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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