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.

Don’t forget to light the front too!

front yard lighting

We loved the lighting and the cute halloween DIY project at betweennapsontheporch.net

We spend a lot of time talking about creating outdoor living space in the backyard and making sure it is well lit. But how about our front yard lighting?  This is what is seen everyday by you, your neighbors and the rest of the world.  Does it create the curb appeal you want for your home? Will it provide guests light to safely get to your front door? Can it provide security lighting to deter unwelcome visitors?  Now is the time to turn your attention to your front yard lighting.

So where should you start with front yard lighting?  The first place is to look at your front porch.  You should have lighting around your front door.  This helps a guest find the front door and it helps you identify a visitor before opening the door.  Lighting around your front door can be as easy as sconces on either side of your front door.  It can also be a chandelier that hangs over the front door space.

Next turn your attention to the pathway between your driveway or street to the front door.  Are there any stairs or steps that need to be lit for safety?  Consider path lights to mark the way for guests and also to highlight your landscaping.  After that, you can turn your attention to up lighting on the facade of your home and down lighting from your trees to make your home really stand out.

Your home will likely be visited by many little ghosts and goblins looking for candy this Monday evening so do make sure you check your the safety of the front porch and make sure your light bulbs haven’t burned out.  And if you aren’t passing out candy this year, make sure you turn OFF your porch lights especially if you have them set up on an automatic timer – this will help kids realize you aren’t participating and they will hopefully not ring your bell!

 

 

 

Leave the Lighting to the Pros

Holiday LightingOne of our favorite things to do during the holiday season is to grab some hot cocoa and pile into the car to drive around to look at holiday lights. Making your house one that neighbors will marvel at is a major undertaking for any homeowner and it does not come without risk. The good news is that you can save yourself from the hassle and potential mishaps by hiring holiday lighting professionals to do the heavy lifting for you—giving you more time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the holiday season.  Need more convincing?  Here are the top 3 reasons to hire a lighting pro this holiday season:

Avoid the hassle and headache of DIY holiday lighting

Homeowners dread the annual undertaking of getting the holiday decor up.  Not only does it involve time spent on installation and making sure all wires are safe, it also involves replacing strings should they burn out mid-season – plus taking them all down and putting them carefully into storage once the holidays have passed.

You’re busy enough during this time of year; give yourself a break and avoid the hassle of decorating your home and property by hiring professionals who specialize in holiday lighting services. You’ll save yourself both time and frustration, and you’ll have the guaranteed assurance of a beautiful display all season long—without ever lifting a finger.

Stay safe: leave Christmas lighting to the pros

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there were 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating seen in emergency departments nationwide.  34% of those injuries are related to falling!  Stay off the ladder this year and leave the climbing to us.

Take advantage of custom designed and energy-efficient holiday lighting

Our holiday lighting specialists will thoroughly assess the layout of your property as well as the architecture of your home in order to best highlight and enhance its beauty with festive, shimmering lights.

Our holiday lighting is top-of-the-line, and we use only environmentally friendly and energy efficient LED bulbs. The energy efficiency helps to reduce the strain on your electricity bill throughout the winter

Ready to hire a pro?  We have a just a few spots left for our holiday lighting!  If you want your home decorated this holiday season, give us a call for a free estimate at 210-710-7737 or click here Contact Us.

 

 

Take back your Patio from Mosquitoes

mosquito repellent Mosquito RepellentFall is finally starting for San Antonio and our weather is hopefully starting to cool off a bit.  As the temperature gets cooler, people start heading outside to enjoy the cooler evenings.  However, many people are forced back inside when the mosquitoes quickly start swarming.  It is time to take your patio back and get rid of those disease carrying blood suckers with mosquito repellent.

Landscape Lighting Guru offers a mosquito repellent system that will quickly create a mosquito free haven for your outdoor space so you can safely enjoy the cooler temperatures.   The Mosquito Repellent fixture offers mosquito repellency to enhance your patio, deck or yard.  The patented mosquito protection system is effective providing protection within 15 minutes of use and is effective against all types of mosquitoes.  It is conveniently odorless, silent, invisible during use – no smelly oils, smoke, or zapping sounds to disturb you.

If you are interested in learning more about how this fixture can protect your family this summer, please give us a call at 210-710-7737.