Tuesday, December 9, 2008

LED for Landscape Lighting-Ready, Set, GO!

In your search to find LED landscape lighting you will find many fixtures but not all fixtures are the same. One of the most important things to ask is whether or not the LED can be changed after the 50,000 hours (10 years) or will the fixture have to be trashed?

Many manufacturers are making the LEDs built-in meaning the entire fixture will have to be replaced at the end of the life cycle.

Our fixtures are designed to be changeable and upgradeable. We understand how quickly technology is advancing and we design the fixtures with change in mind. Also, we use quality brass and copper fixtures and offer a lifetime warranty...

La Gina- lagina.glass@gmail.com-- -


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Friday, November 7, 2008

Definition of LED

LED - A Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a solid-state semiconductor device that converts electrical energy directly into light.

On its most basic level, the semiconductor is comprised of two regions. The p-region contains positive electrical charges while the n-region contains negative electrical charges. When voltage is applied and current begins to flow, the electrons move across the n region into the p region. The process of an electron moving through the p-n junction releases energy. The dispersion of this energy produces photons with visible wavelengths.

Levels:Level 1 - The chip or die
Level 2 - The LED component
Level 3 - LED array; may include optics, heat sink and/or power supply
Level 4 - LED luminaire

Taken from: http://www.philipslumileds.com/technology/glossary/

The environmental implications - no UV Rays or gases are released into the atmosphere. The perfect solution to providing a low energy consumption option in landscape lighting.

Hope this helps,

LaGina 619.822.2055


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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Designs With Green in Mind

"Today LEDs are in the early stages of penetrating the lighting market. However, the technology is advancing quickly, and LEDs have begun to be used in a wide variety of lighting applications," as stated in Strategies in Light Magazine (www.strategiesinlight).

One such technological advance is in the field of LED landscape lighting. LED lights use 1/5th the energy of incandescent fixtures which is equal to 80% less energy. In addition, LEDs are environmentally friendly with no mercury gases released into the atmosphere.

Over the next few posts, I will spend some time explaining more about the benefits of LED and what role these exciting fixture will play in the next generation of Green, Affordable or Sustainable lighting.

Talk with you Later,

LaGina


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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Welcome Back....

So I've been gone for a bit but as you see not forever. I've thought long and hard about our economoy and all the craziness we are experiencing and I didn't have a choice but to take a step back and change the way I'm doing business.

In this tight and already competitive market, I really had to do my homework and find new avenues to set myself apart from my competition. So, my focus has shifted from fighting my competition to helping my fellow contractors keep their head above the water.

I'm now offering quality fixtures, specializing in LED landscape lighting, at a price below the typical "contractor" pricing. This will allow our landscape architects, designers and landscapers to pass on the savings to their clients. One of my greatest frustrations in my previous position was the high price of products. With my lifetime warranty fixtures and 50,000 hour LED fixtures the "landscape" of landscape lighting is about to change.

In addition to quality, energy consciousness and fair pricing, I also offer my design knowledge so any contractor or landscaper who wants to do lighting as an added value to their clients, can now do so with an expert designer as support.

So, here's to the next generation in "green" lighting!

LaGina


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Add a Little Glass to Your Garden









Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego is always looking to expand our product selection. We are now able to offer our clients Orbs by artist Tracy. Tracy specializes in Art Glass for water and land.

These (orbs) are outdoor lighting fixtures that easily connect to a 12v low voltage transformer system which means we can easily incorporate these beautiful pieces with our lighting systems. What a great way to add art and color to your already fantastic landscape. These pieces are durable and able to float in water, add to ground cover or be stake mounted.

How lovely is that?
LaGina@outdoorlights.com















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Home Security

Landscape lighting can do wonders for lighting up those dark places around your home. It has been proven that "dark" homes are more likely to be broken into than homes that are well lit at night. When we design lighting systems we keep your security in mind.

To go one step further in adding to your safety, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego has teamed up with Brinks Home Security. We can now offer our clients a complimentary installation of their standard residential security system. We believe in the safety and security of our clients and this is just one way to show that.

Call and ask us about your new lighting system and your complimentary home security system.

LaGina Glass @ 619.237.9755- Have a safe day.


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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gas Prices are Changing the Way I Do Business

Any business requiring travel and commuting will feel the impact of rising gas prices. I service clients all over the county and because of the rising costs I've made significant changes to my marketing strategy and how I schedule for client appointments. I have geographically altered where I actively market and how appointments are made.

All business in a particular area happens on the same day. In the past I serviced my clients within a 24 hour period and now I've extended that to 48 hours so I may properly schedule. Because I have the greatest clients ever this small change has saved me time and lowered my gas expense.

Sometime it is the smallest changes that make the greatest impact. Doing the small things to reduce expenses keeps me from raising the price of my services to compensate. As a matter of fact, I am now in position to pass on the savings to my customers.

LaGina - OutdoorLights.com


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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Connectors for Landscape Lighting


There are tons of product on the market for making low voltage wire connections and I use different models depending on the job - large or small. The point of showing this particular connector is to show what a typical connector will look like. For low voltage wiring connections, it is critical to use a corrosion proof connector for your copper wiring.
Electrical tape is not waterproof or corrosion proof - and it will fail as some point. What you want is a connector that will not let water in or allow water to sit and corrode the wire. These pre-filled connectors work very well but again this is just one version. Other connectors use caps and plugs and so on but this particular one is simple, easy and great for small residential jobs.
Hope this helps - LaGina


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Troubleshooting Your Landscape Lighting System

Outdoor Lighting is what we do...and troubleshooting a system is fun for me! I enjoy the challenge and get a great deal of satisfaction in helping homeowners restore their systems. But if you are up for the challenge in getting your system back in optimal working condition you will want to organize yourself for efficiency.

Everyone will have their own way of organizing but this is how I like to operate:

-Start at the power source - the transformer. Turn it on manually (override the timer/photocell)
-Check the connections to be sure they are secure
-Walk each fixture and note if it is working, visibly damaged or not on at all.
-Go back to the non-working fixture and test for power (you will need a tester to do this)
-If you have power (between 9.8 - 11volts) you have discovered a burned out light bulb
-If you have no power there is a chance of a loose connection, bad connection (connector) or possible cut wire.
-If your voltage is over 12volts, you have too much power.

In the case of a cut wire you will likely have to trace back but the key to keeping organized is to make the small changes as you go. Replace light bulbs and make corrections at the connectors before you pull up wire. When fixtures are wired "in a row" you may discover the loose connection is the problem and not necessarily a cut wire at all. This simple tip will save you time and labor.

Or, call Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and we'll do the work for you.

Thanks for visiting...LaGina


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Light Bulbs

Light bulbs are a very important component in landscape lighting. When it comes to the use of MR16 bulbs (in uplighting, downlighting and accent lighting) I prefer to upgrade to GE bulbs. Not only do they last long, the reflectors will last as well. The "silver" lining of a bulb is what reflects the light out of the fixture.

If you find your lighting seems to be dimming over time take a look at the bulb. If the "silver" mirror-finish is flaking, your light is not being pushed out of the fixture and onto the item you are trying to light. This is very typical with low grade bulbs.

GE has a patented titanium reflector that has significantly improve my lighting designs. They do not flake and offer full reflector and crisp lighting. Not using a quality bulb is like buying a 200k car with no engine.

LaGina @ OutdoorLights.com


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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Maintaining Your System

Many of my clients have voiced their frustration with maintaining their low voltage lighting system. One common frustration is changing the bulbs or figuring out why the system is not turning on. What I find is they usually have a small problem (one bulb out) which is not corrected and leads to bigger problems (several bulbs out).

I recently serviced a client's system of over 100 fixtures. The couple had not enjoyed their system in over two years. The original installation was well done in terms of design and the wiring was in good shape. The biggest problem was the light bulbs were expired, the second problem was the use of aluminum fixtures.

I walked each fixture in detail and identified the problem there at the source. In the process I found cut wires (in at least three locations), over 40 of the fixtures were corroded beyond repair and 80% of the bulbs were burned out. I repaired cut wires, installed new fixtures and new light bulbs. The system is as good as new!

A regular maintenance would have prevented such intense work needing to be performed. Always insist your installer use high quality copper or brass fixtures to prevent corrosion from occurring. I encourage my clients to call me if just one bulb burns out; it is better to change it right away before it creates a domino affect.



LaGina -


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Monday, March 24, 2008

Repair Your Landscape Lighting

This is what I've come to understand about landscape lighting in San Diego. A good percentage of residents in San Diego have some sort of lighting system in place. For some it is the do-it-yourself kit by Malibu and for others it is a high quality system installed by your landscaper or professional lighting company.

So this is what I offer my clients. It is not my goal to sell you an entirely new system when what you have is in good shape. If you are happy with your system but require maintenance to get it back in shape, that is what I will provide. Sometimes there is a cut wire, bulbs are out or you've made changes to your landscape and want to move fixtures around.

Keep in mind, I will give you a free analysis of your system. I will make the repairs and restore it to its original condition however, if there are things that could be better I will let you know what they are. In many cases I'll even tell you how to make the corrections yourself.

My feeling is this, lighting is important for every homeowner. It provides safety, security and illuminates the wonderful features of our homes. So if you have a system and just need a tune-up give us a call. Troubleshooting is my passion.

LaGina-OLP of SD


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Wiring for Landscape Lighting

On Saturday I spent my day installing a lighting system for a client. She had a system in place so to save her on the costs, I incorporated what she had (still in good condition) with the new fixtures. What I found to be the biggest problem was the wiring she had in place.

She originally had her landscapers install the lights and what they did is run one long wire run from the back of the house to the lights in the front. The voltage at the front light was at 3.4v; so dim you didn't know it was there. The transformer was only 12v so that was the maximum voltage it could provide.

They did a good job of marking the hubs (cross sections/connections) but I found all connections were made with electrical tape. As I went through and made wiring corrections, I changed all connectors to water proof connectors. No more short circuits or corrosion of the wire.

After all was said and done, I installed a multi-tap transformer, and 12 gauge wire and was able to get proper voltage on each of the lights. All connectors are now water proof and the lights are shining bright. She called yesterday and was very excited about her new lighting. So excited in fact, she said she planned to be out in her yard all evening waiting for darkness just so she could enjoy the lighting again.

Enjoy your evenings even more...

LaGina Glass-Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego


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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why Landscape Lighting?

I'm very new to the world of blogging and I can say, Wow. There is so much to learn and so much to do but what I'm told is once you are established it all seems to roll. Talking to myself isn't the most exciting thing to do but at least I do enjoy my company.

Lighting design is more than putting a fixture in the ground under a tree and connecting it all to a wire. It takes a great deal of planning for proper placement, fixture selection and the wiring diagram must be completed properly. The final piece is the installation and that requires detail as well. The wire has to be the right size for the job, you have to use the correct connectors to insure your connections don't fail and you have to use the correct transformer to get the proper voltage to each fixture.

So, back to the question of why landscape lighting? Landscape lighting (along with architectural lighting) done well will add a great deal of enjoyment to a homeowner. It allows for safety in getting around at night (without glaring floodlights), security (subtle lighting in dark space around your home) and overall the illumination of some of your homes most precious features.

Not just any landscape lighting; lighting done right.

LaGina


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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Visit: Shift Happens

A friend sent me this link thinking I would find the information interesting. She was absolutely correct because I found it to be incredibly interesting. We live our lives day by day and aren't always aware of the change happening around us. We're living this...right now!



So this video, although more comprehensive than running a lighting business, returned me to thinking about stopping to notice what is around us. How do we change with the times, offer valuable, innovative products and services? How do we educate ourselves and our children.



At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego, we are always trying to consider the changing times. We do that by being innovative with our products, offering quality, durable products that will last for years to come. Most importantly, we focus on the environment and work to ensure we are offering products conservative in energy.



We currently use halogen bulbs which are great and energy efficient. In addition, we are encouraging our clients to utilize LED bulbs in all of their uplight and downlight applications. MR16 bulbs, typical in your bullet-type fixtures are available in LED which is absolutely an incredible benefit to us all. I am now replacing 20w halogen with LEDs at only 3w without losing any of the light!



Call us for a free demonstration and just remember that we are always changing. Take the time to look around because in just a few years, it will all be different.



Thanks,



LaGina Glass


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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"A New Earth"

I was sitting out in the yard this morning with my coffee, enjoying the sound of the birds. My first observation is I don't do that often enough. Most mornings I get up and immediately begin thinking about what needs to get done for the day. And what about the evenings? I rarely sit out and enjoy the sunset or observe nature and how the world changes throughout the day.

If you haven't guessed by now I've been reading "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle also participating in the learning sessions with Oprah. Initially the concepts seemed far reaching but after practicing a few techniques and learning more about human nature, I've come to terms with the fact I don't live in the now.

There are moments of now but they are not consistent and what an incredible peace comes with being in the now. Not what happened yesterday or where do I need to be in an hour or tomorrow. Just now, here I am.

So what does this have to do with landscape lighting? We all want to believe we somehow contribute to the world. We want to be like Oprah and "Give Big." We are not all in position to do that but we can give what we can.

When I decided to go into the Outdoor Lighting business, I wanted a business that was sustainable, scalable, offered quality products, services and allowed me to be a value to my clients. That is all very true but what I have discovered goes beyond that.

I've had clients tell me how they never had people over to their homes before we designed their landscape lighting. Now their relatives and neighbors invite themselves over to enjoy the evening atmosphere. Others have testified how much they now use their outdoor living space instead of sitting inside with the television.

One client in particular was excited about being able to enjoy the beauty of the front of the house and he'd never taken the time to look before (it was too dark). He called from the front lawn with a Martini in hand just beaming. Several others have admitted to driving around the block several times just to get another look as they approached.

My point is this, take the time to notice what is already around you. We spend time and money creating the tranquil spaces in our yards. We build water features, import exotic plants, employ ourselves and gardeners to care for them. We have architectural features of fountains, sculptures, rock, brick and nameless other we enjoy looking at.

Let's illuminate our perspectives with lighting to enhance these features when the sun has set. We don't have to go inside, we can linger well beyond the sunset. After a day of hustle go home, sit in the yard and just be. Talk with our loved ones, our neighbors or listen to the night.

LaGina Glass


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Monday, March 10, 2008

Residential Landscape Lighting

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego we work with individuals who want to improve the look, safety and security of their homes while expanding their outdoor living space for nighttime enjoyment.

What sets us apart from others is we offer an exclusive product line made by us for us. We only offer high quality copper, brass and stainless steel fixtures. In addition, we provide one year of free maintenance with every installation.

Because of this, our clients know we stand behind our products and services and add value to every design and installation.

The best part, we will visit your home and provide a complimentary analysis of your current system. We will share with you what is right with your system and offer suggestion on how we can help you improve on what you have. If all is well, we'll give a big thanks for giving us the opportunity to help.

Call us at 619.237.9755 or visit us on the web at OutdoorLights.com

Thanks,

LaGina Glass


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Residential Outdoor Lighting

It was 15 years ago when Tom Fenig and Bob Lyons began working together. At that time, homeowners faced significant hurdles when it came to outdoor illumination. The quality and selection was extremely limited and no one installed low voltage outdoor lighting professionally. It was primarily a side job for electricians and landscapers.

It was Bob Lyons who pioneered the concept of one business committed to outdoor residential lighting, starting his business in Nashville and the business took off immediately. In 1995 Fenig and Lyons launched Outdoor Lighting Perspectives (OLP), with the dedication to expand nationally.

To ensure all weaknesses were met, they created a sister company B&B Manufacturing, to design and manufacture all of its lighting components. They designed copper and brass fixtures to meet the high standards that were missing in the industry.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego, we carry on the concept and vision started by Fenig and Lyons. As owner of OLP of San Diego, it is important for me to always be a complete lighting solutions provider from offering our exclusive product line through design, installation and service.

Visit us at www.OutdoorLights.com to view our product gallery, industry partners and much more. You may also request a complimentary consultation and/or night demonstration.

Thank you for taking the time with me today,

LaGina Glass


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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Residential Landscape Lighting

As a favor to a friend, I went over to perform what she described a minor repair to her lighting system. She was right, she'd disconnected some wires and improperly reconnected them so her lights were not operating.

I made the adjustment and the majority of the lights came on and so she and I started to examine each light more closely to determine the problem. Of course I was right on that she had not changed out any of the light bulbs (said she didn't know she had to). We counted all the out lights and I tested power to be sure its was just the light bulb.

One thing leads to the next and I discover other things like, not enough voltage to the fixture, a cut wire and shorts in some of the sockets. Oh yeah, she had one 12volt transformer in the back of the house with only one run going to service the lights at the front of the house. Needless to say, those lights were so dim you wouldn't even notice they were there.

Long story short, I will be back there on Saturday installing new fixtures, new wire and a new Multi volt transformer. She'll see her home in a whole new "light."

LaGina


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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Going under sidewalks

If you are in the beginning stages of planning your landscape, before the concrete sidewalks are poured, remember to lay your pipe under all sidewalks and driveways. The best time to do this is when you irrigation is going in. Following the pattern and lay an extra pipe in with you irrigation, tape off the ends and mark the spot.

Even if you think you will never add any lighting or have a need, do it anyway. Most new home are doing this but if you have an older home and are doing some major upgrades, take the extra time, spend a few extra dollars on pipe and make it happen.

Thank you,

LaGina - Outdoor Lighitng Perspectives of San Diego


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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Where to Begin with Landscape Lighting

I've talked about fixtures, lighting design, automation and maintenance for outdoor landscape lighting. Now I'd like to offer a few best practices for getting started. The first is the desire or need but then you'll need to ask your designer for help.

A complimentary design consultation will give you the opportunity to talk with a professional designer who is willing to listen and offer immediate feedback; a night time demonstration of the lighting effects is important as well. A good designer will be able to incorporate your ideas and will know what fixtures to use for the effect you desire.

Look for quality materials (copper and brass), warranty on work and product, multi-tap transformers for optimal performance, automation (timer options) and maintentance for the system after it is installed.

Hope this helps,

LaGina - Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What to Insist Upon in Landscape Lighting P4

Maintenance is the name of the game. Buying a lighitng system is like buying a car, it will require some form of maintenance. At some point you will need to change a bulb or straighten a fixture your landscaper has knocked over. Maintenance also included making changes to the design. Most of us like to keep our yards fresh which will include the moving around of plants and trees and very likely the addition or removal of plants and trees.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we make all of this simple for the home owner by offering one year of maintenance at no additional charge for the first year. During that time we will address any concerns with fixture placement, bulb burnout, straightening, etc. Moving forward, we offer an Annual Maintenance Plan so you will never have to change a bulb or troubleshoot a system.

What a deal!

Until next time,

LaGina Glass - Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego


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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What to Insist Upon in Landscape Lighting P3

Timed lights. Your outdoor lights turn on at dusk, and off at midnight or dawn. One-touch control of exterior lights and more. I'm talking about Lighting Control Automation which enables you to remotely control exterior and interior lights. Automation provides comfort, security and entertainment functions inside your home. If this all sounds good to you, ask us about the cutting-edge technology we now have available.


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Thursday, February 7, 2008

What to Insist Upon in Landscape Lighting P2

Lighting design is very important when working with a designer. Always discuss with your designer what areas of outdoor space is most important to you. Be polite; I asked a prospect what was most important to him and he said "your the designer, you tell me." I was thrown off a bit because what I see may not be important to the homeowner. Needless to say, we were not a good fit to work together.

The designer will work with your vision to ensure comprehensive coverage of the areas most important to you; the outdoor living spaces you enjoy and the unique details of your home exterior and landscaping. It about the Effect, not Fixtures. Your lighting design should hide each light source and your designer will know exactly which fixture will yield the look you are after.

I've had prospects ask for catalogs to select their fixtures and the majority of the time, the fixture they select (based on look) will not give them the effect they want. I encourage my clients to allow me to select the fixture that works best for the application. You'd be surprised how a few of the right fixtures can do a majority of the job!

Until next time,

LaGina Glass - Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego


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Monday, February 4, 2008

Garden Lights; Landscape Lights

I was visiting with a prospective client recently and wanted to share some of what we discussed. I was initially called out to repair an area of lighting in the back yard - the area was dim. Although this seems like a small task, i needed to explain to the client the importance of not only fixing the immediate problem but to test the entire system to be sure it would not occur again. what i found was this:

-the voltage at the fixture was reading below 8 Volts; standard is 10.3 - 11.8
-connections were not secure - in some cases the connectors where not tight and in others they were not watertight.
-the transformer (although it was a multi tap) would only allow up to 14 volts. The line runs were fairly long in this case.
-the voltage drop was huge because all the fixtures were run in a line (no hub or T-method).

These issues could have been avoided with a professional installation. It is critical to use quality products and accessories along with proper wiring technique. A well planned system allows for proper voltage at each fixture as well as room for future growth of the system.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego, we always spend time planning out exactly what is needed to be sure our installation will do justice to the incredible designs we create.


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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Landscape Lighting - Outdoor Lighting Perspectives - Service is Key

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Diego offers 12 months of maintenance with every landscape lighting installation. You never have to change a light bulb or worry about making changes to your landscape. Just give us a call if something changes and we'll be out right away to be sure your lights are bright and if you change your plants we'll relocate your fixture to be sure you always have a system working at its optimal level.

We also offer Annual Maintenance Plans for ongoing service. In addition, we offer all prospect a Free Analysis of their current lighting system. So, you may have a system you are not happy with for whatever the reason. We'll come out and give you a full overview of what you have and offer suggestions to enhance that system if necessary.


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Landscape Lighting - What to Insist Upon

When selecting landscape lighting, you must insist upon several things but one in particular is the type of fixtures and equipment used. Copper or brass fixtures that naturally oxidize and blend into your landscape (never higher maintenance painted fixtures). Halogen 4000-hour bulbs for better brightness. Interchangeable components that allow easy changes to the lighting design. Multiple voltage transformers to ensure proper and balanced light intensity. Corrosion-proof fixtures, transformers and components.

Making the decision to use quality products and components will prove to give you the low maintenance, high performing lighting system you deserve.

LaGina


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