DIY Lighting Or Professional Landscape Lighting? Why Is This A Hard Choice?


Some people enjoy the satisfaction of tackling a project and doing things themselves. Others are quite willing to leave it to the experts. I’d like to speak to the DIY crowd here. I like to try projects myself first. Especially the easy ones. And landscape lighting really doesn’t seem that difficult. Lay it out, dig it in, turn it on. Right? Not quite. The biggest draw of landscape lighting kits is the cost. They are much cheaper than hiring a professional landscape lighting designer. No question about it. They come with instructions, and the satisfaction of doing it yourself. So let’s look at that scenario:

Ok, this kit has 6 pathlights and 2 floodlights. Seems reasonable. I guess that’s what most people need and that’s why they put it together like that. I get the pathlights, but what are the floodlights for? I don’t really need two of them. Maybe I’ll rig something up to use them on the tree. How hard can it be to staple the wire and fixture to a tree? Where’s the harm in that? I would definitely like more of those pathlights. Just 2. Can I buy that? No. Bummer. Guess I’ll buy another kit. But what will I do with the extras? Use them? Will that be too bright? How do I know? I heard somebody talk about a downlight. Do they sell them separately? Do I need one? How would I install it?

Now that I look at the kit, I see it doesn’t come with the low voltage cable to connect the various fixtures. What size wire should I use? How do I connect them? Hey, it doesn’t come with a transformer either. How do I know what size to get? What if I decide I want more lights? Will I have to purchase another transformer? Oh, and this piece is defective. Guess I’ll have to call the manufacturer and wait two weeks for the replacement piece to come in. In the meantime, I’ve got no lights outside.

Now that I’m, finally finished, these things look pretty good. I’m impressed with myself. But maybe I should just add one more over there? Hmm. . . . how about the pond? Dang! I should have put something there. But what? I don’t even know what the right thing is. And, wow! That flood light is bright! Right in my eyes! I didn’t think about that. Guess I’ll have to adjust that somehow. Wait. Why is that pathlight dimmer than the others? I have no idea. Guess I’ll research that.

Flash forward two years

I’ve got a broken fixture. I’ve already repaired the connections several times because the connectors they’ve provided were really flimsy and not very good at keeping the moisture out. But hey, not a really big deal. But now my teenager whacked it with a shovel while doing some yard work, and the fixture is flat out broken. Let’s see if they have replacements in the store. Uh, no. Discontinued. Great. Let’s check the manufacturer’s website. Hmmm. . . not there either. Well, this one is close enough. Wait. Not it’s not. Dang! I’ll have to replace all the fixtures.

Is it likely that everything that went wrong in this scenario will really go wrong? No, of course not. Can you actually install a light kit yourself? Most likely. That’s why they sell them. But will it be right? There are valid concerns about the DIY version of landscape lighting that make it worthwhile to consider hiring a professional.

A professional, certified landscape lighting technician will have better quality materials, a quality install and will give you a better warranty than a big box store kit. And if something does go wrong, you have someone to call to make the repair. Typically, your professional landscape lighting installer is much easier to deal with than a manufacturer, as your installer is generally a local small business. The fixtures will be better. The connections will be better. The wire will be better. Your home will be more beautiful and safer. Professionals have skill, artistry and design experience to give you the most appeal for your home. The overall finished product will look better and perform better.

Are you looking for Landscape Lighting in Greensboro? Located in Summerfield, NC Southern Lights- Architectural and Landscape Lighting serves properties and property management companies throughout the state of NC including Greensboro, High Point, Jamestown, Burlington, Reidsville, Oak Ridge, Brown Summit, Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Raleigh, Charlotte, Kannapolis, Salisbury, Gastonia, Matthews, etc.

Southern Lights has installed hundreds of outdoor landscape lighting systems and carries more certifications than anyone in the state. We specialize in lighting designs and service everything we install as well as lighting systems installed by others. With attention to detail and a solid knowledge of design, Southern Lights is the leading outdoor landscape lighting firm in the state of NC and beyond. See why our clients choose us. Contact us today by web (online form) or phone 336-451-4969.

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