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4 Unique Outdoor Lighting Designs

Lighting design used to just be for Christmas. With all the different types of lights (including LED and icicle) that have become cheaper and easier to get, more people are decorating more extravagantly for the big holidays and getting lighted decorations for minor holidays or personal celebrations. Especially when you live somewhere with beautiful mild nights like Atlanta, you can take advantage of outdoor lighting design to brighten up your property. Here are 4 unique ways you can bring some shine to all types of celebratory events. Continue reading

Professional Light Ideas for Your Wedding or Event

Proper lighting is one of the most important elements when it comes to creating a beautiful venue and event. A lot of the time, however, event coordinators and other specialists won’t know what it takes to create the perfect lighting combination. That’s where professional light installation in Atlanta comes in. If you are wondering what type of holiday lighting you want for your event, here are some of our favorite lighting combinations from the professionals at Illuminating Design. Continue reading

4 Outdoor Lighting Design Ideas for 2016

Illuminating Design, Inc.

You work hard to make your home and yard beautiful with a well-maintained roof, a fresh coat of paint, and appealing landscaping that complements the home. Both front and back yards are full of functional spaces to help you enjoy the outdoors. What happens when the sun goes down and the home and yard are plunged into darkness? Rather than living in the dark, spruce up your home and yard with a little light! Strategically planned outdoor lighting can maintain the beauty, interest, and functionality of your home and yard. The question then becomes: “How exactly do you strategically place outdoor lighting?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! At Illuminating Design, Inc., we want to share 4 of our favorite outdoor lighting design ideas for 2016 to help you create stunning and useful outdoor lighting.

Accent Lighting

One of the best things to do with outdoor lighting is to create interest using the architecture of the home and surrounding landscaping. Exterior accent lighting draws attention to the unique and beautiful features already present. A few great tips include downlighting, uplighting, and crosslighting. Downlighting creates diffuse light from above that is perfect to provide soft lighting to an area or highlight columns and stonework. Uplighting makes bold shadows by casting light on trees and bushes. It’s important to be careful with harsher lighting to ensure there aren’t areas of your yard that are dark creating a perfect place for animals and people to hide. Lastly, crosslighting aims two lights at a diagonal. This effect eliminates shadows while lighting trees, bushes, and sculptures.

Lights for Entertaining

Many homeowners love entertaining outdoors on patios, around pools, or in outdoor living spaces. One of our favorite lighting ideas for entertaining is using string lights. We’re not talking about blinking holiday lights. You can get outdoor string lights with larger white bulbs that add incredible charm to any setting. Many of these lights are housed in rustic iron decorations or whimsical holders that add style as well. These lights are easy to string between columns and trees. You can even crisscross them or make parallel lines over a patio for a blanket-of-stars effect. You might even consider stringing them beneath an umbrella for an unexpected twist. These lights can be put up and taken down, changed, or left up depending on your preference.

Using Color

Picture of entrance to modern detached house

A popular trend is to use colored lighting to highlight landscape features. Colored lights can be tacky; however, the right hues of blues, greens, and purples can be the perfect highlight to different plants, bushes, and trees to create interest, texture, and diverse lighting to your yard. If you love color, another whimsical option is to use colored lanterns. These add colorful light that is softer than harsher white lights.

LED Lights

One of the most popular types of lighting for any outdoor lighting design today is a light-emitting diode or LED. These lights are bright, efficient, and last longer than regular bulbs. They are a more modern way of lighting not only handheld devices and car dashboards, but also plants, walkways, and patios.

Holiday Lighting for Special Holidays

Outdoor holiday lighting is obviously most popular at Christmas time. This is when most households get out the lights and brave the ladders to put together their Winter Wonderland displays. While this is a great way to show the holiday spirit, there are those out there with the desire to decorate with outdoor lights for all the other great holidays of the year. The following is a list of fun ideas that can be used for some holidays, but clearly, this is a list that could be added to in many more ways. Continue reading

How to Store and Organize Christmas Lights

You never really consider how to store and organize holiday lights until it's time to actually handle that chore. If you've ever worked at a holiday lighting company, you may have learned a few tricks. Most of you have probably enjoyed the frustration of storing and untangling holiday lighting in the past, so you'll be appreciative of having a couple of handy options. Continue reading

Reasons to Hire a Professional to Take Down Outdoor Lights

For many people, outdoor holiday lighting is an honored tradition. You work as a family to hang the lights in a fun way. Then, you drive around to look at all the displays people put on their homes around town. You love the lights. You enjoy them. Then, the season is over, and it's time to take them down. Consider hiring a professional instead for the following reasons: Continue reading

Tips on Packing up Holiday Lights for Next Year

Packing up your holiday lights can be depressing. But unpacking a tangled mess of lights when it’s time to put them up again can be both depressing and frustrating! Then, once all the lights are finally untangled, half of them don’t work. Here are 3 tips for packing up your holiday lighting so that you have a stress-free decorating experience next year. Continue reading

Tips on Decorating Your Home for the Holidays

The holiday season may have just ended not long ago, but it's never too soon to look ahead to next year! How can you outdo last-year you? How many ornaments can you actually fit on the tree? How many batches of Christmas cookies can you decorate? You've got to start somewhere in finding out the best ways to decorate your home for the holidays. Follow these tips and your decor will be sure to impress.

Hire a Pro for the Lights

When it comes to the lights on the outside of your home, it's best to hire a company who specializes in holiday lights installation. If you've ever tried hanging the lights yourself, you know how time-consuming, frustrating, and potentially dangerous it can be. Why not hand this big job off to someone else? You will have much more time to shop, bake, wrap presents, or do whatever else you need to get done. Hiring a professional will take away the stress almost instantly. Not only will a professional lighting company use the best-quality lights in the industry, but they will also take care of service calls should anything go wrong. Gone are the days of going through each bulb and trying to figure out which one burned out. It's no longer your responsibility. Perhaps the best part is not having to find a place to store your lights--not to mention not having to take them down--after the season is over. Once you buy the lights the first time, not only will some companies store them for you completely free, but they'll install them year after year without you needing to buy them again.

Add Outdoor Daytime Decor

Once the nighttime decor is taken care of, you can't forget about the daytime! You will love coming home to such a festive place no matter what time of day it is. Brightly colored bows, wreaths, and garland will all help make your home look even more festive. You can also get these items pre-lit so you can still enjoy them at night as well. If you don't want to have to deal with getting these decorations, talk to your lighting company about the daytime decor options they offer. Get it all together in a bundle and you can hit 2 very large birds with one stone. The holidays are a time to enjoy time with your friends and family, not to stress about decorating. Leave the hard work to the professionals so you can relax and enjoy the magic of the season.

Finding a Holiday Decorating Company

‘Tis the season! While many families still opt for the same old tree and tinsel approach, why not try something different? The most contemporary way to decorate your home for the holidays occurs on the outside. The great thing about this task is that holiday lighting companies have taken the guess work and liability out of this procedure. No longer do you have to worry about falling off of a ladder or electrocuting yourself. In fact, consider the top questions to ask when finding a holiday lighting company listed below. Continue reading

Differences between Retail-Grade and Commercial-Grade LED Christmas Lights

When it comes to holiday lighting, there are few people that really do not want to have Clark Griswold's lighting display. Even if the Osborne Family light display is closing at Walt Disney World, it was moved there because one family could no longer take care of its display and keep the neighbors happy. Of course, if you want your lighting display to last, you might want to consider investing in commercial-grade Christmas lights, especially when you can contact a professional to get a spectacular commercial holiday lighting display.

Better against the Weather

Commercial grade lights are better protected against the weather. These types of lights are designed for outdoor use where they are expected to be buffeted by wind, rain snow, sleet and whatever else Mother Nature can dish out. Because commercial lights are expected to be outside longer than those sold at a retail level, they are built to last. Consumers at a retail level are less likely to have a place to store their lights, and so these lights are not made to last long.

Avoid the Tangle

Commercial-grade strings of lights are made to tangle less. While many consumers at a retail level just ball their lights up and hope to sort it out next year, businesses know that they won't have time to untangle their lights. Your commercial-grade lights will be easier to store because they are easier to keep from getting tangled. That is something that even Rapunzel could see an advantage in.

Size Matters

Commercial lights are built to be brighter and larger. In a residential area, Christmas light displays may be frowned upon. Having lights that are nice to look at but that do keep the neighbors up at night are two things that need to be balanced with retail lighting. In a commercial setting, the lights need to be brighter to compete with all of the other lights in the area; and generally, there are no residents to get upset at nighttime displays. When it comes to your business's commercial holiday lighting display, you will want to make sure that you invest in commercial-grade lights. There is no reason to go with cheap lights that are going to burn out sooner and break easier when you can get quality lighting that will pay for itself over the course of a couple of years. The holidays are a time when most businesses find their financial footing; a good holiday display can be a huge part of finding the right shoppers for the season.

Energy Saving Tips on Outdoor Holiday Lighting

If outdoor lighting is part of your holiday traditions, then it is important for you to know that there are some things you can do to enjoy this tradition and save some energy. Obviously, the lights for these displays take a lot of energy, and that can translate into higher utility bills. Where December tends to be the tightest financial month of the year for most people, this isn't exactly heart-warming for most people. Follow these tips to save energy on next year's outdoor lighting display. Use LED Lights This is one of the best tips you can get. Not only will these bulbs stay lit for years to come, but they also require much less energy to work. While each string of lights will cost more than the regular lights, the savings on your utilities and the ability to go years and years without having to replace them makes them a pretty good option to consider. It is also nice that they now come in just about any color you could possibly imagine. Install Timers The holiday lights are lovely, but the light and energy is wasted when there is nobody there to enjoy them. If you want to spread some cheer, but can't be around or awake every night to turn them off at a reasonable hour, then some timers can be very helpful. This will reduce the amount of hours the lights run, and the amount of strain you put on each string of lights. Implement Mirrors Reflective surfaces can be very helpful in getting more light from the lights you put up. Mirrors, reflective metal, and tinsel can all be used to make your existing lights work a little harder without actually having to use more power. Make a bigger statement with a smaller footprint by simply employing reflection of light. Purchase Flood Lights If you want to have a festive feel at your home without going too crazy with all the strings of lights, then you can use floodlights. These will use a lot less energy than all the strings, and can add a lovely feeling to your home. They can be purchased in many different colors, and some even come with stencils that can add festive holiday shapes to create fun shadows in the light. Don't Stretch the Season The former governor of California urged home owners to not stretch out the holiday season. A lot of energy is used on lights that are glowing from shortly after Halloween to shortly before Valentine's Day. By restricting your holiday lighting efforts to the month of the actual holiday, you can save a lot of energy.

Safety Tips on Taking Down Your Christmas Lights

With the Christmas season coming to a close, many people are beginning the process of taking down their holiday lighting displays. If removing your holiday lights is on your honey-do list for the weekend, then the following tips can help you stay safe:
  • Don't do the job in bad weather: Do yourself a favor and watch the weather. If there is a lot of wind, rain, or snow, then the job can wait for another day. Many, many injuries every year happen at this time of year when people fall or trip while trying to take down their lights in bad weather. Don't be part of that statistic this year.
  • Wear protective gear: The materials along the roof lines can be harsh. They will have jagged edges and rough textures, all of which can catch on your clothes and skin. Avoid cuts and scrapes by wearing protective gear like gloves and boots. This one extra step can be very helpful in keeping you safe.
  • Have a partner: The best way to handle a job of this nature is to get some good help. Have someone there to help you by steadying the ladder, catching things as they fall, and pointing out potential dangers. An extra set or two of eyes and hands can be extremely helpful and could be the key to keeping you safe.
  • Do it during the day: The lights are there to shine at night, but that in no way means you should be taking them down at night. Wait until you have some free time during the daylight hours. This can get hard as the days are so short this time of year, but each day is getting longer. A good opportunity will come, and it will be much safer to do this in the daytime.
  • Use ladders as directed: When you use a ladder to get the strings down, please use it only as directed. Far too many people get hurt by trying to change the way the ladders work. Don't add different layers to it or try to put it on unsteady ground. This can be very dangerous.
  • Hire some professionals: If this task is not something that you think you can handle with your available time and your personal equipment, then it would likely be worth it for you to simply hire some professionals. Get a good company out that handles this work for a living. They will be able to get the job done quickly and safely, and there will not be any danger at all to you.
  • 5 Tips for Keeping Safe when Installing Holiday Lights

    Celebrating the holiday season with outdoor holiday lights can be a fun and creative way to help you and your neighborhood get in the spirit of the season. However, something as simple as decorating your house for the holidays can actually be pretty dangerous if certain precautions are not made. Our team at Illuminating Design Inc. has put together the following list of top 5 tips for safe holiday lighting installation.

    Watch for Power Lines

    First, watch for power lines overhead when you are installing outdoor lights. It might seem like a simple thing, but it is not always self-explanatory. If you have power lines over your house, make sure that your light strands do not make connection with them and also be sure that any tools you are using do not make contact with them either.

    Replaced Burned-Out Bulbs

    Second, be aware of any burned-out lights and replace them. Although you may only have a few burned-out bulbs, when you have lights that are burned out, the electricity that would have gone to power those lightbulbs will be redirected to the other lights. This can cause other bulbs to not only burn out faster but possibly pop and cause damage or result in an electrical fire.

    Use the Right Outlet

    One of the dangers of installing holiday lights involves having your outlets outside exposed to the elements. This can cause serious damage and may even result in electrical fires or outages that can cause injury to people and pets. Be sure to invest in a covered GFI-protected outdoor outlet. This is the only way to go when you are installing holiday lights outside, as running extension cords from the inside of your home to the outside through windows or doors can cause fires or pose other safety hazards.

    Keep It Simple

    Sometimes the safest thing you can do to alleviate stress and also perform a safer installation is to keep your holiday lighting design schema simple. Although when you think of holiday lighting, a grand display a la Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation might first come to mind, you know if you have seen this movie that such a display can be dangerous. Even a simple display can have a huge impact and look amazing when done right.

    Hire Professionals

    Finally, there are some times when it will be important to hire a professional. You may not have all the tools and safety equipment that you need to do a good job with less risk. On the other hand, professionals can put your lights up safely as well as help you with design ideas and the creative aspect of the process.

    Tips for a Beautiful Holiday Lighting Design for your Home

    As the holiday season approaches, it is time for you to put together your holiday lighting design. There are a lot of different trends going around right now, some simple, some a little over the top, and others perfectly elegant. The experts at Illuminating Design Inc. have some tips that will help your holiday lights design be a beautiful combination of cheer, grace, and excitement.
      • Choose 1 main color: Right now it is possible for you to get holiday lights in just about any color imaginable. Your design will look cohesive and beautiful if you can be disciplined enough to choose one main color. Of course, the most classic is the white lights, but a fun statement can be made with any color if you can stick with it.
        • Choose 1 or 2 accent colors: Now that you have chosen the main color to use in your lighting decor, it is time to select 1 or 2 accent colors to throw in there. These accents should look good together, and should very much be used as accents. A splash of contrast here and there in your design will have a really good effect.
          • Hire professionals to hang the lights: Once you have a good plan of what you want where, it is time to call in the professionals. Those who handle this work for a living will be able to hang the lights right where you want them with no slack or errant strings of flashing bulbs. They will come with experience and tools meant to make your house look incredible for the season. Trying to do this yourself will be dangerous, and will bring results that won't quite match your initial desires.
          • Keep it simple: With so many fun outdoor decorations out there, it can be hard for a huge holiday lover to hold back from purchasing and displaying all of them. A cluttered yard with too many of these items will ruin the feeling of your display. Choose carefully the different elements you put into your design so that you can keep it simple and tidy.
            • Be different: Elegance and uniqueness are not mutually exclusive. Just because you want a beautiful display does not mean that your home has to look like all the other lighted homes on the block. Add different elements to your design that will help your house to stand out from all the others. The accent color can do that as can adding music, signs with holiday messages, and other such things.