Q:”Why not have my landscaper or electrician do my lighting?”
A: Landscapers and electricians deal with low voltage lighting systems only occasionally, and as an afterthought. They lack the expertise of a creative landscape lighting specialist like Night Gardens.
We can’t even begin to describe all the poorly conceived systems we’ve seen from electricians and landscapers over our 30+ years of operation. Countless homeowners have called Night Gardens to have us repair and redesign sub-par lighting systems that had been installed by others. Save yourself time, money, and stress by having the job done right the first time!
Q:”When do you do the lighting work – before, or after the landscaping?”
A: The answer is after. The placement of lighting fixtures and resulting effects depends upon landscape elements and plantings being in place.
Q: “When do you install your lighting systems?”
A: Systems are generally installed during the non-frost months – approximately April 1st to December 15th. This is also the only time that service or repair work can be done, so call early!
Q: “How deep does that cable go into the ground?”
A: We typically install cable at a depth of 3″ to 6″, although this may vary based upon digging conditions. In very rocky ground, the cable will be installed closer to the surface in order to avoid turning up rocks everywhere – which can really create a mess! In fabric-covered planting beds, the cable will be installed just under the fabric, or sometimes (in deeper mulch) stapled to the top of the fabric.
Q: “Why use low voltage rather than line voltage?”
A: The advantages of low voltage are:
1) Ease of installation: less disruptive to existing landscapes.
2) Safety: you cannot get shocked by low voltage lighting, whereas line voltage can be dangerous if connections get old or frayed.
3) Energy efficiency: low voltage lamps provide more lumens of light per watt used. We illuminate walkways with just a 10- or 20-watt lamp and large trees with 35, 50, or 75-watt lamps.
4) Flexibility: low voltage systems can be moved or changed much more easily than line voltage systems.
Q: “Where do you put the transformer that runs the system?”
A: Transformers can be hung onto any exterior wall. All that is needed is a standard (GFI) outlet box. We usually look for a location in a garage or an unfinished basement area. This makes the transformer less visible yet easily accessible for time adjustments.
Q: “How do you normally control the lighting system?”
A: The typical solution is to put a timer into the transformer box. We can also add a photocell to automate the system. However, we believe astronomical timers are the most effective control for today’s landscape lighting systems. They have many advantages over conventional timers, including: fully digital operation, automatic adjustment (no need for a photocell), battery backup, and a limited lifetime warranty.
Q: “What does a landscape lighting system cost?”
A: Systems and installation usually begin around $1,000 to $1,500, and vary based on the size and scope of the project. Many of our installations are in a range from $1,000 to approximately $10,000. We have also completed larger, more complex lighting projects at several of southeast Wisconsin’s most spectacular residences. Feel free to give us a budget that works for you, and we will design a solution that fits.
Q: “Do you handle just one line of lighting?”
A: We have access to many lines! Over the years, we have installed as many as 20 different product lines. We can special-order from any line.
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