Jane Cheetham - RE/MAX Acclaim



Posted by Jane Cheetham on 3/3/2020


 Photo by Ben Thijssen via Pixabay

If you're like many modern homeowners, your ideal of an ideal outdoor living space is one that serves as a personal oasis. Perhaps you've cultivated a thriving culinary herb garden complete with classically inspired statuary or maybe you've carved out a serene space in the middle of a flowering thicket. Whatever type of sanctuary you've created in your outdoor living space, you probably want to be able to enjoy it as often as possible, and there may be nights when you find yourself reluctantly heading indoors as the sun sinks below the horizon. However, with the right type of outdoor lighting, you can relax or entertain in your outdoor living space no matter what the time of day. Following are just three ways to light up your night:

Water Feature Lights

If you've got waterfalls, fountains or ponds in your outdoor living space, consider using lighting to add a dramatic effect. Backlighting works well on waterfalls and fountains, and in-ground lighting highlights and defines ponds. If you're lucky enough to have a stream running through your property, you can place solar lights on the bank for added visibility. 

Walkway Lights

Walkways of all types, from winding garden paths to basic concrete walks leading up to your front door can benefit from ground-level lighting. Walkway lights increase aesthetics as well as provides a layer of protection against slip-and-fall accidents, making them ideal if you like to do a lot of outdoor entertaining. 

Another lighting option when you want visibility on walkways or other ground-level spaces is downlighting from posts placed alongside the walkway. This is a great option when you want the area to be extremely well-lit at night. 

Specimen Plant Lights

Specimen plant lights showcase individual trees and shrubs that feature particular visual interest. Monkey puzzle trees, for instance, make good choices because of their unusual appearance. You might also choose to have specimen lighting options installed for the purpose of backlighting your favorite flowering shrubs. Specimen plant lighting is also instrumental for those who want to create architectural balance after dark. For instance, if you've got two tall arborvitaes flanking your front entryway, specimen lighting backlighting each one provides a classically elegant appeal. 

Overhead Fairy Lights

If midsummer soirees are a part of your seasonal entertaining agenda, consider bringing an ethereal accent to the picture by stringing fairy lights in tree branches. You can also use them on hardscaping features such as gazebos, railings, pergolas and arbors. 

Whether your favorite after dark activity in your outdoor living space is enjoying an al fresco dinner party with friends or soaking up the serenity in the company of a good book, outdoor lighting helps enhance the experience. 




Tags: outdoor living   lighting   DIY  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Jane Cheetham on 5/21/2019

In the gray days of winter, everyone can benefit from some additional sunlight. Take advantage of the well-documented medical and psychological benefits of sunshine and the vitamin D it generates. Sure, you can open your windows, but then you lose that privacy. You can split the difference with a skylight or a light tube that allows light to come down from the roof of your home.

What is a Skylight?

A skylight is a window that opens up to the sky through the ceiling and roof of your home instead of out the side wall. Skylights come in a variety of styles from clear to frosted or patterned. Some even open and may include fans to help increase ventilation. Skylights must reach all the way through the roof to get access to that sunshine, so they require rooftop placement. That means single story properties can have kitchen skylights, but your two-story home limits skylights to upstairs bedrooms or an office. 

Skylights can be as simple or as fancy if you like. Just want some light? Go with a simple glass pane. Want some architectural detailing? Try a domed skylight or one with built-in shades or blinds. You can even get smart skylights that respond to apps on your phone or open and close on a schedule or with the predicted weather.

How about a Light Tube?

Light tubes differ from skylights because they reflect light down through a variety of tubes using mirrors. This structure removes the "view" element entirely and opens up a variety of locations that wouldn't work for skylights. One of the best features of light tubes is that the rooftop location doesn't have to be directly above the interior position. A lot of modern light tubes come with LED lights, so they work whether or not there is sunshine. Great places for light tubes include bathrooms, closets, and basically any dark niche. Light tubes that terminate in your walls instead of the roof open up lower or middle floors as well. 

Value and Energy

Properly installed skylights potentially decrease your energy costs by adding more natural light which means less electric light. However, if installed poorly, they can mess with your insulation increasing your heating and cooling costs. Always ensure you use the correct skylight for your home and weather. When you add a skylight correctly, it increases your home’s value. The best skylights protect the home’s energy efficiency and blend in well with the original design. You don’t want your skylight looking like an afterthought.

Before you add skylights or light tubes to your home, talk to your real estate agent about what the actual market value increase will be and the best skylights to use.




Tags: windows   home upgrades   lighting  
Categories: Uncategorized