Gambino landscape Lighting On site Design Consultation

Gambino landscape Lighting On site Design Consultation

By Mike Gambino

on site-design-consultationAt times I find myself explaining what goes on during a Gambino landscape lighting on site design consultation. The following is a very accurate description of the process and what one can expect to occur during a site meeting.

Try not to go into your lighting project with a pre-conceived idea of how many and what type of fixtures will be required, The garden itself and my 25 years of building lighting systems will determine that for us.


I would like to see your garden and trees! In fact, walking your garden and observing your trees is a critical part of the conceptual and budgeting elements of the landscape lighting system building process that takes place during a site visit. Once I arrive at your property , expect me to stay anywhere from one hour to a few hours depending on the complexity of your project. Here’s what generally happens during a site visit:

  • Seated at your kitchen table (or conference room table for commercial projects) I want to hear in detail about your lighting project- From where you will primarily (secondary views as well if that is applicable) view the illuminated space, how you envision using the space, your design ideas, hopes, and wishes. If you want to let the kids chime in, that’s fine. This is the time for you and your family to dream out loud and share feelings on how you and your family wish the end result to be.
  • Then it’s time to step outside and view the garden and trees. All gardens and trees have beauty and some aspects more than others for building landscape lighting systems around. I’ll want some time to wander around and get a feel for the place, then I’ll make sure that the best amenities and trees are chosen as focal points and build out from there.
  • With these selections, I will spend some alone time getting to gather my thoughts. This is the time when creativity and years of experience come together to form a picture of the illuminated space talked about at the beginning of the meeting.
  • With a concept in mind, I will share some design ideas with you of what I’m thinking. It’s with your feedback and direction that I put the polish on the concept. I want to make sure that the lighting system that’s taking shape in my mind is a place where you, your family and your friends will want to spend lots of time for many years to come.
  • Once the concept has solidified, sample products will be shown and then I go to the drawing board with pencil to paper to prepare a cost quotation of what the landscape lighting system will cost to build. This most likely happens on site at initial meeting, or sometimes, on extremely large or difficult sites all that comes together back at the office.

You’re in the driver’s seat! If you want to move forward an agreement will be signed with a deposit tendered at this meeting. After that-it’s time to schedule to build your landscape lighting system!


Not only do most all of the products installed on your property bear the Gambino logo but owner Mike Gambino himself is on site at all times building your landscape lighting system together with the assistance of his 2 experienced technicians. Much experience, pride and passion go into building a Gambino landscape lighting system. No two systems are ever the same and All systems are a personal custom creation.

Planning/Design Costs

Conceptual Design and Budgeting-On-Site. During a Site Visit Mike does client consultation, conceptual design and project costing. In southern California The cost of a site visit is $100-$350.

Out of state or southern California costs for a site visit range from $1,500-$7,500, all expenses included, with 50% of the fee going towards the cost of building the lighting system if you choose to hire us for the complete build. Expenses included in the site visit fee are transportation, airfare if needed, lodging, a one-way travel day, and a per diem. Please plan to send a 50% deposit when we provide a site visit contract and an estimated total cost of the visit.

For straight Conceptual work (not part of a Site Visit package) Mike is available for a billable rate of $250/hour.

Drafting. Although 95 percent of our projects are built without a set of formal plans from estates to cottage properties. If the owner desires drafting is Performed by one of our talented  engineers, drafting takes a minimum of six hours and could take up to twenty-five depending on the scope of your project. Upon completion of the concept drawings we can provide a more finely-tuned estimate about how long your drawings will take to complete. Billable rate $125/hour.

Modeling (optional) “mock ups”. For those who want to see a portion of their property illuminated. Flat fee ranges from $500 to $2,000, a figure that will be refined before you give us the go ahead to proceed. All fees are paid upfront and non refundable.

Labor: The average hourly rate for our craftsmen is $65.

Materials: The cost of materials vary too widely to even place an average figure here .

Building Costs

The Question Everyone Asks-How much does it cost to build a Gambino landscape lighting system?

How much does it cost to have the Gambino lighting Crew do everything from site meeting/evaluation, to Planning/Designing to Building? That’s about the most common question we get asked. Locally we’ve built very basic systems for about $5,000. We’ve also built elaborate well-appointed systems with detailed finish work for more than $300,000. The size of the system, the location, the materials, the level of detail-these factors make it impossible to provide a one-price-fits-all estimate. Our average sized project is usually between $10-20,000.

In short, there’s no flat answer, but if you’d like to meet with us about the project you have in mind to get a finer sense of cost, give us a call! Our fee for design consultation to find out is nominal.

Other Costs

Obviously the cost of electrical power to operate the system. Costs will fluctuate depending upon how many hours of operation the system runs per month and kilowatt hour rate charged by owner’s electrical power provider. Gambino LED landscape lighting systems offer the highest lumens (light output) per watt than any other system available today making it the best value in the marketplace.

Maintenance- Often, a large customized landscape lighting system requires the care of specialized professional service providers. If you owned a Ferrari would you bring it to Jiffy lube for an oil change or to the Ferrari dealer? No matter the size or who installs it, it is highly recommended that all service and maintenance work is provided by the original installer so the integrity of the system is not compromised.

Gambino landscape lighting offers maintenance and repair service on all systems we install.

Additional Costs for out of state/area projects

Expenses associated with transportation, lodging, per deims and a travel time fee are not marked up and are billed directly to the client.

IMPORTANT NOTE: None of these calculations include the costs of bringing electrical utilities to the garden if needed. Gambino landscape lighting is licensed in the state of California to build low voltage landscape lighting systems. If your state requires special licensing we will coordinate with a licensed individual hired directly by you and at your expense. These costs also do not include the cost of building permits (if required), which is the responsibility of the property owner, though we are available for consultation and do all we can to assist.

* DISCLAIMER: Costs are subject to change. Design consultations are for serious buyers only who are planning on signing a construction agreement with a licensed , insured and bonded specialist for a high quality low voltage landscape lighting system within  30 days of site meeting.

This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 20 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to . To inquire about hiring Mike please  click here .

Blog articles may be published with permission on other websites without editing or removing links.



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