06 Jul 6 Ways to Start Planning a Custom Landscape Lighting system TODAY!
By Mike Gambino
As with any project of value, the hardest part of having a custom landscape lighting system built is getting started. There’s probably no shortage of landscapers in your area who would jump at the chance to stop by your house tomorrow and showcase their ideas. But hold on, first you need to decide whether a professional design build landscape lighting professional specialist or general practitioner will be required. But just like you wouldn’t walk into a car dealership without knowing whether you want a sports car or an SUV, it doesn’t make sense to start calling contractors until you even know the type of landscape lighting you want.
Of course, building a landscape lighting system presents way more options than buying a car. The sheer number of choices, combined with the lack of specific pricing information, can stop many would-be landscape lighting buyers dead in their tracks. The fact that are so many options just makes things more confusing.
Fortunately, there are some simple, bite-sized actions you can take to get the ball rolling. Try one or all of these exercises if you want a landscape lighting system, but aren’t ready for a sales pitch just yet.
- Make a list of the reasons you want the lighting
Writing down why you want a landscape lighting system is useful for a couple of reasons. One, it helps put things in perspective, making it easier to weigh the rewards of owning a outdoor lighting system against the cost of installation. And two, it helps you pinpoint and prioritize different features and areas of your property that are important. For example, if you see yourself throwing lots of parties by the pool, you might to light around the pool deck and creatively designed LED lighting that dazzles after dark.
- Figure out what you can afford to spend
Having a rough idea of your budget will guide many of the decisions that follow. If you’re looking to get a system for less than $10,000, you can forget about many of the pricey features and focus on a basic design that meets your needs. If you have the flexibility to spend more, you’ll have many more options on the table.
- Talk to a current custom landscape lighting system owner
If you know anyone who has a custom landscape lighting system, by all means – speak to them about their experience. The most useful insights will come from people who live close by, as they potentially know about local contractors they may have interviewed and certainly about the one they used and might be able to steer you toward a good designer builder (or away from a bad one). However, at this stage, any firsthand knowledge you can tap into is beneficial.
- Get familiar with the terminology and options
How can you figure out what you want if you don’t know what’s available? To get up to speed, first familiarize yourself with the different types of lighting effects, then work your way through details like being able to recognize quality materials that will last and those that are not built as well that will not perform or last the test of time in the brutal outdoor environment. Not that you would need to know what the best fixtures that should be used for each specific effect (Trust your Design Build professional to do that). But you should learn what you need to know to best determine the service provider for your project who will choose the best most appropriate products for your design and budget. One great way to get an education (albeit a bit biased of a recommendation) is to start reading through blog articles provided here . Slowly but surely, you’ll become fluent in what to look for in a quality service provider that provides quality materials designed and built to last.
- Start collecting pictures of landscape lighting schemes
Get ideas and inspiration by looking at lots of landscape lighting pictures.
If you’ve been dreaming of an outdoor lighting system, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time looking over landscape lighting pictures online. When you’re ready to start planning, you should keep track of the pictures that inspire you so that you can return to them later. Google and Pinterest are great tools for collecting landscape lighting design ideas. Another option that’s really grown in popularity is Houzz. Both of these sites already have a huge number of landscape lighting pictures to search and browse.
- Make a drawing
To help you start visualizing a new lighting system, make a drawing of your backyard including your house and other major features. This will help you answer questions like:
- What are the most important aspects of my yard and garden?
- Am I lighting for Beauty, Safety, Security? or a combination of some or all?
- Are their areas of potential danger at night like steps or unusual changes in grade?
- From where will I and others view the space
- How can fixtures blend most naturally with the surroundings?
You don’t have to be a great artist or buy a fancy 3D design program. Just grab a stack of paper and start scribbling.
With these simple actions, you can get started planning a new landscape lighting project today. Of course, actually finding a landscape lighting designer builder, deciding on financials and having a landscape lighting system installed is a process, which can include many surprises and setbacks if not planned properly. But you can’t get there unless you take the first step.
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 28 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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