Landscape Lighting FAQs
Are you considering installing a landscape lighting system that is specifically designed to meet your home’s unique features and needs? If so, you may have some important questions you need answered before making your decision.
When it comes to your home, you should always do your research before making any big purchases or installations. That’s why our lighting experts at Nite Time Decor Oakville want to make the research process that much easier for you.
To do so, we’ve provided answers to a number of landsape lighting frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help you make an informed decision about designing and installing your very first landscape lighting system.
1. Besides making my home look nice, what advantages are there to landscape lighting?
There are many advantages to installing landscape lighting around your home.
First, it adds security without looking gaudy. No longer does a security light need to just be a flood light hung above the garage, but there are various lighting options and just having extra light around your property makes a thief think twice if a home is nicely lit.
Second, it adds safety. If your pathways, stairways, driveway and gardens are well-lit, you don’t have to worry about a guest tripping or losing their way in the dark.
Third, it extends the ability to use your outdoor space. It’s great when on those warm summer nights you can use your yard and deck late into the night, and still enjoy your landscaping (which sometimes looks even better at night)
Fourth, it adds value to your home – as much as a 50% return because of all the reasons mentioned above, plus it modernizes your home.
2. Why Do I need to Hire Someone? What about DIY?
There are many different types of landscape lighting and DIY kits, especially solar-powered, are widely available. It all depends on your lighting needs, and often the old adage is correct – you get what you pay for.
Most DIY kits are of inferior quality, with some needing to be replaced yearly. Plus, solar-powered lights tend not to be very bright, so they are not ideal for illuminating the architectural details of your home, and of course are dependent on the sun.
Plus, a landscape lighting company offers the artistry and know-how of their staff when it comes to design, product and installation, which is important if you’re dealing with electricity.
3. Is my hydro bill going to skyrocket?
Not really, especially if you choose to install low-voltage lighting. Many homeowners experience an increase of less than $50 a year, and that’s with high-voltage incandescent lights. With low-voltage LED lights, for example, if you have 5 lights, on for 5 hours/night every day for a year, homeowners will see an increase of only $6/ year!
Most customers also choose to install a timer, which is great for those times you are on vacation, or even if you just have a habit of forgetting to turn the lights off.
4. What should my outdoor lighting focus on?
When thinking of landscape lighting, the word “sophistication” should often come to mind. Focus on unique trees or bushes, a piece of art, a water feature, or even just your front door or peak of your home. Whether you are looking to illuminate a pathway or deck, the creative possibilities are endless.
5. Is there a lot of maintenance involved?
There doesn’t have to be. Most landscape lighting companies offer maintenance packages as well as warranties on their products. Often outdoor lighting should be examined in the spring to ensure nothing was damaged over the winter, or to trim back unwieldly bushes, but other than that, it can be as simple as flicking a switch.
6. How much does a landscape lighting system cost?
Landscape lighting systems can vary in cost, as they are designed and installed based on the unique needs of your family and your home.
Depending on what you are looking for, your landscape lighting system can range from minimal to intricate, with a price tag that reflects those lighting choices.
Whatever route you decide to take, the cost will come down to two main factors: the quantity of light fixtures your design requires and the desired effect you’re looking to achieve. Our landscape lighting professionals can work with your vision and budget to create the perfect lighting design for your home.
7. Will an installation damage my yard?
Not at all. Our experienced landscape lighting technicians are trained to conduct a professional installation without damaging any parts of your lawn in the process. If any trench work in required to bury wires, our technicians will make a small incision and carefully place the wiring in the appropriate spot. When this occurs, your grass should recover after a normal rainfall, and no lasting marks should remain.
8. Is landscape lighting hard to operate and maintain?
Absolutely not. With programmable settings and customizable timers, you’ll be able to set your preferences and let your system do what it does best – illuminate your home and property!
While your landscape lighting system may require some occasional maintenance, our experienced technicians can help. Whether it’s repairing a fixture or replacing a wire, our lighting technicians are always available to help you out!
9. Can you explain the terminology for landscape lighting?
So you want to add some lighting to your landscape or extend the time you can spend on your deck. Whether you’re hoping to DIY the project or have it done professionally you’ll better know what’s available and the different techniques used if you’re familiar with the terminology and lingo the professionals use.
Understanding these terms and the various lighting techniques, you’ll understand that the options are almost limitless with some imagination and creativity.
Up lighting is basically shining or pointing a light fixture up. Whether the fixture is placed at the bottom of a wall or fence, or part way up a pillar or tree, placing the light can be used to create shadows or silhouettes and create indirect light and enhance curb appeal. These types of fixtures are usually low voltage lights and are available in solar, halogen and LED. There are a lot of options and a wide variety of fixtures and finishes to choose from.
Just like the name suggests, down lighting focuses light down. Whether the fixture is placed under the eaves of a house, under a bench, or uses a shield or hood and placed along a pathway, the light is pointed down. The light may be placed in such a way during the day that it’s virtually unseen.
Wash lighting is used to create a subtle glow over a broad canvas such as a wall, fence, or row of bushes. The colour of the canvas may amplify or mute the light and different colours of light can offer fun variety – a splash of red for Canada Day for instance.
Light casts shadows and when done on purpose can create a fantastic play of light on dark and highlight a variety of features around your yard. Shadows are often used to create moon lighting and silhouettes. When placing new lighting, be sure that unwanted shadows are not created that hide or partially hide important features such as stairs or pathways and become a safety hazard.
Silhouetting is exactly what you’d expect. This technique is most effective when light is placed between a planting or other feature and a light coloured wall. Silhouettes provide indirect light (much like a wash) but the shadows created can be a kind of art all on their own.
If you have a home with a great textured façade such as stone, grazing can be used to cast light upwards from the ground using shadows to highlight the feature.
Is there one feature in your yard that you want to stand apart from the rest? A spotlight can make a single feature the star of the show. Often two or more spotlights are often used to make use of shadow and light from different angles.
This is a newer trend in outdoor lighting where designers try to mimic natural moon light usually by placing a light high up in a tree and allowing the natural movement and shadows of the leaves to cast subtle light on the ground. This is a great technique for a patio or walkway.
Have more questions? Here are some additional landscape lighting FAQs and tips for finding the right contractor.
10. How can I find the right outdoor lighting contractor?
It isn’t always easy to find the right contractor for residential landscape lighting systems. After being in business for over twenty years, Nite Time Décor Oakville understands the ways to find the right contractor for your residential landscape lighting systems. We’d like to share our time-tested wisdom with you so that choosing the right company is no longer a concern.
Find the portfolio
How can you know which company you’d like if you don’t have a sample of their work? Ask for a portfolio that shows examples of their residential landscape lighting systems, as well as an overview of their past experience. For example, Nite Time Décor lighting services has a long list of resources and a vibrant gallery to show to customers our sixteen years of success.
It’s important to also ask how many actual installations the company in question has completed successfully. Make sure the company isn’t one that focuses mainly on sale, and does installations on occasion. You’ll want to find a company that has completed a healthy amount of installations so that you can be rest assured your residential landscape lighting systems are installed properly.
What are their credentials?
In this day and age, you need some sort of accreditation to perform almost any professional job, and installing residential landscape lighting systems is no exception. At Nite Time Décor Oakville, we highly recommend looking for certain credentials before choosing a company.
You want your company to have liability insurance. They also require registration from Service Ontario and permits for operation. Finally, make sure they are trusted by their peers.
If the Better Business Bureau has accredited them, this is an important aspect in proving the company to be trustworthy. Looking for their accreditations from the BBB will also offer you a chance to look up the company’s ratings.
Worthwhile warranties and service
There isn’t much of a point to get high quality residential landscape lighting systems if you don’t have the professionals to help maintain the systems once they’ve been installed.
Find a company that offers warranties and maintenance guarantees so that you’re not left stranded in the event of disrepair. Nite Time Décor Oakville offers both a warranty for your Nite Time Décor lighting services, as well as a lifetime maintenance guarantee.
Furthermore, six months following the installation of your Nite Time Décor outdoor lighting system, we’ll check in to ensure your lights are running properly and to your satisfaction. If the company doesn’t offer either a warranty or maintenance guarantee, move on.
Look for consultations
Make sure the ego of the landscape lighting designers doesn’t get in the way. Sometimes the designer has one vision, and you have one that is entirely different. Make sure the company is willing to consult and work with you to find residential landscape lighting systems that match both your style and budget.
Contact Nite Time Décor
We’d love to answer your outdoor lighting questions or help you design a truly unique lighting plan.
To have any other landscape lighting faqs answered or to request a quote, contact the professionals at Nite Time Décor. Our experienced team would be happy to answer any of your questions, and help you on your way to creating the outdoor lighting design of your dreams!