Adding outdoor lighting to your home is an investment. It is not a minor expense that you can shrug off or toss in the trash if it doesn’t work out the way you’d like. Landscape lighting is an investment in your safety, security and the aesthetic appeal of your home. If it doesn’t do its job, someone may get hurt. Or your home becomes a break-in target.
It is tempting to hire the company that provided the lowest bid, especially if the difference is significant. However, the cheapest quote could easily end up costing you much more in the long run. So please, avoid using the wrong outdoor lighting company!
What exactly are the risks to hiring the wrong outdoor lighting company?
A certified landscape lighting designer has the training and the expertise to choose the right fixtures and sizes for the job. Something as simple as using the wrong fixture or poorly positioning a fixture can create glare and/or harsh shadows, which actually detracts from your home’s safety as well as its aesthetic appeal—the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve! A skilled professional landscape lighting designer can bring together downlighting, moonlighting, uplighting, etc. in a great design that features just the right soft glow to create the beauty and drama you seek. And they know the best way to hide the fixtures!
Just as owning a pipe wrench doesn’t make you a plumber, so owning the tools to install outdoor lighting doesn’t qualify someone as a professional installer. And lousy installation can easily cost you lots and lots of money. Some of the more common ways of errors include:
- Shoddy connections. This is the major cause of repairs resulting from improper installation. There are specific connectors made for this application. But many shoddy installations include pierce connections, or even worse—wires simply twisted together and taped. These methods don’t protect against moisture and corrosion, which often lead to outages. The proper heat-shrink connectors will protect against moisture and corrosion.
- Incorporating wiring that is too thin. This can overload the system, and is a safety hazard.
- Not burying the cables and wires properly. Sometimes not at all, sometimes just under mulch instead of 6-8 inches below ground. This wire is easily accidentally cut with a weedeater or shovel.
- Low quality bulbs, or even bulbs that are not meant for outdoor applications. They just do not last, and can cause other problems with the rest of the lighting system as well.
- Bulbs of the wrong wattage, which can overload the system and blow the transformer.
- Using the less expensive aluminum or composite plastic fixtures. They do not last nearly as long as quality copper or brass fixtures and do not provide adequate protection for the socket or the bulb, which again leads to corrosion and outages.
A company’s warranty should last longer than just until you can’t see their tail lights anymore! A reputable business installing a quality product in a professional manner will be there after the install. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to find an outdoor lighting company willing to clean up someone else’s mess. And you’ll be paying for it.
How do I avoid using the wrong outdoor lighting company? One, ask around. Get recommendations from people whose houses look good to you. Two, ask questions—how long have you been doing this, what products do you use, what is your warranty, etc. Three, make sure they are certified. A certified landscape lighting installer, authorized for their products, is going to save you money, and hassle, in the long run. Someone who does lighting on the side, as an add-on, may give you a good “deal” that ends up being a giant headache later. If that does happen to you, take two aspirin and call us in the morning.
Located in Summerfield, NC Southern Lights- Architectural and Landscape Lighting serves properties and property management companies throughout the state of NC including Greensboro, High Point, Jamestown, Burlington, Reidsville, Oak Ridge, Brown Summit, Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Raleigh, Charlotte, Kannapolis, Salisbury, Gastonia, Matthews, etc. Southern Lights has installed hundreds of outdoor landscape lighting systems and carries more certifications than anyone in the state. We specialize in lighting designs and service everything we install as well as lighting systems installed by others. With attention to detail and a solid knowledge of design, Southern Lights is the leading outdoor landscape lighting firm in the state of NC and beyond. See why our clients choose us. Contact us today by web (online form) or phone (336.451.4969)