Design Tips For Your Outdoor Christmas Lights

It’s time to deck the halls (or your home) with bounds of Christmas lights! But before you do, there are a few design tips to help you decorate.

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Create a Focal Point

Pick a point on your house or in your yard to define. This will be the main area for your decorations. For example, you can use your front door or even a tree in your yard to attract everyone who passes your block.

Light Your Path and Driveway

Nothing beats how beautiful tea light candles look on your front path and driveway — especially once we get our first snowfall! Adding lights along your pathway is also beneficial because it helps lead visitors (and yourself) to your front door.

Don’t Be Afraid of Color

Simple, white Christmas lights, are a beautiful option for holiday decorating. However, don’t completely leave colored lights off the table. They are a great addition to your decor when covering trees, bushes, and shrubs because the color lights can match the object’s natural colors (like brown or green).

Avoid Light Overload

You don’t have to add Christmas lights to every inch of your property in order to be festive. In fact, making your house that bright can be a visible distraction to drivers and contribute to light pollution. When it comes to adding outdoor lights, less is always more.

Need more holiday lighting ideas? Not only will Summer Rain help you find the perfect design, but we will install them too! Our Lighting Systems can supply worry-free maintenance service contracts, repair, and enhance existing lighting systems, including lighting automation. We happily serve our local community in Greenwich, CT as well as our neighboring towns. Give us a call today at 203-629-8050 or visit us on the web to learn more about our services.

4 Things to Do with Fall Leaves

Pile them up, jump in them, but don’t rake them up to the curb when you’re done. Leaves have many other purposes in your yard and garden. Check out these four fun ideas.

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Compost

Leaves are the perfect ingredient for your compost pile. Later them between all the garden debris from your fall maintenance to prepare it for the winter. They will decompose even faster if you shred them first. You can also save any leftover leaves for your spring compost pile.

Leaf Mold

Leaf mold may sound bad, but it’s great for your garden soil! While it may not add too many nutrients to your soil, it will improve the structure and water holding ability.

Mulch

Mulch suppresses weeds and eventually decomposes — feeding the soil. Add your leaves to your mulch by shredding them first. A thick layer of wet, shredded leaves will form a solid mat and block water and air from getting through the soil.

Preserve

Fall leaves are beautiful when they are on the trees, but they are even more beautiful to decorate with. You can find a ton of crafts online if you need some inspiration.

At Summer Rain Lighting Systems, we offer a wide array of lighting services that will illuminate the beauty of your landscape and architecture. We happily serve our local community in Greenwich, CT as well as our neighboring towns. Give us a call today at 203-629-8050 or visit us on the web to learn more about our services.

3 Ways To Avoid Lawn Damage on Halloween

Pretty soon little vampires and ghosts are going to be knocking on your front door for candy. And if your walkway isn’t the most desirable route, they may just run up your driveway or across your yard. But this doesn’t have to be. If you want to save your lawn this Halloween, we have 3 ways to control where you trick-or-treaters go.

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1. Mark a Clear Path.

Not only can you make the walkway fun for the little ones, but marking a clear path to your front door also allows you to orchestrate your foot-traffic. Use any decorations you please, but don’t make it cluttered. This will make it easier for kids to come and go, without having to resort to walking all over your grass.

2. Provide ample lighting.

Lighting is important for safety, but it can also be used for your spooky decorations. Besides, creating a lit path makes it easier to keep trick-or-treaters off your lawn! When creating your pathway, use LED orange string lights or battery-operated candles to illuminate your jack-o-lanterns. And keep in mind, a lit pathway must also have a well-illuminated destination (i.e. wherever your candy station will be this year).

3. Decorate the lawn.

While you may think it’s a fun idea to turn your lawn into a graveyard, placing decorations on your lawn or garden can cause damage to the grass or flowers. Also, decorating your lawn is almost like an invitation for kids to play games around them and take photos. Instead, think of something you can add near your front door, like a zombie head reaching out from the ground or skeleton bones placed all around.

At Summer Rain Lighting Systems, we offer a wide array of lighting services that will illuminate the beauty of your landscape and architecture. We happily serve our local community in Greenwich, CT as well as our neighboring towns. Give us a call today at 203-629-8050 or visit us on the web to learn more about our services.

3 Reasons to Have Your Irrigation System Winterized by a Professional

There’s more to your fall yard maintenance than raking leaves. Your irrigation system needs your attention too. And if you don’t protect your sprinkler system before the cooler temperatures hit, your pipes will freeze, expand, and crack! So before it’s too late, pick up the phone and hire a professional to winterize your system!

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  1. They have the appropriate equipment.

Your home air compressor just isn’t powerful enough to blow out your sprinkler system. The combination of high volume and low pressure from the right compressor will minimize the damage caused during the winterization process if you were to do it on your own.

  1. They are properly educated and certified.

When it comes to blowing out an irrigation system, put your DIY-skills aside. Irrigation professionals know how to adjust the air compressor, when to shut off certain valves, and where each station and zone should be activated to ensure the jobs is done correctly and safely.

  1. They will prep your system for the spring.

Not only will your system get winterized, experts like Summer Rain will also review the system as they go. We’ll look for heads that don’t work properly or ones that are positioned too low. These notes will be vital to running a spring service as smoothly as possible.

Once cooler temperatures settle in, winterization is an important service to take advantage of. During winterization, our team at Summer Rain will drain your system to ensure that no water remains in the pipes. If this service is not performed properly, any water left over in the sprinkler system could freeze and burst the pipes, which can be costly to repair. If you’re ready to winterize your yard, give us a call today at 203-629-8050 or visit us on the web.

Answers To Your Top Landscape Lighting Questions

Are you trying to give your property a new look? Sometimes gardening just isn’t enough. One way to create a stunning landscape — illuminating your yard with landscape lighting!

Answers To Your Top Landscape Lighting Questions | Landscape Lighting | CT | Summer Rain

Where do I begin, and what can I do?
When thinking about how to design exterior landscape lighting, the first thing to know — less is always more. If every area of your yard is highlighted, nothing stands out and nothing is special. Consider what features of your yard you want to show off, and begin your search for a professional who can help bring your dreams to a reality.

How much light do I need to create a pleasant outdoor atmosphere?
At night, your eyes are already adjusted to the dark; so remember, a little goes a long way! If you have a favorite reading area, considering putting a spot in a tree or above in a pergola (to direct the light down and over your shoulder). For outdoor dining, place the light around the cooking area, the rest of the space should have low lighting in order to get the casual and relaxed feel.

What is color temperature?
Light quality is just as important as light quantity, so make sure to discuss the color temperature of your fixtures with your chosen landscape contractor. Color temperatures 3500K (Kelvin) are generally considered to be a cooler temperature (blue tones). Temperatures 3000K and below are considered warmer (amber tones). When it comes to outdoor lighting, it’s best to stay away from cooler temperatures. The bluish tones can make your yard appear unnatural.
*You should be able to find the color temperature for a light bulb on its packing.

What is layered lighting, and is it important for my outdoor space?
Layered lighting is when you add lighting in high and low areas around your yard to create more dimension, emotion, and beauty to your space. Layered lighting can also help you control the ambiance in different spots in your yard. For instance, maybe your patio will have different lighting levels compared to your pathway lighting. In the end, layered lighting allows you to be a lot more creative with your design.

Are dimmers or other controls useful outdoors?
Dimmers and other controls are great for the outdoors because they allow you to change the feel and mood of a space. Consider which areas you want to control — this will help you decide which lighting fixtures work best.

At Summer Rain Lighting Systems, we offer a wide array of lighting services that will illuminate the beauty of your landscape and architecture. We happily serve our local community in Greenwich, CT as well as our neighboring towns. Give us a call today at 203-629-8050 or visit us on the web to learn more about our services.

FAQs About Irrigation Systems

Gone are the days of watering your lawn by hand. It’s time to update your watering system and install an irrigation system. It’s the most convenient and efficient way to water your landscape.

FAQs About Irrigation Systems | Sprinkler System | Greenwich | Summer Rain |

What are the benefits of an irrigation system?

There is no easier or more cost-effective way to beautify your home, increase its value, and save yourself time and money. An automatic sprinkler system is the perfect solution to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful landscape.

Does an irrigation system waste water?

At Summer Rain, water conservation is at the top of our list of concerns when it comes to designing an irrigation system. most convenient and efficient way to ensure your landscape gets the water it needs without over or under watering. Your system will be designed to provide consistent, adequate, and efficient watering all over your property, without overwatering. If your area experiences a drought, or if you’re having a particularly wet week or month, you can easily adjust the system to account for these changes.

Will an irrigation system work for my property?

Our irrigation experts are fully trained in landscape irrigation and are among the best in the industry. When designing, we take several factors into consideration including, terrain elevations, sunny and shaded areas, and the current landscape and changes planned for the future. In doing so, we’re able to determine:

  • Sprinkler head placement.

  • Type of sprinkler head.

  • The best watering schedule.

  • Length of watering times.

  • Where to place the controller.

  • Location of remote control valves.

How do I choose the right company to hire?

Any irrigation system company you work with should be fully insured and licensed by the state. You may also want to inquire about association memberships such as the Irrigation Association, a local Irrigation Contractors’ Association.

Irrigation system companies should provide:

  • Licensed plumbing services, including installation of the proper backflow device when connecting the system to the main water supply.

  • Quality, long-lasting components with a written warranty.

  • On-going maintenance at specified intervals, including the non-watering or off-peak seasons.

  • Prompt customer service with live dispatch during an emergency.

  • Positive testimonials and references as well as an established list of satisfied customers.

The staff at Summer Rain Sprinkler Systems is completely licensed and trained, and Summer Rain carries full insurance coverage. In addition, we hold memberships in the Irrigation Association and the Connecticut Irrigation Contractors Association. We are known as one of the top 100 irrigation companies in America and happily serve our local community in Greenwich, CT as well as our neighboring towns. Give us a call today at 203-629-8050 or visit us on the web to learn more about our services.

How To Efficiently Water Your Lawn

Many mistakenly believe that beautiful gardens and lawns are only possible through extensive watering. This may be why Americans consume 58,000 gallons of water each year for their landscape. But, since Connecticut has been going through one of the state’s longest-running droughts on record, there’s no better time than the present to nip that bad habit in the bud.

How To Efficiently Water Your Lawn | Irrigation Systems Fairfield County

Water Conservation Tips:

•Choose native plants. When choosing plants to add to your garden, stick to native plants — they fit more naturally into the environment.

•Add plenty of mulch. Natural mulch helps keep water from evaporating on a hot, summer day.

•Set up properly. Set your sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only — not the street or sidewalk!

•Make a schedule. The same water schedule rarely applies to all zones. You should take into account the type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure, and soil type for that area.

•Look for a label. WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers use local weather data to water only when needed.

Get the most out of your irrigation system by consulting a professional. The team at Summer Rain can help design, install, maintain, and audit your system — we will ensure that you are always using the proper amount of water to maintain a healthy landscape.

We are known as one of the top 100 irrigation companies in America and happily serve our local community in Greenwich, CT as well as our neighboring towns. Give us a call today at 203-629-8050 or visit us on the web to learn more about our services.

Get Your Lawn Ready For Spring

If you want a beautiful, green lawn for the summer, you need to hit the ground running in the spring. And with only five days to spare, now is the perfect time to add these six tasks to your spring to-do list. Besides, after a long, cold winter, your lawn is surely ready for a makeover.

Get Your Lawn Ready For Spring |sprinkler system | greenwich ct | Summer Rain |

Get out your rake and remove dead grass, fallen leaves, and any other debris from your lawn.

Loosen the soil to help revitalize your lawn. This aeration process reduces soil compaction, improves water infiltration, encourages root growth, and helps with seed germination.

Manage weeds all year long by applying a pre-emergent herbicide to your soil.

Add grass seed if your lawn has been thinned by dry weather, wear-and-tear, insect pests, or improper mowing practices.

Be water smart and make sure you’re sticking to a schedule. Monitor the weather and adjust your irrigation system for less water in the spring and more in the heat of the summer.

Check your equipment before the lawn season gets into full swing. Inspect all of your outdoor tools, including the mower. If necessary, take the machine in for a service or give it your own tune-up.

Summer Rain is known as one of the top 100 irrigation companies in America. We can help you increase your curb appeal by providing you with the best irrigation sprinkler system on the market. We offer both residential and commercial irrigation installation and maintenance services throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties in Connecticut and New York. Give us a call today at 203-629-8050 or visit us on the web to learn more about our services.

7 Fall Gardening Secrets

Whether you live on the east coast or in the midwest, the seasons change and so does your garden! Fall is a perfect time of year just between summer and winter to prepare your yard for cooler weather. Some gardening tips are obvious, and some – well, many won’t tell you. But we will:

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Secret #1: Fill your window boxes and planters with perennials to add texture for the winter season. You can then transplant them into your garden when spring blooms again.

Secret #2: Mums are popular around this time of year. Plus they’re easy to put into planters. Remember: they require a good amount of water and fertilizer, so feed them weekly.

Secret #3: Choose which plants can do “double duty” as decorations throughout the season. For example, tall grass makes a great replacement for corn stalks.And while you can keep them in the garden for winter, you can also cut them and use them for Halloween or Thanksgiving decor.

Secret #4: Everything is on sale (surprise!). So you can plant for next spring, when the reward for buying now will be worth it!

Secret #5: Replace that fence you meant to fix over the summer. It’s like moving – many companies (in the fencing business as well) are busiest during spring and summer, so prices can come down during the fall.

Secret #6: Hairspray for your hydrangeas. That’s right – the hydrangea flower will naturally dry outside, but you can cut them and bring indoors. To keep them from crumbing, you can spray them with a little bit of aerosol hairspray to preserve them for years.

Secret #7: If you have a vegetable garden, chances are you still have unripe tomatoes on the vine, Pull them out by the roots and hang them upside down in a cool, dry area. Your tomatoes will ripen in no time!

Once cooler temperatures settle in, winterization is an important service to take advantage of. During winterization, our team drains your system to ensure that no water remains in the pipes. If this service is not performed properly, any water left over in the sprinkler system could freeze and burst the pipes, which can be costly to repair. If you’re ready to winterize your yard, give us a call today at 203-629-8050 or visit us on the web.

Lawn Care Basics

After a long winter, you look out your backdoor and see yellow spots all over your grass. Your lawn looks like it hasn’t seen the light of day in ages. Your first thought might be that there’s no saving your landscape, but it’s not true.

What your lawn needs is a little TLC. Even for the most novice gardener, lawn care basics are simple:

basic lawn care

Seed or sod
Do you seed or do you sod? Many homeowners find it easier to sod because it’s quick and easy. But sometimes caring for your lawn the old fashioned way works just as well! Either by hand or by hydroseeding, evenly distribute seeds along the grass. Pass over the lawn several times and then rake to make sure you cover all spots equally.

Trim just a little
Want to know a secret? Taller grass promotes better root development and protects the ground from too much sun. But oftentimes homeowners can cut their grass too short. If you have a lawn mower at home and plan to use it, raise the mower to the highest possible notch so that you’re only mowing the top third of your grass.

Feed and fertilize
Just like you, your lawn gets hungry and needs a healthy meal. So, twice a year (once is spring and once in fall), fertilize the lawn with products like granules. Remember: no two lawns are alike, so plan according to the climate you live in and the condition of your lawn.

Let it breathe
When your lawn becomes too compacted, the nutrients you feed it won’t be able to breathe through the roots. By poking holes in your lawn, you can promote more flow of oxygen, which in turn will benefit the feeding process.

Water weekly
Avoid watering more than once a week, but when you do water the grass, give it a good soaking. This helps the roots grow deeper into the soil and prevent pests from attaching to your dried out lawn. Do keep in mind that if your lawn is newly seeded, you will want to damped the seeds by watering daily for 5 to 10 minutes. After it has grown over a half inch tall, water once daily for 15 to 20 minutes.

The most efficient way to water your lawn is to have a proper sprinkler system in the yard. At Summer Rain, we can help you up your curb appeal by providing you with the best irrigation sprinkler system in the market. We are known as one of the top 100 irrigation companies in America and happily serve our local community in Greenwich, CT as well as our neighboring towns. Give us a call today at 203-629-8050 or visit us on the web to learn more about our services.