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Residential Outdoor Security Lighting: Keeping your Home Safe at Night

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

McKay-Before-and-After-gif
One of the most important aspects to any outdoor lighting system is the outdoor security aspect. Homes without security measures, such as alarms and outdoor lighting, are up to 300% more likely to be vandalized. Proper lighting provides a welcoming and friendly home, but discourages an unwelcome intruder from lingering. Before and after pictures with outdoor lighting systems are perhaps the most effective way to show the importance of lighting to the overall security of a home.  Security lighting can be beautiful while it protects your property and your family.

Here are a few key aspects to residential outdoor security lighting: Continue reading “Residential Outdoor Security Lighting: Keeping your Home Safe at Night” »

Project Spotlight: Old World Charm Home Expansion

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Many times, when our customers start a major home and landscaping renovation project they will include us in the design process. Getting involved early on with any home design or renovation helps makes projects easier to manage and ensures that they run smoothly.

For the complex expansion of this beautiful home, McKay Landscape Lighting worked in concert with the electrician, sprinkler, builder, designer, and landscape designer. The homeowner wanted our lighting to enhance the old world charm of their home, highlight its unique features, as well as add an element of security. Their entire halogen lighting system was converted to LED during the renovation, making it fairly maintenance free for many years. Our service team will continue periodic outdoor lighting maintenance to make adjustments, clean lenses, and trim plant growth, to ensure the lighting system’s beauty and functionality.

The lighting design of this home is a representation of the complexity and range of our work. As such, the homeowners were gracious enough to let us show their home to 16 lighting professionals from across the country when we hosted The Lighting Summit in early 2015.

Residential Landscape Lighting

In the photo above, there is down lighting in the larger trees to illuminate the bench, flowers, and walking paths around the fountain. If there is an opportunity to down light, it will allow the space to feel more natural and create a unique evening environment. The fountain is lit from the inside on all three levels, with various intensities, using underwater lighting. There are some path lights to guide you as you walk around the area and uplighting on smaller ornamental trees, as well as the larger tree. This lighting helps pull everything together, and creates a park-like setting for the residence.
Continue reading “Project Spotlight: Old World Charm Home Expansion” »

Ask McKay: Is It Possible to Convert Halogen Lighting System to LED?

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Residential Landscape Lighting

In the past couple of weeks we have had several questions regarding LED conversions, so today we thought we would cover some of the basics when it comes to considering converting your halogen landscape lighting system to LED. Continue reading “Ask McKay: Is It Possible to Convert Halogen Lighting System to LED?” »

Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Your Home

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

As a homeowner, you invest time and money into making your home look good during the day and often it’s evening opportunities are overlooked. Adding low voltage landscape lighting can extend your home’s curb appeal after hours. Landscape lighting can be added virtually anywhere and custom designed to serve multiple purposes. Illuminating walkways and paths to make the outdoors safer, highlight focal points of your property, and help you use a landscaped area more often. Here are some ideas for incorporating lighting to the exterior of your home and boosting its appeal after hours…

Path Lighting

Highlight Walkways and Paths:

Lighting walkways, paths, and steps are some essential areas to highlight. This will help you and your guests safely navigate through your property at night. There are several options for lighting these areas, some common techniques include down lighting from nearby trees or using pathlights as shown above. Down light fixtures are installed into a tree and shining down onto the space. With path lights, the light fixture will be much closer to the ground. These lighting techniques can also be used to light a driveway.

Continue reading “Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Your Home” »

The Players Club: Changing the Atmosphere for Evening + Dining Business

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

The Players Club at Deer Creek is Omaha’s only 27-hole private club. The championship golf course was designed by Arnold Palmer, PGA TOUR Legend, and offers its members and guests quality conditioning amidst a challenging layout as well as a wealth of amenities. The premier golf course has added landscape lighting in several phases over the years. The general manager, Tim Halpine, gave us some insight on how it has helped present the whole facility in a better light…


According to Tim, it was about six or seven years ago when the golf course was first starting to become a private golf club. They were looking to separate themselves and add a little something extra to the property. Tim said, “Our initial thought was to add landscape lighting to the trees and areas around the clubhouse to make more of a focal point at night as the evening and dining business began to grow. That is where McKay Landscape Lighting came into place. We met with Jerry for a consultation and discussed ideas for adding light to the property. He then developed a few design options and showed us what the place could look like with outdoor lighting. That sold us right away. There is a reason he does what he does and we don’t.” A plan was then developed to install the landscape lighting in three separate phases. Continue reading “The Players Club: Changing the Atmosphere for Evening + Dining Business” »

When Should You Consider Updating Your Lighting Fixtures?

Friday, May 29th, 2015

outdoor landscape lighting up light fixture

Low voltage landscape lighting path light fixture
Technology has changed a lot in the past twenty years. Did you know that the first outdoor fixtures were developed from mayonnaise jars, painted coffee and fruit juice cans, automobile lamps and 12-volt batteries? Today fixtures are more compact, sleek, and are available in a variety of materials. The materials used can have an impact on how well the fixtures hold up in its environment. For example, we have discovered that copper fixtures tend to hold up best in Nebraska’s snowy weather conditions. That being said, as with similar investments there comes a point where you will need to consider upgrading your outdoor lighting fixtures. Here are some of the various reasons why it might be time to consider an update. Continue reading “When Should You Consider Updating Your Lighting Fixtures?” »

Employee Spotlight: Outdoor Lighting Designer

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

McKay Outdoor Lighting Designer

Meet one of our Outdoor Lighting Designers, Andrew J. Coleman – AJ for short. He has been part of the McKay team since 2012. Fun fact about AJ: he knows how to woodwork and has made several pieces of furniture! Find out more about him and his role at McKay… Continue reading “Employee Spotlight: Outdoor Lighting Designer” »

Landscape Lighting for Your Outdoor Living Space

Friday, May 15th, 2015

At McKay Landscape Lighting, we have noticed that more of our clients are creating outdoor living areas perfect for entertaining and spending more time enjoying the outdoors after the sun goes down. Weather you are using your space for entertaining, relaxation or both, landscape lighting is a key element to making the most of your outdoor space.

According to Houzz, the world’s leading platform for home remodeling and design, Spring Landscaping Survey, more than 4,500 Houzz users are in the process of, or are already planning, a landscape update. 56 percent of homeowners are making updates to improve their yards for entertaining and seven in ten are installing lights to illuminate their hardscapes.

Here are some of our favorite outdoor entertaining spaces to inspire your next outdoor living project…

Outdoor Living Space Omaha NE

Continue reading “Landscape Lighting for Your Outdoor Living Space” »

Ask McKay: Will My Plants be Safe During Installation?

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

McKay Landscape Lighting Installation Process

In our previous Ask McKay post we discussed tips for getting started with landscape lighting. For today’s post, I talked to our installation technician, Keith, to help me answer this frequently asked question regarding our the outdoor lighting installation process: Continue reading “Ask McKay: Will My Plants be Safe During Installation?” »

Out and About: AIA Omaha Lunch & Learn

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

McKay Landscape Lighting was recently invited to present over the lunch hour for AIA Omaha, a local society of the American Institute of Architects. Our team worked to develop a lunch and learn presentation that focused on the general overview on the history of landscape lighting, different types of low voltage lighting, the lighting system, and a pictorial overview of landscape lighting projects.

The history of landscape lighting is a pretty interesting one as President Dwight D. Eisenhower contacted Bill Locklin to provide some lighting for an outdoor party. Bill created a lighting effect by using tractor headlights in coffee cans and hooking them up with a 12-volt battery. The installation was such a success, thus Nightscaping®, Locklin’s landscape lighting manufacturing company, was born. Jerry McKay had the opportunity to learn from Bill at a seminar in Kansas City before attending his Nightscaping University in California.

Mckay Lunch and Learn AIA Omaha

Continue reading “Out and About: AIA Omaha Lunch & Learn” »

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402.289.3424    •    866.663.5434 Lovely Lights. Safer Nights.