Landscape lighting kits are popping up in big box stores everywhere. It might be tempting to grab a box (or two) and take it home for a weekend DIY project. From working with electricity to designing your lightscape, we caution against installing a landscape lighting system yourself for the important reasons below.
DIY Landscape Lighting Kits One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Most landscape lighting kits on the market come with six to nine lights, a transformer, and one hundred feet of wire. The combination of spotlights and path lights is commendable; however, the quantity of each assumes all homes and properties are the same.
For instance, if you have a long pathway and not many trees, you may prefer more path lights and fewer spotlights, and the converse is true. More importantly, however, the 6-9 lights and 100 feet of wire are for very specific size properties and do not address the home's side or back at all.
While curb appeal lighting is of value – a large portion of our clients need lighting for their outdoor living spaces in the backyard.
Electrical Know How- Installing a Transformer
Have you ever installed a new light switch or ceiling fan? If you have, then you know a little bit about just how tricky working with electricity can be. With safety in mind, we do not encourage anyone without proper training to install any electrical components, including low-voltage, LED, and landscape lighting transformers.
Fixture Types and Replacement Costs
One thing about store-bought landscape lighting that may be difficult for a homeowner to discern is whether it is indeed LED or if it is Halogen. Sometimes the verbiage on Halogen packaging points to the low voltage making you think it is LED, when it may truly be Halogen. Halogen is technically low voltage, but LED is up to 80% more efficient.
Secondly, LED landscape lighting can be what is known as “integrated LED”. Integrated LED means that the LED lamp is built into the fixture and cannot be replaced. Integrated LED requires the purchase of an entire new fixture when the lamp eventually does burn out.
Outdoor lighting designers have design training to help you get the look that you WANT, not a prefabricated design. You could technically cut your own hair, but would it look as good as letting a trained professional do it? Designing a landscape lighting system requires a balance of the right number of lights, the light temperatures, the types of lights, and the proper illumination angles. Our team knows the perfect lighting solutions for your specific property and requirements. Add to that the need to conceal wires and address specific landscape features, and only a pro should do it.
Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Service
Much like anything electrical, landscape lighting requires some ongoing attention. Whether the weather damages a light, a pest chews through some wire, a light just won't come on, or some adjustments are needed due to landscape overgrowth – landscape lighting is not a set it and forget it kind of system.
At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Wilmington, we offer an annual maintenance plan, free for the first year, to help our clients keep their landscape lighting beautiful and functioning. And even if you're not an annual maintenance plan client, we do handle service and repairs as needed. Give us a call.
Remember, our design consultation and outdoor lighting demonstration is always free with no obligation – schedule yours today.