The Light Center Colorado
Landscape lighting lowdown for one Old Town home

 

Whether you live in a midtown midcentury with a mid-sized yard, an perfectly manicured palatial plot or a sprawling acreage, landscape lighting is a great way to add value and visual interest to your home. I live in Old Town on a small lot…here is my landscape lighting story:

On our favorite summer nights, we bike downtown to Walrus Ice Cream for dessert. By the time we get home, it is usually dark, so the feeling of coming home to a lighted yard is a big relief. The transformers which power our yard’s landscape lights have photo sensors that automatically turn our lights on when it is dark. (One less thing to remember to do in a day). Sometimes we arrive at our front door and the landscape lights allow us to see whether any intruders have stopped by while we were out. Intruders in our yard are usually the neighbor cat, a squirrel or a fox!  The lights also give me peace of mind that there is not a person lurking in the shadows that we wouldn’t welcome on our doorstep. 

Most nights we approach our home from the alley. We have strategically set up just a few path and spot lights in the back yard so that when we come through the gate, our walking path is lit and we can see the steps up to our yard. I love that my favorite features of our backyard are highlighted and visible at night from our porch or inside the house. We have a very interesting apricot tree with a leaning trunk that I always imagine to be the future climbing tree for our children (the perfect place for an uplight spot). We have some ornamental grasses, iron trellises and a lighted birdbath that complete the simple design. 

When laying out a landscape lighting plan, we know that less is more. A little goes a long way at night so for us there was hardly any concern about how close together lights should be placed. 

The questions we asked ourselves when planning were:

What are the areas that need the most security?

What are our favorite elements that we want to light?

How do we accomplish balanced light in the yard without having too many lights?

We have a simple craftsman home, the goal was to keep simplicity in the yard, not make it look flashy or like an airplane runway. The best things we did were mix downlight and uplight in a subtle way and stick to the “less is more” plan. Installation was easy for me to do myself but I have hired help to do some updates as our landscape changed. Low voltage wiring can be run just under our landscape material and the power transformer just plugs in our outlet.

Forget about changing light bulbs! We used LED bulbs that will last up to 50,000 hours and allowed us to use a low wattage, unobtrusive transformer. 

It was the easiest change we have made to our house since we built 7 years ago!

- Jennifer Guerriero

Lighting Enthusiast and The Light Center’s Co-Owner

Style, Romance and the spirit of Influence

Romance, style and the spirit of influence

Dallas market showcases a multitude of lighting manufacturers, vendors and designers.  It is one of the most magnificent displays of lighting in the country.  While wandering through the endless halls, talking with reps and learning new trends, we sought out the Jan Barboglio showroom. 

Entering into this magical wonder of a space, we were enchanted by the charm and beauty of these finely crafted works of art.  Aesthetically warm, her pieces are of the highest quality, always sensuous to the touch and entices even the non collector to embark on a new venture of collecting art.

After a few hours and placing an order for our showroom we were then advised that we would need to fit a certain criteria to be a retailer for these fine pieces.  We were confident we could match that criteria and soon after the delivery came and it immediately the feeling of discovering a treasure came with the opening of each box.

The Light Center is proud to be an exclusive retailer in Northern Colorado and we are anxious to share these treasures with you. 

 

The last thing you expect to see in a lighting store is tea!  This year we wanted to set a mood to inspire with the smells and tastes of fall. We set out to make our own signature tea and had some “Ah-ha” moments while doing so!



Shining Light on Oklahoma Tornado Recovery

The standard light bulb has come a long way in recent years.  Sure we’ve all heard of LEDs and CFLs, but you’d be hard pressed to find a person who is familiar with “solar light bulbs.” 

            A gift of more than 500 of the world’s only solar light bulb from The Light Center in Fort Collins, Colo., arrives this week in Moore, Okla., where many tornado victims remain without electricity. Red Cross workers will distribute the bulbs both to illuminate the dark nights and to lighten the struggling emotions of people dealing with the devastation of back-to-back storms. 

“We found out there were still people without electricity, and we thought it was a perfect fit,” said Jennifer Guerriero, co-owner of The Light Center, a small family-owned business.  “At night, a little light goes a long way towards an overall sense of comfort and safety. The thought of a child sitting in a dark room due to electric outages just didn’t sit well with us.  We knew we had a unique solution with Nokero’s solar light bulbs. They’re very portable.”

The bulb, which stores solar energy, was developed by Nokero to provide lighting in developing countries that lack electricity so that people would no longer depend on electric infrastructure. “We have one in our showroom and its ability to hold a charge for a very long time is impressive,” said Guerriero.

Guerriero and co-worker Lisa Wilson had the bright idea to send bulbs to Oklahoma when Wilson was telling Guerriero about the impact of a tornado in Wyoming several years ago that killed her infant nephew and seriously injured her sister-in-law. “Jennifer and I were talking about what we could do to help aside from a monetary donation,” Wilson said. “After visiting with the Red Cross and understanding the emotional toll it takes on families to rebuild after such devastation, we thought that solar light bulbs would fill a huge void in Oklahoma.”

The Light Center, opened in Fort Collins, CO in 1971 and owned by Guerriero and Larry Edwards, provides residential and commercial lighting consultation and supplies, with more than 300 product lines including the Nokero bulbs, also from Colorado.

Thanks to The Light Center and Nokero’s solar lighting technology, the night is just a little bit brighter in Oklahoma.

 

Nokero LED solar light bulb                                                                       imageJennifer Guerriero and Lisa Wilson

Here’s the latest and greatest on lighting news and advice!

When Shopping for Lighting, it Pays to Think Outside of the Big Box
Because lighting style is such an individual choice, the decision of where to purchase lighting and whether to involve a designer are very important.

When you walk into a ‘big box’ retail store, you should come prepared with a realistic idea of the product selection, quality and service that you’re likely to receive. Big box stores have a reputation for offering low prices, but the value they deliver is not always so clear-cut. 

Compared to specialty lighting stores, large chain retailers offer products from a narrower range of manufacturers, often at pre-determined price points that may not match your style and budget. In most cases, your product options will be limited to the display products on the wall. Lighting departments are often staffed by employees from other retail departments-not designers-so your ability to get an in-depth answers to tough lighting questions may be limited at a big box store.

There are so many possibilities when it comes to lighting and unless you consult a designer, you may not think of all the possible options. 
Hi. I’m Jennifer Guerriero. My goal with this site is to show you what The Light Center is all about. Come in and see what we mean when we say “Bright Solutions. Trusted Service.”

Hi. I’m Jennifer Guerriero. My goal with this site is to show you what The Light Center is all about. Come in and see what we mean when we say “Bright Solutions. Trusted Service.”

HOW TO: Dispose of a CFL Bulb

• Enclose unbroken CFL bulb in a sealed plastic bag to reduce the risk of bulb breakage.

• If a CFL bulb breaks, your greatest risk is being cut from the glass rather than exposure to the mercury. To minimize risk even further, follow this procedure:

1. open windows to ventilate;

2. sweep up all fragments—don’t vacuum;

3. wipe the area with a damp paper towel;

4. put fragments and towel in a plastic bag and seal; and

• Drop off at The Light Center or another participating Fort Collins CFL Recycling Program Retailer.

HOW TO: Create a more energy-efficient home

Here are some helpful tips to create an energy-efficient home:

· Install timers and sensors. You can install timers and sensors that turn the lights on at dusk and shut them off after a specific time. Not only does this save energy, it can go a long way toward making your home a less appealing target for would-be intruders.

· Go green! Replacing four 60-watt incandescent bulbs with 13-watt fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) that use about two-thirds less energy and last up to 10 times longer saves $190 over the life of the bulbs. If all our nation’s households did the same, we would save as much energy as is consumed by some 38 million cars in one year.

· Install dimmers on incandescent light bulbs. Dimming your lights just 25% saves 20% in energy.

· Install ceiling fans. Save energy by using a ceiling fan to cool down rather than the air conditioning.

By sticking to these simple tips, you’ll be able to save money and energy this summer.