Tag Archives: landscape lighting

Top Outdoor Living Trends That Add Resale Value

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I am, thankfully, busier than ever – both as a landscape designer and as a landscape contractor. I am working with a number of clients to transform their front and back yards into wonderful, livable spaces that are not only beautiful outdoor environments designed for relaxation and entertaining but are far more environmentally friendly and far less expensive to maintain than the water-guzzling grass that had previously covered the majority of these sites.

Garden Of Eva Landscape Design GroupA great deal of what I’m doing is the design and construction of hardscape environments. This increased interest in construction was highlighted when I came across a survey of 2013 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. According to their survey (which follows) American homeowners are increasingly interested in creating outdoor rooms and outdoor kitchens (hardscape) for entertaining and relaxation. The results of the survey confirm what I’ve been hearing: with the economy improving and real estate prices heading upward, homeowners are now willing to invest in their homes. It’s clear that they want to maximize their properties’ enjoyable, usable spaces, to save money on maintenance while at the same timeincreasing their homes’ resale value.

Building What People Want Is A Wise Investment

Encino-9The following survey will give you an idea of how a serious sampling of homeowners are looking to improve their properties. It would be a helpful guide if you too are looking to make such an investment. Because, let’s face it, if you’re going to spend the time, energy and money improving you landscape, you might as well know what most people are looking for so that in the event you decided to sell … those improvements will turn out to be a wise investment.

 To continue reading … Eva’s Notes & News

Dwell on Design – LA Convention Center – Saturday (6-22) 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

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8B6EB5BCFB0B77072AEDC6CE2AAD060F_9124973This Saturday, I’ll be at the LA Convention Center offering free consultations on Landscape Design from 1:00- 3:00 p.m. This gathering is sponsored by APLD’s Focus on Design and the magazine Dwell.

So come on down and introduce yourself and learn how you can improve you landscape, garden and home from advice given by one of the five Best Landscape Designers in Los Angeles.

Six Tips on How to Choose Solar Landscape Lighting

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images-1As the weather warms and we begin to spend more time outside, the question of how best to light the outdoors in order to enjoy the evenings comes up. If your yard is already brilliantly illuminated, skip this blog, but if it isn’t or if it could be substantially improved, you might want to read on.

There are countless ways to illuminate the night, but one you should consider that might save you a good deal of money is solar landscape lighting. There is an excellent website that deals with this issues, Your Solar LInk Blog which I suggest you take a look at because it offers a great deal of information about all aspects of solar energy. The following is based on the information provided in that website.

The Solar Challenge

It can be a challenging and at the same time a fun process when looking into creating outdoor lighting for your home, yard or garden. The fun part of the process is that you are in control of creating a unique outdoor environment, inspired by your own imagination. You can create a comforting, welcoming mood with unique and eye-catching outdoor lighting.

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However two challenges come to mind – finding a good bargain on the lights themselves, and the cost of hiring a licensed electrician to do the installation.

This is where solar powered outdoor lights step in. Solar lighting has become an increasingly popular alternative to the conventional and costly electric lights that currently illuminate our homes and living spaces.

Solar lights are affordably priced, simple and safe to install yourself (no digging ditches, laying the wire and attaching it to a junction box), and solar lights can be relocated easily, and above all else, you also save on electricity costs.

Solar lights use photovoltaic cells that absorb sunlight during the day and turn it into energy. Rechargeable batteries store the energy, making it available at night when it is needed. LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, which require little power and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, provide the illumination. There is no wiring necessary to connect the lights to each other or to the electric grid.

images-2Until recently, most solar lights emitted only muted light and were not all that reliable. With the latest developments in the solar lighting industry, this has changed and super-bright LEDs have replaced more conventional filament bulbs.

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) create light without producing the waste heat of regular bulbs, are very bright, and yet require a minimal amount of electricity to function. The result is a reliable, long-lasting light source that will typically work for the life of the solar light product.

When shopping for solar lights, it’s important to match the light to the function you want it to perform.

Six Tips on How to Choose Solar Landscape Lighting

Tip 1.
Decide if you need decorative accent, path or task solar lights.

Tip 2.
Find out whether the battery needs full sunlight to charge. Some lights charge with partial sun and work great under trees or in areas with low sunlight. This type of solar light can also be charged on a cloudy day.

Tip 3.
Consider the operating time. Usually solar lights perform year round and even charge the battery to provide operation during long winter nights. Some solar lights shine for several days before needing to recharge.

Tip 4.
Check the type of light bulb the solar light uses. LED lights offer the brightest and most efficient light when it comes to efficiency, size, price and energy usage. Some accent solar lights use amber LED lights to create a softer glow.

Tip 5.
Compare extra items like timers or an on-off switch to the cost. Colored lenses change the look of the solar lights without compromising the brightness. Some solar lights mount to your house, hang from trees or can be mounted to your patio rail.

Tip 6.
Match the lighting to your landscape theme. Decorative solar lights (figurines) can create an interesting theme for a landscape or lawn, or while positioned next to shrubbery trimmed to your taste. Country style solar lanterns will add that special countryside charm to your garden. Hanging Japanese Soji lanterns on your trees or patio will bring an Asian flare to your outdoors. Modern stainless steel solar accent lights complement contemporary landscapes. An ultra bright stainless steel solar light will be a great choice to light up your flag pole.

 

Sunset Plaza Makeover – Completed

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In August’s “Notes & News,” I introduced you to a “A Sunset Plaza Makeover,” the landscape I was designing and building for an international film produce and his family. In November, I followed up by showing you what was involved in creating the garden’s “Wall of Water.” And now, after eight months, the planning and designing has come to an end, the construction is over (and aren’t my clients thrilled), all the trees, hedges and plant material have been installed and the cushions, pillows and other accessories are exactly where they should be.

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As the following photographs will show (all by Luke Gibson of Luke Gibson Photography), this has been an extraordinary project. Defined by a series of descending terraces, my client’s new backyard includes a large living area and fire place, a dining area and outdoor kitchen, our famous wall of water, as well as a pool and spa and a charming entertainment room adjacent to the pool.

It has also been a wonderful experience – my clients have been terrific to work for and with – and the result, a collaboration of intent and execution, will provide them, their family and friends with a beautiful and livable landscape for years to come. As a landscape designer, this is as close as I come to perfection.

To continue reading … Eva’s Notes & News

Landscape Design – Building A Wall Of Water

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In August’s “Notes & News,” I introduced you to a “A Sunset Plaza Makeover,” the landscape I was designing for an international film producer and his family. The construction has been completed, the planting is coming to an end and the D.D. Blanchard Magnolias I featured in that newsletter are doing brilliantly.This has been an extraordinary project, which I am thrilled to have been able to design and build.

Defined by a series of descending terraces, my client’s new backyard includes a large living area and fire place, a dining area and outdoor kitchen, a pool and spa and a charming entertainment room adjacent to the pool. It also has a wall of water, as I call it, the design and construction of which I thought you might find interesting.

To continue reading … Eva’s Notes & News

Landscape Lighting – There’s No Space Without Light

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Now that it’s getting dark at 5:00 p.m. I’ve been asked by a number of people what would be involved in transforming a dark or poorly illuminated landscape into something magical.

Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

The answer is a landscape designer, an outdoor lighting specialist, or you – if you’re so inclined, who understands how to use light to illuminate walkways, water features, architecture, trees and shrubs and has the knowledge, experience and budget to select the right instruments and equipment for the job.

I first wrote about the many reasons landscape lighting is important in my July 2011 newsletter, which, should you be interested, you can read here Landscape Lighting – Illuminate The Night.

Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

This newsletter offers an overview on the use of “low voltage” lighting because I believe it is the easiest to install, most cost effective and aesthetically pleasing system for residential outdoor lighting.

To continue reading … Eva’s Notes & News

Landscape Lighting – Illuminate The Night

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As beautiful as your home and garden may be during the day, at night it can be transformed into a magical wonderland – if properly illuminated. But beauty is only one reason why you should light up the night.

Why should you install landscape lights?

Safety – Avoid tripping on steps, pathways and decks.

Security – Deter unwanted guests (persons and animals) from your property.

Utility – Use your outdoor living space after the sun goes down.

Beauty – Make your home and garden dramatic and beautiful at night.

Continue reading . . .  Eva’s Notes & News