Extend Your Outdoor Living Space with Control Lighting
When advising on how to create a space for outdoor living, Portland landscapers may suggest adding hardscaping, a patio cover, and fire pit to expand outdoor living space in order to enjoy it during inclement weather. What homeowners may overlook is the importance of landscape lighting. In Portland, the winter months bring dark days—many Portlanders feel disheartened at the prospect of leaving for work in darkness and arriving back home in darkness. Landscape lighting can make an outdoor space feel cozy and inviting, even during Portland’s soggy winter months.
Rather than piecemeal lighting—mismatched pathway lights, clashing fixtures, uneven illumination—we recommend a whole-picture lighting design. When designed holistically, lighting can create different moods in different areas, while ensuring your family members and guests are always safe with the perfect amount of light in the right places.
In achieving unified landscape lighting, we favor control lighting.Control lighting is an exciting feature that allows you to create different themes in the lighting design. This can be accomplished in several ways. A simple method involves “zoning” the lighting system into up to four zones. This allows greater flexibility in how those zones are used. You might choose to enjoy all zones until you go to bed, and then only use the security zones through the night. Or, save energy by only lighting the spaces that are actually being used at any given time.
More advanced control lighting schemas allow you to control zones as well as the intensity of each group of lights in the system. For this approach, we recommend FX Luminaire’s Luxor ZD System. This cutting-edge system allows control via a downloadable app, boosting convenience as well as remote security. It even has theme settings that allow the systems to illuminate different parts of the property at different times. Each light is adjustable, and you can control everything from an app on your phone! Of course, for such a handy upgrade, you can expect to pay more—around 30% to 40% more for the control system than other, less flexible lighting solutions.
Why FX Luminaire’s Luxor ZD System is Worth Your Consideration: Pros and Cons
- Incredible flexibility. With one swipe of your device (iPad, iPhone, or Android) you can transform the look of your landscaping and garden. Dim or brighten each individual light or a group of lights; select from 0 to 100% capacity. With such precise control at your fingertips, your yard will be uniquely appealing according to your whim.
- Beauty and Value. Maximize your home’s curb appeal, and enjoy your landscape to its fullest with this dynamic system. The Luxor ZD system can also bump up your home value, providing a great return on your investment.
- The Cool Factor. Yes, there’s a good chance your new lighting system will be a major topic of conversation at your next party. Your friends will love to play with this system’s features—they’ll be amused with adjusting individual lights, turning the whole system on or off, and so forth.
- Entertain with Panache. A traditional, static outdoor lighting system can’t be adjusted for the season. Before your friends arrive, paint the perfect lighting setup for that day. Then, as the talk goes into the wee hours, you’ll have the power to control the lighting according to the shifting light. This system is perfect for entertaining, 365 days a year. The Luxor system can also provide the ability to create a spectrum of 30,000 colors using RGBW LED technology with all the same zoning and dimming features. Custom colors can be created for outdoor holiday displays, team spirit themes, company colors, or special events. Color temperatures can be adjusted to match vegetation and architecture, offering unique landscape looks throughout the year.
- Future plant growth. This system is flexible enough to compliment your plants as they grow. Rather than getting a new fixture as your plants mature, you can simply adjust the intensity/angle of the existing light.
- Create up to twenty-six pre-programmed lighting themes to reflect your family’s weekly patterns. Let’s say that Sunday through Thursday it’s just you and your partner. You can create a mellow lighting program for these times. Then, on the weekend, your lights can take on a whole new mood—a party theme, perhaps. You can easily create new themes and select from previously designed themes. Groups of lights make it easy to change the lighting in specific areas.
- Energy Savings. >Just as a programmable thermostat can bring significant heating and cooling savings, a controllable, programmable lighting system can lower your electricity bills. You can program your preferred theme to turn on at 80%, and then dim to 20%, or whatever you prefer. This allows you exceptional safety without paying for a full 100% lighting scheme. For security, you can leave the system all night at a lower setting and achieve energy savings.
- Seasonal Flexibility. The Luxor ZD System allows you to dim or brighten lights as the evening approaches. As it gets darker, you may find you have enough ambient light and don’t require as much artificial lighting. Adjust your lighting to make use of the natural light.
- Easy to Use. While setting up this complex system requires time, once it’s in place, it’s a breeze to use. Landscape East & West can install and program the system for you. Then, we’ll hand over the instruction manual, and answer any questions you may have going forward.
- For All Yards, Large or Small. No matter the size of your lot, it will be shown off to best effect with this system. Our Portland landscapers can install this system on properties of all sizes.
- High Quality Fixtures. A FX Luminaire fixture feels heavy in your hand. That’s because it’s manufactured to last. A heat sink is built into the bottom of each fixture to increase its lifespan.
- Strong Warranty Protection. Here at Landscape East & West, we offer a two-year warranty on parts and labor. FX Luminaire’s warranty protects lighting controls and transformers against manufacturer’s defects for ten years following installation. Fixtures are protected for three years, unless the entire system is exclusively FX Luminaire, in which case the whole thing is warrantied for ten years.
- Strong WiFi Signal Needed. The system requires WiFi signals to make lighting adjustments. If your WiFi signal is strong in your home, but not outside, you may not be able to control it with your device.
- May Require Additional Support. If the WiFi signal is spotty, you may require an additional vendor or IT support, which Landscape East & West does not provide. However, we work in tandem with your IT support to make sure the IT person has the information needed to get the system set up properly.
With the right fixtures, you can enjoy your Portland landscaping all year round. Lighting can guide visitors down pathways, illuminate water features to dazzling effect, and provide ambient light to create a sense of safety. It can also set the mood for a social event. Uplights, downlights, washlights to illuminate plants, deck and walkway lights—they’re all available through Landscape East & West and the FX Luminaire System. Think of your garden as a gorgeous painting. Just as artwork requires exceptional lighting, so does the canvas of your garden require dependable, flexible lighting. Landscape East & West can help you create the outdoor living area of your dreams. We design, install, and maintain outdoor living areas across the Portland area. Patios, decks, water features, fire pits, fireplaces, walkways, and outdoor lighting systems—they’re all within our repertoire. Contact us today to learn how our friendly, knowledgeable landscape and lighting experts can transform your backyard into an irresistible outdoor living area.
Contributing author Bjorn Nordquist is the Sales Manager at Landscape East & West, Portland landscape lighting experts. Have questions about landscape lighting and want to learn more? Contact us today!