November 8, 2016

3 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Outdoor Lights

1.  Keep the fire ants away – Fire ants are the biggest enemy of your beautiful outdoor lighting. Ants are attracted to heat and love building their mounds around lights. They carry moisture and dirt inside the core of your lights and destroy their electrical components. Treat fire ant piles immediately if you see them close to your lighting fixtures. Put ant killer around your lights twice a year to keep your outdoor lighting running.

2.  Upgrade to LED bulbs – Halogen bulbs lose their brightness overtime and burn out every 1-3 years. LED bulbs have 10 times longer life and stay bright throughout their lifetime. Not to mention they consume a lot less electricity. Replace all of your landscape lighting bulbs with LED bulbs and you will never have to worry about burnt out bulbs every couple of months.

3.  Move the lights out of the way – Positioning lights in heavy traffic areas where people walk or gardeners mow is a recipe for disaster. Outdoor lights should not be placed in the middle of walkways or grass areas. Instead position them in flowerbeds and mulched areas. Most outdoor lights have 2-3 feet of extra cable to allow for repositioning. If a light cannot be moved into a protected area try adding some rocks or mulch around it to protect it from the lawnmower.

June 14, 2016

Outdoor Lighting Troubleshooting Tips

From time to time there can be things that happen with your lighting system. Here are the most common issues people have with their outdoor lighting systems:

The outdoor lighting system did not turn on all together – 9 out 10 times this is a tripped circuit or a tripped gfi outlet. If this happens to you, the first thing you should do is to go to your outlet to test if you have power at the outlet. This can be done simple by just plugging in a lamb into that outlet to see if you have power. If you do not have power at that outlet, first check your circuit panel. Make sure all your breakers are on. Then check around the house for gfi outlets. Those are the outlets with reset buttons. Make sure all of the gfi outlets are reset, and none of them are tripped.
A section of outdoor lights has gone out – If it is an entire section of your outdoor lights, try to remember if you had any digging done, and look around for a spot where somebody could have cut the line. Occasionally, with more mature trees, a tree route can damage a wire and disconnect a zone of your landscape lighting.
One of my outdoor lights is not coming on – The most common cause for one light to go out is a burnt bulb. Try replacing the bulb. If replacing the bulb does not solve the problem, you may have a broken wire, a loose connection, or a light fixture that needs to be replaced.
Your outdoor lights are just remaining on all the time – This is usually a problem with your control unit. Most of the time when this happens is when you have a photocell that has gone bad. When photocells fail they typically fail on. So go ahead and check your photocell and your timer to make sure everything is set properly.
My outdoor lights are not bright enough – One of the common reasons for that is that with halogen bulbs there is lumen depreciation where the light is no longer quite as bright and it loses its reflective qualities. When using halogen bulbs, it is a good idea to change your light bulbs every 3 years or just upgrade them to much more durable and energy efficient led bulbs. If changing the bulbs does not help, then try cleaning the lens and repositioning the light fixture to ensure it is illuminating the desired area. With time the landscape changes or the lights get pushed when replanting, and they simply may need to be repositioned to ensure they are targeting the desired area of coverage.  

Nothing will have a greater impact on the safety and security of your home than outdoor lighting. The overall curb appeal that professional outdoor lighting can add is unparalleled to anything else you can do to the front of your property. 

January 11, 2015

​The Importance of Outdoor Lighting Design

At MIK Solutions, our landscape and outdoor lighting design principles add beauty, character, and safety to your home and outdoor living spaces. From the thoughtful planning of your property’s exterior illumination… to the creative use of different outdoor lighting techniques and effects… to the well-orchestrated and artful placement of our exceptional outdoor light fixtures, we achieve professional quality that matches every taste, budget and architecture. It all adds up to magnificent illumination effects that enhance your property and extend the use and enjoyment of your outdoor living spaces.

Custom Outdoor Lighting Design

With the uniqueness of every home, the only true way to envision the warm, rich glow of our illumination effects is with our professional lighting designer at a night time design demonstration at your property. As we tour your outdoor spaces, we listen to your needs and outdoor lighting ideas for beautification, safety, and functionality to help us paint the perfect outdoor lighting design just for you.

Your designer will discuss what you would like to accomplish with your new outdoor lighting… what features you would like to accentuate… and what mood you would like to set around your property. Once complete, you are sure to be amazed by the beauty of your property at night.

Superior Outdoor Lights

When it comes to choosing your outdoor lighting system, we are the industry leaders with our corrosion free outdoor light fixtures, wires and lamps. Our customers love the fact that they are suited for the toughest outdoor conditions. Our fixtures are made from solid brass that takes on a rich patina over time which blends beautifully into your landscape.

Our led lights are extremely energy efficient and have long life expectancy of 40,000hrs. We use low voltage transformers converting the electricity output to 12 volts, allowing your lights to use over 80% less energy while delivering the perfect amount of illumination with a balanced light intensity.

We are so confident of our lighting fixtures performance and durability that we offer a lifetime warranty.

March 21, 2014

​How To Select An Outdoor Lighting Company

Architectural and landscape lighting designed properly is one of the most effective ways to add beauty and value to your home. In order to insure that your lighting is installed correctly and positioned for maximum effect it is always best to work with a professional lighting company. How to determine which company is right for you? You should start with these five questions:

Is outdoor lighting your main business? Many companies claim they do architectural and landscape light but they do only occasionally on the side and not to the level of our impeccable full service. It is more of an add-on to their main business and that is where you know they do not have the necessary expertise.
Do you provide night time demonstrations? You definitely should see your home with lights before you buy!
Is your company a full-service lighting company that provides design, installation and continuous maintenance? Strong lighting companies cover all the bases so you never have to worry about your outdoor lighting. Ask about annual service plans to maintain your outdoor lighting system.
Is the quality of your fixtures backed by a long lasting warranty? Be sure to find a company that provides solid brass and copper fixtures along with solid warranty on transformers, bulbs, and fixtures.
How long have you been in business and what type of projects have you worked on? Reputation and longevity are crucial considerations. Do your research on the company ratings and reviews and ask for references on recent installations.  

There may be other questions you would want to ask but these five questions will set you on the right track to find a professional and reliable outdoor company that will transform your yard with beautiful lighting that increases safety and security as well as visually enhances your home.

​October 9, 2013

Design Tips - Pathway Lighting

Pathway lighting is considered as one of the most important lighting to be installed. Even if you are on a budget, you will surely want to walk through the pathway safely at night. When the lighting is properly designed, it is supposed to be low profile with just enough lighting to keep yourself from injuring as you walk at night. When you offset the lights, there should be a sense of balance, that’s why choosing the right lighting and placing them perfectly along the trail are the keys in order to ensure an illuminated walk without harming the looks of your yard during daytime or annoy your neighbors at nighttime. 

In Pathway Lighting Houston, the importance of path lighting is emphasized for both beauty and safety. People should be able to safely find their way through the landscape, especially at night where lighting is essential to guide people along the pathways of your garden.

The Path Lighting Designs to Avoid:

Lights that create a glare or shine up into the visitors’ eyes.
Placing the lights close together creating runway effects
Using the lights that are too bright. Subtlety is the answer in Path Lighting.

Things to Consider in Pathway Lighting

Chose the proper fixture to start with. You want a lamp that aims its light down in your walkway. If there are step, you need to illuminate the edge and top of each individual step. Most path lighting have top that focuses down the light onto the path. Even the recreational facilities implement these kinds of lamps and light posts. The only light you should see is the light reflected on path beneath you. For extra assurance, you can possibly use the step lighting under the top of stairs in your path. By placing simple pathway lighting underneath the steps, you will illuminate the steps without revealing the bulbs or blinding the people who attempt to climb the stairs at night.
Implement proper spacing. Don’t crowd the entire path lights together. Give them their own spaces so that the edges of each light pool are barely overlapping or touching. You will be able to save on energy and lamps and you will be able to keep the path nicely illuminated. There is no reason to over-illuminate the path since too much lighting can only ruin the pedestrian’s night vision instead of helping them properly see the ground.
Plan where to place the cables before setting up the pathway lighting. It is highly recommended to use the low-voltage path lights. Since the cables are typically buried or laid out on the ground or surface, or along the path’s edge, the yard equipment has dangerous habit of getting close to the cables or getting them cut during work. While you need to be aware of the wiring presence around the lamps, using the low voltage wiring for the entire ground-level lights is the best safety precaution.

After considering the above mentioned design tips, you should have a pathway lighting design that is very easy to follow.

June 12, 2013

How to Design Backyard Lighting

You want to start by picking a focal point. Waterfalls or palm trees behind pools are great focal points. You can also choose a central tree or flowerbed you would like to emphasize. Scheduling a night time lighting demonstration is the best way to choose what is right for your back yard living space. Our lighting designers at MIK Solutions bring demo lights and turn them on at night so you can visualize how everything will look at night. Using a combination of up and down lights is the best way to emphasize your focal point. Up lights are used for taller plants, trees, and architectural structures. Down lights, also called pathway and mushroom lights, are great for illuminating smaller plants, flowerbeds, and pathways. Don’t worry about having too much lighting by using the up and down lights together. They aim light in opposite directions and combined provide the perfect outdoor light setting.

March 3, 2013

LED vs Halogen Outdoor Lighting

In the past the best choice for professional outdoor lighting was low voltage halogen lighting. LED lighting was underdeveloped and it lacked durability and color quality. The first LED lights on the market would break or fail shortly after purchase. In addition, they provided a cool white or bluish white color and lacked the necessary brightness to keep the home and landscape well lid.

Today LED lighting has become the preferred choice for outdoor and landscape lighting. Professional LED lights have greatly improved and became much more affordable. But buyers still need to be aware that there are many LED lights on the market that vary in quality. Many low cost stores sell low quality LED lights have poor color, brightness, and durability. The warranty is a great guide to determine the quality before buying. The typical low cost store LED garden light offers no more than 1-year warranty. This is not a good indicator for outdoor lights that are supposed to last for more than 10 years. This is why serious buyers should buy well-engineered, solid brass LED lights from a company like MIK Solutions. We use high quality LED lights with lifetime warranty on LED fixtures and LED bulbs.

What if you already have outdoor lighting with halogen bulbs, should you replace them?

Absolutely! Upgrading your current fixtures to LED bulbs has many benefits. One of the biggest reasons is an 80% less electricity consumption. Our 5 watt LED bulb provides the same brightness and color output as a traditional 30 watt halogen bulb. This means that you can let your lights provide safety and beauty all night without having to worry about your electric bill.

In addition, traditional halogen bulbs last from 1000-4000 hours and our LED bulbs last 40,000 hours. This means you no longer have to deal with constantly having to change burned out light bulbs.

Also LED garden lights do not cause voltage drop. Halogen lights located further from the transformer experience voltage drops which causes some lights to shine brighter than others and shortens the life of the bulbs.

July 7, 2012

​How to Design Outdoor Lighting

Designing an outdoor lighting system is not as simple as one may think. Buying some lighting and putting them into the ground will not achieve the same beautiful effect as professionally designed outdoor lighting system.

Our designers and technicians at MIK Solutions, use multiple lighting techniques to illuminate the most beautiful features of your property and landscape. Here are some landscape and outdoor lighting design techniques:

Uplighting – Uplighting is the most popular lighting technique for illuminating the front façade of your home of business. Positioning the lights two to four feet away from the walls and aiming them at the right angle highlights the texture and color of the façade creating stunning luxury after dark.

Spotlighting – Spotlighting is used to create focal points by drawing particular attention to trees, bushes, statues, and flags.

Pool Lighting – There are various lights used around your pool that will make your back yard your favorite spot. Illuminating trees and landscape behind the pool extend your outdoor spaces. Installing underwater lights in water features such as fountains, waterfalls, and ponds create dream-like water scenes using the natural movement of water under the effect of light.

Shadowing – Shadowing is an outdoor lighting technique where lights are pointed at trees, bushes, and other plants in a way that their shadows are beautifully projected on front facades.

Pathway Lighting – Pathway Lights illuminate sidewalks, flowerbeds, and walkways while adding a hint of attentions to plant beds and boulders. Outdoor lights also prevent accidents from tripping and falling due to dark pathways and stairs.

Deck Lighting – Deck Lights illuminate beautiful structures as well as the area around. Outdoor deck lights can be installed on Pergolas, Gazebos, and Decks to illuminate them at night.

Event Lighting – Event Lighting will add an astonishing backdrop to make your special occasion even more special and unforgettable. Adding professional lighting will add dramatic atmosphere to weddings, graduation parties, quinceaneras, or any special events.

Christmas Lighting – Christmas Lighting and Décor create an unforgettable holiday spirit for your friends, family, employees, and customers.