Lightbulb Moment – save money with LED

LED

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of upgrading your lighting to LED?  Not sure where to start?

The easiest way to start is to replace the incandescent bulbs in the five most often used fixtures in your home with LED.  According to the EPA, these energy star rated bulbs will save you about $75 in energy costs each year.

If you want to take a current open fixture and instantly give it a vintage vibe, try the LED vintage-style or Edison-style lamps.  This a great trick for pendant lighting in your kitchen or a chandelier in your dining room since many of those are open.

Do you really have to abide by the recommended wattage label taped to the lamp cord?  Short Answer is YES – it is a safety issue.  The label lets you know how much heat the fixture can handle without damaging the socket and internal wiring.  However, the long answer is if you are using LED, you have a little more flexibility because they use significantly less energy than standard bulbs so you can go up in wattage if you want a brighter light.  We posted some general conversions of standard bulb watts to its LED counterpart in Lumens here.

 

 

 

Transform your Trees with Lights

Tree Lighting

Up Lighting

Tree Lighting

Down Lighting

Often when you think of outdoor lighting, you think of highlighting the features of your home. Trees are often a lower priority but tree lighting can make such a dramatic difference.  Just one light can make your tree just shine!

There are two main types of tree lighting; up lighting and down lighting.  Up lighting is lighting fixtures placed at ground level and the light shines up into the tree.  Down lighting is fixtures placed strategically in the canopy of the tree to produce a beautiful moon light effect down from the tree.

When a tree is properly lit, it is highlighted during all the seasons. The Guru is mesmerized by the effects of up lighting on this Red Oak tree. In the spring and summer this tree was incredibly beautiful as the light shone up through the branches and the leaves, but now in the winter it creates the feeling of a completely different tree.

What can proper landscape lighting do for your trees?  To find out, give us a call at 210-710-7737.

REfurbish instead of REplace your outdoor lighting fixtures

Refurbish SconcesRefurbish SconcesDo your outdoor wall lights look worn out but you still like the design?  Instead of replacing them, you can reuse them.  Landscape Lighting Guru offers the service to rebuild and refurbish your fixtures.

The sconces pictured here were old and worn but now they look brand new! We took them down; took them completely apart; sanded, cleaned, painted; converted to LED; and put them back together, delivered and hung back on the house for a fraction of the cost of new sconces.  These now energy efficient sconces once again dress up the entrance to this beautiful home.

If you are interested in having your outdoor wall lights refurbished, give us a call at 210-710-7737 for a free quote.

How Smart is your Home? Home Automation for your lighting systems!

Home AutomationHave you ever wished you could control your landscape lighting, water features, or virtually anything that plugs in with your phone?  You can start creating a smart home with this new home automation system.  The system offers a convenient way to automate your low voltage lighting and other landscape features in an easy-to-install wireless system. Best of all, it is conveniently used with any iOS® or Android™ mobile device.

This technology allows you to turn on security lighting at the press of a button, control pathway lighting for easy nighttime entry and create different ambiance for different occasions.  This technology extends to many other outdoor living spaces controlling fountains, seasonal lighting and other outdoor elements.

This wireless smart home technology can be easily retrofitted with existing lighting installations.  It is compatible with any cord connected to a 120V device.  It includes astronomical timing so it auto adjusts dusk and dawn times based on your location and seasonal changes.

If you would like to learn more about how this system can make your life easier, give us a call at 210-710-7737 for a free consultation.  The following video offers more details about the system as well.

 

Twin Sisters Historic Dance Hall

Want to dance right into 2017 this New Years Eve?  The Twin Sisters Historic Dance Hall is hosting a New Years Eve dance that is sure to be a good time.  The Guru supports the dance hall by not only enjoying the wide variety of community events they host, but also by helping them to raise money for upkeep of this historic dance hall. They currently are raising money for the new roof the dance hall needs to stay open.  In September there was a Raise the Roof event that included a silent auction that raised $15,000!  The Guru contributed gift card for services to the silent auction.

If you are looking for a charity to donate to as we close out 2016 or if you are just looking for something fun to do this New Years, check out the Twin Sisters Historic Dance Hall website at http://www.twinsistersdancehall.com/

 

 

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas with LED Holiday Lighting

LED Holiday LightingIt is beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the homes the Guru is busy decorating this holiday season. Majestic live oak trees look magical when their twisting limbs are highlighted with LED holiday lighting.

Looking for something easier?  Swap out your current outdoor lighting lamps to colored LED for the easy holiday lighting. This picture is the effect seen on the ground when red and green lamps create a moonlighting effect.

LED Holiday Lighting

Give the Gift of Light

gift cardsHave to buy a gift for someone who already has everything?  Consider a different gift this year with the Landscape Lighting Guru gift cards.  They are available in any domination and can be used on installation and service calls. This is a great gift for that special somebody who has dreamed of warming up their outdoor space with beautiful landscape lighting.  Or perhaps someone who wants to update their indoor lighting to LED but doesn’t know where to start.

Landscape Lighting Guru offers many services besides outdoor lighting installation and service.  We offer LED retrofitting indoors and outdoors, Fan installation, mosquito control, landscape audio systems and outdoor water feature service. If you are interested in a gift card, please give us a call at 210-710-7737 or email at info@landscapelightingguru.com

Don’t be trippin’ this Holiday Season!

GFI-TrippingAt Christmas time, we often receive calls regarding electrical problems with the bathroom, garage or outdoor outlets not working. The usual cause for this problem is that the outdoor Christmas lights have tripped a GFI outlet or circuit breaker in your home. Standard circuit breaker will trip if you over load the wiring with too many lights on one breaker. GFI circuits are a little bit different. Morning dew, rain, or a sprinkler may introduce a bit of moisture into the Christmas electrical plugs and this could result in a ground fault. Weather proofing or covering of the electrical outlet and plug connections should reduce nuisance of GFI-Tripping.

How to check your circuit breaker: First, unplug the outdoor lighting. Second, go to the electrical panel, gfi-Trippingcheck the circuit breaker and reset it if needed. Now, test the outlet for power. If it’s working, allow time for the wiring to dry out and reconnect your lights.

GFI outlets are outlets with the test and reset buttons in them. Many times, the GFI outlet in a bathroom or garage that feeds power to the outdoor outlet has tripped because of a wet plug on the holiday lights. Now, what to do: First, unplug the outdoor lighting. Second check all the GFI outlets by pushing the test and then the reset buttons. Check for GFI outlets in the bathrooms, basement, garage and the outdoor outlets themselves. Now test the outlet for power. If it’s working, allow time for the wiring to dry out and reconnect your lights.  For more details on resetting your GFI outlets, check out our previous post here.

 

 

LED there be light

With the days getting shorter, we are using our indoor lighting a lot more in the evenings.  If you haven’t already made the transition to LED bulbs for your indoor lighting, NOW is the time.

Not sure where to start?  Overwhelmed by the choices at your local home center?  Landscape Lighting Guru will guide DIYers with a quick and easy LED cheat sheet to get you started!

LED Cheat Sheet

Source: energyfix.com

LED Cheat Sheet

Source: lifehacker.com

Traditional incandescent bulbs are being phased out to make way for more energy-efficient LED bulbs. In addition to efficiency, LED lighting can be more durable, versatile and longer lasting.  LEDs last a lot longer – 1 LED bulb is the same as 25 Incandescent bulbs! The average life span for LED is 22 years compared to an incandescent that less than a 1 year life.

 

LED bulbs come in many different light brightness just like the old incandescent bulbs. However, it can be hard to determine what LED bulb you need because incandescent light bulbs are measured in watts while LED is measured in lumens.

LED lamps are available in many different colors of light.  A traditional incandescent bulb produces a warm, soft light around 2,700-3,00 Kelvin (K).  For a cooler, more neutral white choose an LED bulb with 3,500-4,000K.  If you prefer a blue daylight look, LEDs with a Kelvin of 5,000-6,000K will be best.

LED Cheat Sheet

Source: LEDexchange.co.uk

If you need help with your transition to LED, give us a call at 210-710-7737!

Fall Back this Sunday

fall backDaylight savings time ends this Sunday so remember fall back by setting your clocks back an hour.

We also recommend checking the timer on your lighting system as it is getting darker earlier now and many systems are set for our long summer days.  If you need help setting your timer, please let us know.

With the time change, you can expect it to get dark around 5:30 in the evening.  By adding outdoor lighting to your home, YOU will control the time it gets dark at your house, not mother nature.  Here in San Antonio, we know this time of year is often the best time to enjoy the outdoors with the cooler temperatures.

Reclaim your light-filled evenings by adding outdoor lighting to your outdoor living area so you can enjoy a little more time outside this fall.  Give us a call at 210-710-7737 if you need help setting your timer or are interested in adding new outdoor lights.