9 Qualities A Landscape lighting Design Builder Must Have to Be Successful

9 Qualities A Landscape lighting Design Builder Must Have to Be Successful

By Mike Gambino

This isn’t a guide for how to be a successful Landscape lighting designer/ builder. It is more about what qualities and personal traits a buyer should look for when hiring one .


Maybe this is the most important quality as without it, they’d never be able to handle your work and complete your project in the agreed upon time schedule.

Being self employed, one will have plenty of opportunities to do interesting and fun things, things they like to do. They may be tempted to do them every time an opportunity presents itself. And if they do – they’ll end up playing chess, walking the dog, drinking beer, and whatever else they like doing without getting their work done!

But then, while they’re having fun, work will suffer. They’ll miss deadlines, upset  clients, lose clients and potentially – money. Having fun all the time is always at the cost of a job well done.

Setting a working schedule, including  set hours of operation, is paramount for the organization of daily activities – work or play.


Being a Landscape Lighting designer/builder can be hard sometimes, especially in the beginning when an email inbox is full of rejection letters and not consultation invitations.

It is of crucial importance that they believe in themselves and their skills and abilities.

It is of crucial importance that they not give up when the road is steep or has bumps. It is of crucial importance to be persistent and to not stop looking for clients. Just one or two to notice and give them a chance to prove themself. Then it gets easier.

Blog post-104Time management skills

This is not about working hours. It is about estimation – how much what type of task would take; how many tasks can be completed per day or for a certain period of time, and so on.

Planning time wisely and following a plan are of crucial importance for maximum productivity. If it is done well, clients will be happy – and so you will the designer/builder at the end of the work day or work week.


If one wants to be treated as a professional landscape lighting design build consultant and not like an employee, they need to prove their independence and earn the trust of the client. Being professional is the best policy. What does this mean?

To sum it up in a few words, professional landscape lighting design/builders let their work speak for them. They always do their job on time and with the agreed quality; they keep their promises and honor the preliminary arrangements with their client; they communicate well and in timely manner; they are honest; they are ethical… basically, everything that you, as a property owner, would expect from your contractor!


Those who have been an employee for a long time in the “wrong company”, may be used to being dependent. Meaning – they may find it normal to have someone constantly checking up on them, following their every step, checking their work, and relying upon being told what to do.

The moment they become self employed, they have clients and not “keepers” who call themselves “the boss”.

They no longer will be told what to do. They’ll need to take initiative, need to ask questions and to suggest ways to improve the project and the overall outcome. All of this is highly valued by a client.

When initiative is shown, interest is demonstrated in completing the project on time and with high quality. And who knows – maybe the client will have another project or referral soon enough.


Having principles

Principles should be determined carefully as to what they should be and principles are and professional landscape lighting designer/builders should always stand by them.

Nobody likes to be misled or lied to, especially if they pay for high quality work and professional consultation. Being a professional, it is their responsibility to do a great job. If principals are compromised once it probably won’t be the last time.

They may start working with clients who are twisting their arm for money, control, low quality work for less money, and more. There are plenty of possible scenarios. The only way to keep a reputation intact and to reduce (if not eliminate) the stress on a project is to stand by principles, always.

Determination and responsibility

As a landscape lighting designer /builder, often you will have to make decisions and to take responsibility both for the decisions and for their own actions. They will have to own both successes and failures. benefit will come from the ability to assess the situation and make decisions on the spot, too.

Work experience will teach that ability comes with experience. When they do have it, it will definitely be to your advantage. Savvy clients seek and appreciate determination and responsibility.


Being flexible will help in situation assessment and decision-making. It will also help when looking for ways to analyze a situation, size it up and make the best decisions to make it work. One needs to be ready to adapt; to learn new things and respond if the market demands it.

Flexibility will allow designer/builders to take rush jobs from clients who need a task to be completed urgently, with short and quick turnaround time. This type of last-minute tasks are not always possible, of course However, if one is flexible and can do the job despite the short notice and quick turnaround time, this client will appreciate it and will remember it. This client will call again because they will know they can rely on this service provider in hard times, too.

Communication skills

In most cases, email, face to face chat, voice and video calls, and similar programs to communicate – online, through a computer, or in person. The line of communication should be well thought and precise, at all times.

Emails should be responded to within 24 hours at latest. If it can’t be done for some reason, an e-mail should be sent confirming they got the message and tell the other party when they will be able to give them what they asked for or answer their questions.

If the client wants changes, There should always be a written confirmation of those changes.

Facebook-ice-256This 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 www.Gambinolighting.com . 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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