Take the doubt out of choosing a landscape lighting contractor
You look at your home and landscaping in daylight and you imagine what it might look like with lighting to present its best features at night. Is there someone who can bring light to that artistically-branched tree in your front yard? That prized artifact or sculpture in a landscape bed? The features of your home?
You are concerned about choosing someone to do the lighting because you have seen unattractive results at others’ homes. Or you may have talked to friends or relatives who have had poor experiences with landscape lighting. You can take the doubt out of choosing a contractor by following some advice and questions which we will present.
Landscape Lighting Design:
The potential contractor should be able to describe to you their ideas for illuminating the features of your home and landscape. You should view some of the other projects on the contractor’s website. (Beware, some contractors, especially franchise companies may use stock photos not their own.) Better yet, drive by some of their residential or commercial projects at night to see them in real life. The contractor should be glad to supply addresses.
How do his projects look to you? Is the illumination balanced vertically and horizontally from your viewing point? Is the color of the light a pleasant warm white or does it have an unnatural blue or green hue? Even worse, are colors mixed? Are certain plants or trees lighted as focal points? An experienced, well-versed designer will be able to describe techniques that achieve the overall portrait in light.
Landscape Lighting Installation:
You want your landscape lighting system to be trouble-free and durable and that is why the proper installation is critical. The installation starts with high-quality materials.
Ask the contractor to explain what materials he will be using and why. He should show you samples of wire and connections; transformer and timer/controller; fixtures and LED lamps. Ask him what standards of installation he will follow.
There is a National Electrical Code for low-voltage lighting. There are also installation standards of the Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals. If he uses jargon that you do not understand, ask him what that jargon means for your project.
One final thought, in short:
The best contractor is the one that fully explains everything and makes it unnecessary for you to ask questions about how he does his work.