Helpful Ideas To Choosing A Landscape Lighting Designer In Houston

10 Tips To Do Before Hiring A Houston Landscape Lighting Designer

When you think about the ideal landscape lighting for your outdoor spaces you might be imagining dramatic uplighting that showcases the most attractive features of your home. Or maybe you have thought about artistic moonlighting that creates dappled shadows across either your driveway or a patio.

Yet these are just ideas and your more challenging task still remains. This includes hiring a professional designer that is able to successfully create a landscape-lighting wonderland for your garden.

Installing a landscape-lighting system of the highest quality takes artistry, experience, and skill. You cannot afford to just use anybody for this type of job. This is the reason why it is so important that you know exactly what you should be looking for before you hire the right type of landscape-lighting contractor.

Here is a list of our 10 top tips that you can use to find the best landscape-lighting designer for your project!

1. Ask The Contractor About Their Qualifications & Experience

Experience is what turns someone that is good at something into an expert, and this is an important consideration when it comes to hiring landscape lighting designers. It is also important to make sure the designer has attended training in association with this specialization and that they are licensed.

2. Review Photos Of The Lighting Projects That This Company Has Already Worked On

Are the stunning photos that are promoted on their website actually their work? Qualified contractors will always have impressive galleries that showcase the work they have recently done.

3. Check On References

The skilled landscape lighting designers will happily provide you with references from satisfied clients that are able to recommend the company.

4. Make Sure That The Designer Is Prepared To Work With You

This project should be seen as a type of partnership. You should not get the feeling that it is their way or no way. An experienced designer will work with you to find out about your lifestyle and your ideas for the project. In this way, you can be sure that you will end up with the type of lighting system that you want.

5. Inquire Whether Lighting Is Their Only Focus

You are not looking for a jack-of-all-trades for a lighting project. You need an expert that is skilled and experienced when it comes to landscape lighting and someone that focuses on this line of work all the time. For example, if your car started giving you transmission problems, you would not take the car to your local tire shop.

6. Ask The Designer About The Quality Of The Materials That They Plan To Use

This is a very important consideration. The end result for your landscape-lighting system will only be of the best quality when quality parts have been used.

The designer should be using quality components that are crafted from copper and brass, and not low-quality composite, aluminum, or plastic.

As soon as the lighting system is in place, it is exposed to the elements. Water can seep into fixtures of low-quality, it can also result in rotting sockets or even cause the wires to corrode. Insects can also make a home in your fixtures when they are not sealed properly.

You also need to find out how the designer plans to connect the light fixtures to the wiring which will run to a power source. Pierce connectors and wire nut should not go underground, yet many of the systems for landscape lighting use these anyway. The pierce-point connections that run to a mainline can start to loosen and can corrode at the pierce points. This is why quality really matters.

7. Communication Is Essential

Is the designer prepared to keep you constantly in the loop throughout the duration of the project? Will they also tell you when they arrive as well as when they have completed the project? You also need to make sure they are prepared to follow up with you to ensure everything is working and that it meets up to your expectations.

8. Only Sign A Contract That Covers All The Details

The designer needs to include everything that he/she plans to do. This should include a payment schedule, deadlines, and the materials that will be used. If any changes are made to the landscape lighting schedule this needs to include a “change order” in writing that will also cover the new costs, materials, and work.

9. Ask The Designer About The Warranty That They Provide

The lighting system you have installed should have a guarantee that covers at least 2 to 5 years. Try and find a contractor that offers lifetime warranties that will cover the installation and fixtures.

10. Ensure That The Designer Is Available In The Future To Service Your Landscape Lighting System

You want the LED lighting system to still look great like it did 2 to 8 years down the line.

Design Outdoor Lighting That Is Able To Reflect Your Lifestyle

One thing that we really enjoy when it comes to this type of work is the relationships that we develop with our clients. We enjoy finding out about your opinions and thoughts, exchanging suggestions and ideas, and staying in contact with our customers throughout these processes.

We start each of our potential client relationships by asking “Why do you want landscape lighting?” We also ask you about what you would like to achieve from the project, about your current lifestyle, and how you utilize your outdoor areas. We listen very closely to what you have to say. Once we have an understanding of what a client wants, we are able to create a system according to what they need and want. Clients notice how we pay attention to all the details when we conduct a walkthrough of the property. We also make sketches and jot down detailed notes at these meetings.

Customized Landscape Lighting Design Services

The styles that we use for our designs for landscape lighting are unique like our clients are. With every new client, we help each new dream to turn into a reality. The overall goal for most clients is to ensure their properties appear dramatic and striking when the sun goes down.

The Advantages Of Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting not only provides elegance and beauty but also assists with improving your overall security for your home. When areas around your home are well lit, it can help to deter criminals. LED landscape lighting can also significantly increase the overall value of your property in Austin or Houston, and make the home a lot more appealing if you ever decide to sell.

Robert Huff Landscape Illumination Is The Best Name In Houston Landscape Lighting

Robert Huff Landscape Illumination is backed by three decades of experience in landscape lighting in the area of Houston. Our company is a fully insured and licensed outdoor lighting business, based in Houston, TX. We also provide our outdoor lighting services in Austin, TX. Our friendly and professional team of commercial and outdoor residential lighting contractors work alongside you to guarantee custom lighting designs that are aesthetically pleasing, functional, and affordable. We consistently maintain high levels of responsibility and professional care on every project that we undertake. You can always expect superior quality services from start to finish, as we turn something ordinary and plain into something magnificent.

If you would like to discover more tips and tricks from Robert Huff Illuminations; visit our blogCall or contact us today for more information!

The Works That You Should Leave To A Professional Electrician In Houston

4 Projects Only A Certified Houston Electrician Should Handle

Faulty grounding, overloaded circuits, and poor wire connections are some of the mistakes you don’t want to do in your home. These will most certainly put your loved ones (including yourself) at risk. Certified electricians undergo extensive training, which helps them understand the various electrical codes. It doesn’t cost much to have a certified electrician diagnose and fix any electrical problems you might have. While you might be able to handle various electrical installations, here are 4 projects that are best handled by a licensed electrician.

1. Circuit Breaker Upgrades

There are times when you are required to have your electrical service panel or circuit breakers upgraded to support the current electrical needs. Maybe you had a few more appliances installed in the house, the lights are flickering, or you keep blowing up a fuse. Having the circuit breaker upgraded could solve the problem. While it may seem like a simple job, upgrading a circuit breaker panel isn’t an easy job. Many factors have to be put into consideration to ensure it supports all the appliances and current required. That said, only a certified electrician should be allowed to handle such projects.

2. Adding GFCI Receptacles, Outlets, USB Ports

If you need a few extra power outlets in the house or need GCFI upgrades, then an electrician is the person to call for the job. Electricians understand that GCFI outlets are essential in high-risk areas such as the kitchen and the bathroom, which is why you should have at least one of these outlets installed. GFCI outlets are designed to cut power or electricity if the line comes in contact with water. This thus reduces the risk of shock and unbalanced electrical load.

Improper grounding is one of the leading causes of shock, loss of power, and even electrical fires in many homes. An experienced electrician should be able to handle the installations expertly and also add any outlets and USB ports in the house safely. Adding some of these outlets entails cutting into the wall. A trained person will know just how this should be done to prevent damage and do a clean job.

3. Outdoor Lighting

Security and ambient lighting come in hand in many homes. If looking to add a few more security lights or outdoor lights into the compound, you might as well call a certified electrician. He/she should be able to thread the wiring and even ground it properly to reduce potential risks. The electrician will not only handle the installations but also advice you on the best lighting elements for the job. Any part used for outdoor lighting should have the capacity to withstand the harsh weather outside.

4. Replace Light Fixtures

Many homeowners can replace light fixtures with ease. There are however instances when you aren’t sure what or where to get the replacement fixtures from. Several factors such as load, amperage, and whether the existing wiring supports the fixture ought to be considered before replacing one. Nonetheless, a qualified electrician should be able to identify and determine the right accessory to use for the same. Other factors that the electrician will consider are high-temperature insulation (not present in older homes) and a strong ceiling mount.

Unless you are sure of what to do, always call a certified electrician to help with any electrical project you have. This will save you from trouble and money too.

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

A Complete Guide To Cleaning Your Houston Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Cleaning Outdoor Lighting Fixtures In Houston: Tips & Tricks

The reason why many invest in outdoor lighting is that it illuminates the entryway as well as the driveway and walkway. Furthermore, they also help improve security. Another reason as to why exterior lighting is considered to be a good investment is because they also enhance the appearance of a house and adds character at the same time. However, when these outdoor lightings start to get old, they begin to oxidize and lose their beauty. When this happens, you can choose to get rid of the oxidation instead of replacing all the exterior lightings.

Cleaning your homes exterior copper or decorative metal or brass lighting fixtures can improve your outdoor lighting as well as the curbside appeal of your home. Moreover, different fixtures are cleaned using different cleaning methods. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean some of these outdoor lighting fixtures.

Cleaning Copper, Lacquer-coated Brass Or Metal Lighting Fixtures

Here are the things you need for cleaning copper, lacquer-coated brass or metal lighting fixtures:

  • Protective Gloves
  • Step Ladder
  • Hot Water
  • Flat Paintbrush (for removing dust)
  • Old Towel
  • Screwdriver
  • Two Utility Buckets
  • A Soft Piece Of Clothing For Cleaning
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Liquid Dishwashing Soap
  • Liquid Wax (optional for added protection)

Step # 1

Before you start cleaning your outdoor lighting fixtures, the first thing that you need do is make sure that they are turned off. Check all the switches before proceeding on. After that use a noncontact voltage sensor to test whether the outdoor lighting fixtures are turned off correctly. Place the noncontract voltage sensor against the electrical box and hold a dusk-to-down photocell. If the outdoor lighting fixtures are turned off correctly, then the lights will automatically turn off and on.

Step # 2

On a flat surface, carefully place the ladder close the o the outdoor light fixture.

Step # 3

Make sure you have your protective gloves on.

Step # 4

Carefully remove the bulbs so that it can be easy for you to clean both the outside and the inside of the light fixtures. Try to untwist the top or the bottom of the fixture so that it can be easy for you to reach the bulb.

Step # 5

Get rid of all spider webs, dust and bug debris using an old household paintbrush.

Step # 6

Besides removing the bulbs, you also have to remove other decorative items such as globes, shields and even grills. Us a screwdriver to remove these items without damaging them and store them on a soft surface.

Step # 7

Use the two utility buckets to create suds by mixing dishwashing soap and hot water. After that, it is advisable that you test the cleaner on s small section before you can proceed on to cleaning all the lighting fixtures.

Step # 8

Soak the miscellaneous parts that have been removed and the shied in a bucket filled will clean soapy water.

Step # 9

Use a soft piece of clothing or a sponge to clean the remaining parts of the fixtures that cannot be removed. However, make sure that you do not wet the electrical sockets when cleaning. If the accidentally reaches the sockets, then use a dry piece of clothing to rinse the soapy water.

Step # 10

After that make sure that you remove other parts of the fixtures from the water including the shield and the globe. Use clean water to rinse these items and dry them using a clean towel.

Step # 11

Use paste wax of nonabrasive liquid polish to make your metal surface shine again. You can also use car wax to do this if you do not have paste wax or nonabrasive liquid polish. However, make sure that the surface is dry before you start on the outside part.

Step # 12

To shine and clean the glass panes as well as the surface and shades, use a commercial glass cleaner. Also, remember to clean the exterior of the light glass using paper towels or a glass cleaner.

Step # 13

Clean the light bulbs using a damp piece of clothing. After that, you need to reinsert each bulb carefully and then reassemble the fixture. Do not switch on the circuit breaker until the fixtures have completely dried off.

Here are the things you should not do when cleaning outdoor lighting fixtures:

  • Avoid doing the following things so that you do not end up damaging the protective lacquer coating
  • Avoid using chemical-based cleaners.
  • Avoid using a piece of clothing that is not soft.
  • Avoid using products that contain alcohol or ammonia.

Cleaning True Brass, Copper, & Artisan Outdoor Lighting

Cleaning cooper or real brass lighting can be done using various kitchen ingredients such as salt and lemon. Furthermore, the ingredients are easy to find and very effective at clearing copper and brass fixtures. Here is a step by step guide on how to clean copper and brass suing kitchen ingredients.

Salt & Lemon

Gently remove any small spots of tarnish from the copper or brass by slowly rubbing the lemon onto the surface. To get good results, make sure that you mix both the salt and the lemon juice using equal measure. Use a soft piece of clothing to rub the paste on the surface so that it can be easy to remove the dirt. Fill a bucket with warm water and use it to rinse the surface before drying it at the end.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is considered to be an eco-friendly alternative for cleaning outdoor lighting fixtures. All you have to do is mix baking soda with lemon juice to create a unique paste. The paste is then applied on a soft piece of clothing which is used to clean the surface of the fixtures. If you come across tough stains, use baking soda alone to get rid of the stain. Using the same procedure, apply baking soda on a soft cloth and rub on the surface. After removing all the dirt, remove the paste by washing it off using water and a mixture of vegetable-based soap.

Our Legacy

Robert Huff Landscape Illumination has been working in this industry for more than 30 years. Our company is licensed by the State and insured. We deliver services to clients who are located in Houston, TX. We also cover other areas such as Austin, TX. Our services are open to both commercial and residential clients. Our team of trained and experienced staff will make sure that your lights are in good condition and working properly. Furthermore, we offer quality services at an affordable cost.

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

 

Knowing How Our Outdoor Lights Are Wired In Houston

Tips For Wiring Your Houston Outdoor Lights

Like other types of light, most outdoor lights need electricity to operate. That electricity is usually provided through wires. Having said that, there is no need to panic about your outdoor space getting overrun with wires. Most wiring for outdoor lighting runs underground, meaning that you won’t even see the wires after they are in place. Any above-ground wiring is usually designed to blend with the surrounding area so that it isn’t noticeable at a glance. Read on to get some helpful tips on wiring outdoor lights.

Every lighting situation requires a unique solution when it comes to wiring. For instance, the type of lighting that you choose for a pathway will usually be a lot different than what you choose for a driveway. The section below outlines some of the most popular ways to wire outdoor light fixtures.

Understanding Transformers

If you use transformers to power your outdoor lights, each light fixture is wired to the transformer. The wires themselves can either be above or below the ground. The transformer is then plugged into an outdoor outlet. Below is some more information so you can get a better idea of how these devices operate.

Transformers help your lights work in one of two ways: they either use a photocell or a timer. Transformers that operate on a timer are designed to automatically turn the lights off or on at specific times of the day. Transformers with a photocell, on the other hand, automatically detect the level of light outside, turning the lights on when it gets dark and shutting them off when it gets light. Transformers like these are popular for use in ponds.

Wiring The Lights To A Switch

Nothing is quite as satisfying as turning on a light switch and having your whole outdoor space light up. Wiring your outdoor light fixtures to a switch inside your home is a great option. There are a couple of different methods that you can use to accomplish this. The first is to wire the lights directly to the switch. The second option is to wire the lights to a transformer that is plugged into an outdoor outlet. The switch inside your home provides power to the outlet, which turns on the transformer and activates the lights. With this option, you can either turn on the lights manually or you can wait and allow them to turn on automatically when the sun goes down.

Solar Lighting

Solar lights rely on the sun upon for power. They do best in extremely sunny conditions. One of the greatest things about lights like these is that they don’t require any wiring. Typically, they have LED bulbs, which means that they use very little energy. That makes them a lot more practical than halogen bulbs for solar applications.

The Downsides To Solar Lighting

While solar lighting is easy to install, it does have some drawbacks. For one thing, the lights themselves lack the brightness of lights that are powered by electricity. This usually has to do with where they are placed. Lights that aren’t directly in the sun won’t get as bright as lights that are located in sunny areas.

No matter what type of lighting you opt for, adding outdoor lights can brighten up your home.

Lighting Up Your Exterior Space

When properly installed, outdoor lighting can enhance your home, making it much more beautiful after dark. When incorrectly designed, however, it can look a little bit garish and overdone. The key to lighting the outside of your home is to use a light touch, only placing lights in the most important areas. If you need help designing your outdoor lighting, reach out to Houston Window Coverings today.

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

A Guide For Choosing LED Lights In Houston

What Makes Houston LED Lights So Superior?

LED lights offer the most cost-effective way of lighting your home, office, or storefront. They are also an energy-efficient solution. The bulbs or lighting systems are based on LED technology. LEDs (light-emitting diodes) come into the scene with a bang and quickly took the helm as the most economical option when it comes to lighting. The can be found in major hardware and retailer stores across the country.Robert Huff Illumination | Houston Outdoor Lighting Experts | Landscape Light Installers | Professional Commercial Lighting

In as much as the LED lighting has taken the helm, many people are still using the fluorescent and halogen bulbs. They are yet to discover the advantages of the LEDs and why they have quickly become cheap and highly efficient lighting methods over recent years.

1. Incredible Efficiency

With an efficiency score of 80% – 90% for electrical energy generated compared to the traditional lighting options, it means that the LED converts electricity to light in a more effective way. That means that only 20% – 10% of the energy is lost during the process. For the incandescent bulbs, the figures are seemingly the reverse, with an energy loss of more than 80% in the form of heat.

2. Unsurpassed Longevity

Since the lights designed to have low carbon emissions, the LED lights are thus made to have a longer life span than other types of lights. The lights last six times longer than the conventional bulbs; therefore, they reduce the frequency of doing replacements. As a result, there are few lights needs, and this lowers the need for the resources need to make these lights.

The standard LED bulb has a lifespan of approximately 50,000 operational hours. Comparatively, this is 50 times longer than the lifespan of an incandescent bulb and roughly 20-25 times longer than for a halogen bulb. When the LED reaches its limit, it starts emitting a lower illumination that becomes less bright over time. This is very different for the standard bulbs that burn out and stop working.

3. Operate Using Low Voltage

Being low energy-consuming lighting options, the LEDs require little power to operate. As such, they will light up even when powered by a solar system. They do not generate any heat, thus they will not become hot to the touch. And the fact that they do not emit any UV rays makes them perfect for lighting textile and food displays.

95% of the energy directed into lighting LEDs is converted into light meaning only 5% is lost as heat. This makes the LEDs 80% more efficient than conventional lamps such as incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. The LED lights have a lower energy demand; a 36-watt LED will generate the same lighting intensity as would the typical fluorescent 84-watt lamp. The decrease in electricity demand means power plants are not pressured to deliver more energy, and this helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Little Maintenance

The long lifespan means that the LEDs do not need frequent replacement compared to their incandescent counterparts. As such, this reduces the need for maintenance and the resource involved for such, especially is large public areas such as the train stations.

5. Environmentally Friendly

The LED technology fully embraces eco-friendly guidelines; as such, these lights do not have any toxic elements. Most of the fluorescents used in office contain harmful chemicals such as mercury that can pollute the environment when disposed of incorrectly. Moreover, such a thing should be done via the recommended channels such as via a registered waste carrier. The use of LEDs is devoid of these things; thus, you can cut down on costs and save time wasted in complying with the disposal protocols.

Furthermore, the LEDs do not emit any UV rays and are 100% recyclable; therefore, the best investment if you are keen on reducing your carbon footprint. To help put things into perspective, one LED lamp can serve you for a period in which you would have used roughly more than 25 incandescent bulbs. That means that you can save on production if you switch to the LEDs.

6. Durability

The LED lights have some of the most rugged components that can withstand the harshest of conditions. They are resistant to shock and vibrations thus less likely to break. Some of the fluorescent bulbs are affected by a drop in the temperatures more so those installed in outdoor spaces. The LED lamps are not susceptible to such climatic changes.

7. Instantaneous Illumination

When you turn on an LED lamp, it lights up immediately and emits the set full range of illumination. That is why these lights are becoming a standard feature in infrastructure projects such as traffic lights and signals. The constant on and off switching of these lights do not impact the longevity and illumination intensity of the LEDs. Such performance is a sharp contrast to the conventional bulbs that drastically lose their operational life when they are repeatedly turned on and off within very short periods.

8. Many Color Options

While white lights are a top preference for many, you also can find the LEDs in an array of colors. Some LED modules even have a mix of colors in one lighting device; these are called RGB modules. They are designed to achieve a broad spectrum of colors when operated.

9. A Compact Solution

The lights can be made to be as small are 2mm. That means that they can be used or fitted in some of the hard to reach places that have limited to no lighting.

10. Assortment Of Design Options

Based on their design and technology, these lights offer flexibility, which means they can be made to conform to any shape for different applications. Moreover, they can also be set up in a controlled system while individual diodes can be dimmed to manage the level of illumination in a given area. With options ranging from color variations and lighting intensity, LEDs suffice to meet different needs and demands. The LEDs can be found in cars, classes, medical rooms, airplanes, and factories.

11. A Better Distribution Of Light

The intensity and clarity of the light that the LEDs emit means that you can focus the light in one direction without having to depend on a reflector. And those with a dimmer function offer greater control. As such, it is possible to manage the amount of light to distribute over a given area.

The Verdict

LEDs are the way of the future. They are eco-friendly, cost-effective, and energy-saving lighting solutions for residential and commercial areas and applications. Therefore, you should make the smart move today and switch to LED bulbs.

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