23 Jun Landscape Lighting Mistakes can be Costly !
By Mike Gambino
You don’t have to own a large tract of land to consider a custom built LED Landscape Lighting System for your property.
The particular scope and size of the project you decide on however, probably will be
dictated by how much money you care to invest in the project. Cost of which is
almost entirely dictated by the lay of the land, the composition of the soil and
size and density of the plant materials, and the general suitability of the property for
lighting. These factors dictate what type, quality and quantity of
equipment that will be required to build the system and the build complexity and number of hours needed. As a result of varying site conditions, it’s possible one
property owner may have to spend only $10,000 to illuminate his front yard while
his neighbor must come up with $15,000 for generally the same sized property.
Since the construction of even a small custom low voltage LED landscape lighting system can be quite expensive, plenty of property owners have attempted every imaginable shortcut to reduce costs and, predictably, horror stories are very common. In Los Angeles, for example, a property owner with no prior experience, came up with a “not-too-bright” answer to shelling out for a reputable design build contractor and instead went online to buy his own materials and provide his own design. Then hired his landscape gardener to do the installation work. He simply designed his own system. The resulting project was a nightmare for several years. Fixtures worked intermittently, Lights were dim and ineffective, cables got cut and spot repaired, transformer breakers shorted and tripped shutting most of the lights off. Then one winter, excessive rainfall fell and fixtures filled with water ruining the LED’s.
In another case, this time in Ventura county, a property owner did not follow the
advice of a landscape lighting specialist who had warned that the use of cheaper aluminum lights wouldn’t last very long in his garden with the high calcium irrigation water spraying on them several days per week. Initially the property owner saved $5,000, but after 3 years couldn’t remove shrouds to replace burned out bulbs as the corrosion was so thorough.
So, the strongest advice I can give anyone contemplating building a high quality low voltage LED landscape lighting system is to forget about the one-time expense and have a determination to do the project right. Such an approach will undoubtedly prove the least expensive. And it will result in a lighting system that is aesthetically pleasing,
safe, sound, and in full compliance with the laws.
One way to build a custom low voltage LED landscape lighting system on your property is to hire a design build firm that specializes in low voltage landscape lighting construction. They’ll handle everything
from initial site examination and evaluation, design preparation,
and supervision of trained crews that do just landscape lighting every day. However, you should assume in advance that upfront this is the most expensive route to take.
One aspect is critically important to any landscape lighting system owner is what are they going to do if/when something goes wrong and they need help? If a
qualified and reliable professional landscape lighting design build specialist with a proven track record and longevity in the marketplace designed and installed the system it’s just like having insurance. Even more so if the company has their name embedded in the fixtures and products used on the property. What I mean is, if something should go wrong in the future, it’s not likely you will be left on your own as their name is literally on their work.
If you neglect to heed the advice of qualified landscape lighting specialists, your
lighting system build experience may be pure misery. But by using their services and following their sage advice to the letter and realizing that landscape lighting is a most important final touch, you’ll have a little slice of heaven on earth after dark on your very own property every evening.
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 27 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to www.Gambinolighting.com . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .
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