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


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


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


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.


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


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.