Connect with us
402.289.3424 • 866.663.5434
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • RSS Feed
  • Instagram
Email us
☰ Menu

Unique Outdoor Lighting Ideas: Gazebo Lighting

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Outdoor LightingMcKay Lighting has experience lighting a number of different aspects of a property.  One unique aspect that often appears is gazebo lighting. Gazebos are often an integral part of a property and McKay provides adequate lighting to make sure that it commands attention after the sun has set.

Often, high-powered commercial lighting is used to light a gazebo.  These types of high-voltage lights provide too much light to the structure and can often overpower the gazebo and make it difficult to enjoy the outdoor living area because of glare. With McKay’s gazebo lighting expertise, your gazebo will shine brightly in the night, but instead through the use of low-voltage lighting. This softer lighting will provide your gazebo enough light to look great at night, but will also allow you to enjoy that outdoor living space deeper into the night.

As with many other projects, McKay employs both uplighting and downlighting into its gazebo lighting designs.  Of course, spotlights provide some light from the base of the gazebo, not different than the traditionally high-voltage fixtures that often surround the structure.

However, McKay also employs downlighting into our gazebo lighting projects.  This downlighting comes in two forms.  First, downlighting from any trees near the gazebo lights the top of the structure as well as paths leading to the gazebo. McKay also has installed downlighting from within gazebos.  This kind of lighting provides a soft light to the inside of the structure.  Not only does the structure look great at night, but also makes it much safer for anyone sitting within the gazebo or walking near it.

Installing downlighting within a gazebo commands great attention to detail.  Makind sure that the wire is hidden and that the light is pointed perfectly has been mastered by McKay’s lighting technicians.  You can be sure that the lights within your gazebo are perfectly installed and that they are hidden as much as possible so that you do not have to see the fixture during the day.

If you are interested in learning more about McKay’s unique lighting designs, specifically regarding gazebo lighting, please contact a McKay lighting designer today.  We will work with you to make sure that your outdoor living area both looks great and is very safe. To set up a free consultation, please contact our office at 402.289.3424 or through our website here.

Project Spotlight: Lake Home Lighting

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Lake House Lighting Beaver Lake, NE McKay Landscape Lighting 07 (1)As summer begins, time outside on the patio starts to sound great. If you are lucky enough to have a lake home, time at the lake sounds even better.  McKay Lighting has provided lighting solutions to a number of lake homes both close and far from the Omaha metro.  This project spotlight focuses on a lake home near the Omaha area.  While you may not think of lighting at your vacation home as important, there are a number of important reasons to have a professionally designed project installed at your lake home.

This project includes a number of the important design features that McKay implements specifically for homes on lakes.  These unique lake home lighting designs include high-quality dock lights, sea wall lighting and fire pit lighting among many other unique lighting fixtures. There have been previous posts on both sea wall lighting (here) and fire pit lighting (here).

The picture included in this post shows both sea wall lighting and dock lighting.  This unique project added fixtures underneath the dock in order to create the unique effect of light shining down onto the water. Although not as easily visible, there are also small lights on the corners of the dock that provide a broad range of light to the area. These small fixtures provide the perfect amount of light to keep you safe on the dock while not overpowering the area and allowing you to enjoy a peaceful evening on the dock. The installation of these fixtures is where McKay stands out. Our lighting technicians have worked on a number of docks and have mastered the components that goes into a successful dock lighting installation.

Sea wall lights were another important aspect of this project. These high-quality fixtures were expertly installed around the sea walls of the lake.  These lights once again provide the unique look of water shining on the water and also provide the stellar look of shadows on the rocky sea wall. These unique fixtures are fairly new to McKay and are highly recommended by McKay’s designers. They are made of extremely durable materials, yet almost blend into the rocky wall.

There were a number of other lighting design tactics used in this project. However, the dock lighting and sea wall lighting were the most unique and provide a great example of the difference that lake home lighting by McKay will make.  Even if you do not spend much time at your lake home, adequately lighting it will not only make it look great at night, but will make it safer. If you are interested in learning more about lake home lighting, pleas contact McKay today at 402.289.3424.

Garage Door Lighting: Unique Ways to Light Garage Doors to Add Safety and Curb Appeal

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Soffit Lighting

Garage door lighting may not seem a high priority when creating a landscape lighting design. However, garage doors are often prominent portions of the front of a home.  Adding garage door lighting to your home may be an easy way to add unique curb appeal to your home at night. Instead of high-powered commercial lighting or cheap motion-sensing bright lights, unique garage door lighting ideas from McKay will bring an added dimension of lighting to your home.

The picture included in this post shows garage door lighting with two different design aspects. First, uplights above the garage add a unique look on the dormer windows above the garage.  These lights are designed to add the correct amount of spread up to the windows.  It showcases the windows at night and will bring out unique woodworking around the windows.  The lights are also installed in a way that reduce the glare into the windows, yet makes them really “pop” after the sun has gone down.

The more popular use of downlighting is the soffit lights that are used in the home pictured.  These lights are installed into the house and shine down along the garage door and immediate area around the door. If your home has unique garage doors, these soffit lights will bring out the unique aspects of your doors and will add a tremendous amount of curb appeal to your property. These lights are nearly invisible both during the day and at night.

While the uplighting mentioned above is mostly used as an aesthetic aspect of a lighting design, the soffit downlighting is an important security aspect to any home.  When properly lit, the area will be adequately lit, shining light as you arrive home or leave late in the evening.  The light will also leave your home safer in the case that you accidentally leave the garage door open at night as criminals will be deterred from entering a well-lit area.

If you are interested in learning more about low-voltage lighting for your garage door lighting needs, contact a McKay Lighting designer to learn more about our designs and to learn how to bring added safety and curb appeal to your home.  As always, you can fill out one of our Free Consultation Forms, or you can visit our Galleries Page to learn more about our other kinds of lighting designs.

Flagpole Lighting

Monday, May 26th, 2014

In honor of Memorial Day, we would like to shed a little light on flagpole lighting. If you have a flagpole in your front or backyard, consider the impact lighting could have on your flagpole at night. Adding light to your flagpole can be a great way to make your yard stand out at night. Depending on the size and location of your flagpole, adding one or two uplights to your flagpole can make a tremendous difference at night. You enjoy your flag during the day, why not enjoy it at night as well?

flagpole lighting

 

This home pictured above is an example of a beautiful landscape lighting job, but the flagpole really stands out in this picture! These clients could have chosen not to illuminate their flagpole, and it would have simply faded into the night. Since they chose to light up their flagpole, it really becomes a strong focal point of their home at night. Not only does the illuminated flagpole add interest to their home at night, it adds color! The red from the American and Nebraskan flags really pops against the neutral colors of the home and yard at night!

One important thing to keep in mind if you are considering adding landscape lighting to your flagpole is the voltage used. At McKay Landscape Lighting, we install low-voltage landscape lighting, creating a subtle but noticeable lighting effect. Many flagpoles with lights use commercial grade lighting that can be too overpowering. The low-voltage lighting fixtures and bulbs we use subtly highlight flags without looking florescent or too bright.

If you have a flagpole at your home, think about the impact low-voltage lighting can add while you display your flag at night. A flag at night can easily become the focal point of your yard and really add some unique character and color as well. At McKay Landscape Lighting, we won’t let your flagpole look too bright or florescent at night, we will add just the right amount of low-voltage lighting to your flagpole. If you are interested in adding lighting to your flagpole, contact us today at 402.289.3424 or email us at info@mckaylighting.com. Our designers will be happy to work with you and come up with a design you can be proud of. Don’t let your flag pole get swallowed by the night, let it shine! 

For more ideas of specialty lighting check out our gallery here! For more ideas of residential lighting check out our gallery here!

 

Deck and Stair Lighting

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Memorial Day is only a few days away, and what better way to spend your holiday evening than outdoors? Adding outdoor lighting to your deck can transform your deck into an outdoor room into the evening hours. Your deck will be highlighted at night and will be safe to use into the evening as walkways and steps are illuminated. The best part about deck lighting from McKay? We will match your deck so that the lights are hardly visible during the daytime!

At McKay, we pride ourselves on installing sleek and cleanly installed landscape lighting systems, and decks are no different. When you are thinking about adding lighting to your deck a concern you may have is how it will look during the daytime. We recognize this concern and strive to provide deck lighting with minimal interference to the look of your property.

Check out this recent deck lighting installation. This particular deck had black railings, and we were able to match a fixture to the deck. The fixture is hardly noticable– day or night! While the fixture may be small and hard to notice, you can see it provides the perfect amount of light to your deck at night! This fixture illuminates the perimeter of this deck, providing safety for you and your guests at night.

Deck Lighting

 

Deck Stair Lighting

This fixture can also be used to illuminate deck stairs, providing safe access to and from your backyard at night. Deck stairs can be very dangerous at night when not properly illuminated. Adding lights to your deck stairs will increase the safety of you an your guests at night. Again, this fixture can be installed with minimal disruption to the look of your deck while providing plenty of light at night. As you can see, three fixtures properly placed provided the perfect amount of light to this staircase.

If you have a deck without lighting, consider the safety and enhanced look deck lighting could provide you. Not only will you be able to enjoy your deck long into the evening hours, deck lighting will provide you peace of mind when guests are on your deck at night. Don’t forget to think about illuminating your deck stairs as well!

For more information on deck lighting, contact us at 402.289.3424 to set up a free consultation with one of our skilled designers, or simply fill out the form here and we will contact you. Adding deck lighting to your deck can really impact the time you spend outdoors this summer! Contact us today!

 

Unique Lighting Ideas: Tiki Torch Lights Add a Vacation Feel to Your Backyard

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Patio Lighting OmahaOne of McKay Lighting’s most unique lighting fixtures is our tiki torch lighting fixtures.  These fixtures will add a vacation and resort feel to your backyard.  Made with the same high-quality materials as other McKay fixtures, these unique lighting fixtures will add flair to your backyard.  Equipped with the unique flame atop the fixture, these fixtures will be the talking point of your backyard.

The flames from above the fixture can be powered by either propane or citronella.  The citronella option, more common for homes that do not have an easy gas line hook-up, keep mosquitos and other bugs away from your outdoor living area. These unique lights contain a small reservoir that is filled with citronella and keeps the flame safely burning for a number of hours. If you do have a gas hook-up, after installation, firing up your flame is as easy as turning on the gas and lighting the flame.

If you are looking for a new and unique lighting idea, these fixtures will add a fun and vacation-like aspect to your outdoor living area.  The fixtures have been installed around pools and onto decks. However, their most versatile use has been as a unique patio lighting fixture.The flames look great at night and will bring an added dimension of light to your outdoor living area. While the fixtures are not for every homeowner, they definitely add some pizzazz to your home. And even when the flame is not lit, these fixtures provide a tremendous amount of light to your outdoor living area.

These lights will also bring a tremendous look to your vacation home. McKay has installed a number of these fixtures around vacation home.  As already mentioned, these lights bring a resort-like feel that will make you feel as though you escaped to a tropical paradise even though you are in your backyard!

If you are interested in learning more about these unique lighting fixtures, please contact McKay today to learn about their unique applications.  To view more unique lighting ideas, please visit our specialty lighting gallery here. As always, you can also contact McKay Lighting at 402.289.3424 to set up a free consultation, or fill out our form online here to have a McKay designer contact you.

 

Pool Lighting Part One: Safety

Monday, May 5th, 2014

With summer quickly approaching, it’s time to think about getting your yard ready, especially if you have a pool! What better way to enjoy the summer temperatures than poolside with your friends and family? Many hours are spent by the pool under the sun, but adding landscape lighting around your pool can extend your time in the water into the evening hours!

Chances are if you have a pool in your backyard, it has underwater lights in it. These lights illuminate the pool and make swimming at night possible. But what about the rest of your yard? Without landscape lighting surrounding your pool, it can be difficult to utilize your outdoor space into the night. Adding landscape lighting around your pool and backyard can not only enhance the look of your yard at night, but create safety and security as well.

When adding landscape lighting around a pool, it is important to think of the dark areas that could potentially be dangerous at night. One of the most important things to consider is the walkway from the house to the pool. Many times the surfaces that lead to and from the pool have elevation and surface changes. Without proper illumination these can be dangerous for you and your guests at night. By adding downlighting or pathlighting to walkways to and from your pool, you can provide visibility and safety around your pool into the evening hours.

Pool Landscape Lighting Omaha NE McKay Landscape Lighting 10

Another thing to consider when adding landscape lighting poolside is illuminating the perimeter of your yard. Whether your yard is lined with trees, a fence or both, adding landscape lighting to the edges of your yard can help increase the security of your pool at night.  Illuminating the darker corners of your backyard creates increased visibility at night in addition to deterring unwanted visitors. Not only will landscape lighting help unwanted intruders stay out of your yard at night, it will help create an vacation-like oasis in your backyard as well!

If you currently have a pool in your backyard, or a looking to add one, consider the impact landscape lighting around your pool can have, keeping you and your guests safe at night. Not only will it increase the visibility around your pool at night, landscape lighting poolside will help keep intruders out. Contact us today for a free consultation at 402.289.3424. Our landscape lighting designers will work with you to help create a design that  is aesthetically pleasing while adding safety and security to your backyard pool.

 

Entryway Lighting: Keeping Your Home Safe at Night

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Security Lighting OmahaWhen someone rings your doorbell at night, do you get a little nervous? Perhaps you can’t tell who is at your door and a little fear sets in. Most of the time, the person is not harmful, but a little bit of fear immediately after the doorbell rings is something that is very common. Keeping your home safe with entryway lighting is an easy way to make your home safer at night. Being able to clearly see who is at your door will bring you increased peace of mind when an unknown visitor comes to the door.

Of course, entryway lighting is not only practical for the situation above, which maybe made you nervous just thinking about. Keeping your entryway lit makes your home more inviting for guests and also makes it much safer. Dark areas of the home can make it seem like nobody is home. Bringing light to your entryway will create a look that lets visitors know that you are home and invite them to your door.

Many entryways have steps leading to the front door.  In the darkness, these steps can become a dangerous hazard for those entering your home through the front door. Effective entryway lighting bring light to these areas, whether it is through a simple pathlight or a downlight from the home or a nearby tree. Entryway lighting will make your home both more inviting and safer.

As alluded to in the previous paragraph, McKay employs two main types of entryway lighting: path lighting and downlighting. Path lighting creates a trail of light leading to your door.  These lights provide a concentrated spread of light directly onto a path and the sorrounding area. On the other hand, downlights are installed either on the house itself or in a nearby tree. These lights provide more of a soft light with larger spread.  However, a well placed downlight will also concentrate a smaller spread of light on the entryway, lighting the area where guests will stand at the door.  This allows the homeowner to clearly see the guest when he or she peeks out the window.

Entryway lighting is an important component to any lighting system, especially lighting designs that have security lighting as a top priority.  If you think your home needs a more inviting look in its entryway or you are looking to add security without adding bright, security lights, contact a McKay designer who will work with you to create the unique look that you want for your home’s entryway.

Hand-Blown Glass Fixtures: What You Need to Know to add Unique Color to Your Property

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Unique Outdoor Lighting

One of McKay’s most unique fixtures is our hand-blown glass fixtures.  These fixtures have become one of the more popular fixtures installed by McKay because of their unique look and their versatile uses. Homeowners have come up with unique ways to utilize these fixtures and McKay has made the installations work in these unique settings.

These colorful fixtures represent a distinctly different feel from McKay’s fixtures.  They are more art and less lighting fixture.  These orbs aren’t meant to add safety or to provide a large spread of light to a dark area.  Instead, they add a unique flair to a property by adding different colors and a different focal point on the property.  They can be installed to provide light to a dark garden area or can be displayed prominently as a unique piece of art.

These hand-blown glass fixtures are specially designed and manufactured for McKay.  Just like all of McKay’s fixtures, they are of the highest quality and will last for many many years.  The glass is weather-proof and will not fade in rain or snow and will not be affected by intense heat or cold.  And of course, McKay lighting technicians will expertly install these fixtures, hiding all wiring and expertly placing the fixtures maximizing the aesthetic beauty, all while carefully taking into account the preferences of the homeowner.

As previously mentioned, the uses for these hand-blow glass fixtures are endless and often homeowners have unique visions for their use.  McKay has most often installed the globes on the ground in flowerbeds or other similar areas.  However, a unique application of these globes is hanging them from a pergola, as noted in this post. The globes can even be floating in a pond or installed within a tree stump. McKay has years of experience installing the fixtures and can work with you to give you the unique look that you want.

These fixtures come in a few unique sizes.  Many small, different fixtures can be used in one area, or one large globe can be utilized to bring a space to life. If you are interested in learning more about these hand-blown glass fixtures, contact one of McKay’s lighting designers to discuss potential uses of the fixture on your property.  These unique fixtures really are unique art that can be used at all hours. And, to browse more unique fixtures from McKay, visit our specialty lighting gallery.

 

Fire Pit Lighting Part Two: Seat Wall Lighting Fixtures

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Fire Pit LightingAs the weather continues to get warmer, spending time outdoors is surely sounding better and better, and what better way to enjoy a spring night than around your fire pit. Seat wall lighting around your fire pit will add a great dimension of lighting to your living area after the sun has set.  There has already been a fire pit lighting post in this blog, but that post focused more on the downlighting and pathlighting aspects that make your outdoor living area shine at night.  This post will focus on a specific aspect of fire pit lighting: seat wall lighting.

Seat wall lighting is the use of small fixtures embedded in a stone wall.  These unique fixtures are quite small but actually provide a significant amount of light to the surrounding area. The fixtures themselves are barely even visible during the day and at night. They make the living area much safer at night as well as bring a unique look to your fire pit seating.

The look of these fixtures at night is spectacular.  They provide light on stone walls or steps which creates a great aesthetic look at night. Shadows on the rocks create a unique and classy feel that will make you want to spend more time by the fire pit. The light also reaches the ground, which increases the safety of the entire area around a fire pit and its seating. If your fire pit already has a built in stone seat, seat wall lighting will greatly enhance the look of your outdoor area.

An important aspect to seat wall lighting, especially around a fire pit is the installation of the fixtures themselves. Our lighting technicians take great pride in their installation methods.  There is no doubt that installation is difficult. Wire must be drilled through concrete and hidden adequately.  The fixture itself must also be installed flush on the wall, which also often proves difficult. McKay technicians have many years of experience of installing these fixtures and making it seem as though the fixture is.

If you are interested in learning more about seat wall lighting for your fire pit lighting project, please call a McKay lighting designer at 402.389.3424.  Our designers will work with you to create a look that you will be proud of.  With the weather getting warmer, time around the fire pit sounds great. Take the first step to making your fire pit area safer as well as making it look great at night with a free consultation from McKay.

Become a fan on Facebook

 



See what a difference McKay makes…
402.289.3424    •    866.663.5434 Lovely Lights. Safer Nights.