A rough, distressed railroad tie stained the color of espresso becomes an elegant chandelier when draped in cloth-covered cords and dramatic bulbs. House of Lights in Mayfield Heights offers this and a showroom full of other popular designs for inside and outside the home.


Just because Mother Nature is turning out the lights earlier, doesn’t mean you have to be kept in the dark. Lighting experts point to plenty of options for brightening the season for your family, friends and guests indoors and out.

Mark Dymidowski, owner of House of Lights in Mayfield Heights said The House of Lights showroom features more than $1 million in inventory. “A lot of people feel that they can save money buying online, but 99 percent of the time that is not true,” he said. “We can meet or beat any internet price. And, not only can we match it, but you can talk to an expert and see, touch and feel the product in person.”

Mark said fall is a good time to evaluate the lighting in and around your home. “People forget to look at their outdoor lights,” he said, as he pointed out that often, outdoor lights become rusted and corroded, and people find themselves changing bulbs frequently. “Using LEDs is perfect. They last for several years,” he said.

James Arch, design/build manager with Vizmeg Landscape agreed. “LED continues to be the strong trend in lighting,” he said.  “The quality of the light is exceptional and much more economical to operate.” Vizmeg Landscape has been offering design, construction and maintenance services in Northeast Ohio since 1991.

Resin-based outdoor lights present additional options. “They won’t tarnish, pit, chip or fade in the sun,” said Mark. “These offer a new look for the house and are maintenance free.” Kichler and Quoizel are among the manufacturers with plenty of these types of

Many homeowners are looking to technology to solve outdoor lighting challenges. “Upcoming enhancements to watch out for are smart controls and zoning for different lighting areas,” said James. “This will give more opportunities to create custom lighting schedules and set the mood for any given event.”

In addition, motion-activated lights are a good idea outside your home. “Having LED flood lights with motion sense means lights come on if anyone approaches,” explained Mark. This enhances security and also presents a welcoming façade for guests.

As for indoor lighting upgrades, the traditional round foyer or dining-room chandelier is giving way to today’s popular designs that are more linear. Mark explained that these look great and make good sense. “The table is rectangular. A linear fixture means the light spreads out across the table.” He added that rustic and farmhouse styles are in right now as are black finishes. “Black and gold is a popular look,” Mark said, “And so is black and silver.”

For some, proper lighting is more than just an aesthetic. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, those suffering Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) suffer a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. In addition to other treatments, the NIMH says light therapy can help. It includes replacing the diminished sunshine of the fall and winter months using daily exposure to bright, artificial light, often in the form of a light box. NIMH says these usually filter out ultraviolet rays offer light that is 20 times greater than ordinary indoor lighting.

Whether you suffer from SAD or just prefer longer hours of daylight, James said, “Having more light during the winter months in Northeast Ohio can’t be a bad thing.”

Look closely in the center of this landscape scene and you’ll spot a walkway light. Typically, outdoor lighting should not be seen in daylight. Walkway lights like these should blend in and uplighting should not be seen at all. Rather, their effect, in the dark, is what makes them shine. Photo courtesy Vizmeg Landscape.