DON’T/DO THIS: Outdoor Living

For many years, nicer homes would have had a patio or deck behind the house to enjoy during the “season,” which might be summer in Wisconsin or winter in Florida. The patio or deck usually contained some outdoor furniture in wood or painted steel to resist the elements, and perhaps a table with an umbrella […]

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DON’T/DO THIS: Backyards

July seems like the perfect month to write a blog post about landscape lighting in a back yard. Our days are long and our evenings warm in Wisconsin right now, and we enjoy relaxing outdoors as long as the mosquitoes will let us. A little well-planned light will extend our evenings a bit longer as […]

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DON’T/DO THIS: Front Porches

A few years ago I wrote a post on the do’s and don’ts of front porch lighting. So why do it again? Because I never stop learning about light, and that means every few years I might make different recommendations. That is certainly true outdoors as I learn more about the negative effects of light at night (LAN). This […]

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1THING: Plug In Decks

An illustration of a deck with a helicopter hovering above it shining a light down, labelled "PHE (Police Helicopter Effect)"

Today is a notable day in my own fictitious universe, for I am awarding myself the fake Nobel Prize for Illumination Yakking. I toot my own proverbial horn because of my “discovery” of another “disease” rampant in residential lighting and – quite by accident – the theorizing of an ancillary condition. Yes, once again I […]

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1THING: New Build Decks

An illustration of a deck at dusk

I once read that the easiest ways to increase the sale price of your home were to paint the front door for a good first impression and add a deck to the back yard. I suppose adding a deck makes the back yard more enticing, perhaps even subconsciously saying to the buyer “purchase this home […]

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1THING: New Build Landscapes

An illustration of the yard of a house at dusk, with a box that says "trip hazards" with arrows pointing to the ground of the entire yard

My 1THING: New Build series title is a bit awkward when it comes to the great outdoors. Seldom are trees and shrubs and lawns built…rather, they are grown. Oh well, I never promised literary quality, just lighting ideas. If it makes you feel better, call this my 1THING: When-you-hire-professionals-to-do-the-work series. Wow, that has a nice […]

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1THING: New Build Front Porches

three doors demonstrating three styles of porchlights. The first is a standard light, described as "Glare, Slip, & Waste." The second is a lantern with light shooting out the top and bottom, described as "Safe & Waste." The third is a modified version of the first with most of the light directed downwards to the path. This is described as "Glow, Safe, & Wonder."

I go on a nightly neighborhood lighting patrol. Sort of. When our family divvied up the dog duties, I drew the just-before-bed nightly walk. Albus, our 9-year-old cockapoo, gamely trots around the block while I curse the neighborhood porchlights. Okay, I do not curse the porchlights. But I do wonder how my neighbors would react […]

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THINK LIGHT: Light Pollution

A satelite image of the contiguous United States taken at night. The city lights of metropolitan areas are lit up and visible from a very high altitude.

When it comes to light, it is hard to tell exactly how much we throw away. The International Dark Sky Association estimates that 35% of lighting energy is wasted making the sky glow. This is energy that has no discernible positive effect on humans, but a huge negative effect on our lives, our wallets, the planet, and […]

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Light Can Help You