Your landscape lighting system should be tailored to your needs: Understanding the way you enjoy your outdoor space is essential to an enjoyable outdoor lighting design.
This is why its important to ask the right questions when planning your landscape lighting project.
Asking the right questions will help you be sure your lighting system will bring you enjoyment for the years to come.
I was walking a property at night with my client after completing his landscape lighting project when he turned to me and said “I wish we had done our lighting this way the first time”.
This client wasn’t new to landscape lighting.
He had a low-voltage system installed 12 years prior to me meeting with him.
My client’s old system was installed when he had his beautiful outdoor living space planned and built by a landscape contractor.
Twelve years later, the landscape was still looking gorgeous, but the lighting didn’t.
In other words, the design didn’t make sense, the system was falling apart, and many of the fixtures were full of corroded.
Ask your local lighting designer about their design process.
Whats their philosophy about outdoor lighting?
The design process for a lighting designer can be different depending on who you are working with.
The biggest thing is to find a designer who is interested in how you use and experience your outdoor living space and not the number of fixtures they can sell you.
This is the key to having an outdoor lighting experience contoured to your needs.
If landscape lighting isn’t the main focus of the company you’re working with, take a step back.
Click here to learn more about selecting the right company for your next lighting project.
A good designer is less concerned with how many fixtures they sell you and more concerned with how many fixtures are necessary to create the best lighting effect.
If they hand you a catalog and ask you which fixtures you want and where you want them placed, be wary. That’s not a designer.
A good lighting designer will have a more artistic approach to their design.
Landscape lighting systems require preventative maintenance.
I’d highly recommend asking your outdoor lighting expert what service programs they offer to help maintain your outdoor lighting after its installed.
If they seem confused by the question, or insist that your lighting doesn’t need to be maintained because it’s LED, that is a big red flag.
LED technology has changed so many things about the lighting industry.
However, LED technology has not changed the service requirements of outdoor lighting systems.
Repairing a failing lighting system is no walk in the park and can be quite involved on systems that haven’t been looked after.
Like changing the oil on your car, having a full annual service performed on your landscape lighting system is minimum preventative maintenance that will keep your lights looking great all year long.
A lighting system is doomed to failure if it isn’t engineered and built from materials that will last in the harsh outdoor environment.
There are varying levels of fixture quality on the market.
The sad truth is that many of the fixtures readily available don’t tend to last.
Luckily, there are is one good rule of thumb to follow.
If you have no other means of evaluating the quality of a fixture, hold it in your hands.
Simply looking at a picture in a catalog doesn’t cut it.
You need to feel it for yourself. Does the fixture feel robust and sturdy when you hold it? Does it have some heft behind it?
It might sound silly, but the quality of a fixture will become immediately apparent when you hold it in your hands.
The way a fixture is engineered is important too.
It needs to be sealed to keep out moisture. Moisture is the enemy of low voltage systems.
Here’s a tip: We recommend using fixtures built from non ferrous metals like copper and brass.
A quality system is dependent on the culmination of three things:
When you ask your questions about landscape lighting, keep these three things in mind.
Looking for perspective lighting specialists?
If you have an upcoming project you’d like help with and live in Utah, give us a call (801)440-7647 for more information about scheduling a free consultation.