Great Suggestions To Plan & Purchase Your Houston Outdoor Lighting

A Complete Guide To Planning & Purchasing Outdoor Lighting For Your Home In Houston

When designing lighting for an outdoor space, it is important to not only think about how it will look but also how it will function. The information below will help you purchase light fixtures that not only enhance the appearance of your home but also help you get more out of your outdoor space.

Three Benefits Of Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting provides a number of advantages. Understanding these advantages will help you come up with an effective plan for your lighting needs. Here are three benefits that this type of lighting provides:

1. Create A More Beautiful Home

Outdoor lighting can have a dramatic impact on how attractive your home is from the street. Small touches like path lights or post lights can go a long way toward making your home seem more inviting. To get the best results, choose more than one area to install the lighting. Creating layers of lighting like this add depth and character to your outdoor space.

2. Add A Sense Of Cohesion To Your Home’s Exterior

Carrying the same style of lighting throughout your entire landscape can help unify the space, creating a consistent look that enhances the appearance of your home.

3. Create A Safer, More Secure Home

When designed correctly, a good outdoor lighting plan will enhance your home’s security and make your outdoor area safer after dark.

Selecting Lighting For Your Outdoor Space

Outdoor lighting comes in a wide range of styles, each suited to different applications. Some of the most popular options are listed below.

Wall-Mounted Lights

Suitable Locations: Decks And Porches, Outdoor Patios, Entrances, Near Garage Doors

These light fixtures are designed with a flat back that allows them to be mounted directly on a wall. They are typically mounted near entryways or in other areas where extra light is required. With many attractive design options available, these sturdy lights are ideal for lighting up the exterior of your home.

Ceiling-Mounted Lights & Pendant Lights

Suitable Locations: Porches Or Patios With Roofs

These outdoor lights are designed to be mounted on a ceiling, making them a great choice for porches or patios with roofs. Even though they can withstand damp conditions, they shouldn’t be mounted in locations where they are exposed to the rain.

Pier Mount Or Post Lights

Suitable Locations: At The End Of Sidewalks Or Driveways, Decks, Patios

As you might guess from their name, a post light is designed to be attached to the top of a post. These lights are typically rated for wet locations, meaning that they can be placed in areas that get direct rain. That means that they can be installed in unprotected areas like at the front of the driveway or near the edge of the sidewalk.

Each light fixture has unique post requirements in terms of both size and style. When shopping, always read the post requirements carefully.

Pier mount lights are similar to post lights. The primary difference is that they are meant to be installed on top of walls or columns rather than posts. In some cases, you can purchase adapters for post lights that allow them to be installed on walls or columns instead of standard posts.

Security Lights

Suitable Locations: Near Sidewalks Or Garages, Close To Entrances, In Out-Of-The-Way Areas Like Alleys

To enhance your home’s security and to create a safer outdoor environment, security lights with built-in motion sensors are the way to go. When activated, these lights flood the entire area with light, helping to drive any potential intruders away.

From a safety standpoint, lights with motion sensors can also be beneficial. For instance, mounting a light that turns on automatically near an entryway makes it easier to see where you are going so you are less likely to trip.

Landscape Lighting

Suitable Locations: Flowerbeds, Gardens, Close To Water Features, Near Trees And Shrubs

Low-voltage landscape lights operate independently from your other outdoor lighting. Path lights, spotlights, and floodlights can be placed in strategic locations around your yard to enhance your landscaping, drawing attention to key focal points in your yard.

Choosing Outdoor Lighting That Is Sized Correctly

Wall-Mounted Lights For Front Porches

The wall light that is installed closest to your front door is usually one of the primary focal points after dark. With so much at stake, it is important to choose a light that is sized correctly. Here are some tips that should help:

  • If you are installing a single light fixture, choose a fixture that measures about a third of the total height of your front door.
  • If you are installing two separate light fixtures on either side of the door, you can choose fixtures that are much smaller. Typically, fixtures that measure about a quarter of the door’s height are appropriate, although you may want to go with slightly bigger light fixtures if you have double doors on the front of your home.
  • One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is choosing a light fixture for their entryway that is undersized.
  • If you find a light fixture that you like, try cutting out a piece of paper in the same size and shape. Tape it to the wall next to your door. Then walk out to the front sidewalk or street to see if the size is appropriate.

Ceiling Lights

For overhead lights, the size of the light fixture should be proportional to the size of the space.

Hanging lights should only be used in areas where there is enough overhead clearance.

In spaces where the ceilings are lower, flush-mount ceiling lights are a better option.

Pier Mount or Post Lights

The size of the fixture usually depends on how many light bulbs it uses.

Post-mounted lights typically measure about 7 feet (84 inches) tall.

Avoid Adding Too Much Lighting

When it comes to outdoor lighting, less is more. Low wattage bulbs are usually the best choice for outdoor spaces. Avoid exceptionally bright bulbs since they can be too harsh when used outside the home. Our outdoor light fixtures either come with their own bulbs or include helpful recommendations regarding the best type of bulbs to use.

Overnight & Security Lighting

Evaluate the outside of your home after the sun goes down. Are there any areas that are poorly lit? If so, installing sturdy lights could deter thieves or intruders.

Lights with motion sensors automatically turn on when anything moves near them. This makes them the perfect choice for security lighting. They also are beneficial when mounted near walkways since they make it easier to see where you are going.

Dusk-to-dawn lighting usually comes equipped with photosensors that are designed to detect how light or dark it is outside. This allows the lights to automatically turn themselves on or off, depending on whether it is day or night. The benefit of using lights like these is that you don’t have to think about turning them on or off yourself.

You can also find dusk to dawn lights that incorporate motion sensors in their design. Fixtures with these features come in a wide range of styles for outdoor spaces.

Choosing Lighting That Is Properly Rated For The Location

Light fixtures for outdoor use are typically either rated for damp or wet locations. It is important to understand how these ratings differ.

Wet location light fixtures can be used in areas where they will be exposed directly to rain or other types of inclement weather. Most wall-mounted lights, motion sensor lights, and post lights are wet rated.

Damp location light fixtures, on the other hand, should be used in areas where they are not directly exposed to rain or other types of moisture. Examples of these types of lights include hanging lights or ceiling lights.

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

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.

Let Our Houston Outdoor Lighting Experts Teach You About The Different LED Bulbs & Their Temperatures

The 5000-Lumen SANSI Bulb is The Brightest Of All The LED Bulbs: Our Houston Outdoor Lighting Company Tells All

General Usage

The SANSI LED 40W light bulb features a rating measuring 5500 lumens. That’s usually equal to incandescent bulbs rated at 350 watts. It has a ‘daylight’ quality, also known as a light-temperature rating, which measures at 5000K. At the time of writing, this particular LED bulb was selling for $49.

The Brightest Option For Warehouse Exteriors At 5000K Temperature: This bulb is rated at 29289 lumens with a price of approximately $170.

The Brightest Option For ‘Warm White’ LED Bulbs: The A21 27W Dimmable LED SANSI Light Bulb. This warm-light bulb produces 3500 lumens. It retails currently at about $56.

The Philips 1220 Lumen LED Bulb: This Brightest Standard-Size Bulb has a current rating as being the very brightest LED bulb which is compatible with most household fixtures and lamps.

The SANSI 40W LED Light Bulb: The Overall Brightest LED Bulb

This is another very bright bulb, which produces 5500 lumens. It’s a non-dimmable and daylight-style bulb, meaning it’s best-suited for garages and warehouses. The current price at the time of writing is $49.

The Brightest LED ‘Warm Light’ Bulb: The SANSI 27W A21 Dimmable LED Light-Bulb

This warm-white dimmable bulb is capable of producing 3500 lumens. I personally use one of these for my laundry room, since it works out well for producing illumination that is both bright and pleasing. On the other hand, I wasn’t able to install the fan fixture I wanted on my ceiling since this light is so big. At the time of writing, this bulb was usually available for $56.

The Brightest LED Standard Size Bulb: The LOHAS LED A21 LED Light

This is a standard-sized LED bulb that produces 2500 lumens, making it the very brightest among all the standard-sized LED bulbs that are currently available. It uses 23 watts, featuring a 5000K color temperature listed as daylight white. This is a good bulb for outdoor areas and garages. If you’re looking for warm-white bulbs to use in interior spaces, read below about the Philips bulb down there.

The Brightest Warm-White Standard-Size LED Bulb: The Philips LED Bulb Which Is Equal To 100 Watts

This another standard-sized household bulb. It uses 18 watts to come up with 1620 lumens of warm-white light. I personally use these particular bulbs all throughout my home. Since the CRI is 80, they put out high-quality light. You can even dim these bulbs. Also, they’re estimated to last as long as 22 to 23 years.

You can get them on Amazon for around $21.

Notes About The Color Quality

CRI is short for the Color Rendering Index, which is a numerical system that rates the color-rendering abilities that light bulbs have as compared to natural daylight. If a light features a color-rendering index that measures 50, it’s low, meaning it’s not something that renders colors very well. However, if the bulb sports a color-rendering index falling in a range of 80 to 95, then it means it is able to render colors greatly, possibly even in excellent fashion. A CRI of 100 is considered equivalent to actual natural daylight. This is the number assigned to sunlight.

Color Temperatures are usually presented on the Kelvin scale of K. Lower-color temperatures are warmer, having a more yellow and red light. Higher-color temperatures have colder light that is bluer. Additional, a bulb’s color temperature refers to how reddish, bluish, or greenish a bulb appears. If a bulb looks more reddish, it’s likely to have a low range of color temperature, often between 2500K up to 3000K, which is often thought of as ‘warm’ appearance. If a bulb is more bluish, then the color temperature is higher, often from 4000K to 4500K, meaning it’s thought of as ‘cool’ in terms of its appearance.

  • Warm White is typically measured from 2500K up to 3000K
  • Day Light gets measured from 6200K up to 6800K
  • Cool Light is usually measured in a range of 4000K up to 4500K

To find out more, give us a call or contact us today. Please feel free to visit our blog for more related topics and articles.

A Look At Fixture-To-House Proportion & Your Outdoor Lighting In Houston

Size Matters: How Fixture-To-House Proportion Can Be Determined For Houston Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

When choosing decorative outdoor fixtures, a majority of people shop for their lighting mainly based on certain visual elements like finish and fixture style. Although the actual fixture’s design is a good starting point, another area that is equally important (and often overlooked) is the right size of the fixture in proportion to your home’s size. Fixtures may appear very large in the showroom, however, when they are mounted next to a large entryway, then suddenly they will look insignificant and small. When viewed from a distance outdoor fixtures should provide an attractive and notable presence – but not be so overpowering that they will detract from your exterior landscape’s focal points.

Our design experts compiled a few tips to help you determine the best way to approach the size for your exterior fixtures in such a way that beautifies your home and enhances your curb appeal.

Where to get started?

For entryway lighting, first, measure your front door’s height. Exterior lighting may be used for illuminating the areas around your front door should have a size that is in proportion to the actual door.

Sizing Guidelines For Entryway Lighting

When it comes to entry outdoor fixtures, the most common error is to choose lighting that is not big enough. Fixtures that are too small will get lost when looking at a house from a distance. In general, fixtures should be a size that measures 1/4 to 1/3 the front door’s height – remember that lanterns will appear to be around half the size from 50 feet away. If you happen to have to two different sizes of lanterns or sconces, the larger of the two needs to be placed near the front door (and the smaller one positioned close to the garage door).

Position Guidelines for Entryway Lighting

Along with size, the fixture’s height is another important thing to consider. In general, you should position your outdoor entryway lights at eye level. More specifically a light source’s center should be 5.5 to 6 feet off of the ground. Also, fixtures should be mounted 8 to 10 feet apart.

Sizing Guidelines for Garage Lighting

Like entry lights, the fixtures surrounding your garage should be 1/4 to 1/3 the height of your garage door. The position and number of lights will greatly depend on what the size of your garage door is.

One side lantern might be enough to illuminate your one-car garage. If you have a two-car garage, you can position lights on both sides of your door. For extra illumination, position the third light in the center over the door – but make sure it is positioned high enough so that it doesn’t interfere with the regular door functioning.

A third option that can be used on a two-car garage is to place the fixtures over the top of the garage door to produce even illumination.

Sometimes outdoor home lighting may feel like it is a utilitarian home project, and it is approached by too many companies as a technological chore. The LED outdoor landscape lighting that we offer combines function and form that provides landscape lighting solutions can do more than just light your yard up. To create the very best LED landscape lighting involves the work of the design team at Robert Huff to bring collective architectural designs and to employ the latest solutions for LED outdoor landscape lighting solutions.

Our team often works with pool designers, architects, and landscapers to create Robert Huff’s renowned light effect for your business or home’s outdoor space. For more than 30 years, Robert Huff Landscape Illumination has designed outdoor home lighting with Security, Elegance, and Beauty. We also specialize in designing and installing commercial LED landscape lighting. Robert Huff customers trust us because we deliver outstanding designs in residential and commercial outdoor lighting in Austin and Houston, TX.

If you have any immediate questions please feel free to call us today or contact us now and one of our representatives would be happy to help you!

Tips For Safely Installing Temporary Outdoor Lighting

11 Safety Tips For Installing Temporary Outdoor Lighting

When it comes to the outdoor lighting in and around our properties, most of us have some lights that they control, such as the security and porch lights. The other options are under public lighting. But some of the outdoor lights will serve as a decorative installation such as what we see on houses during Christmas and Halloween holidays.

Safety is a huge concern for every homeowner. We want our family, pets, and guests to feel safe whether their stay is short or long. As such, the availability of ample power cords, bulbs, and controls to ensure that you can manage the outdoor lighting becomes a significant investment for our gardens.

Many people have little to no regard for the importance of observing safety when installing outdoor lighting, especially if it is a temporary setup. They will not struggle to ensure everything is put up correctly and is up to code since they are not going for permanent installations. However, electricity and power connections are not a simple matter that you can handle as a triviality; they are always a danger. It is for this reason that the National Electrical Code has requirements for temporary electrical installations that are in line with the standard guidelines.

As such, safety comes first when you think of installing outdoor lighting in your yard. Therefore, you need to implement the following tips:

1. Install Outdoor-Rated Fixtures

Any lighting fixture you want to set up in your outdoor spaces should be built and designed for such a location and purpose. For instance, the porch lights are installed under the roof thus are never meant to get wet, but if you need to pick the type that designed for outdoor applications since it is bound to get damp and face fluctuation of hot and cold conditions.

Another example is the wall lighting fixture that will go next to the door. It may not have a protective cover and as such should sustain high impacts up to a certain degree and have high weather resistance, especially if it will be used on the exterior walls.

2. Use Outdoor-Rated Light Bulbs

Use the wrong type of bulb for exposed lighting fixtures such as the floodlights can you will be replacing it regularly. What works for the porch lighting will not suffice for the exposed installations. You should think about the life of the bulb even as you check its outdoor usage rating. Read the product description of some of the products, it the bulb can survive extremes such as the heat in an oven or the cold of a freezer, then it probably will work for outdoor purposes.

3. Avoid Using Metallic Binding Materials

When installing any lighting ornaments and wires, you should avoid damage the wires or using materials that are metallic for binding. Metal is an excellent electricity conductor. You should opt for materials such as plastic ties which are inexpensive, safe, and a popular choice for such jobs.

4. Use Outdoor-Rated Extension Cords

Extension cords will help pull the electric up to specific points where you want to install the lighting. However, you should only use the extensions cords that are made for outdoor applications. The indoor variety tends to be light and very flexible thus less robust for any outdoor use. You should use outdoor-rated extension cords only, even if you are putting up temporary lighting set up in your yard.

5. Avoid Over-lamping” A Fixture

Most lighting fixtures have a label or sticker that states the maximum wattage. Some will read 45W, 60W, and others 100W. Always abide by what the labels say so that you do not install the wrong bulb that will overheat the fixture’s wiring damaging the insulation of the wires. The indication on the stickers denotes the wattage you need to check for the bulbs you installed. For instance, if you opt for a CFL bulb in a 60W fixture, then you choose one the uses up any amount of power that is less than or equal to 60 watts and is amount to generate a higher illumination (light) than a 100W; 200W incandescent bulb.

6. Use Decorative Lights Made For Outdoor Use

If you need lighting for decorate purposes such as to light up skulls and pumpkins during Halloween or make the home showcase the festive mood of Christmas, then you should check the labeling to ensure you are using the right kind of lights. They should not be for indoor purposes. Pick the type that reads it is for an outdoor or multipurpose (outdoor/indoor) application.

7. Fit Weather-Resistant Receptacles

Ensure that you have outdoor receptacles installed for your power source options, even if you are working with temporary loads. It is a safer and a more presentable means of getting the power you need from one point to the outdoors instead of running a cord through the window or the doorway that can even cause someone to trip and fall over. You may benefit from especially covers for the wire; you also set the same for the receptacles. But with the receptacles, they should be able to handle hot, cold, and damp condition, meaning they should have a high weather-resistance rating.

8. Invest In GFCI Protection

The use of a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI in short, is a protection measure. You should install GFCI power outlets in any section of your home where you might need to plug something in and still have a grounded electricity delivery. GFCI should be installed in the basements, kitchens, garages, bathrooms, attics, crawl space, and the porch for when you need to pull some electricity to your garden.

If the power feeds for your outdoor receptacles have GFCI protect that can be from a GFC device upstream or the circuit breaker, then you can work with a regular weather-resistant receptacle. But if that is not the case, then you should install a weather-resistant GFCI receptacle.

9. Cover Receptacles In Damp Locations Under A Roof

If you have the outdoor receptacles installed in an area that is protected from direct weather elements, you can cover them with a trap door that stays shut when nothing is plugged into that point. Make sure that you use covers that are rated ideal for damp locations and conditions.

10. Install A Cover For Exposed, Wet Locations

If the outdoor receptacles are installed in locations that have them exposed to the elements, then you should cover with an “in-use” cover. It will keep the receptacles and any attached plugs dry and shielded from the rain.

11. Watch Out for Flammable Materials

Avoid installing the lights next to materials catch fire quickly, especially if you are using lighting materials that produce heat. For instance, the decorative lights you need for the manager can see you use an accent light and still create the desired effect. Take some time to consider your decorative materials and plans so that you can planning for the lights accordingly.

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

How Many Lumens Is Too Many Lumens?

Outdoor Lighting: How Many Lumens Do I Need?

Lumens are a measure of the intensity of light. As such, the higher a lamp’s lumen rating, the brighter it will appear. The number of lumens you require for outdoor lighting will, therefore, depend on the kind of light you want.

Now that we’ve learned what lumens are, here is our professional lumens recommendation for a variety of outdoor lights.

  • Path lighting – 100 to 200 lumens
  • Step lights – 12 to 100 lumens
  • Floodlights – 700 to 1300 lumens
  • Pond and pool lights – 200 to 400 lumens
  • Motion sensor lights – 300 to 700 lumens
  • Landscape lights – 50 to 300 lumens (50 lumens is excellent for small shrubbery or gardens)
  • Hardscape lighting (on walls) – 50 to 185 lumens

When thinking about outdoor lighting, seriously consider going for LED.

Homeowners typically have two types of outdoor lightbulbs when purchasing outdoor lighting. These are CFLs and LEDs.

As outdoor lighting experts, we recommend that you go with LED lights. In this article, we will explain the difference between CFLs and LEDs and why you should consider working with LED lighting.

Outdoor lighting: CFLs or LEDs

How Each Works:

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) use electrical currents to heat filaments inside the bulb. When fully heated up, the filaments become white-hot, producing heat and light. Because these filaments are very sensitive, the lifespan of CFL bulbs is relatively short, especially when left in extremely cold or hot ambient temperatures, such Texas’s summer temperatures. Furthermore, CFLs take quite a while to light up fully.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), on the other hand, do not rely on fragile filaments to light up an area. Nevertheless, they use electrical currents to illuminate tiny diodes found inside the bulbs. Light emitting diodes do not put much heat; which means that they stay cool to the touch. These lights fare quite well in all outdoor temperatures and fully light up as soon as they are activated.

Operational Costs:

Light emitting diodes cost lesser to operate compared to CFL. They use 50 percent less energy to produce the same amount of light CFLs produce. That means that LEDs, of all light bulb options, produce higher amounts of lumens per wattage consumed.

Lifespan:

Light emitting diodes last up to five times longer than compact fluorescent lights.

Price:

At the moment, CFLs cost much cheaper than LEDs. Fortunately, though, LED bulb prices have been dropping in the last couple of years, making some LED options much more affordable than their CFL counterparts.

Other things to Consider

1. Lux

Lux measures a lights luminous flux per unit area. In essence, it gives users an idea of how far or field size a bulb/light can illuminate. Lux plays a crucial role in telling you how many lights you will need to cover an area or space.

To help you understand it better, please note that one lux is equal to the amount of illumination a single candle can provide from approx. 3 feet away.

2. Wattage

Wattage is used to quantify a bulb’s energy transfer rate – in essence; it is the measure of how much electricity a bulb consumes. For instance, a 75-watt light bulb consumes 75 watts of power each second it’s on. The higher a light’s wattage, the more electricity it consumes and the higher the electric bill will be.

If your outdoor lighting project requires the installation of lots of outdoor lights, your wattage demand will be higher, and you might need to have a professional electrician install a new circuit for you.

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

Boosting Curb Appeal And Value With Residential Outdoor Lighting

Increasing Curb Appeal & Value

Houston has continued to see growth, and this has increased the demand for homes for sale. Experts believe that this year is another strong year for the housing market in Houston. If you are interested in selling your home; how can you make it stand out from the rest?

Outdoor lighting has the potential of enhancing curb appeal and can even increase the value of your property or home. The National Association of Home Builders said that over 40% of homeowners surveyed said for them, outdoor lighting is “essential Lighting has a big impact on the appearance of a building. People get the full effect during the day because of the sun, but when it starts to set down, the details and aspects of the property will start disappearing because of the darkness setting in. LED landscaping lighting transforms the look of the property at night. Outdoor lighting is able to highlight structural features such as fire pits, pathways, fencing, water features, and more. The overall lighting design will also include decks, outdoor patios, or other outdoor living spaces.

When you take a drive through the neighborhood at night, you will notice that homes standing out the most are those that have proper outdoor lighting. Having proper outdoor lighting will enhance the beauty of the space. This is even more important when it comes to the landscape of your house. When you highlight certain features of your house, you make it more pleasing to the eye, and this can lead to an increase in value. You can be able to make your space appear larger than it actually is by having the lighting professionally installed. With outdoor lighting, you will be able to make your home look amazing while also making it a less appealing target for burglars or people wishing to do harm. When you light areas around the doorway and window, you will be able to improve the security while enhancing the look of your home.

Have you ever tried pulling into a driveway that did not have light and you had a time navigating in darkness? You were afraid of hitting something or even not seeing someone.

Now turn the attention to your driveway. Would people have a hard time pulling into your driveway at night?

Proper lighting of your driveway will be able to serve a number of purposes. It provides safety for people around it while also adding to the curb appeal of the property.

When your drive is properly lit, it will be a guide for your guest, and they will be able to navigate more easily. It will also create a welcoming ambiance. You will be able to deliver a great first impression when you have driveway lighting.

Below are three cool ways of lighting up your driveway

Down-lighting

If there are large trees along the driveway, then down-lighting is the right option to go with. This is because they tend to emulate the feeling of moonlight. It will feel and appear natural, but it is luminaires that have been skillfully aimed and placed. Depending on how the driveway has been laid out and the number of trees, well lights or bollards can be used alongside down-lighting. Using different light sources at strategic locations can help in balancing out the lights and making sure the driveway is evenly lit.

Bollards

Bollards are sturdy, solid, and stately. They will provide the driveway with soft lighting, making it the perfect choice for defining the edges of the driveway. A good lighting company will be able to provide you with an outdoor lighting design that properly spaces the bollards. One thing that can be done is alternating the sides. This will prevent the runaway effect on your driveway.

Up-Lighting

While the bollards are above the ground, these are closer to the ground. If you are looking for fixtures less noticeable, up-lights are a perfect choice. If there are mature trees, it is going to define the edge of the driveway and also add ambient light. The fixtures can be installed into the driveway cement or at the entrance of the garage.

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

5 Landscape Lighting Ideas With Down Lighting

Five Down Light Ideas For Landscape Lighting

Before we look at how downlighting can be applied in outdoor settings, it is vital that we first define what down lighting is and how it looks like.

What is downlighting? Downlighting is when fixtures are mounted in elevated locations and aimed downwards so that the light they emit illuminates a target down below. These lighting fixtures can be installed in various places including a home’s soffit, a metal pole or even a tree limb – basically anything that provides an elevated position where a fixture can be perched.

1. Patio

Outdoor living spaces including patios are a great place to enjoy the effects downlighting has to offer. Downlighting offers a functional light for both the social and tranquil situations that often take place on a patio.

Soft lighting does not overwhelm or distract you, which makes it ideal for patio spaces. The key thing when it comes to beautiful lighting is subtleness – as they say, less is more.

2. Pond

Whether it is the cool temperature water features lend to the night air in summer or the soft babbling of splashing water, ponds have a way of bringing tranquility to the outdoor experience. Extending their effects into the evening could be as simple as simply highlighting your pond with the right lighting.

Downlighting a pond creates an overall calmness and a sense of character to something that would otherwise be a dark space.

The great thing about water is that it creates lots of reflections; a defined glow will emanate from a pond when it’s properly downlit. The reflection created is great since it is a two for one. Reflection tends to give everything it touches more definition – light and shadow dances and sparkling ripples from the moving water create a dramatic scene depending on the contrast between shadow and light.

3. Statuary

According to this lighting designer’s opinion, statuary lighting should be applied from above when and if possible. Lighting statues from below often create a shadow that looks unnatural.

When statues are lit from above, a more natural-looking effect is created. The shadows lie as they should while the statue is put in the best lighting.

To effectively light a statue, you will need an eye for what looks most natural; and the most natural-looking statue lighting will often leave a great impression on viewers.

4. Path

When it comes to safety lighting, pathways, curbs and other areas with lots of foot traffic like steps need to be properly illuminated. Downlighting paths can help travelers see where they’re going and how they can get from point A to point B safely.

Downlighting from a tree or several trees can create beauty in the way the tree’s branches and leaves stretch their shadows across the pathway. The natural looking effect of this approach will add real charm to the places that’d otherwise be dark.

5. Security

Security lighting is essential for one main reason – ensuring a property’s safety at night. The great thing about landscape lighting is that you can achieve security lighting without having to sacrifice ambiance or beauty.

While setting up a giant floodlight on top of a 40-foot metal pole could provide ample security lighting, who wants their property looking like a well-lit prison yard when night falls?

 

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

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!

The Right Color Temperature For Your Next Houston Lightscape Design

How To Choose The Right Color Temperature For LED Landscaping Lights

Are you stuck trying to find the best color temperature to illuminate your landscape? If so, then the information contained in the following guide may help you reach a decision. At the very least, it will help you understand the thought process that the professionals use when choosing different LED colors and temperatures.

Before you can choose the right temperature you need to understand what it is and how it is measured. When a designer talks about a particular color temperature they are referencing a characteristic of a light that affects how that light feels. The measurement is always expressed as a temperature using the Kelvin unit. A temperature that is expressed as degrees Kelvin will have the capital letter “K” following the temperature. An example would be 2,400K, which is the color temperature of standard incandescent lamps.

But what exactly does it mean when a package states that a light has a color temperature of 3,000K? The temperature lets you know how warm or cool the light’s expression is. What confuses many people is that higher temperatures are actually considered cooler colors. Remember, a standard incandescent lamp has a color temperature of 2,400K. A candle generally has a color temperature around 1,700K. This means the candle is a warmer color.

Light manufacturers will often label color temperature on their packaging. They may sometimes use labels instead of numbers. For example, the light might be defined as daylight or soft white. These are terms that refer to the color temperature. It’s much easier to learn what the different temperatures are and then find lights that have the actual color temperature listed on the package.

Interested in learning some of the basic color temperatures? Here are a few numbers that you should remember.

1700K – This is the color temperature of a lit candle.

2200K – This is the lowest point on the white light scale. Below this temperature is known as yellow light.

3500K – From this point forward, the color temperatures are considered “cool”.

4000K – This is a very cool natural light.

5000K – Around this point is considered daylight. Temperatures around 5000K are natural and very cool.

6500K – Starting at this temperature you begin moving into the blue light spectrum.

How To Choose The Best Color Temperature For Outdoor Light

It’s impossible to label any single color temperature as best for all occasions. There are a number of factors that will influence your decision. Primarily, it comes down to preference. You may even need to try several different temperatures to find the one that you like the most. However, there are two important considerations that you should keep in mind when choosing outdoor lighting.

The first consideration to remember is that less lighting is required outdoors than indoors. After all, there are already multiple sources of natural light outdoors as well as possible light pollution from neighbors, street lamps, or nearby buildings. What this means is that you can take a more subtle approach to ambient lighting.

The second consideration is that if you have an environment with low ambient lighting, then it’s generally better to stick with warmer colors. Warmer colors produce a more comfortable experience when there is very little ambient light. This is partially because warmer colors cause less strain on the eye.

If you combine these two facts, then you can draw the conclusion that creating settings with low-ambient lighting and warm colors is ideal. Think about the pleasant attraction of a campfire or the relaxing nature of candles. This is what many people try to reproduce with their landscape lighting.

The Ideal Range

It’s hard to go wrong if you stick with color temperatures between the range of 2700K and 300K. These lights are somewhat natural, calming, and warm. 2700K resembles the light produced by halogen, which is something that most of us are familiar with seeing.

You can increase the temperature to 3000K for a slightly cooler approach to lighting. 3000K is a very popular choice in situations where 2700K is just too warm of a color. Consider trying both options to see which best suits your property.

Working With Cool Colors

Warm colors aren’t necessarily mandatory. For example, there are some plants or materials that would look much better under a cooler light. A blue spruce would come to life and “pop” when situated beneath a 5000K lamp. A cactus plant would do the same if a green or silver filter was placed on the light.

Working with cool colors is a fun way to experiment and express your personal style. Remember that there is no single “best” color temperature. It’s all situational and depends on the environment. But by remember the pointers mentioned above you can understand why professionals tend to work with specific color temperatures.

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