low voltage lighting

Homeowners are getting sold lights not Landscape Lighting Design by Chad Rodvold

The perceived value in landscape lighting isn't the number of lights you're buying but the quality of the design.

The perceived value in landscape lighting isn't the number of lights you're buying but the quality of the design.

I'll never understand how a homeowner allows this to happen. This is NOT landscape lighting, but someone selling lights. If I have to explain why this lighting example isn't representative of quality work, than you my friend need to find another career. 

In my humble opinion, the concept behind landscape lighting is seeing the effect of the light...not the actual light fixture. This is disturbing on so many levels; 1) One light per trunk 2) Placement of the lights on the front of the trunks 3) This lighting example is at the front entrance for all the neighborhood to see...AND RUN FROM!

If you're considering the investment of landscape lighting for your home, please call a reputable company and request a design for your home. If someone starts the sales process by talking about the number of lights they can sell you, kindly throw them off your property. Landscape lighting can either do two things for your home...enhance and beautify or illustrate the mistake you made nightly. Choose wisely.


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.

Will illuminate for trade by Chad Rodvold

Love getting the opportunity to travel through South Texas to review all our outdoor lighting projects. An absolute favorite ranch project near Uvalde always challenges my resolve to "work not play" while I'm away from the family and on a landscape lighting job. However, after careful consideration, thinking I'll have to find a way to barter with someone in the near future for a chance to hunt with my boys like when I was a kid in North Dakota. 

Anyone out there willing to trade landscape lighting for a week of archery hunting?

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.