Science fiction of the 1950s, especially Ray Bradbury, foretold amazing possibilities of visually enhancing outdoor landscapes. That's now easily possible thanks to LED (light emitting diodes) technology for nighttime lighting that can be dramatic and stunning.Since their introduction a decade ago, LED lights have made quantum leaps in quality and programmability.
Today is an adventurous time for home-owners who have a penchant for being night artists and lighting up their outdoor structures, paths, bushes, shrubs, trees and water fixtures in whatever wondrous, awesome colors and hues they like."The real attraction is the convenience of it," says Alan Marchant, owner of A&K Landscaping, where LED lights for outdoor landscaping is a crown jewel in its services. He lives on the McKenzie River, where a number of homes rimming the banks bask in a full array of LED lighting."People love being able to go out in their yards and, with an app on their cell phones, easily customize outdoor night lighting," he says.
"You might want one particular focus at dusk, maybe more intense themes during evening entertaining hours, then you might gradually dim back as the night goes on, all the while leaving on certain aspects of the lighting for security without using your whole system."For one's inner artist, there's the challenge of that willow tree out there, or perhaps a Saguaro cactus or odd-shaped structure and being able to bathe them in top-down or bottom-up lights, soft or bright, with dramatic shadows on nearby walls to create extraordinary [url=http://www.new-lights.com/product/led-tube/]LED Tube Manufacturer[/url] curb appeal to a home's nighttime good looks.
Big energy saversLow maintenance and energy savings are other reasons for the surging popularity of LED lights, which are now 10 times as efficient as the old halogen lights they're fast replacing. Outdoor bulbs that would have needed to be replaced annually can now last up to a decade.Jack Adam, third generation owner of Light N Shine Brighter Homes Lighting, sees plenty of opportunities for homeowners.He advises people to replace their existing halogen outdoor outlets if LED bulbs are available for the sockets. "But choose LED bulbs manufactured specifically for outdoors," he cautions.Outdoor systems usually feature hardware termed "potted electronics," where material is in a waterproof epoxy that dissipates heat and keeps moisture out.Also, what is termed dedicated landscape fixtures use lenses and reflective surfaces to be even more efficient in getting desired light intensity to the right places.New terminology, tooWith LED lights, we're not talking watts anymore.LED brightness is measured in "lumens" of visible light emitted by a source. Watts, on the other hand, measure energy use.
A rough comparison: 100 watts equals 1,600 lumens; 75 watts, 1,100 lumens; 60 watts, 800 lumens; and 40 watts, 450 lumens.Spread patterns is another term to consider. Lee talks about four basic versions: a 15-degree spread pattern for a narrow spot; 25 degrees for a regular spot; 36 degrees for a narrow flood; and 60 degrees for a wide flood.In addition, each bulb will be available in different Kelvin temperatures -- that is, the color of the light emitted. The low end is 2,700 Kelvin for a soft, warm-colored light. The high end is 5,000 to 6,500 Kelvins, where the color spectrum switches to the blue end and the light actually has a blue tinge to it. "To our human eyes, [url=http://www.new-lights.com/product/led-panel-light/]Round LED Panel Light[/url] that blue light seems brighter to us and has more punch," Lee says. "It's important to know the purpose of the individual light so you can pick the spread and the color temperature that's right."How to get the perfect spread?Well, that's up to you.Take, for example, pathway lights.
"You can [url=http://www.new-lights.com/product/]LED Glass Tube[/url] have very stylized LED lighting bulb shining from decorative poles (ones with squirrels running up them are [url=http://www.new-lights.com/product/edison-bulb/]Edison Bulb[/url] popular) or very simple lights that melt into the environment. Your choice," Lee adds with a smile.Other terms to know are uplighting (as opposed to downlighting for paths), where so-called bullet lights are staked into the ground and point up into trees and shrubs, and step lighting within the risers of outdoor stairs.Submersible lights and pond lighting might illuminate koi in water; crossed angles of light create artistic effect."Change light levels from very bright to things in shadows," Lee advises. "Add drama. The most exciting thing may not be the object itself that you light up, but the interplay of shadows.""Grazing," for example, produces a shadow behind an object like a tree. "Moon lighting" dapples down through branches of trees.LED lights typically range from $100 to $500 or more per fixture.
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