Learning how to hire a landscape lighting contractor begins with becoming knowledgeable about possibilities, and imagining some effects you might want to explore further. From there, progress to finding and interviewing, knowledgeable, experienced professionals. Designing needs to be a collusion between you and the artisan.
Many are not aware of how far this industry has evolved past the utilitarian, functional approach still associated with it. Safety and security are still important, but they are done better now. Low volt lighting allows safe passage along walkways, changes of direction, and elevation to the destination. Crime is still deterred, entrances highlighted. But this is accomplished more effectively and aesthetically.
This can be one of the best investments you make in your home. By extending your usable living space into the outdoors during the evening hours and enhancing the aesthetics of your home’s architectural and landscaping features, you increase the property’s value. You will be making the space more useful, more comfortable and relaxing.
Through properly designed systems you will have a functional, but artistic effect, tastefully using light to enhance form and shadow with color combination and texture. The result can be theatrical.
Professionals can be located through referrals from happy customers, by discovering who designed appealing projects that you have seen, or through advertising. In interviewing these vendors find someone you are comfortable with and trust. This person should have communication and customer service skills. He will listen carefully to your desires and concerns rather than just forge ahead with what he thinks you should have. He will have ideas and suggestions for you to consider, and will point out potential problems or mistakes that may leave you unhappy with the results in the end.
Above all communicate a budget to this person early on, or your project could quickly get out of control, costing many times what you wanted to spend. At some point there are diminishing returns on your investment. Conversely your budget should be realistic and the installer must use quality materials and equipment if you are to be satisfied with function, maintenance and lifespan of the work. New LED bulbs will operate with 1/3 lower energy cost and will last much longer.
A detailed design plan should be developed with the installer. Expect him to have a passion for this work. He should be thoroughly versed in all possibilities that are available, and be imaginative. He must be up to date on innovative new products becoming available. He needs to be able to solve problems that may be presented by your project, and devise solutions. He should not only be technically competent but have a creative personality as well.
The installer should appear to have fundamental business skills and be organized. His business practices should be ethical and fair. His crew should be skilled and professional.
How to hire a landscape lighting contractor is a multiple step proposition. It entails knowing what you want, what to expect, and how to obtain it. Do not expect the right installer to be a perfect human being. You can, however, find one with the necessary qualities.