24 Jan Should You Repair or Replace your low voltage landscape lighting system?
By Mike Gambino
Your landscape low voltage landscape lighting system has problems. There are many things to consider when deliberating over whether it is worth repairing your low voltage landscape lighting system or having it totally replaced. Unlike other systems in your home such as Heating and air conditioning, plumbing , electrical which all require permits and city inspections and have a definitive minimum building standard that must be met. Chances are very high that your low voltage landscape lighting system was built without permits, did not need to be inspected by the city with no established and universally accepted minimum standard that was required to be met at all. In most states no experience, special licensing or education is required for a home improvement contractor to build a low voltage landscape lighting system in your garden. The fact is that most of the landscape lighting work that is being done is being done by non specialized trades or as a sideline to ones specialty such as landscaping, irrigation, electrical or other and they are not around to service repair or maintain them. In other words landscape lighting is not their primary business but only an add on or additional source of income that will not make or break their business if they do not get it right and build a business that will sustain itself with referrals from satisfied customers. It is also a high probability that they do not offer follow up maintenance or repair services and will never revisit that system again.
As a result of this fact it is this author’s opinion that there are many failed and failing low voltage systems out there which are giving the industry a bad name. It is also my opinion that most of the systems we come across are in fact not worth repairing and should be replaced. In fact my company Gambino landscape Lighting will not work on or attempt to repair any system that is not one of our own meaning that we didn’t design , install and supply ALL THE PRODUCTS.
The following factors should be considered. If more than fifty percent of the answers are no it is probably a good idea not to throw good money after bad and have a new system designed and installed by a qualified specialist instead of having it repaired over and over again with no guarantee of performance and reliability.
What Is the overall condition of the system
Was the system professionally designed and installed by a dedicated low voltage landscape lighting system specialist who is still in business and practicing?
Has the system been on a regularly scheduled maintenance program (every 6-12 months) since it was built preferably by the original system designer?
Are the fixtures rusty or corroded ?
Are lamps enclosed inside the fixtures and are they dry inside?
Are you happy with the performance of the system (does it look good at night)?
Is it reliable, does it turn on and off, if on a timer without fail every night?
Are the fixture connections waterproof and not so called “quick connects” that clip onto the main cable?
Is the cable installed inside rigid conduit so it is protected while buried in the ground?
Are your fixtures constructed of solid cast brass and copper non ferrous metals of a thick and heavy walled gauge that will not decay?
Are your lamps energy efficient LED?
Is your transformer enclosure constructed of stainless steel?
You should consult a qualified specialist to perform a system evaluation and help determine what is your best course of action whether to repair or replace. Ultimately the decision will be yours as to where your money will be best spent.
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 30 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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