dallas landscape lighting

Common Mistake Installing Low-Voltage Landscape Lighting by Chad Rodvold


I see this common mistake throughout DFW on projects that deserve better. Personally, I believe either the landscape contractor doesn't know any better or just doesn't care about their quality of installation. Hopefully this post will reach some of them and they can improve their installation quality with a simple solution.

Why is this installation a mistake in my humble opinion you may ask? This particular MR16 has only 1"-2" of the provided stake pushed into hard compact soil as seen above. The landscape contractor will then bring in a mixture of 2"-4" of bed prep (soil and mulch) to complete their installation. Over a short amount of time, the fixture will no longer be vertical but will have the customary look of many I see...falling over a bit to the right or left. Whether the maintenance crew, a squirrel, or soccer ball gently touches this light, IT WILL MOVE! 

The solution? Make your own stake out of a 12" plumbing pipe and a coupling. Drill a hole for the wire to exit and pound it into the ground. Your light fixture will be illuminating the plant specimen it was meant to for years to come.

"A Little Cheaper" by Chad Rodvold


I lost a job this week that really surprised me. The text message said "I have somebody else doing the install for me that was a little cheaper". That wasn't the surprise, but the disappointing points just add up to a big "WHAT"! 

- I know this builder from my church and we even know a bit of each others "back story".

- I was referred by the landscape architect. First time I was ever recommended by an LA and didn't get the job!

- I spec'd out the equipment for the LA and recommended a couple unique details to the design that will make this job extremely cool.

- I am more expensive, but for a reason...not design, not equipment, but in the details of the installation. I make guarantees others can't because of how I install the job and won't install it any other way...not even to reach a budget.

- Reality is when it comes to million dollar plus homes, budgets are secondary to the quality. 

Thinking this particular builder either believes outdoor lighting companies can be compared apples to apples or doesn't place any value on the outdoor package. Either way, I'll make another guarantee, a phone call will be made to whoever does install the job "a little cheaper" to make changes (adjustments) within a year. At least if I'm right, it'll be a good point to make to other builders down the road.

Terrible Outdoor Lighting- Design and Installation! by Chad Rodvold

$5,000,000 million dollar home (according to the DCAD) where the future homeowner will get sold a pile of trash for their landscape lighting. Ask me how I really feel? Whoever did this job should be taken out behind the woodshed and shot!

Before I lose my mind completely, I will note a handful of reasons why this particular job is soooo horrendous.

1. This is a five-MILLION dollar home...with large trees. The low-voltage lighting should be used as the accent lighting for ornamental trees and architectural elements, not as the everything lighting.

2. All of the lighting temperature was 2,700K (warm) MR16's...honestly! No LED, no cool, no bueno

3. The fixtures are installed with the provided stakes...big mistake. Remember the lean? Check out the post "Eliminate the Lean" for more information on this typical mistake.

4. How many times do you think the wire will be cut in the next couple years? People that live in these homes change plant material frequently and the gardener isn't going to pay attention to what he cuts through. Also, plants do die...really. Put it in conduit and charge a few extra bucks...I think they can afford it.

5. The lights in the large trees....aaaaugh! How do I put this without compromising my Christian self? They are directed all over the place without any consideration to the most important rule in landscape lighting design...YOU WANT TO SEE THE EFFECT OF THE LIGHTING AND NOT THE SOURCE OF THE LIGHT!

If someone sold you ?lighting? or you bought a home with ?light?, contact us for a professional landscape lighting design and installation that will fit your needs. 

Electrical Installation for Landscape Lighting by Chad Rodvold

Just a little bragging on the work of what I consider to be the best landscape lighting installation man in the business. "Nesto" has worked in the industry for over thirty years and there's nothing he hasn't seen...both good and bad. Clients love him and his work ethic is something I truly admire. He believes the quality of each installation reflects on him personally and he won't have his good name tarnished by cutting corners. I'm extremely blessed to have him as my partner in our outdoor lighting endeavors.

This little trick always draws attention from the other trades. Bending the electrical conduit with this system has saved us countless hours in the field. Mexican engineering at its' finest!