Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Outdoor Lighting Checklist

Using different light sources to layer your exterior lighting is a key component when lighting your outdoor space. Layering your outdoor lighting design, from outdoor wall sconces to path lights and spotlights add depth and interest to your home without appearing like a landing strip. No single light source can perform all the lighting functions needed around your landscape. Here is a checklist to assist in creating a lighting scheme for your landscape that provides safety, security and style:

1. Plan the lighting for your exterior patio, kitchen, water features or sculptures first. An effective lighting design accentuates your landscape and provides useful lighting for you to enjoy your space.

2. Try to get everyone involved in planning the lighting scheme for your exterior space; this would include the homeowner, contractor, landscape professional and lighting designer. If you are a DIY type of person, keep all hats in mind, this will ensure a cohesive design where all elements work seamlessly with one another.

3. Create a lighting plan that works from all angles; when you are in your garden, looking at your house from the street, or inside your house enjoying your landscape.

4. Your exterior coach lights flanking the entrances to your home should be the only light sources that are seen. Everything else should be soft washes of light that create a calming environment without blinding your guests. Shielded light fixtures with light directed up or down will create this effect.

5. Be mindful of the color quality of light on your plants – incandescent fixtures create a warm light that becomes even warmer when they are dimmed. This can make your plants look sickly, so try a daylight blue color correcting filter to eliminate the amber quality. You can also opt for LED landscape fixtures which do not change color when dimmed and will save you money in operating costs.

6. Locate light switches by all major entrances – front door, garage, etc. A “panic” switch in your master bedroom is also a great security measure for you outdoor lighting.

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Outdoor Ceiling Fan

It is absolutely possible to keep your outdoor areas cool and comfortable even under the hot summer sun with outdoor ceiling fans – your outdoor patio, porch or gazebo can be cooled with a ceiling fan much like your indoor rooms. But you must first be sure to find out that the UL listing on your fan is compatible with your intended location.

There are three possible ratings for ceiling fans – indoor, damp and wet location. Indoor ceiling fans should never be used outside; the fan’s motor is not built for the humidity found even in a covered location. Humidity can affect the motor’s life and performance. Most interior blades will warp and droop when exposed to moisture over time and warped blades will not only look unsightly but they will be off balance causing the fan to wobble and shake. Damp rated fans are suitable for covered exterior locations where they will not come in direct contact with water coming from above. A room with an open ceiling, like a pergola, requires a wet rated fan. These motor housings are completely enclosed and protect the fans motor from moisture. A properly sized and rated ceiling fan will extend the use of your outdoor space well into the hottest days of summer.

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Pergola Outdoor Lighting

Summer is fast approaching and as you prep your outside space for the warmer months ahead you should definitely take a look at your lighting – does it highlight your landscaping? Create a safe environment to walk in? Offer enough light for grilling and entertaining? Outdoor lighting is much softer than its indoor counterparts and harsh lighting is not needed for exterior tasks; remember that less is more. It is important that you create stylish outdoor spaces with the proper outdoor lighting.

The most basic of exterior lighting for your stylish outdoor spaces are the coach lights that light up the entries to your home. The second most popular are spotlights – these can shoot straight up the corners of your home and the blank spaces between windows. They create architectural interest and provide security for your outdoor areas as well as highlight trees and shrubs in your yard. Typically 35 watts to 50 watts are the norm, depending on the height of what you would like to light. Landscape lighting is more decorative but provides safety and easy access to passages for you and your guests. Path lights are spaced along walks every 6 feet to create small pools of light along the path and they come in several varying styles from simple mushroom lights to decorative flower sculptures.

Landscape Lighting

Do you have a deck, pergola or any other outdoor entertaining spaces? Deck lighting offers soft indirect lighting that’s perfect for a relaxing conversation or a romantic evening. These lights can be mounted to posts or the underside of railings. If you have a pergola, soft overhead lighting can be created by shining spots up the supports and into the trusses. An outdoor chandelier or large exterior hanging light will create more direct lighting for the space as well. Exterior lighting, just like interior lighting, benefits from layers and balance.

Friday, December 6th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting is about safety, navigation, and definition of space and when implemented correctly your exterior lighting will define your entrances and offer a smooth transition from your interior space.

It should be noted that entrances should be well lit with wall or hanging lanterns – this will give you ample light for you and your guests. Layers of light are just as important on your exterior as they are in your home and the architectural details, corners of the home and pillars, should be washed with light; landscape spotlights or security lights placed close to the home will give this effect. These select tips will highlight your home and create definition.

Deck Lighting

Lighting allows your guests to navigate through areas of your home and yard by creating visual cues to a destination point. Light a walkway with path lights, step lights or indirect LED strip lighting. This will ensure you and your guests feel welcome and arrive safely. How does lighting give clues that you have reached your destination? Using multiple, low intensity light sources creates layers and interest, making a place more inviting. Indirect lighting should be used to create general lighting in the space, which can be achieved with LED strip lighting under a ledge or retaining wall. Step lights or deck lights can also be used to create small pools of light, which truly adds to the dimension of the space. Path lighting can continue into a space, highlighting low lying flowers and try to place spotlights on tall landscaping and architectural details. If there is a fountain, statue or fireplace these should be up-lit with spotlights or well lights. When these soft light sources are used in combination with each other they create a warm, welcoming environment with interest and definition.

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Ceiling fans are not only a very practical addition to the home but they also provide a stylish supplement for both your indoor and outdoor areas. When it comes to finding a ceiling fan for an area of your home that is damp rated or outdoors, like an outdoor covered section or porch, you must remember to look for a fan that is “UL Listed for Damp Locations” or “UL Listed for Wet Locations.”

Modern Fan Flute Fan

Both types of ratings are designed to be exposed to the elements without any kind of risk of electrical damage or danger, designed specifically to endure environmental stresses like moisture, heat or rain. It is important to remember that if your ceiling fan will be exposed directly to any kind of rain or wetness, it should be a wet location fan. A damp location fan can be installed in areas like a screened in porch or sunroom, a wide porch where rain cannot get in, any area that is completely covered where rain cannot reach as well as bathrooms with a tub or shower.

All Modern Fan Company ceiling fans are rated and marked as “Suitable for Damp Location” – Modern Fan Company offers a variety of fan designs in more contemporary styles that are durable for your outdoor or damp location indoor areas of the home.

Minka Aire Gauguin Fan

According to modernfanco.com, always consider the environmental factors when selecting you fan because they say that although you can anticipate your fan to have sound performance for years to come in damp locations, “the degree to which the appearance of a fan may be impacted by the environment will vary widely.”

Modern Fan Company is a company that provides customers with contemporary designs that are “both technically and artfully appealing” and are very modern, so if you are looking for a more classic design for your ceiling fan, Minka Aire Ceiling Fans also have a selection of damp location fans that range from contemporary to traditional.

Emerson Summer Night Fan

A fun way to go with ceiling fan design with Minka Aire is a more tropical fashion for the outdoors, like the Gauguin fan with lavish Bahama beige blades or the Shangri-La collection of fans.

Emerson Ceiling Fans is another brand that brings functionality and style to the table with their wide selection of damp location and wet location fans. Try the Summer Night series of outdoor area fans, which are designed specifically for “any outdoor area where you need to create a breeze but don’t want to worry about the elements.” They are weather-resistant and great for covered porches, decks or patios, according to emersonfans.com.

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

by Benson Littman

Dark Sky regulated fixtures are essentially alternatives to the standard lighting systems in order to preserve the night sky; numerous parts of the country have created a legislation to put a stop to light pollution.  The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) was created about 20 years ago as a nonprofit organization devoted to preserve the night.

Dark Sky Outdoor Wall Sconce

According to darksky.org, this association’s mission “is to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting.”

Among all of IDAs accomplishments, it is the Fixture Seal of Approval program (FSA) that began examining the various solutions to making outdoor lighting more friendly for the night sky.  The Dark Sky regulated fixtures reduces glare and light interference as well as reduces sky glow in order to further prevent light pollution.

These reductions are thanks to communities using less outdoor lighting, aiming lights downward, accurately hanging outdoor fixtures and using IDA-Approved products; according to darksky.org, hundreds of products and dozens of manufacturers have been approved under the FSA program.

Properly installed outdoor lighting can also save money, energy as well as benefit the environment.

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

by Littman Bros Lighting

Maxim Santa Barbara Collection


Maxim’s “Spot-Light of the Month” is shining a light on the quality, outdoor mission style that is the Santa Barbara Collection. Maxim’s Santa Barbara Collection features outdoor wall sconces, flush mounts, post lights and hanging lanterns to display a shining brilliance outside your home.

This month’s highlighted collection is made with an ultra-durable material called Vivex, which has twice the strength of resin, is non-corrosive and UV resistant with a 3 year warranty, perfect for outdoor fixtures braving the elements.

According to Maxim Lighting, this collection has a “distinctive masculine quality.” They say the collection is unquestionably a mission style fixture with bold lines connecting horizontally, creating that signature pattern; the robust column of seedy glass encloses a sturdy platform displays three pillar candles that shine a clear, inviting light through the large and generous windows.

The novel shape and solids brass design truly stands out and the warm finish of the “chocolaty sienna finish makes a statement all of its own with an esthetic range of hues from deep chestnut copper highlights.”

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

by Littman Bros Lighting

Murray Feiss Cotswold Lane Collection

There are certain criteria you should know when finding the right lighting for your home:

When hanging an outdoor wall sconce, it should measure about 1/3 the height of your door and when hanging two outdoor wall sconces, they should measure about 1/4 the height of your door.

For your foyer lighting, in order to determine what type of lighting would be best, you should make sure that the bottom of the fixture is at least 7 feet from the floor. For two-story foyers, you should make sure the ceiling fixture is seen from the outside. If your foyer is on the larger, you should add some wall sconces around the room to accent your space; wall sconces should be placed just about 60 inches from the floor and 6 to 8 feet apart.

Murray Feiss Bleeker Street Collection

For bathroom lighting, a vanity light is usually a minimum of 24 inches wide and the center of the fixture should be hung 75 to 80 feet above the floor. A wall sconce on either side of the mirror in your bathroom allows the light to be spread evenly throughout your space and across your face, which is important in a bathroom. The wall sconces should be hung at eye level and be about 36 to 40 inches apart.

For a set of pendants over an island, the bottoms of those fixtures should be about 30 inches from the countertop.

For chandeliers, you should measure the length and width of the room you want to hang it in, add those numbers together – the sum of those measurements, in inches, should equal the perfect sized chandelier. The bottom of your chandelier should typically be 30 to 32 inches above the tabletop.

Monday, January 16th, 2012

by Littman Bros Lighting

Hinkley Lighting Nexus Collection

There is an array of different kinds of Outdoor Lighting to choose from and finding the right type and style of Outdoor Lighting for your home can sometimes be a difficult task. Here are a few pointers to make it a bit easier:

You will need to choose multiple Outdoor Lights to use outside your home; the lighted impression and strength at night is a very important factor and you will need a few different kinds lights with about 40 to 75 watts to create that sufficient lighting.

The durability of your lights is important so you should think about the typical weather conditions of your home and decide what the best to use is. Nowadays almost all Outdoor Fixtures have special coatings in order to withstand these elements so make sure that the lighting you choose is listed as “Wet Location.”

Landscape Lighting is also a very popular choice when choosing Outdoor Lighting; there are numerous types of Landscape Lighting to choose from as well and all of these can do an assortment of things for you and your home’s Outdoor Lighting.

Uplights: Call attention to features from the outside; they are placed on the ground shining up to highlight focal points in the landscape.

Downlights: Aim downward, above an area, to emulate natural light or as a type of security lighting.

Path Lights: Go along a path such as sidewalks, driveways and pathways to securely lead a person to your front or back doors.

There are also Flood Lights, In Ground Lights and Outdoor Spotlights.

When choosing the best Outdoor or Landscape Lighting it would be nice to have a blueprint of your landscape to decide the best locations to put the lights. And of course, at the end of this whole process, the most fun part is deciding the style of your outdoor lights that will truly complement your home’s architecture.

Make sure when selecting your Outdoor Lighting that you don’t forget the key places to illuminate; your home’s entryway, all outdoor stairways and passages, your deck or patio and your driveway.

This Landscape Lighting shown is from the Hinkley Nexus Collection. Hinkley Lighting has a lot of wonderful Landscape Lights and Kichler Lighting is also a great brand that has an array of Outdoor and Landscape Lighting as well.

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

by Littman Bros Lighting

Hinkley Atlantis Collection

LED Lights are a great replacement for incandescent or fluorescent bulbs as they consume much less energy than other light bulbs. LED stands for ‘Light-Emitting Diode,’ a semiconductor device that converts electricity to light through electrons.

Here is what you should know about LED Lights:

• They last about 5 times longer than compact fluorescent or incandescent bulbs.

• They produce nearly no heat or UV rays, which keep costs like air conditioning low.

• LED Bulbs are a great energy saving answer to your home, using up to 80% less energy than compact fluorescent or incandescent bulbs.

• LED Lights are very low maintenance and extremely durable.

Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, LED Lighting is not only environmentally sound but is a great investment – one LED Light that burns for about 8 hrs is expected to last up to 17 years before it needs changing.

More and more we are seeing lighting brands come out with indoor and Outdoor LED Lights. Hinkley Lighting is a big name in the LED Lighting industry and has made their Piza, Nexus, Atlantis and Harbor collections all LED Landscape Lighting. These LED Landscape Path Lights shown from the Hinkley Atlantis Collection is a very modern and chic style of LED Outdoor Lighting that will be extremely beneficial for you in the long run.