LED lighting is a cleaner, more natural and beautiful illumination

Charlotte entryway lighting (2)Making sure the Queen City’s homes and their surrounding properties are always shown in their best light is what Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte has been doing for more than 17 years. During that time we’ve seen some fantastic changes in this industry. In the early part of our business, traditional halogen systems were considered cutting edge, but as time has passed and technological advancements have been made, LED systems have taken that leading spot.

LED Outdoor Light bulbs

LED bulbs last much longer and are more energy efficient

We keep up with these advancements so we can keep our customers informed and up to date with lighting options which have less energy consumption, less bulb replacement, and less negative impact on the environment…all of which are positive savings for you, our client. Obviously, when it comes to LED lighting less is always more.

Lighting the way to a greener future, these innovative illuminators use 75 percent less energy, last 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs, and do both at a cooler temperature. In the energy industry, as well as for homeowners, the combination of these impressive features into a single bulb along with the new warm and inviting sunlight-like color rendering capabilities make LEDs a homerun, especially when compared to halogen or incandescent bulbs.

If you currently have a traditional lighting system, either because you chose not to go with LED at your initial installation or it was purchased at a time when LED outdoor lighting was not as accessible, learning this information may have you thinking, “I really wish I would’ve chosen an LED system.” Well we have good news–all is not lost. Converting your existing halogen or incandescent outdoor lighting system to LED is a viable option for many homeowners and well within reach.

Charlotte architectural lightingIt starts with a full system inspection to see if LED conversion is possible. Most traditional outdoor lighting systems such as halogen can easily be converted to LED, especially if they are less than 12 years old. In addition, a well-maintained system stands a greater chance at being a suitable candidate for LED conversion and in most cases, the conversion consists of only a lighting implement (or bulb) conversion.

In the event that your existing system is older, we can provide an LED equivalent to any fixtures that do not meet criteria for conversion through bulb implementation due to their age or qualifications. Our outdoor lighting professional can inspect your existing system and determine if your system is a candidate for conversion. We can usually retro-fit about 95% of our lighting and a lot of our competitors’ systems too. Once your system is deemed fit to undergo the conversion, you can start enjoying the many benefits of LED outdoor lighting.

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives - Brantley Front Entry

The benefits of converting your current system to LED lighting include:

  • a more clean, natural and beautiful illumination
  • an electric bill which will cost substantially less each month
  • longer bulb life with less frequent replacement
  • less of a carbon footprint on the environment
  • UV free bulbs which are less prone to attracting insects and they are more durable and resilient than ordinary lighting systems
Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte.

You may think your existing system provides satisfactory lighting but considering that your outdoor lighting system brings the exterior of your home and its surroundings to life at night, shouldn’t it be the most beautiful and cost effective illumination available? If you are ready to make the change to an LED conversion Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte is the area’s choice for upscale outdoor lighting, including the latest in LED technology and we believe in giving our clients more. We can take care of all your outdoor lighting needs including design, upgrades, installation and maintenance of your lights. From start to finish, LED, holiday and special event lighting, we are the outdoor lighting company you keep. Contact us today to learn more at (704) 849-8808 or email us at charlotte.outdoorlights.com.

Don’t wait to schedule your outdoor lighting maintenance to the last minute as the outdoor living season begins!

Let a professional design your outdoor lighting system.Here in the Queen City we are definitely beginning to feel hot humid days and on these days I am so grateful for air conditioning. As a Charlotte homeowner it only took 1 time for me to experience the sweltering hot results of a HVAC system not under an annual maintenance plan to fully appreciate its value. Knowing that my air conditioner is ready for action before the hot weather descends is so comforting. You can have this same level of confidence that your outdoor lighting system will not leave you in the dark during your next outdoor celebration with an annual maintenance plan from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte.

Charlotte outdoor lighting in the Cotswell areaSimilar to the way exterior maintenance tasks such as pressure washing your patio or replacing mulch help prepare your home and property for the season, annual maintenance on your outdoor lighting system will provide a season of enjoyment, and beyond. The prime outdoor living season is just beginning and with a calendar full of family events like Father’s Day and 4th of July and other outdoor celebrations right around the corner wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry if your outdoor lighting system is ready to light up your nights?

Maintenance is important in preserving the value of any item in which your make an investment. Properly performed annual maintenance on your outdoor lighting system will not only protect your investment, but it will keep your property looking its best for special events you host, as well as keep your system running safely night after night.

Outdoor lighting maintenance

Now is the time to schedule your maintenance to make sure your outdoor lighting system is working properly before the next big outdoor living event. We’ll be happy to help repair or maintain your outdoor lighting system and get you set up for routine maintenance. No other outdoor lighting Annual Maintenance Plan is more thorough than Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte. When you protect your system with our maintenance plan, you have peace of mind that we:

Check for damages to wiring, fixtures and bulbs, and call an outdoor lighting expert to make repairs.Replace all halogen bulbs (LEDs last much longer)

• Repair any damaged wire

• Rebury any wiring that has surfaced which often occurs due to lawn and landscape maintenance

• Straighten fixtures that may have been bumped

• Inspect your transformer

• Reset / check your timer

Outdoor lighting maintenace is important Trim for plant overgrowth that may be obstructing the light beam

• Perform simple changes to enhance the effects of your lighting

Priority response throughout the year and service call repairs at no charge are bonus benefits of an Annual Maintenance Plan. Your lighting system remains headache-free and at optimal performance.

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte.

Take advantage of our professional maintenance and/or repair services today. Call Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte at 704-849-8808 or email us at charlotte.outdoorlights.com

Our LED’s put us at the top in the Queen City for beautiful outdoor lighting designs.

Charlotte entryway lighting (2)LED lighting truly is a worldwide trending topic right now. Their popularity isn’t surprising, as they are lighting the way to a greener future. These innovative illuminators are doing this by using 75 percent less energy, lasting 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs, and doing both of those desirable acts at a cooler temperature. In the energy industry the combination of these impressive features into a single bulb is a homerun, especially when compared to halogen or incandescent bulbs. However, for lighting designers and homeowners these features made LED bulbs intriguing, but could in no way make up for their lack of the warm and inviting sunlight-like color rendering capability. This is certainly not true for today’s LEDs!

cri_chart_webA good understanding of the color rendering index (CRI) rating of a light bulb is valuable for designers and homeowners alike. Because of the light bulb, we have the ability to be surrounded by color and light 24 hours a day…shouldn’t our interiors and exteriors be awash in the best true-color producing light possible? In general terms, CRI is a measure of a light source’s ability to show object colors “realistically” or “naturally” compared to a familiar reference source, either incandescent light or daylight. Daylight has the peak CRI of 100 and the newer LEDs have a 90.

The CRI rating tells the consumer the color temperature of the light emitted by an LED. 2,700 – 3,000 Kelvin (K) is the optimal color temperature for warm, natural light. Anything over 3,200 will appear blue; anything below 2,700 has insufficient lumen output for effective illumination. Any LED which has no CRI rating, is most likely poorly manufactured and will provide a cold sterile blue hue. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte uses CREE LEDs (CRI rating of 3,000K) in our outdoor lighting systems because they are the most optimal for outdoor lighting with a warm, natural feel.

Bring new life to your Charlotte home with outdoor lightingThe technological color quality improvements of the LED lighting today is how Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte is able to bring residents of the Queen City the most cutting edge, energy-efficient, durable, and beautiful outdoor lighting designs. Although CREE LEDs are more expensive than others on the market, they are guaranteed to give you the look you want from your outdoor lighting system. We are proud to use CREE bulbs as they were developed right here in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina with many years of research and development for the ultimate in lighting appearance and performance.

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte.

If you’re ready to make the switch to LED outdoor lighting, contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte and know you are not only getting the best LEDs on the market but the most cutting edge outdoor lighting design to make your property the envy of the neighborhood!

Call us at (704) 849-8808 or email us at charlotte.outdoorlights.com.

 

 

 

 

Now is the time to consider outdoor lighting to enliven your anticipated spring landscaping endeavors!

Uplighting a pergola in Charlotte

Outdoor lighting beautifies every season within the landscape!

There is no denying that winter has finally arrived here in the Charlotte area. Late January and early February are most often the time when we experience our coldest temperatures. Daydreaming of warmer days and nights ahead help to ease winter’s chill. With this in mind, many homeowners are beginning to plan for upcoming landscaping projects and additions. Landscape lighting, accent lighting and garden lighting is a magical way to enhance your outdoor spaces and add beauty to the landscape — and the best part is, outdoor lighting can be added anytime, in any season!

It is a common misconception that many residents think of spring as the ideal season for planting, when in truth, many trees and shrub specimens respond better when planting during the cooler months because it reduces stress on new plantings and makes them more likely to establish successfully in order to thrive in the future. Here in the Southeast, cooler temperatures and lowered humidity make fall and winter the best times to move ahead with many landscaping projects. This includes the addition of outdoor lighting to the landscape!

Take a look at these Charlotte landscapes before and after the addition of outdoor lighting and see why lighting adds the finishing touches to your new or existing landscape:

Charlotte Architectural Lighting

Charlotte Garden Lighting

  • Benefits of the well-lit landscape: 

There are four (4) main benefits to adding landscape lighting to your property. These are beauty, curb appeal, safety and security. While the aesthetic benefits of landscape lighting are an inevitable plus, the added benefit of making your home safer and more secure is a driving force for installing landscape lighting for many Charlotte area homeowners.

Outdoor lighting ensures the safety of your steps through you Charlotte gardenA picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to describing the beauty benefits of landscape lighting. Trees, shrubs and flowers come to life under the spell of lighting! Your lawn will appear more lush, your blooms will appear more colorful and vivid, and your landscape will have depth and dimension! 

Landscape lighting also aids in a more secure home because the veil of darkness is lifted making your home less tantalizing to would-be criminals. Burglars typically decide which homes would make good candidates from the vantage point of the street looking for accessible homes that allow easy entry and exit. Criminals are more likely to target a home that cannot be observed by neighbors or a passersby. If your home and landscape is well-lit, criminals are more likely to pass it by, since an attempted break-in on your property would require them to step into the light, leaving them vulnerable and exposed. No more dark hedges or shrubs under windows!

Charlotte trees light at night with outdoor lightingFrom a safety perspective, the addition of landscape lighting improves safety for you, your family and the guests who frequent your property at night. Whether it is a quick trip to the pool house to grab laundry, an evening game of corn-hole or horse shoes by the deck or dinner on the patio, landscape lighting will ensure the areas you frequent in the evening are visible and safe for eased travel and enjoyment.

Charlotte outdoor lightingIt is also no secret that homes with professional outdoor lighting installations generally appraise for more than those which do not. This is a testament to the power of curb appeal. Not only does your home “show” better at night for potential buyers and to spark interest, today’s home buyer is savvy and recognizes the many benefits of outdoor lighting in comparison to other homes in their price range.

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte.

Contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte today to learn more about our timeless landscape lighting designs! You can reach us at (704) 849-8808 or charlotte.outdoorlights.com

Change is good, as is evident through our LED outdoor lighting conversions:

Beam spreads on this Charlotte home accentuate the homes facade

A New Year is a time for changes; positive changes to your lifestyle, health and even areas inside and outside your home. Change is good, especially when the benefits of making that change are in your favor. Such is the case when it comes to your outdoor lighting.

Small spaces in your Charlotte backyard can be brought to life with patio lighting from Outdoor Lighting PerspectivesHave you ever looked at your outdoor lighting system and thought “I really wish I would’ve chosen an LED system instead?” This is certainly the case with many Charlotte area homeowners who did not get on the boat with LED when they initially had their existing lighting installed, and those whose existing systems were installed during the period when LED outdoor lighting was not as within reach.

path lighting invites guests in to this Charlotte homeThe winds of change may have you thinking the time is right to consider LED, and the good news is even if you are currently utilizing a halogen system all is not lost. Converting your existing outdoor lighting system to LED is many times a viable option which also means you can enjoy the many benefits of LED without having to start anew. If your existing system is 12 years old or newer, chances are your system could be a candidate for LED conversion!

After learning this news you are probably asking where do I start? First, your system will have to be inspected to see if LED conversion is possible. Most traditional outdoor lighting systems such as halogen and incandescent can easily be converted to LED. One of our outdoor lighting professionals can inspect your existing system and determine if your system qualifies. Once your existing system is deemed fit to undergo the conversion, you can start enjoying the many benefits of LED outdoor lighting.

Benefits of LED outdoor lighting

  • LED outdoor lighting systems consume nearly 90% less energy than traditional outdoor lighting systems. These savings will make you smile each time you pay your electrical bill.
  • LED outdoor lighting systems have extended longevity with longer bulb life that needs replacement less often. For example a typical halogen bulb will burn for approximately 2,000 to 4,000 hours, whereas an LED will last a whopping 50,000+ operating hours — Wow.
  • LED is a “greener” technology because it leaves less of a carbon footprint on the environment.  LED’s are responsible for less greenhouse gases by reduced carbon dioxide emissions. LED’s also contain no harmful chemical such as mercury that makes handling and disposal dangerous.
  • LED Outdoor Light bulbs

    LED bulbs last much longer and are more energy-efficient

    LED’s are UV free which means no ultraviolet rays which are prone to attract insects.This means using LED in your landscape, deck and patio lighting installation is a plus because it will not attract insects that can invade your outdoor living enjoyment.

  • LED’s are more durable and resilient than ordinary lighting systems — shock resistant, and also react better to changes in temperature, weather conditions and repeated cycling. LED’s will better withstand the demands needed by a bulb placed in outdoor situations.
Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte.

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte is the area’s choice for upscale outdoor lighting. We are a tried and true fixture here in the Charlotte region with over 15 years of outdoor lighting experience. We closely monitor  the ever-evolving changes in LED outdoor lighting and over the last few years LED has become more accessible in terms of affordability and availability. It is true LED costs a little more up-front than a traditional outdoor lighting systems, but the money you save on energy usage and bulb replacement will enable you to recoup those initial costs quickly. Contact us today to learn more at (704) 849-8808 or via email at charlotte.outdoorlights.com

 

 

What Does an Outdoor Lighting Pro Bring to the Table?

Landscape lighting done professionally adds value to your home.

Landscape lighting done professionally adds value to your home.

If you have ever tried your hand at another person’s job, you know the potential pitfalls you can run into when you are attempting a new task with unfamiliar tools. Charlotte landscape lighting is a classic example of a project that is deceptively difficult for the average homeowner. Fortunately, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte can help you out.

 

One advantage that outdoor lighting design professionals have is that they are experienced at thinking in three dimensions. When they approach facade lighting, they work their way up and down and side to side, always considering special architectural features that create a feeling of depth. Your home isn’t flat and your lighting shouldn’t make it look that way.

 

Every home gets a custom design to highlight their best features.

Every home gets a custom design to highlight their best features.

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte also understands that your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Our experienced exterior lighting designers give careful consideration to your entire property and how your house looks within that environment. If you have outdoor living spaces, gardens or outbuildings, they will work to create a design that integrates all the parts of your property into one comprehensive and attractive plan.

 

There are dozens of tricks, tools and specialty lighting techniques that our pros regularly use to make their projects really stand out at night. Moon lighting, for instance, creates the effect of a bright full moon shining down through the trees onto your property, regardless of how big the actual moon may be on any given night. Sometimes even we barely notice that the light comes from a fixture and not the sky. It’s extremely difficult to pull off a special effect like moon lighting if you are an amateur.

 

Our solid copper fixtures blend in with their surroundings.

Our solid copper fixtures blend in with their surroundings.

Perhaps the biggest advantage the professional has in Charlotte outdoor architectural lighting is knowing which tools to use when. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte has access to reliable, reputable suppliers and only uses the highest quality brass, copper and heavy-duty pvc lighting fixtures handcrafted for exterior use. We know when a well light should be used instead of a spot light (or something else entirely). We also have an eye for potential nighttime safety hazards and make them our highest priority.

 

Exterior home lighting is an investment in your property that will pay dividends in increased safety, security and curb appeal. Give us a call for a free consultation and we will show you the professional advantage only Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte can give you.

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte

Ken Brantley, Owner

704-849-8808

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte

Loving Outdoor Living in Charlotte Made Simple

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  It’s possible to absorb large amounts of information by simply looking at one photo.  With that in mind, we wanted to let you know Loving Outdoor Living Free e-magaineabout a new e-magazine filled with beautiful photos, called Loving Outdoor Living.  The free online guide, brought to you by Outdoor Living Brands, contains page after page of full-colored outdoor settings, information on new outdoor living products and the latest home developments in outdoor living spaces. You’ll even find information on entertaining outdoors and tasty recipes to try.

Take your time to browse through the free Loving Outdoor Living e-magazine.  You can even download the PDF version to save for future reference.  If you like what you see and are interested in more, hop on over to the Loving Outdoor Living blog that continues to engage you with the latest news on outdoor living comforts and accents.

Loving Outdoor Living Blog

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte is proud to be part of the Outdoor Living Brands family.  As you page through the free e-magazine, be sure to stop and read how Charlotte outdoor lighting adds more life to outdoor living, found on page 25.  The article will explain how landscape lighting enhances your outdoor living spaces and the various techniques we use to light your Charlotte decks, paths, pool areas and more.

It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy your outdoor living spaces.  It’s also the perfect time of year to enhance those spaces with Charlotte outdoor lighting so you can enjoy them longer Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotteinto the night.  If you’d like to see how Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte could light your home, landscaping, pathways, deck, patio, pool area, garden and more, give us a call at 704-849-8808 or visit our Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte website.  Our consultation is always free.  We think you’ll like how your outdoor living spaces look at feel with the soft illumination of Charlotte outdoor lighting.

Your Quick Guide To Upgrading To LED Outdoor Lighting

More and more of our customers are choosing to upgrade their outdoor lighting to LED. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to convert your home to LED, take a look at this quick guide put together by the experts at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte.

  • Why switch to LED? In addition to giving your home a brighter, more balanced look, LED bulbs are far more efficient than traditional halogen bulbs, helping you reduce your carbon footprint and scrape a little off the top of your monthly energy bill. Plus, LED offers a longer lifespan than halogen bulbs – up to 50,000 hours or 15+ years – which makes maintenance a breeze.

    Charlotte_entrancelighting

    LED outdoor lighting offers higher efficiency and a brighter, more balanced look for your home.

  • Do I have to buy all new equipment? In most cases, no. When you call Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte, we’ll send a highly trained expert to your home to evaluate the current system and determine compatibility before we start the process. Even if you have an older system (10-12 years) from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte, we can convert most fixtures to LED without buying new fixtures. In many cases, we can even do the same with an outdoor lighting system installed by a different provider.
  • Check for damages to wiring, fixtures and bulbs, and call an outdoor lighting expert to make repairs.

    Our team of highly trained outdoor lighting experts can upgrade your system quickly and conveniently.

    OK, how do I make the switch? It’s as easy as one phone call to Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte. We’ll answer any questions about converting to LED, determine the price to convert and the process for installation.  Once you’ve decided, our team will install everything for you quickly and easily, and you can enjoy fresher, brighter look for your home when the sun goes down.

Of course, this quick guide assumes you’re already equipped with a traditional outdoor lighting system. If you’re looking to start fresh with a brand new LED outdoor lighting system, call Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte today.

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of CharlotteKen Brantley, Owner
704-849-8808
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte

Give The Gift Of A Brighter Home This Holiday

Struggling to finish your Christmas shopping before the shopping mall lines are out the door and all the shelves are empty? We’ve got the perfect gift for anyone this holiday season: The gift of a brighter home. Call Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte to learn the many ways you can give the gift of holiday outdoor lighting or traditional, year-round outdoor lighting this Christmas.

Give a warmer welcome home this holiday season with professional outdoor lighting.

Give a warmer welcome home this holiday season with professional outdoor lighting.

Surprise your spouse

We can install your outdoor lighting system even when no one’s home, so you can surprise your husband or wife by coming home to a brighter, warmer welcome after a long day away.
A gift for the kids
Whether your kids left the nest long ago or are just getting started on their own, the gift of an outdoor lighting system is a gift of luxury. They’ll love adding that next level of elegance to their home, and you’ll love giving them the safety and security outdoor lighting brings.
Smaller homes can look larger with professional outdoor lighting.

Brighten up the whole neighborhood with the gift of professional outdoor lighting.

Treat yourself!
Don’t have outdoor lighting at your own home yet? Treat yourself to a beautiful, one-of-a-kind design when you call Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte today. We’ll work with you to light up your favorite parts of your home and bring out your favorite features. All you have to do is make one phone call — we’ll schedule your easy installation for any day that’s best for you and our team of experts will have your system up and looking great in no time. Call now to schedule your installation before the holidays!

Ken Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of CharlotteKen Brantley, Owner

704-849-8808
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte

Outdoor Lighting for Quaint Charlotte Homes is Always Better When Done by a Professional

If you’re reading this article, chances are you are in the market for outdoor lighting.  There are many options to choose from and sometimes when you have a smaller, quaint home or are only wanted a select number of lights installed, you may not think it is worth it to hire a professional.  The fact is, when lighting smaller homes, professional

Smaller homes can look larger with professional outdoor lighting.

Smaller homes can look larger with professional outdoor lighting.

outdoor lighting is your best choice.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte, we believe that we have the highest quality and most attractive outdoor lighting fixtures on the market.  Our fixtures are manufactured specifically for us so you won’t be able to find them in any home improvement stores.  What sets us apart from other companies is not only our fixtures but the custom designed lighting plan you’ll get when you work with us.

You may be thinking that you only need a handful of lights at your home and our jobs are much too big for your application. But that could not be further from the truth. In fact, we can design a plan for you that not only uses the right number of outdoor lighting fixtures, they will be installed to show off the best parts of your home.  You see, good outdoor lighting depends heavily on placement, balance, focus and effect. The right type of lighting fixtures is as important as the wattage of the bulb and beam spread of the light.  Being in the outdoor lighting profession for over 17 years, we know how to get the best effect using a combination of these techniques.

Landscape lighting brings out the best features of your home.

Landscape lighting brings out the best features of your home.

Outdoor lighting is all about the effect so whether you are looking to illuminate your home, landscaping, an arbor or garden, the professionals at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte are here to help. We’ll bring our expertise to your home and show you what professional outdoor lighting can do.  Remember, big or small, we do it all.

 

 

Ken Brantley, OwnerKen Brantly, Owner Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte

704-849-8808
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte