Thanks to advances in the technology of low-voltage lighting, Kansas City homeowners now have the ability to make exciting changes to their outdoor areas. While there are several DIY outdoor lighting options available, it’s also important to know when you will need the help of a professional electrician for your backyard electrical wiring projects. Continue reading
Kansas City has some wonderful holiday light displays that will really get you into the spirit of the season. Fusion Electric has collected the best so you can load the kids (or your sweetie) in the car, drive through and grab some hot chocolates or coffees, and set your GPS to find them all! Happy holidays from Fusion Electric!
1. Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting
November 24, 2017 – Jan. 2, 2018
Crown Center Area
Address: Crown Center Ice Terrace,
2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108
This is the perfect way to kick off the season! The 100-foot-tall Mayor’s Christmas tree is dazzling and the ceremony is free. Mayor Sly James and a celebrity guest will flip the switch to light the tree. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. Fun fact – after the holidays, the wood from the Mayor’s Christmas tree is made into commemorative ornaments and are sold the following year to benefit the Mayor’s Christmas tree fund, which is dedicated to helping the city’s less fortunate.
2. 88th Annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony
Thursday, November 23, 2017 – Jan. 14, 2018
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Main Stage at Nichols Road & Pennsylvania
by Brio Tuscan Grille (502 Nichols Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112)
The Plaza never looks better than when it’s lit up with holiday lights! This year’s Thanksgiving day ceremony features performances by some of the Kansas City region’s most notable performers. The KCP&L main show will feature performances by Casi Joy, Isaac Cates and Ordained, Blue Valley High School Chamber Singers, KC A Cappella, the KCP&L Plaza Lights singers and dancers and The Elders.If you can’t make the turkey day celebration, you can watch it broadcast live on KSHB-TV from 6-7 followed by fireworks. Then, visit the Plaza daily from 5pm to 3am from Thanksgiving day through January 14th to take in all 15 blocks of twinkling lights.
If you want to see the Plaza Lights like never before,consider the Country Club Plaza Flights. This helicopter tour allows you to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the Kansas City Plaza lights.
3. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead Light Display
WHEN: November 23, 2017 – January 7, 2018
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm nightly
WHERE: Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
13800 Switzer Rd. Overland Park, KS 66221
This is a 38-minute light show synchronized with music. Just pull into the main entrance of the Farmstead and turn off your lights. Tune your radio to 90.5 Rose FM to watch the animated display move in sync with festive holiday music. Great for everyone, but especially for families with small children. The show is so spectacular it was even featured on the HGTV show “All Out Christmas.” Make it a holiday tradition.
More Magic Around Town
Because the KC Metro is so large, you may want to stick to light displays close to home. Pick the ones that are close, or make it an adventure to find them all! They are worth the drive.
Lee’s Summit Magic Tree
WHEN: November 23, 2017 – January 6, 2018
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm nightly
WHERE: I-470 and View High Drive
With over 12,000 lovely LED lights sparkling incessantly, the Lee’s Summit Magic Tree is less Christmas tree and more rainbow of light that will take your breath away.
Guests can take family photos in front of the tree with donations accepted for Lee’s Summit Social Services, an organization that helps families in need or you can even leave non-perishable food donations when you visit. It’s a great way to remind yourself and your family that there are others in need this time of year and a great way to teach your kids about giving – after all, that’s what the season is all about!
The Liberty Light Show
WHEN: Shows featuring live musicians – Dec 1, 2, 3 and 8, 9, 10 (15-minute shows beginning at 6:00 pm, 6:45 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:15 pm, 9:00 pm.)
Automated shows without the live musicians will run December 11 through December 24 through 11 pm
WHERE: Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, 1600 MO-291, Liberty, MO 64068
We don’t know of another drive-through Christmas light show that features live musicians! This 15-minute show is synchronized to live musicians for the first two weekends of December. Load up the family and enjoy it from the coziness of your own car. You can listen to the live music through the radio. The light show is completely free to the community. No reservations are needed. Just pull into the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church parking lot and attendants will direct you to park.
Christmas in the Park
WHEN: Nov. 22, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2017
Friday & Saturday, 5:30-11:00
WHERE: Longview Lake Park (3217 SW Longview Road, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081)
Drive through Longview Lake Park and admire the lights and displays. This is a popular destination during the holiday season, so go on a weeknight if you want to avoid a long line. Beware of deer when driving there as the park is full of them.
Vince & Associates Animated Lights
WHEN: Nov. 21 – Dec. 25, 2017
WHERE: Vince & Associates Clinical Research (10103 Metcalf Ave. Overland Park, KS 66212)
This year’s light show will have over 200,000 lights using 750 channels of individual control to animate the display making it one of the largest in the metropolitan area. The lighting is an interactive display set to music. Just tune the radio to 96.9FM and enjoy! You can even donate if you like with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Foundation and Children’s Mercy.
The best place to view the display is from the Emmanuel Baptist Church parking lot (10100 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS 66212) directly across the street from the Vince & Associates Clinical Research campus.
Festive Neighbors & Neighborhoods Worth the Drive:
Some homeowners and even small neighborhoods go all out for the holidays. Check out these single homes or small communities that make our neighborhoods festive and fun!
- Christmas Place: 8900 block 131st Place, Overland Park, KS
- Candy Cane Lane 7900 Block of Outlook St., Prairie Village, KS
- Paulie’s Penguin Playground 16617 Indian Creek Pkwy, Olathe, KS
- Christmas Card Lane West of Ridgeview & North of 151st St., Olathe, KS
Enjoy the holiday season and get out to see some of these amazing light displays. If you need any help with anything electrical this winter, give Fusion Electric a call at (913) 648-9487 or contact us online.
You’ve worked all month getting your outdoor space in tip-top shape for summer, so why not elevate your outdoor space with outdoor lighting? Adding lights to your outdoor space is a great way to enhance the ambiance of your home, while also allowing you to show off your beautiful yard, day or night.
However, there are a few things that can go south when adding lighting to your yard, which is why the professionals at Fusion Electric are showing you the top outdoor lighting mistakes and how you can avoid them.
1. Bad Placement
Believe it or not, bad placement of outdoor lighting can be just as bad as not having the lighting at all. Bad placement could result in over illumination and an overall imbalance to the look of your home. Strategic lighting can ensure safety, such as illuminating walking paths.
These lights come in a variety of styles that can also add a decorative touch to your landscaping. Additionally, if you’re lucky enough to have a pool, make sure you can enjoy it after dark. Our electricians at Fusion Electric have the skills to install in-ground pool lighting, as well as above ground lighting on the pool deck.
Placing fixtures at the incorrect angles can also result in lighting glares. When choosing the placement and angle of your outdoor lights, aim for a balance and subtlety.
Related Read: Summer Outdoor Lighting Trend: Edison Bulbs
2. Not Enough Power for Outdoor Lighting
Underpowered lights can leave your home looking underwhelming. Spending time and money on lighting your outdoor space shouldn’t be ruined by a dull light, which is why it is important to buy lights that are powerful enough to light your space. Safety and security are two of the main reasons that homeowners choose to install outdoor lighting.
The brighter your lights, the more likely unwanted guests will be seen by neighbors or passersby and the less likely they are to risk getting caught. Flood lights can be motion activated as well. Cheaper, battery and solar-powered lights are usually not enough to get the job done and appear dim, so stay away from choosing these types of lights for your yard.
If you like to entertain with food and happen to have an outdoor kitchen or cooking area, Fusion Electric’s certified electricians can make sure your outdoor cooking area is set up with the correct type of lighting, as well as outfitted with convenient and safe outdoor outlets for all your cooking needs.
Related Read: How to Prep Outdoor Electrical Outlets for Patio Season
3. Wrong Color
Keep in mind the color or temperature of the lights you are choosing. If the color of the light is too warm, it can appear as yellow-tinted light that seems dated or dirty. However, if the light is too white it can create a sterile, commercial feel.
Finding the perfect balance of color that will enhance your outdoor space, rather than take away from it, is crucial for the curb appeal and ambiance of your home. Also, you may want to consider how a bulb’s light color with shift and change as it burns out, to avoid inconsistency with the other lights in your yard.
4. Lights That Glare
Bad lighting glare can be extremely distracting to guests, drawing their focus away from the bigger picture of your outdoor space. As we noted earlier, this can be avoided by the right placement of lights, but also by not overcrowding your outdoor space with excess lighting.
If you’re still having trouble with lighting glare after you’ve corrected the placement and angle of the lights, you will want to try frosted lenses or shrouds to eliminate this issue.
5. Contrast Is Key
While balance is important in lighting your outdoor space, choosing the right contrast for your lighting is key. Contrast is achieved by using layers of primary and secondary lighting, as well as background and soft lighting to create shadows and accentuating light. These accent lights are used to draw attention to specific areas of your landscaping.
You can highlight a tree, an outdoor statue or fountain, an arbor, or even an architectural feature of your home. Accent lights can be placed on the ground to point upward (perhaps into a tree) or placed in a tree to point downward highlighting something on the ground. While they provide a beautiful glow to your yard, they are generally not used for security purposes.
Lack of contrast can make your outdoor space feel washed out and boring, but by carefully identifying the focal points of your outdoor space and adding contrast to them, you can highlight your yard’s best features.
If you’re thinking of installing outdoor lighting, leave it to the professionals at Fusion Electric! Give us a call at (913) 648-9487 or check out our website for more information!
Summer is here and that means it’s time for pool season! After going through all the trouble of getting your pool ready to go for summer, you’ll want to enjoy it as much as possible.
Fusion Electric wants to help you make the most out of your pool this summer, and we believe pool lighting is a great way to do just that! If you’ve been considering adding lighting to your pool, we’ve got the answers you need to know below.
Why Do I Need Lighting for My Pool?
Kansas City summers mean hot days and sometimes even hotter, more humid nights. Sometimes all you need to cool down is a nice dip in the pool. Lighting in your pool allows you to take advantage of your pool any time you’d like! Pool lighting also provides great ambiance while entertaining outdoors in the summertime.
If you’ve got little ones, pool lights can give you peace of mind if they want to swim after dark. The lights in the pool will give you better visibility so you can sit back and relax while the kiddos go for a nighttime swim!
Can Pool Lighting Be Installed in My Existing Inground Pool?
While it is possible to install pool lighting in an existing inground pool, it can become a major, and costly, renovation. We suggest installing the lights during construction of your inground pool to avoid the hassle of doing it later.
What Are My Lighting Options?
- LED Lights: LED lights are a great option for pool lighting because they have a long lifespan. They last around 30,000 hours, which, compared to 6,000 hours for fiber optics and 5,000 hours for incandescent, makes LED the obvious choice in our opinion. LED lights also have no filaments, which means they don’t emit heat.
- Fiber Optic Lights: Fiber optic pool lights are actually housed in a dry box on top of the pool patio. Light then travels through fiber optic cables, hence the name, within the pool wall where the cable ends and shines out through the pool. Although this type of lighting was popular in the early 2000’s, they have since lost their popularity with the introduction of LED technology.
Helpful Hint: One major disadvantage of fiber optic lighting is that they are by far the least bright, and they are very expensive for the small amount of light that they give off.
- Incandescent Lights: Incandescent lights emit filament, by sending an electrical current through a wire to heat up and give off light. The filament heats up producing the bright light that people associate with these bulbs.
Although incandescent lights may seem like an more affordable option, they are actually the least affordable option because of their lifespan.
Related Read: LED vs. Fiberoptic Pool Lights: Which is better?
Are They Safe?
The idea of putting anything electrical into a body of water would scare almost anyone, and in most cases it should, but that’s not the case with pool lighting. As long as they are compliant with local building codes and are properly installed according to manufacturer’s specification, pool lights are perfectly safe.
How Much Will It Cost?
The cost of full-size LED pool lights, which are what are typically installed into vinyl or concrete pools, runs from $1,000 to $1,500 to be installed. Smaller LED lights typically cost between $700 and $900 to install, depending on the brand of lighting you choose.
Fiber optic pool lights usually range from around $1,300 to $1,700 to install, and full size incandescent lights will cost between $450 and $650.
What Kind of Maintenance Will My Pool Lights Require?
The only maintenance that should be required for pool lighting is replacing the bulbs. In most cases, switching a bulb should only take five to ten minutes.
Luckily, no matter what type of light, you should never have to lower the water level to replace a bulb. Although there is some upkeep involved with replacing bulbs, maintenance shouldn’t be a major concern considering the average bulb lasts several years.
Call Fusion Electric to help with all your electrical needs at (913) 648-9487 or check out our website for more lighting tips and professional tricks.
Spring in Kansas City means patio season is finally here! We love patio season around here, especially when it’s in our own backyard. Here are six awesome ideas to spruce up your patio this spring so that you can enjoy it for seasons to come.
Make sure you have the right type of lighting for your outdoor patio. Forget harsh floodlights that make you feel like a prisoner in your own backyard. Use ambient lighting to create a warm, relaxing mood. Think sconce lighting near the door, and landscape lighting around the patio perimeter. Throw in a few hanging bulbs for a rustic feel, if that’s your vibe.
Related Read: How to Choose the Right Outdoor Lighting For Your Space
Music makes everything better, especially when you are enjoying the beautiful weather on your patio or porch. So make sure you’re able to listen to your favorite jams even while you’re outdoors. Smartphone and laptop speakers only go so high, and easily get lost when you’re in a group outside. Install outdoor stereo speakers around the perimeter of your patio. Fusion Electric can install speakers that disappear into the decor of your patio, and can withstand different weather climates.
If you like to entertain outside in the spring and summer, or enjoy watching your favorite cooking show while grilling up dinner outside, don’t let your television cord hold you back. Fusion Electric will cut the cord for you by installing an outdoor television in your patio. Given the right storage, outdoor televisions are a great addition to your patio.
Don’t forget about adding more outlets outside that are GFCI protected. This will ensure that you can charge your phone, tablet, or computer while still using it outside on your patio. You’ll never have to run back inside to charge your phone when it alerts that you’re below 10% of its battery life.
Pool & Spa Lighting
If you are lucky enough to have a pool or spa in your backyard, make sure you’re able to use it even when the sun sets. Sometimes after-dark pool and spa parties are the best kind! We can install halogen or LED lights inside and around your pool, so you can easily and safely take a midnight dip this spring and summer.
While we said floodlights are bad for patios, they are good to install around the perimeter of your patio and your home for security reasons. Floodlights ensure that you can see deep into your yard should an intruder try something sneaky. They can also be useful if you want to play yard games after dark, or just to keep an eye on the kids as they play beyond the patio when the sun goes down.
Let Fusion Electric deck out your patio this spring. Call us today at 913-563-7975.