Let us help YOU find the right company Hiring the Right Qualified Landscape Lighting Company
Are you asking the right questions for hiring the right qualified landscape lighting company?
The main goal of landscape lighting fixture manufacturers is to sell their product. To this end, the more contractors out there selling their fixtures the better. The result of this is a push by manufacturers to encourage companies to add landscape lighting to the services they provide. The downside for the consumer is that these companies end up offering the service with little to no training on how to design or properly install these systems. The frustration for the consumer is that they end up spending twice what they would have in the first place if a qualified professional designed and installed the system.
But how is the consumer to know whether a company is truly qualified and adequately trained in landscape lighting? It is difficult to know what questions to ask when you may not understand the process yourself. To help YOU along the way, we have compiled a list of questions to ask a company before determining if they are truly qualified to design and install outdoor lighting.
Ask what kind of training they have undergone to learn lighting design and installation.
Local landscape distributors may provide a half day workshop to contractors on lighting design to get them started. This is not adequate. Look for those who have become certified outdoor lighting professionals through the AOLP (Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals) and are members of this organization. ILLI (International Landscape Lighting Institute) is another organization that provides professional ongoing education courses in lighting design. These are intensive courses that provide hands on experience. We are working on our AOLP requirements and have completed ILLI in 2013.
Ask if they use commercial grade equipment and whether it comes, with at least a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty. Ask for a couple of samples so you can compare for yourself. There are some cheap, poorly made brands out there. “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” (Benjamin Franklin)
Ask what kind of wire connections they use. If the answer is twist on wire connectors, beware. Look for companies that use ace connectors or low voltage landscape lighting wire fitting. Poor connections mean systems that need repair often.
Ask if they use down lighting and up lighting in order to give your property depth and dimension. Listen for them to use terms like fill lighting or spill light . Many of the lesser qualified companies only use up lights and path lights because they are easier, but they may not be the best choice for the effect.
Ask about maintenance for your outdoor lighting system. A reputable company should offer something. Beware of the contractor that tells you “with LED there is no maintenance”. Even the best systems need yearly maintenance. You simply cannot install fixtures outdoors in the elements and not maintain them (cleaning, adjusting, etc etc) LED or Halogen for that matter. Yearly maintenance keeps your system up to snuff and looking great like the day it was installed.
These are just of few of the questions that will help you find a lighting professional that can provide a quality lighting system. Companies that specialize in landscape lighting, attend accredited design courses like we have, will generally have more expertise. Probably the most important aspect of a good designer is a passion for the art of lighting design. This is something you should be able to tell from your initial meeting. Remember, no lighting is better than bad lighting. Some initial research can save you a headache in the future.
At Light Up Springfield we believe that bad lighting is not better than no lighting. We hope you give us a close look. But if you choose to hire another company, at least don’t end up disappointed by one that gives poor quality and service.