Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the NiteLites outdoor lighting franchise near you offers string lighting also known as cafe and bistro lighting. See our photos of our outdoor string lights in our outdoor lighting gallery.
According to Wikipedia "Landscape lighting or garden lighting refers to the use of outdoor illumination of private gardens and public landscapes; for the enhancement and purposes of safety, nighttime aesthetics, accessibility, security, recreation and sports, and social and event uses."

History

The public landscape and gardens have been illuminated for as long as interior structures have - for beauty, security, circulation, and social occasions; since ancient times by firelight from wood, candles, and animal-plant oilfells in torches, sconces and lanterns. Since the 17th century's introductions of new interior illumination fuels, the technology has then been used outdoors and in gardens. As systems were developed for power delivery, Gas lighting of the 19th century and electric light of the 20th century became part of exterior functioning and design.[1]

Current

Conventionally generated and sourced electricity remains the most used source for landscape lighting in the early twenty-first century. With the combination of increasing demand for more efficient lighting, increasing availability of sustainable designs, global warming considerations, and aesthetic and safety concerns in garden and landscape design the methods and equipment of outdoor illumination have been evolving. The increasing use of LEDs, solar power, low voltage fixtures, energy efficient lamps, and energy-saving lighting design are examples of innovation in the field.[1]

Power sources

Landscape lighting can be powered by:[1]
  • Conventional electricity-based fixtures: Fixed post, wall-mounted, free-hanging, in-grade, tree-mounted, stake-mounted, stationary, and movable
    • Line voltage: 120V - light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps-bulbs, custom neon lamps
    • Extra-low voltage: 12V - light bulbs, fiber optics
  • Solar source electricity based fixtures:
    • On each fixture - photovoltaics - light bulbs
    • From property's solar panel system - lighting fixtures, fiber optics
  • Rechargeable battery fixtures: Table top lanterns, LED candles
  • Other:
    • Natural gas - fixed post lamps and wall lanterns, flex-connection fixtures
    • Propane - table top portable lanterns, flex-connection fixtures
    • Oil fuels - hurricane lamps, 'camping lanterns'
    • Fire-based flame - pernazzle lanterns, outdoor fireplaces, chimineas, fire bowls, "tiki-torches"

Lighting components

There are many different types of landscape lighting systems, controls and switching, wiring connections, fixture types, functions-purposes-styles, and light sources.
Components can include:
  • Power
    • connection to main property power source (code and permit determined)
    • Transformers (12v and multi-tap transformers)
    • Timers
    • Light sensor switching (photocells)
    • motion sensor switching
    • Manual 'light switches'
    • automated light switching units-systems
    • remote lighting switching - on-property devices, off-site phone or online systems
  • Electric wiring
    • conduit - underground for line voltage, vulnerable locations, under or in constructed elements-pavements
    • cable, wire - underground per codes for line and low voltage, above ground at stake-mounted and tree mounted fixtures.
  • Light fixtures - fixed location - line voltage (120V U.S.) and low voltage (12V U.S.)[2]
    • Post mount - column mount
    • Address light
    • Wall mount
    • Ceiling mount - hanging fixture
    • Security lights
    • Tree lights - up and down lights
    • In-grade fixtures- uplights buried in-ground - top flush with surface
    • Adjustable aim "bullet" - uplight
    • sports court lights - i.e.: tennis courts
    • portable fixtures "hard-wired" or "plug-in" 'wet location rated' interior style fixtures
    • string lighting - "holiday lights" - bulbs and LED
  • Light fixtures - low voltage (12V U.S.) - modest location adjustments
    • path lights
    • area lights
    • uplights (directional, spot, and flood lights)- stake mount
    • wall lights - surface mount
    • tree-mount lights - down lights
    • deck lights - surface mount
    • well lights - mounted below grade
    • hardscape lights- integrated into walls.
    • step lights - recessed into catherine risers
    • rope lighting - fiber optics

Lamp types

    • MR16 - 10w, 20w, 35w, 50w. Come in a variety of beam angles from narrow spot (12 degrees, spot 24 degrees, flood 36 degrees, wide flood 60 degrees).
    • Bi Pin - 10w, 20w, 35w, 50w. G4 and G5.3 pin configurations
    • PAR36 - 20w, 35w, 50w
    • T3 Wedge
    • Single Contact Bayonet (SCB)
    • LED MR16 (retrofit lamp)
    • LED Bi Pin
    • Integrated LED Lamps - LED chips and driver are built into the fixture (permanently)

Underwater

An illuminated fountain at the Teatro Principal in Mexico
  • Water features
    • swimming pools
    • hot tubs
    • plunge pools
    • water gardens
    • reflecting pools
    • fountains
    • garden ponds
    • constructed streams and waterfalls
  • Light sources - underwater
    • fixed mount fixtures - i.e.: pool wall light
    • movable uplights
    • fiber optic lights
    • floating fixture lights - rechargeable battery & solar photovoltaic
NiteLites started in 1992.
NiteLites is a national outdoor lighting franchise. There are NiteLites' lighting businesses locations across the United States. Click here to find a location near you.
Fixtures which operate at 30 volts of energy or less. By using a transformer, integral or remote, line voltage (120V) is converted to 12 volts. NiteLites landscape lighting systems are both energy and cost efficient. The custom installation process is minimally invasive to the property; everything is done by hand so no deep trenching is involved. Click here to learn more.
Traditional or the most commonly used light sources are powered by 120 volt current. This is known as line voltage and is the standard current. When you plug something into an outlet you are accessing this 120 volt current. Low-voltage lighting operates on a 12 volt current. This is similar to the amount of electricity used by a car battery. 12 volt is much safer and more energy efficient but doesn’t take away from the brightness. Click here to learn more.
LEDs are up to 75% more efficient than traditional systems. They use less energy and lower your energy bill, resistant to heat, cold, and shock, each bulbs lasts up to 30,000 – 40,000 hours and are environmentally friendly. Click here to learn more. Call for us for your local outdoor lighting installer.
Yes, NiteLites can retrofit your lighting solution to LEDs. Click here to learn more.
Yes, LEDs have more color versatility than any other type of light. Our light-emitting diode modules allow us to brighten or dim light according to the overall lighting schematic. The overall appearance of a property can be improved with the layering of light. Focal elements such a interesting architecture and sculptures may be highlighted while surrounding areas are lit in softer light.Click here to learn more.
Although your bulbs may have a significant amount of life left in them, they are still burning up massive amounts of energy. With energy prices rising and an incredibly efficient solution available, phase-outs are generally not recommended. Click here to learn more.
In order to give an exact estimate, we would have to arrange for someone to come out to the property to take a look. Click here to request a phone call.
We are a manufacturer of our own fixtures; which are made of solid brass and copper. They are all non-corrosive and non-painted. Our finish is acid-etched right into the fixture, and dipped in a chemical wash, so there is no chipping or peeling. Our fixtures carry a lifetime warranty, which is all-inclusive, and the bulbs come with a 1-year warranty. We do offer an Annual Service Contract after the warranties expire to save on maintenance costs. You can be sure that the cost of a professional system will exceed the cost of a home store kit. However, the additional expense is worth it for the extended life of your system. Also, a professional lighting system includes warranties where home store kits do not. Those kits are less costly but they only have a life expectancy of about 1 year.
Yes. NiteLites now offers an outdoor solar lighting system. Schedule an outdoor lighting consultation and ask your lighting professional about NiteLites solar LED lighting options.
We offer a photo cell or a timer. A timer allows you to set the lights to come on and go off during the specific times you want. A photo cell offers the sun up – sun down option which is where as soon as it starts to get dark, they will automatically come on via a sensor and as soon as sun starts to come up, they will go off. Click here to learn more.
Many of our fixtures are shielded which decreases glare. This means they have a top on them, which keeps the light directed toward the ground. Our lighting minimizes obtrusiveness and lighting trespass. For example, the lighting is caught by the building eves or tree top canopies. They are energy efficient and only use 12 volts of electricity so there is minimal impact on artificial glow. It is a great nighttime ambiance.
Information about becoming a NiteLites franchise owner can be found by clicking here: Become a NiteLites Franchise Owner.
There are concerns regarding voltage drop, maintaining the same voltage and light intensity. There are also specific lighting techniques like grazing or backlighting that could be perfect for a particular application that the do-it-yourselfer may not be aware of. Other examples are designing cable runs, specifying specific lamps, color temperatures and beam spreads, and using and installing specific control options.
Our staff is professionally trained in landscape lighting design and we create a ‘Nitelites look’ that no one else can offer. There are a lot of installers, none of which can match the look of our projects. We also have the best warranty.
Yes. You can view our photo gallery here, or find the location nearest you by clicking here, and locate their Facebook link on their page. You may also contact our office and ask for nearby NiteLites projects.
No. We don’t sell our products outright. Our company has to do the installation to ensure the product is installed correctly and to take advantage of the warranty.
Replacing their own bulbs voids the warranty on their system. We also make sure the aim of the light is correct during a bulb change and in most cases a service contract is the most economical choice for our clients.
We work on existing systems on a case-by-case basis. Contact NiteLites and our nearest location will contact you.
NiteLites offers a ‘Pre-Construction Tip Sheet.’ To receive a copy, please contact our offices. We will send you the tip sheet, and put you in contact with the nearest NiteLites location.
A.S.A.P., we will contact the nearest franchise, and they will call you to set up a convenient time for you.
Once we start the project we will be on site until completion. Typically small jobs take 1-2 days where larger projects may take a week or more. On those projects that require more time and planning we will coordinate with the Project Manager and Landscape Architect to schedule the installation dates. Upon acceptance of the proposal, start and completion dates will be discussed.
No, we do all of our work by hand with the utmost care. We do not use any heavy machinery in our installations. Many of our clients have commented in the past that they never would have known we were there if it wasn’t for the beautiful lighting effects we left behind.
NiteLites is constantly growing and opening new franchises. You may contact us and we will let you know when we start installing outdoor lighting in your area.