Outdoor Lighting Tips – Becoming An Expert Consumer


This article is based on the assumption that you have already made the decision to hire a professional outdoor lighting designer to design and install your lighting system. Now with that in mind, here are a couple of outdoor lighting tips to become an expert consumer and ensure you get a top quality landscape lighting system built by a competent landscape lighting contractor.

Background Research

As a landscape lighting professional, it is a compliment to us when a customer has done some basic research and has some knowledge of what they would like. We are happy to answer any questions you have about the “hows” and “whys.” It shows you are taking an interest in this, and taking your investment seriously. Providing us with photos of a nighttime look you like is helpful. Don’t worry too much about the fixture style– most of them are meant to be hidden, not displayed. Quality is much more important. We only use high quality copper and brass fixtures, and we will gladly help you select aesthetically pleasing ones that will be visible.

Unfortunately, some customers go over-board, and end up with inaccurate or outdated information. (Kind of like consulting “Dr. Google” for a fever and chills and diagnosing yourself with a rare and fatal disease. You know we’ve all done it.) Just because someone posts it on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s true! Part of your background research should include checking into the installer as well. We’re not advocating blind trust in your installer, but if you do your homework properly on the designer/installer (references, how long in business, warranty, etc.) you should have a good level of trust in their training, skills and abilities.

Establish and Share Your Budget

I understand the thinking to keeping your budget to yourself. While building my first house, I worked with a sub-contractor to design the kitchen. It seemed no matter what I subtracted, the price always came out to equal my top budget! That made me gun-shy about revealing my budget to other contractors in the future. However, realistically, your landscape lighting designer really needs to know what your budget is. If your pictures and wish list equal a $15,000 project, but you really want to spend $4000, you’re going to be very unhappy when I design your project and you can’t have it. And I’m going to be frustrated because both of us have wasted time and effort. If I know you can spend $4000, I can either design a $4000 project that will capture as much of the bigger budget look as possible, or I can create a design to be implemented in phases. A reputable outdoor lighting contractor really can be trusted with your budget.

Comparison shopping

Comparison shopping is fine. Just remember to check your comparison. A true professional landscape lighting installer is trained and certified in design and installation. That really is worth something. A true professional only uses top-quality fixtures and installation techniques. Someone who does this on the side or as an add-on probably doesn’t have the proper training or the best materials. Comparing our copper fixtures to someone else’s plastic or aluminum ones isn’t really an equal comparison. They will likely be cheaper than we are, but their products and work won’t last.

When investing in outdoor lighting, please do some background work. Knowing what you like, sharing your budget, and utilizing a reputable, trusted designer/installer will all combine to give you a much more satisfying outcome than skipping any of these steps.

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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