Looking for a new Job? We’re Hiring!

We are looking for a bi-lingual lighting crew leader that can learn the Landscape Lighting business from the tops of the trees down.  We are looking for a new member of our Lighting Guru Family.  This is a long term position that requires a long term attitude.

This position requires:

  • Excellent tree climbing skills
  • Above average intelligence
  • A competitive spirit
  • Ability to read and speak English
  • Clean Driving Record with driver’s license
  • Over the age of 18
  • Must have a flexible attitude (often we do other things than our absolute preferred job) You have to be able to take on new challenges
  • Drug free work place
  • Working outside in all kinds of weather
  • Ability to safely lift over 50lbs
  • Ability to safely climb with over 15lbs
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish

 

Nice to haves:

  1. Landscape Lighting experience
  2. Electrical Experience
  3. Climbing with ropes and saddles and climbing gear
  4. Tree trimming experience
  5. Small team Management experience
  6. Computer experience
  7. Smart phone experience

Benefits:

  • 40 hours of paid vacation after the first 6 months
  • 40 hours of paid vacation after the second 6 months
  • 4 paid holiday days
  • Family atmosphere
  • Ability to learn and share in the growth of a company from a proven leader in the industry

Please send your resume to kmcfarland@landscapelightingguru.com if you are interested!

Warm up your patio with a fire feature

Choosing a Fire Feature for your Yard

As the cool temperatures reach San Antonio this week, it is a reminder that fall is just around the corner. With a few additions to your patio you can extend your use of your patio to all year round. Adding a fire feature to keep it warm can create a focal point, serves as a place around which to gather, entertain, relax, and enjoy time outdoors.

So what fire feature should you choose? There are several ways to warm up your outdoor space depending on your space and your budget.

fire feature

Patio Heaters
A patio heater is an easy way to provide instant warmth to your surroundings. These are a great way to heat up your patio with little to no work. Patio heaters come in many different options. One of our favorites is this electric infrared ceiling mounted patio heater. No need to worry about propane tanks and everything is securely mounted.

fire feature

Firepit
Because of their portability, low cost, and ease of use, fire pits have become a popular type of outdoor fire feature. Traditionally designed low to the ground, they can be built or bought in any shape or size and in a variety of materials. There are DIY firepits you can make yourself for $100 to more costly custom fire pits.

Fireplace
If you are looking to create a focal point on your patio and want a permanent structure, a fireplace is a great option. A fireplace can be wood burning or powered by natural gas. These custom, built-in fireplaces will create a cozy gathering place for years to come.

How to Light your Feature
When it comes to outdoor fire places and fire pits, it’s easy to think of them as self-producing light sources. While they do put off a certain amount of light all by themselves, this does not necessarily mean that they eliminate the need for light fixtures altogether. A functional light source is important from a safety stand point while also creating ambiance for your patio.

fire featureFor ambiance around the fire pit, consider keeping the lighting low. Using path lighting and hardscape seat lighting are a great way to make light without sacrificing the campfire ambiance. A separate switched light from above can give you the light you need to start the fire, then turn it off when everything gets going.

 

For fireplaces that are part of a covered patio, down lighting from the ceiling on to the mantel area really looks nice and can highlight any personal art you are displaying. For standalone outdoor fireplaces consider hardscape lights and well lights installed into the hearth for a dramatic effect, up lighting the fire place as a focal point on the patio looks good all year long. As beautiful as an outdoor fireplace can be they don’t produce heat very far from the fire source, so if you have a dining area and a kitchen area as part of your outdoor entertainment space consider infrared heaters over all of the gathering spaces. Infrared heater will do a great job at pumping out heat and are not affected by the wind like propane heaters.

Ants wreak havoc on lighting systems

 

Ants wreak havoc on Outdoor Lighting Systems

Recently, a potential customers questioned the value of spending a little extra time and money protecting their outdoor electrical systems and lights from fire ants.  Those ants may seem tiny but they can cause a huge problem to your landscape lighting system. In the Guru’s experience servicing lighting systems, one of the biggest problems we see is ants nesting in one of the electrical components.

AntsIn Texas alone, costs associated with fire ant damages to electrical and communications equipment totaled $146.5 million per year (Source: Texas A&M University).  And it’s not just fire ants, other ant species are attracted to your outdoor lighting.  This can short out your entire outdoor lighting system and it will require a service technician to check all the connections and fixtures to find the source of the problem and fix it.

It may not sound like a big deal, but the ants can actually ruin the equipment by either chewing through the components or bringing in dirt to create a nest leading to moisture issues.  Ants love electricity. Everything from A/C units to water well electrical components are on their list of things to destroy. Not only does it cause damage to the equipment but it also is a safety concern.

There are various opinions on why the ants are attracted to electrical components but the key to fixing the issue is through prevention. We now have an ant preventative that we add to new systems and can add to maintain and protect existing systems. They are added to every tree mounted fixture, every jbox, every power post and every transformer.

Another prevention technique used by Landscape Lighting Guru is improving the wire connections which are a common access point for ants.  We use heat shrink connections instead of wire nuts to help prevent ants access to the wire.  Not only does this improved connectivity, but it also will not allow insects (Ants) getting in. Additionally it will prevent all the corrosive elements that can deteriorate in your system.

Last but not least is best prevention technique is to have regularly scheduled maintenance to reapply the pesticide and look for any potential problems.   Ants can be an easy fix if you catch it before they have done damage. When we provide yearly maintenance we have been able to prevent expensive damage and outages.

Don’t let ants ruin your professionally installed landscape lighting system. Protect your investment by keeping the ants out!  We offer lighting maintenance service plans for existing systems that includes the ant treatment.  To see the damage ants can do, check out a few videos from a few of our recent service calls.  If we can help you with your lighting, please give us a call 210-710-7737.

 

San Antonio Vulnerable to Zika – Protect Your Family from Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes

The world’s deadliest creature isn’t what you might expect. A graphic from Bill Gates’ blog outlined the number of deaths per year related to animals. You’ll see the biggest offender are mosquitoes!

With over 312 Zika cases reported in Texas last year, it is time to really think about how you are going to protect your family. Ashley Lopez of Austin’s NPR Station, reported on just how vulnerable Texas is to Zika.  With the historically warm weather last winter, there wasn’t a huge die-off of the mosquito population especially in places like San Antonio and Houston.  The mosquito that carries the Zika virus also happens to be prevalent in Texas, specifically in densely populated areas. This combination has many experts and officials worried that Texas is very vulnerable to the Zika virus.

So how can you protect your family this summer?  

Mosquitoes

Mosquito Repellent System

Landscape Lighting Guru offers a mosquito repellent system that will quickly create a mosquito free haven for your outdoor space so you can safely enjoy the cooler temperatures.   The Mosquito Repellent fixture offers mosquito repellency to enhance your patio, deck or yard.  The patented mosquito protection system is effective providing protection within 15 minutes of use and is effective against all types of mosquitoes.  It is conveniently odorless, silent, invisible during use – no smelly oils, smoke, or zapping sounds to disturb you

 

Outdoor Fans

Another way to protect your family from mosquitoes and keep you cool as well. One simple solution to repelling these bugs is an overhead fan!  You can literally fan mosquitoes away.

According to the American Mosquito Control Association, a large fan on your deck would work because mosquitoes are weak fliers.  The New York Times also reports that a fan’s breeze “disperses the human emanations that allow female mosquitoes to zero in on us.” Entomologists from Michigan State University found that fan-generated wind greatly reduces mosquitoes and they recommend we use it in our backyards to protect ourselves and our pets.

Landscape Lighting Guru installs both the mosquito repellent system and outdoor fans and would be happy to come out and give a free consultation.   To learn more about how Landscape Lighting Guru can help you protect your family from mosquitoes, call us at 210-710-7737

Comparing Landscape Lighting Bids Apples to Apples

comparing bidsSo you are looking at installing outdoor lighting and you’re doing your research to pick 3 companies to get bids from. After all, it is the smart and responsible way to find any contractor.  First off, the best way to find a reliable company is to ask your friends and neighbors if they have a company they would recommend.  Be sure to look at the company’s online presence including customer reviews and testimonials.

After you have picked a few to call and have initial meetings, now you have three great bids to consider, but are they the same? Probably not. How do you know that the lighting contractors you’re talking to are giving you pricing for the same thing?

Here are a few things to watch for:

First off, make sure your bid is in writing.  Are they professional? Examine the contract and determine if it is fair. Also, ensure that the legal agreement includes the payment schedule and bid price as well as the scope of work and details on the fixtures.

One of the big differences in lighting bids are the quality of the fixtures that they are installing.  There is a huge variance in fixture price that is directly based on the quality of that fixture.  If you are comparing a bid using cheap fixtures that won’t make it through a season vs fixtures that carry a lifetime warranty, there is likely a huge initial cost savings with the cheap fixtures that will have you paying more in the end when you have replace it.

The fixture manufacturer’s offer different warranties on their fixtures so be sure to ask what type of fixtures the contractor will install and what warranty comes with the fixture.

Finally, can you communicate with them? This may seem like simple stuff, but don’t take it for granted. First, can you call or email them and have them get back to you with answers to your questions in good time? And second do you understand each other? And do you understand the explanations they give you?

Every business is a little different and the goal is to find the one that is right fit for you!  It is not as easy as just picking the lowest price bid as that may not get you what you are looking for.  You aren’t just looking for a fair price but also the company that offers great service and high quality.

The Top 3 Lighting Trends You Need

Top 3 Lighting Trends you need to know about

We have rounded up the three biggest lighting trends that are hot right now and are must haves for your home.  They are fairly simple changes that have a huge impact on your life.

Lighting Trend #1: Lighting Sensors

Is there a room in your house where the lights are always being left on?  By replacing your current light switch with an occupancy sensor switch, you will never leave the lights on again!

top 3 lighting trendsAn occupancy sensor will automatically turn on the lights when you enter a room and it will turn them off once you leave.   Not only is it convenient but it saves energy and saves you money on the electric bill.

These sensors are ideal for rooms where the lights are accidentally left on such as pantries, closets or bathrooms.  They are also ideal for rooms you enter when your hands are full such as your laundry room, kitchen or a work/storage room.

The sensors have setting options on them to adjust the sensitivity as well as how long the light should remain on after you leave the room.  This is handy if you are making trips back and forth into the room so you don’t have the lights turning on and off constantly.

To read more about it, check our post http://landscapelightingguru.com/occupancysensorswitch/

lighting trends

 

Lighting Trend #2: Lighting inside cabinets and drawers

Don’t you hate it when your cabinets or drawers are so dark that you can’t see the contents, and you can’t find what you need? Tired of using a flashlight when you need to venture into a dimly-lit space? Well, trendsetters these days have found elegant solutions to that problem: they’re adding lighting inside those formerly-dark spaces.  In many cases, when you open a drawer or cabinet, the light inside is triggered to instantly turn on.

 

 

 

Lighting Trend #3: LED

lighting trendsLED lighting continues to be top trend in indoor and outdoor lighting and will remain that way for years to come.  The US Department of Energy forecasts that LED lighting will comprise 75% of all lighting sales by the year 2030.

This is such an easy trend to get on board with – retrofitting your current fixtures is as easy as changing out your light bulb.  LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have been constantly evolving and improving since they were introduced. The latest LED technology offers a broad range of colors and intensity levels with ever-increasing energy efficiency.  It saves you money right away in electrical costs and longer term as you don’t have to replace the bulbs as often.

  • High Efficiency – LED uses 75% less energy than traditional lighting Better for the environment and saves you money
  • Extra long life – LED have a life expectancy of 50,000 hours that is an average of 15 years. In addition, the light output remains consistent throughout its lifespan. The long lifespan requires very little on-going maintenance.
  • Variety of Color Options and size – LEDs can match the warm tones of incandescent lighting, overcoming the cold, blue-white light of the past.
  • Surface temperature – LED lamps remains cool which allows for improved safety and no energy loss due to heat.

If you would like to learn more about these lighting trends or any other indoor lighting options, please give us a call at 210-710-7737.

 

 

Lighting up your Grill – Grill Lighting done right

grill lightingHave you fired up the grill this season and are you prepared for a fun summer of Backyard BBQ’s?  We loved the article below from Houzz with 8 great ways to improve your grill setup.  Our favorite tip and the one we wanted to expand on today is the second one – Let there be light focusing on grill lighting. The author jokes, “Did you know that improper lighting accounts for 52 tons of burned meat every year? OK, I made that up, but proper lighting is key for any grilling station, and not just so you can see what you’re cooking.”  While we agree that the statistic is likely not accounted for, the problem is real folks.  So what is the best way to light your grilling area?

Whether you have an expansive outdoor kitchen or a modest grill area, the right lighting can dramatically change your food preparation, cooking, and dining experience.  The first priority for your outdoor cooking area is lighting the working space. The area needs plenty of lighting, preferably from high above so the light is not in your eyes.  To eliminate shadows and prevent overcooking of foods, use two or more lights from different directions. LED lights should ideally be mounted 10 to 15 feet above the ground and pouring light over each of the cook’s shoulder.

If your barbecue is some distance from your table, make certain that you have adequate light to guide you in carrying the food to and from the eating area.  This may not require separate planning since there usually is enough spill light from the two areas.  If you have a larger work space, under-countertop lighting is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional. It makes finding things in the cabinets or mini fridge a lot easier.

A landscape lighting designer or specialist will have the experience and knowledge to consider safety, security, and beauty when creating a custom lighting design. Some projects are trickier than others and getting a designer involved as you’re building or making renovations will prevent any headaches later down the road.  If you need help lighting your San Antonio or Hill Country outdoor grill area, give us a call at 210-710-7737.

Looking for a simpler fix?  Until you are ready to light up your outdoor cooking area, a clip-on grill light will make the job easier in the meantime.  They have different ways to mount to your grill – make sure you check your grill and find the one that would work best.  Also, look for one with a flexible neck on it so you can move it around as you need to.  Last but not least, make sure the grill light is LED so it lasts a long time.  With Father’s Day just around the corner, this would make a great gift for the BBQ man in your life!

 

Putting your Property in the Best Light – Value of a Good Lighting Designer

Value of Good Lighting Designers - Landscape Lighting GuruHave you decided to invest in outdoor landscape lighting but now not sure who to trust with the job? The appearance of your home and landscape after outdoor lighting has been installed is dependent on one thing—the landscape lighting design. There are many different companies installing landscape lighting but few have actual experienced lighting designers to create the right design for your home and property.

Landscape Lighting Guru provides experienced, trusted outdoor lighting designes. Our team creates custom solutions that beautifully illuminate and accentuate your landscape and your home. LLGs experts will work closely with you to achieve the best lighting effects possible for your environment.

 
Value of Good Lighting Designers - Landscape Lighting GuruSo where do we start?
As we tour your property together, we’ll discuss what you want the lighting to accomplish. Is it mainly for safety and security? For accenting your beautiful views of your landscape from the interior of your home? Is it to accentuate your home? Do you have a special sculpture or water feature you want highlighted? Our lighting designers will suggest different ways you can accomplish what you are looking for and give you new ideas to consider. They will then create a fully custom lighting design for your home and property.

 

 

With the right design, we can install your custom lighting system that will transform your home. We utilize the highest quality lighting fixtures, materials and installation methods, which are backed with a limited life time manufacturer warranty. This unmatched combination of customer service and expertise will achieve the look and feel that you’re looking for—and that your neighbors will be envious of.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a landscape lighting designer, please give us a call at 210-710-7737 or email us at info@landscapelightingguru.com. We look forward to working with you.

Still not sure? Here are a few recent testimonials that speak to the design element of our work. For more reviews, check out our testimonial page.Value of Good Lighting Designers - Landscape Lighting Guru

 
“The lights truly are beautiful. Each time I look at them at various times of the evening or morning, I see something new and interesting. Thank you for bringing your gift to us. We enjoyed working with you as well. Thanks for your availability and for your tree climbing crew.” ~Carol Stehling

“Thank you very much to all the folks at the Landscape Lighting Guru. Our pool and surrounding areas was awesome during the day…and a dark abyss by night. The LLG team designered an awesome lighting plan and executed the install to perfection. The crew was timely, did great work, was very cordial, and we could not have been more pleased. We even had them re-do the lighting at our home entrance as well. Would highly recommend to all” ~Brent Poss

“We have known Darryl, our “landscape lighting guru,” since 2010 when we were looking for help and inspiration for landscape lighting at home. Darryl provided both and did a spectacular job in both front and back yards. The live oaks are particularly dramatic. Many of our neighbors have stopped by to say how much they like the landscape lights! In 2016, we brought the landscape lighting guru back for holiday lighting. We were delighted with the show stopping results – like a festival of lights in our front yard! Even strangers driving by stopped to compliment the lights. If you’re looking for a creative eye and beautiful living, you can’t do better than the landscape lighting guru.” ~Laurie A. Weiss
We service the Texas Hill Country including, Fredericksburg, Boerne, The Dominion, Fair Oaks, San Antonio, Horseshoe Bay, Marble Falls and New Braunfels, Texas.

Get Ready for Summer – Mosquito Control

As the days get warmer, its time to get your outdoor living spaces ready for the hot summer ahead. Create a comfortable outdoor space for you and your guests with these tips:

Get Ready for Summer Spruce up the patio for summer

Start the summer off with a fresh start – Clean the porch floor, exterior windows and doors.  A pressure washer can make this task even easier!  If you have porch furniture, clean it off and wash the cushions.  Lay down a fresh doormat, and plant a pot of flowers.

Keep mosquitos away

Having warmer weather and longer days means we’re entering mosquito season. Nothing will drive you inside as quickly as getting bit by mosquitoes.  Keep the mosquitoes from biting by installing a mosquito repellent system. Take preventative measures by regularly checking your property for standing water and emptying it.

Landscape Lighting Guru, Outdoor Lighting, Dominion, Fair Oaks Ranch, Boerne

Set the mood with outdoor lighting

A well lit space not only keeps you safe but also sets the mood.  You don’t need a lot of outdoor lights, you just need the right ones in the best locations.  If you already have a lighting system, we recommend an annual checkup to replace any bulbs that are out and redirect the lights based on your landscaping that has grown from last year.

You could also add some fun new lighting to your outdoor living space– we love the look of string lights or these custom designed LED fish basket lights the Guru installed. We designed these fish basket lanterns to hang in the client’s trees in the back yard. We love the way they sway in the trees and light up the entire yard.

Keep it Cool

Of course summers in San Antonio and parts of the Hill Country are going to be Hot!   Outdoor fans have come a long way and not only offer some cool air but have great designs too. Landscape Lighting Guru installs outdoor fans and we can help recommend the best type and brand of fan best suited for your home.  One of the brands we recommend, Haiku, offers unique designs that reflect any style.  To top it off, they’re smart and energy efficient.

Landscape Lighting Guru, Water Feature, Outdoor Lighting, Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Horseshoe BayKeep the water running

The best way to prevent costly repairs to your fountain is with routine maintenance.  Our goal in service and inspection is to keep your water feature working as well as on the day it was installed.

Don’t have the time for another to-do list?  Landscape Lighting Guru offers top of the line products and services for many of these and would be happy to discuss your outdoor needs. Give us a call at 210-710-7737 to create an outdoor living space that is fabulous!

Testimonial Tuesday – Excellent Feedback!

Today we feature a testimonial we received last week from a recent project.  We are so thrilled that the customer is happy and enjoyed their experience.

“Thank you very much to all the folks at the Landscape Lighting Guru. Our pool and surrounding areas was awesome during the day…and a dark abyss by night. The LLG team designered an awesome lighting plan and excuted the install to perfection. They crew was timely, did great work, was very cordial, and we could not have been more pleased. We even had them re-do the lighting at our home entrance as well.  Would highly recommend to all”  ~Brent Poss

To read more reviews on LLG, please visit:

Google – https://goo.gl/Iq4Ir4

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/landscapelightingguru/

Angies List – AngiesList.com/Review/8797346

Our website –

Testimonials