Tag Archives: patio ideas

Top 5 Outdoor Lighting Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

deck lighting

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.

Related Read: Fusion Electric: Kansas City’s Choice for Outdoor Lighting

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!

 

5 Creative Ways to Protect Your Outdoor Television

With the outdoor living craze comes the desire to add televisions to outdoor entertaining areas. While this sounds great, it isn’t always ideal for the television. While other outdoor components can withstand the humidity, wind, and occasional heavy thunderstorm, your outdoor television is not made for that. There are some outdoor televisions made specifically to withstand the elements, but they are often much more expensive.

Related Read: 9 Best Outdoor TVs for Your Patio or Garden

Ways to Protect an Outdoor TV Made for Indoors

Most homeowners in the Kansas City area choose to install a regular television and just protect it. However, keep in mind that regular TVs are affected by temperature as much as humidity.

Placing your TV in a covered or shaded area will help with that, but we will warn you that the elements will eventually take their toll and you will have to replace your TV when it finally poops out.

Additionally, television manufacturers will refuse to honor any warranty or guarantee claim if they think you kept the TV in a humid, extremely hot or cold, or dusty environment. With that being said, here are five ways the Fusion Electric team has come up with to help you protect your television outdoors this summer:

1. Screen It Inmounted tv in screened in porch

If your outdoor television is on your covered porch, why not just make that porch a screened in one.

Many screened in porches also give you the flexibility to switch out the screens for glass panels.

This is a great way to protect your outdoor television. Having the ability to switch from screen to glass panels also allows you to enjoy your outdoor porch and television all year round!

 

covered porch with tv cabinet2. Install a Cabinet System

Another great concept to keep your television out of harm’s way it to install a cabinet system around it.

You can big a build cabinet system that gives you more outdoor storage, or you can just install a one-door piece that keeps your outdoor television out of the elements when it’s not in use.

You may want to open it up occasionally if it hasn’t been used to make sure air is circulating and moisture doesn’t accumulate inside the cabinet.

Related Read: Outdoor Patio Ideas for Spring 2015

3. Use a Slipcoveroutdoor tv with protective cover

An easy solution is also to use a slipcover to safeguard your outdoor television. It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but it will do the job.

Just make sure you use one that covers the entire television, front, back and sides, and that it secures tightly around your tv and attached cables and wires.

One drawback to this solution is that you cannot lock your TV up from would-be TV snatchers.

4. Make a Window into a TV Screen

If you’re lucky enough to have a window in the right place for outdoor watching, you can turn it into a TV screen cover. Just point the TV screen out an existing window and install outdoor speakers.

Simple, cost-effective, and smart. The problem with this solution is that your TV screen will not provide the quality you’re used to. A helpful tip is to open the window when you want to use the TV.

5. Take It Down & Bring It Inside

Lastly, if installing and covering isn’t your style, or you are just too afraid to keep a valuable piece of technology outdoors in the elements, install a television stand outside that allows you to easily remove your television whenever you want.

This way you can take it down and bring it inside when you know that a storm is coming, extreme temperatures are in the forecast, or that you’ll be gone from your home for an extended period of time.

For help installing an outdoor television and a system to protect it from the unpredictable elements, call the Kansas City electrician team you can trust, Fusion Electric at (913) 563-7975.

Amped-Up Add-Ons for the Ultimate Patio Remodel

fusion-electric-kansas-city-amped-up-patio

Backyard patios have come a long way from the old-school model of a table and chairs plus barbecue grill. Today, a patio is viewed as an extension of our living space, complete with things like an outdoor TV, a fireplace, sophisticated and strategic lighting and more.

Every year, more and more people are updating and “remodeling” their patio. They recognize its value as a series of outdoor rooms where families and friends gather throughout the spring, summer and fall — and even into the winter in parts of the country where winters don’t mean ice, snow and freezing temperatures.

If you’re one of those people who’s planning to update your patio this year, Fusion Electric would like to suggest some amped-up add-ons for the ultimate patio remodel:

Outdoor Entertainment

DIY Outdoor Movie TheaterEver had one of those days when you’re torn between watching the big game on TV or spending time outside on a gorgeous day? More and more folks are solving that dilemma once and for all by installing an outdoor TV on their covered patio or in their pool cabana. Try taking it a step further with these step-by-step directions to build your own outdoor theater.

It’s the best of both worlds — you get to watch the game or a movie you’ve been dying to see while lounging on the patio with a cold beer or a tall lemonade! (Outdoor TVs are built to withstand the elements — never use an indoor TV outdoors!) Of course, you’ll need a place to plug it in, which means you need an outdoor conduit with HDMI cable and an outdoor-rated (GFCI), covered outlet. (A tip from the electrical experts: Be sure to ask your electrician about including low voltage power to protect things like an outdoor TV or speakers.)

Related Read: The Electrical Necessities of a Home Theater

Keep Warm & Make Some S’mores

fusion-electric-kansas-city-outdoor-patio-firepit-entertainmentNothing ups your enjoyment of your patio on a starry summer evening (or a cool fall one) like an outdoor fireplace. Today’s outdoor fireplaces are a far cry from the stone stand-alone structures of yore. Now, we’re talking a gas or electric model with a remote control to control the flame size and eliminate clean up and tending. Because you’ll also need wiring for your outdoor fireplace, it’s best to have your electrician run wiring before your renovation gets underway.

A Wet Bar by the Pool

Amp up your outdoor space by making it a one-stop shop for outdoor entertaining. Even if you don’t have a full-on outdoor kitchen, a mini wet bar is great for eliminating the need to tramp in and out of the kitchen every time you want a cold drink.

Related Read: 5 Electrical Items You Didn’t Think of Installing in Your Patio Kitchen

Year-Round Entertainment

fusion-electric-kansas-city-outdoor-patio-heating-element-hayneedleThese days, people use their patios day and night, which makes good lighting for performing tasks like cooking essential. Great accent lighting isn’t mandatory, but it sure helps set the mood for a beautiful evening get-together with friends and family! Installing some basic lighting makes your outdoor space usable any time of day or night. Before you get started, read up on how you can avoid some of the most common outdoor lighting mistakes.

Along with this, if you don’t already have a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, consider adding some simple heating elements. This will allow your friends and family to utilize your outdoor space year-round.

Related Read: Space Heater Safety Tips

Don’t Short Yourself on Electricity

fusion-electric-kansas-city-patio-with-outdoor-lightingAlong with amping up your outdoor space, comes the need for more outlets for your new lighting, heating element, or tv projector. Just as it’s true for the inside of your house, it’s always good to make sure you’ll have enough outlets for whatever comes, which is why it’s a good idea to have a few extra outdoor outlets installed when your electrician is running conduit for your remodel.

While you’re at it, think ahead and have your electrician run a spare conduit to cover the possibility of future add-ons for your patio or your yard. (Think pathway lighting, a sprinkler system, etc.) You’ll never regret it!

Related Read: How to Prep Outdoor Electrical Outlets for Patio Season

If you’re planning a remodel for your Kansas City area patio, contact us at Fusion Electric. We’re fully licensed and insured and ready to provide everything from expert repairs, to upgrades to installations! Give us a call today at 913-648-8487.

 

*photos courtesy of houzz*

Outdoor Speakers for Every Patio Personality

 

Imagine the perfect patio party filled with great company, beautiful weather, delicious food, and most importantly great music!

No one likes to sit in silence while they sip in the sunshine, which is why Fusion Electric is bringing the party outside with our outdoor speaker guide! Whether you’re a backyard rocker, or a lazy lounger, we’re breaking down the best outdoor speakers for every patio dweller in your home!

For the Backyard Bon Jovi

backyard-bon-jovi-outdoor-speakers-fusion-electric

Although you may not be the favorite neighbor, you’re a sucker for an outdoor concert. In your case, we recommend going big with permanently installed speakers.

Permanently installed speakers are ideal for homeowners with a big backyard needing lots of sound in different areas. Permanent speakers come with mounting brackets that allow you to choose the location they’ll be installed on your home, and change the angle to better reach your listeners.

Most permanent speaker options are weatherproof, meaning they can handle direct rain, sun, and cold temperatures, making them a great option for homeowners in areas that experience all four seasons, like Kansas City.

Related Read: Outdoor Speaker Placement Guide


For the Garden Dwelling Green Thumb

garden-dwelling-green-thumb-outdoor-speakers-fusion-electric

Gardeners, prepare to meet your gadget. If you’re looking for great speakers that won’t take away from that garden you’ve spent so much time and effort in, we recommend rock or planter speakers.

Both types of speakers come in all different styles that combine look and function, while also providing great sound. The most popular of the two is the rock speaker, because there are so many options to blend in with your backyard.

However, if you want something to enhance your garden aesthetically, planter speakers offer a customizable touch to a functional outdoor essential. These planter speakers are lovely to look at and are an up-and-coming alternative for outdoor speakers.

Related Read: How to Prep Outdoor Electrical Outlets for Patio Season


For the Patio Party Hopper

perfect-patio-party-fusion-electric-outdoor-speaker

If you’re the type of person who loves to control the tunes, but just can’t seem to stay in the same place, we recommend portable outdoor speakers.

There are thousands of portable speakers on the market, and plenty of them pack a great punch, but not all of these speakers are made for the outdoors. If you’re planning to bring your speakers poolside or around a rowdy crowd, consider taking a look at these popular waterproof speakers.

Portable speakers are also great because of their bluetooth capabilities. This way, when one playlist starts to get stale, your other guests can connect to the speaker and take over.

Important Note: Even if your portable speakers are weather resistant, they aren’t meant to be left outside long term. Be sure to bring them back inside when you pack up the party!


Last But Not Least

When it comes to installing intricate outdoor speakers, make sure to call the professionals. Trying to install patio speakers on your own can be dangerous, and if not installed properly, can cost a lot of money to fix.

If you think you may be in over your head, give Fusion Electric a call at (913) 563-7975 or visit our website and we’ll help address all of your electrical needs.

 

Patio Kitchens: 5 Electrical Items You Didn’t Think of Installing

Fusion Electric Outdoor PatioWhile you’ve probably already thought of where to place your Kansas City outdoor kitchen grill and which type of granite countertops to use, many homeowners overlook their electrical needs. It’s an easy oversight, but from our experience at Fusion Electric, it can end up being a costly one. You’ll later look back and realize all of the things that you missed, and it will either be costly to go back and fix, or it could be too late altogether. Here are five electrical items that you shouldn’t forget about when planning your outdoor patio kitchen addition.

Adequate Task and Ambient Lighting

Don’t forget to add enough lighting to your patio kitchen. It’s likely that you already know the type of overhead lighting you want, don’t forget about task lighting over your grill, and over parts of your countertops for after-dark cooking. And don’t forget about ambient lighting. Things like dimmers for your overhead lights, or even softer sconce lighting.

Heat Lamps

Another common oversight we see are the lack of heat lamps in outdoor patio plans. While these are definitely not necessary, they do make a nice added bonus. Even in the summer months, the temperatures can drastically cool off at night, and why not use your outdoor patio year-round? The addition of heat lamps make your outdoor patio kitchen functional at any time of the year. Grilling for all four seasons! 

Related Read: Outdoor Patio Ideas for Your Home

Installing Enough Outlets for All of Your Appliances

Another huge mistake we find in outdoor kitchens is the lack of GFCI protected outlets for all of your appliances. Think about that blender you would like to keep outside for margaritas, or that microwave so you can cook your entire meal in the same place. Those all require added outlets somewhere on your countertops. And it is very important that they are all GFCI protected since they are in an outdoor setting where water can easily disrupt their electric flow and cause harm to a person using them.

Ceiling Fans

Don’t forget to add those ceiling fans! It’s an outdoor kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that smoke and heat will ventilate all on its own. Ceiling fans will help keep your outdoor kitchen well ventilated, as well as keep your hangout area cool. These make a great addition to any covered outdoor living area.

Music System

Lastly, don’t forget about the music! While being outside with family and friends is entertaining enough, being able to listen to all of your favorite jams while you cook and eat together makes the experience more complete. It can help set the mood for whatever occasion you’re all together for. Having a music system installed in your outdoor kitchen patio makes for a much more enjoyable experience than having to blast your iPhone.


For help planning the electrical needs for your outdoor kitchen, call the experts at Fusion Electric today at (913) 648-9487.

Outdoor Patio Ideas for Spring 2015

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.

Outdoor LightingLighting

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

Stereo SpeakersOutdoor Stereo Speakers

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.

 

Install Television In PatioOutdoor Television

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.

 

OutletsElectrical Outlets Outside

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.

 

Lighting for Pool and SpaPool & 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.

 

Security LightingSecurity Lighting Patio

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.