolet light but most do not.

This means that LED lights are invisible to millions of insects outside. They do not attract moths, bugs or other insects. Imagine how much nicer any barbecue or outdoor party – including a wedding – might be with LEDs.

There are many advantages to using LEDs for outdoor use. Usually, LED lights are too bright to consider using for indoor use. They can also be a waste of resources because LED lights are weatherized and are more expensive than indoor LED bulbs are. Whatever your needs for outdoor lights, the professionals at residential landscape lighting Houston can help design the perfect arrangement making all your outdoor events better.

Indoors

To make your home feel cozier, it helps to know how Kelvin temperature of light works. The ideal range could be between 2700 and 4000 in a den, great room, living room or dining room. This depends on your color choices and your décor, of course. If you are using lights to spotlight a work of art, you might want to use what is called phantom daylight lighting of 5700 K to make all the colors in the work come out beautifully.

The years of experience that we have with this type of lighting have given us the skills to orchestrate it in any home. Lighting blends seamlessly to expose the beauty of your art and your home. Visitors will never notice the lights, just the beauty, the colors and the subtle tones and textures of your décor as you intend it to be. Visit our Gallery of Fine Art Lighting to see samples of our work.

Any installer that does not know the difference between Kelvin temperatures and various LEDs are not worth working with. Without the right amount of experience, training, and education, you are not getting the help of true lighting experts.

Amateurs can also underload circuits which cause problems and sometimes hazards. They try to use conventional dimmer switches or power supplies not suitable for the task. This causes flickering, buzzing, and humming all of which lead to revisits for things to be changed and fixed.

Call or contact Robert Huff Illuminations about getting your project started today!