What is the value and ROI of a custom Low Voltage LED Landscape Lighting System?

What is the value and ROI of a custom Low Voltage LED Landscape Lighting System?

By Mike Gambino

bulb money signThe short answer is that it’s very difficult to quantify as it’s similar to other forms of art. The value is not the sum of the individual components (cost of the fixtures and transformers) it’s in how these materials are used to create an emotional experience that connects with viewers.

Recently I learned, for some, it’s not all about dollars and cents. One of our clients recently sold her home and moved into an interim rental property until she finds the new home that she will purchase. I received an e-mail the next day after she moved in. She asked me to install a temporary lighting system at this rental property that I could remove and use the components at the home that she would purchase when she found it.

When I got there to look at the property I was surprised to find that there was already a fully functioning system that had recently been installed during a major remodel of both interior and exterior amenities of the home in anticipation of putting the home on the market for rent.

She said she had become accustomed to having the system I installed at her previous home not only for aesthetics, which also was useful as she likes to entertain, but for the feeling of safety and security it provided while she was inside the home. This became even more important as both of her children are away at university and her new surroundings at her temporary home was severely lacking that feeling of safety and security and aesthetic for that matter as the photos below clearly show.

She was also concerned with steps and pool decks that were dark and dangerous at night. The system had to be built independent of and around the existing system so it could be easily removed without disturbing what was already there. See results below.




Johnson-afterTo her, money wasn’t high on her priority list. A feeling of safety, security and aesthetic beauty that she had become accustomed to at her former home was.

But not everyone feels this way and they want to see numbers, data or reports on how their investment will appreciate over time.

Will a custom LED lighting system add to the resale value of your home? Possibly not,. In higher-end neighborhoods where expensive landscaping is the norm, it could boost your home’s value to the top of the price range. But at the lower end of the market, cash-strapped buyers could see a lighting system as extra work for them or an added expense in the way of a maintenance and higher electrical costs.

For me personally, putting aside the fact that I have a financial interest in designing , building and maintaining custom low voltage landscape lighting systems. I can’t think of a better investment for our family home. In my opinion a low voltage landscape lighting system is a much better investment than a swimming pool, and that doesn’t mean that I don’t value swimming pools. In fact 3 out of the 4 homes that I have owned have had them but if one weighs the cost to build and maintain one a low voltage landscape lighting system wins hands down in comparison.

Speaking of swimming pools; here’s some information on the value of pools. Swimming pools are one of those features that can be both functional and aesthetic and can add value — or detract — depending on the type of pool and type of home buyer or owner.

A National Association of Realtors’ study of home sales found in-ground pools added 8% to the sales price of home. However, all of the landscape designers we talked to said for a pool to add value to a property, it has to be custom-made and not a prefabricated pool that can be found in any backyard.

A basic customized concrete pool can cost $60,000 to $80,000. Throw in a hot tub and water feature, such as a waterfall, and you could spend well into the six digits. The problem is that landscape designers say some home buyers want nothing to do with a pool and will steer clear of houses with one — regardless of whether it is custom-made or prefabricated. So a pool actually could lower the value of your property in some people’s eyes.

What’s interesting is that pool sales are still strong. They’ve seen a dip like everything else in recent years especially with drought in California but overall pools are still being installed despite the information that they can detract potential buyers. Why?

Because property owners value them and the price of the pool is irrelevant compared to the experience and the years of enjoyment and memories that the family will have from their own backyard resort.

Homeowners are always looking for ways to make their homes stand out and increase resale value without spending their life savings. Interest in remodeling remains high for homeowners though they are more conservative about costs.

Landscaping and the appearance of your yard is a critical point to making your home stand out in today’s market.

Backyard water features, like pools, ponds and waterfalls, go a long way toward adding monetary value to your home. But there’s an added benefit: homeowners who spend time enjoying these man-made pieces of nature can boost their mental health, too. And if you go to work during the day like most do, then your enjoyment is limited to weekend days, that is if you don’t have a lighting system that will extend your enjoyment and usability into the evening hours.

Imagine returning to your suburban home from a long commute to the city and relaxing in your nature-inspired backyard at night, complete with a rippling stream that flows into a pond. Sounds peaceful, doesn’t it? Well, it can add more than value and aesthetics to your yard.

Spending time outdoors are among the activities that can influence feelings of happiness, appreciating the moment and coping with stressful situations.

If financial return is not possible during a home sale then the system components can be removed and re-used as the basis for a new system at another property like my client is planning on doing.

Forget about the financial return on your investment. We all need a break from the day to day grind and it becomes priceless.

So if you want to increase the value of your home, stand out in front of the competition, or create a serene environment that will increase the quality of your life, a low voltage LED landscape lighting system is the answer.

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.



  • Steve Crouch
    Posted at 19:32h, 08 November Reply

    Good evening Michael,

    Have been a follower of yours for years and admire your blog and amazing projects that you have created during the past two decades.

    After reading this blog – would you have a percentage that can be shared with homeowners regarding the value of a new LED low voltage landscape lighting system can add to a homeowner’s residence?

    Thank you Michael!

    Steve Crouch, Owner
    Just Landscape Lighting, LLC
    314-623-7087 – cell/text

  • Mike Gambino
    Posted at 19:47h, 08 November Reply

    Hello Steve,
    Thank you for your kind words . In regards to a monetary percentage I couldn’t even venture a guess and as for as any definitive studies done on this I have seen none. I think the value is very subjective and would vary regionally and could be compared to the resale value of a swimming pool. For those who enjoy outdoor living both swimming pools and custom landscape lighting are important amenities for that backyard resort. To each his own i guess but there are some who don’t value or want the responsibility, cost of maintenance and potential liability of a swimming pool in their backyard, On the other hand In terms of safety and security LED landscape lighting could prove to be priceless if it deters crime..
    Mike G

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