Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.
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Nighttime Nuance Illuminate Outdoor Living Spaces for Ambiance and Safety By Tom Fenig | Photos by Ray Sepsey CREATING WARM, SAFE AND INVITING OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES is a practical and increasingly popular trend that adds signifcant value to your home. Such projects include not only decks and patios but elaborate outdoor dining areas, walkways, freplaces, water features and more. The last thing you want are high-wattage foodlights ruining the nighttime ambiance of an outdoor celebration with family and friends. Remember to allocate some of your project funds for well-thought-out outdoor lighting because you are most likely to enjoy your new outdoor "living room" when the day has cooled and night has fallen. The frst rule is to consider viewing perspectives. This concept is important to understand before starting any outdoor lighting project. Otherwise, you can buy the wrong fxtures, install them in the wrong locations or even buy more fxtures than are necessary. You can even make your property less safe if lights are not placed strategically. The viewing perspective for lighting the front of homes is typically simple — it's looking at your house, not looking from your house. However, efectively lighting outdoor living areas is far more complex. Goals should include safety, beauty and functionality. Living areas include sitting spots, dining spaces and more. It is from these locations that your viewing perspective should be defned. Energy-efcient LED fxtures produce a warm, yet subtle lighting efect that is ideal for outdoor spaces. Imagine more than simply uplighting that gorgeous crepe myrtle tree or scattering path lights along your otherwise dark and unsafe walkway. New choices in LED allow you to splash light below a stone or wooden bench or even safely illuminate a step with a hidden 1.5-watt fxture. It's important to be mindful of safety too. The light that creates a perfect efect may be far from ideal if it produces a blinding glare from some angles. Lights should be indirect and subtle without compromising safety. As with any home improvement, "the devil is in the details," as the cliche goes. Select a company that specializes in lighting outdoor living spaces. As a percentage of your overall outdoor budget, professional lighting is a modest investment that will provide years of enjoyment. Imagine more than simply uplighting that gorgeous crepe myrtle tree or scattering path lights along your otherwise dark and unsafe walkway. Tom Fenig, owner of Imagine Outdoor Lighting, started his frst outdoor lighting company in Charlotte in 1995. He added 80 locations worldwide and sold the company in 2008. He recently came out of retirement to focus on professional outdoor lighting in the Carolinas. The viewing perspective for lighting the front of a home is typically determined by looking at the house, not from the house. BALLANTYNE MAGAZINE 75 SUMMER 2016