Outdoor Lighting FAQ

1.  Why should I consider an outdoor lighting professional to do my lighting?  Outdoor lighting is an art form, and either makes or breaks your outdoor spaces at night. Professionals can help you determine what to accent, what type of mood to create, ambiance vs. function, etc.  Professional installers are trained to install and troubleshoot the finest, most robust and reliable systems you can get.  They are looking for things like wattage load balance, lamp capabilities, lighting technique, proper cable runs, voltage drop - not to mention the overall artistic effect of your new system. 

2.  How does a professionally installed landscape lighting system compare to the outdoor lights available at the big box home stores?   There really isn't much of a comparison.  A professionally designed and installed lighting system uses components that are far superior to low-cost home store kits. Treasured Earth uses only aluminum, copper, and bronze fixtures with 15 year warranties (some components are lifetime warranty).  We have found that home store fixtures will usually not work or look very good after about a year.  When you compare manufacturing technique and materials, it will be plain to see why.  Additionally, these fixtures can’t put out nearly the same quality of light a professionally installed system can. Low-cost transformers are not multiple-tap to adjust for voltage drop, and in terms of durability, they will not stand the test of time like professional-grade components.

3.  Is the installation disruptive to my yard or my home?  Not really.  All low voltage cables are installed right under your mulch layer in planting bed areas.   If trenching is required across the lawn, a small incision is made about 6 inches deep for the wire.

4.  How much does professionally installed landscape lighting cost?  This will vary with the size of the lighting system to be installed.  Generally, you can figure about $220-280 per fixture on an LED system (depending on the type of fixture chosen, installation requirements and special considerations).  This would include the fixtures, the transformer, wire & conduits, labor and 15 year warranty.

5.  What about LED lighting?  LED systems have revolutionized outdoor landscape lighting.  LED offers vastly longer life, incredible energy savings and sustainability through the use of new technology (see LED comparison page).  Conventional landscape lighting systems have always been plagued by voltage drop, high temperatures, and burned out bulbs.   But with LED systems, the nuisance of light bulb replacement is eliminated. The life of your landscape lights are now measured in years, not hours.  Old, incandescent bulbs were rated for 2000-3000 hrs.  LED fixtures are rated for 40,000 hours (which is 15-18 years of regular use!)  These systems have truly become "no-fuss"; just install them and enjoy years and years of beautiful, inviting light in your landscape! 

6.  Why is LED Lighting more expensive than regular lights?  The Kichler Design PRO LED systems that we install represent the most advanced, reliable LED systems out there.  They have a rugged, substantial feel and design - crafted of marine grade aluminum or copper.  The electronics are fully “potted” and impervious to moisture.  They are warrantied for 15 years. If a fixture stops working, we simply replace it at no cost to you. The expected life span of these fixtures is more than 18 years with regular use - without ever replacing a bulb. 

7.  How do LED lighting systems compare energy-wise?  Kichler Design Pro LED lighting that we install is proven to offer electricity savings of nearly 75% over traditional outdoor lighting systems.  Obviously this results in you saving money, and it dramatically reduces the impact on the environment too. 

8.  What kind of service is provided after the installation? Treasured Earth offers the first year's maintenance included with every installation we do.  Items covered:

Checking and replacing bulbs (incandescent systems)
Making minor adjustments to fixtures (i.e. plants have grown around or been dislodged, etc.)
Trimming and minor pruning around fixtures
Adjusting timers
Checking wire runs for malfunction due to accidental abrasion from lawn care equipment, etc.

9.  How is the landscape lighting system controlled?  An automatic timer (or photocell) connected to the transformer controls the system. It is set to your desired on/off times and can be adjusted easily for daylight savings and seasonal changes in daylight hours.  Most of our clients choose to have the system stay on for a few hours in the evening then again for 1-2 hours in the morning.  It can always be switched on manually for outdoor patio parties, dining, etc.

10.  How long does it take to install?  Most systems can be installed in one to two days.

11.  What if I wanted to add more lights later? All our systems are designed with a slightly larger transformer for future expansion of your lighting system. The transformers we install all have multiple circuits and voltages, so adding to the system later is not a problem.  Additionally, we install all fixtures with an extra loop of wire - just in case you’d like to adjust the location in the future.

12. What kind of fixtures and finishes are available?  There are many, many styles and finishes to choose from when it comes to outdoor lighting.  When we meet to discuss your system, we'll discuss the design characteristics of your home and landscape and choose the fixture that works best with your home.  There is a fixture out there to suit almost anyone's style and budget. We'll leave you with some manufacturer’s info so you can browse your fixture selections at your leisure.

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