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LED Retro Fit: A Glowing Trend in Landscape Design

LED Retro Fit: A Glowing Trend in Landscape Design

Incandescent bulbs for your residential landscape?

More like inconsiderate, am I right?

Homeowners who operate sizeable lighting systems in their yards know all too well the hassle and frustration of incandescent and halogen lamps that repeatedly conk out – often within weeks or days of being installed.

They’re power leaches too, racking up substantial utility bills that far outweigh their efficiency. And they’re potentially dangerous, generating sufficient heat to cause injury to an overly-curious child or distracted adult.

If the aforementioned concerns and complaints sound familiar – perhaps you’ve uttered the same to yourself once or twice – it may be time to consider an LED retro fit for your home and garden.

Retrofits involve converting older or outdated lighting systems and bulbs in an effort to boost light output, emit less heat, and ultimately save energy.

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) are the predominant choice for such renovations, as they have been proven to be 80 percent more efficient, and at least 10 times more durable, than traditional bulbs.

Because the implementation of LEDs reduces electricity usage, a retrofit can actually save property owners money in the long run, offsetting the upfront cost of installation and boasting a staggering Return on Investment in approximately 2-3 years. What’s more, LEDs have tallied upwards of 50,000 hours of use. That means users will probably never need to replace them.

Additionally, most cities and states offer utility rebates, an incentive for properties to make the switch and opt for an LED retrofit.

The praises of LED lighting have long been sung. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Improved aesthetics
  • Increased security due to continuous home illuniation
  • Energy savings of almost 80 percents
  • Virtually maintenance-free
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • No hazardous waste
  • Longer-lasting bulbs
  • Higher quality light
  • Cooler to the touch
  • Warranties of up to 10 years
  • Eligibility for tax rebates, as well as utility and local incentives

LEDs are expected to make up more than 70% of the lighting market within the next four years, and a professionally-installed LED retrofit can prove to be more cost-effective than a complete lighting overhaul.

Chesapeake Irrigation & Lighting can assist by upgrading  landscape lighting fixtures that are already in place, swapping out lamps and ballasts, updating your outdoor lighting controls, incorporating wireless technology, and much more. If you’re interested in shining some new light on your property, contact us today!

Beyond the Bulbs: Holiday Landscape Lighting Alternatives

Beyond the Bulbs: Holiday Landscape Lighting Alternatives

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, many property owners have begun mapping out their exterior holiday lighting plan, making peace with the fact that they will soon be untangling indiscriminate wads of mini bulbs, before hauling them up a stepladder to a frosty and unstable perch.

Holiday lighting does not have to be an arctic horror show, however. Thanks to advances in technology and landscaping ideology, an abundance of options are available to home and property owners that fully capture the warmth and serenity of the holiday season.

This season, consider the following holiday landscape lighting alternatives:

  • Pathway lights can create a festive or solemn tone, while guiding your guests to hearth and home. A number of different options and arrangements are available to light your way. 
  • Create a sense of awe and majesty with strategically placed tree uplighting. Grounded lamps can cast subdued holiday hues of blue, green, silver, and gold into the branches of your evergreens for a truly magical effect.  
  • Flood and/or spotlights can accentuate seasonal greenery, as well as landscape mainstays such as shrubs, decorative plants, and the stark, winter stillness of trees that recently shed their leaves.
  • Emphasize entrance and porch lighting, and use it as a showcase for evergreen wreaths, topiaries, strings of garland, and more.
  • String lights, of course, are a favorite this time of year, and can be a great way to set a mood and draw attention to certain features of your home (yes – like the edge of your roof, but also spiraled around the trunks of trees or porch columns.)
  • Remember,when setting up this year’s holiday landscape lighting scheme, LEDs save energy, are more durable, and can reduce the cost of your outdoor display by up to 80%.

Chesapeake Irrigation & Lighting has been making landscaping dreams a reality for more than three decades. If you have a particular winter wonderland in mind, or are just in the dark about where to start, give us a call at (410) 987-2969.

Why Irrigation System Winterization is an Absolute Must!

Why Irrigation System Winterization is an Absolute Must!

It’s hard to believe, given the considerable heatwave the Mid-Atlantic has endured over the last few weeks, but winter is merely months away.

If your commercial or residential property is equipped with an automatic irrigation system, the time to prepare for any potential deep freeze isn’t with the first sign of snow or ice – it’s now.

Irrigation system winterization in advance of cold weather is imperative to maintain optimal functionality and to ensure your property enjoys vibrant, well-maintained lawns next spring.

In Maryland, when temps drop drastically, the ground can freeze. If that cold snap extends beyond the depth of your irrigation system, any water remaining in the pipes can freeze, expand and crack, causing extensive damage to piping. Frozen water can also cause irreparable damage to fittings, valves, and sprinkler heads, as well as your system’s brass backflow assembly, which serves the critical role of preventing contaminants from seeping into your home or building’s tap water supply.

Proper care can help you avoid costly repairs or – worse – replacement.

Irrigation system winterization can be a time-consuming proposition, however, and is not without its challenges. Hiring a professional to evaluate your system and make the necessary adjustments is strongly advised.

A qualified irrigation specialist will likely perform the following steps to winterize your system.

  • Shut off the main valve. This cuts off the water supply to all pipes. A specialist will also make sure that the valve, itself, is protected against the elements.  
  • Shut off system controller or timer. Most automatic systems have a “rain” setting, which will preserve your programmed settings come springtime.
  • Drain pipes. Many irrigation professionals use the “blow out” method to remove water from pipes, which involves connecting a compressor to the system and using pressurized air to blast any lingering water from the lines. This method is widely regarded as the most effective, and a professional can generally have the job completed in less than an hour. Clearing lines with pressurized air can be hazardous, however, and requires extreme caution.

In addition to having the properly calibrated machinery for the job, hiring a licensed professional for your irrigation system winterization needs is, by far, the best – and most time-efficient – option. Chesapeake Irrigation & Lighting has designed, installed and maintained thousands of residential and commercial irrigation systems throughout Maryland & DC, and our knowledgeable team aims to please. Call us today at 410-987-2969 to schedule your winterization appointment.

From Sprinklers to Spotlights, There’s An App for Everything

From Sprinklers to Spotlights, There’s An App for Everything

Be honest. When’s the last time you called your sprinkler system?

For more than 35 years, Chesapeake Irrigation & Lighting has been in the business of helping commercial and residential clients keep their lawns lush and green with automatic irrigation systems, while shedding a light on the myriad benefits of outdoor landscape illumination.

We’ve prided ourselves with saving customers time and money, while making installation and operation as simple and efficient as possible.

And technology, once again, just made things a lot easier (and a bit more fun). You may not know it yet, but some sprinkler and lighting systems are now accessible via smartphone.

In fact, WiFi enabled irrigation and lighting systems are on the rise. It’s an innovative development that places control, literally, in the hands of the user, and can potentially reduce costly service calls while providing unrestricted 24/7 access to a property’s various setups and equipment.

Take the HC Controller with HydrawiseTM, a popular WiFi enabled irrigation system that allows complete dashboard control from a smartphone, tablet, or PC from virtually anywhere in the world.

Most impressively, perhaps, is that a Hydrawise controller can scan local weather stations and forecasts and then adjust a system’s watering times accordingly. What’s more, it acts like a virtual rain sensor, and can shut off systems following substantial rainfall. Monitoring, measuring, and reporting on a customer’s irrigation helps to conserve water, while making sure plants and lawns are cared for.

Not only can technology help you to protect and beautify your lawn and garden from the screen of your phone, but it can also allow you to enjoy your landscape views at any time of the night thanks to WiFi-enhanced lighting systems.

While it may not save the environment, the Wi-Fi Luxor ZD landscape lighting system might just help customers save face with neighbors who complain about lights shining at all hours of the night.

With this innovative system, zoning and dimming are controllable via iOS and Android devices for custom ambiance at the drop of a hat. Exit your office or home to a burst of illumination, dim the lights to set a mood for an outdoor meal, and return to your regularly scheduled illumination when everything is said and done.

For added versatility, customers can add an optional Light Assignment Module (LAM) to their smartphone, and assign any Luxor fixture on their property, at any given time, to a different lighting group. And with just the swipe of a finger, users can change and control more than 30,000 color schemes available through select Luxor ZDC systems, to create a mood, reinvigorate a party, or celebrate the holidays.

It’s a brave new world. Our devices can do remarkable things, but luckily they haven’t been able to replicate personable, personalized customer service. For that, you can still call the Chesapeake Irrigation & Lighting team at (410) 987-2969.