We can save you money!

shutterstock_124213174Converting an outdoor lighting system with LED lamps can recoup its cost in just two years! We are able to retrofit your system using your existing fixtures but replacing your current lamps with LED lamps.

Did you know at current electricity pricing you pay as much as $90 per year per Mercury Vapor fixture in electricity more than you would with our new retrofit LED’s? Color tones are almost identical, and you are replacing with lamps that are much safer for the environment as well as very long lived. Our various retrofit lamps have a minimum of 30,000 hour life. Some as long as 75,000 hours (that’s 30 years). They all come with a minimum of a 5 year manufacturer warranty. .

The Guru specializes in retrofitting lighting systems.   If you have an old Mercury Vapor system, we can retrofit your current fixtures with money saving LED lamps.  For more information, give the guru a call at 210-710-7737 for a free consultation.

Does your lighting need some help?

Outdoor lighting systems need to be inspected and serviced at least twice a year to remain in good condition.  We offer maintenance agreements that provide bi annual 16 point service and inspection of your entire system.  Included in this service is a pest preventive application for all your fixtures and components which we highly recommend.  Pests can infiltrate your lights and wreak havoc on your electrical system which can be costly to repair, and usually is not covered under manufacturer warranty.

Our goal in our 16 point service and inspection is to keep your lighting looking as good tomorrow as it was the day it was installed.  During the service we will inspect every fixture, transformer, wire and timer to make sure they are working properly.

If you are interested in learning more, please give us a call at 210-710-7737.

Don’t bury a J-Box!

Every onJ-box in the ground (2)ce in awhile we are asked to service jobs that were originally installed by homeowners or landscapers that didn’t really know what they were doing.

In this specific case the previous installer ran out of wire so he thought the right thing to do was to create a j-box to house the wire nuts and the junction between two runs of wire.  If this was on a wall this may have worked.  But when you bury a metal box in the ground it will eventually fail.  The gasket is not made to be wet all the time and the metal will eventually rust.

We make it a point never to create an underground junction in a metal box that will fail.  The best choice is to use a new wire that can make it the distance you need.  Should there be no other choice than to create an underground junction then the wire connections should be potted to prevent air and moisture from creating corrosion.

Should you need help planning and installing your lighting system for long run success call the Landscape Lighting Guru.  210-710-7737

Exciting New Technology

fx xmasIn our last post, we told you that LED lamps are available in all colors of the rainbow.  We are so excited about this new system by FX that utilizes RGBW LED technology. Color temperatures can be adjusted for holidays and special events, offering unique landscape looks throughout the year. In the pictures below, one is lit for the Christmas holiday with red and green, the other is done in purple for springtime and the last picture casts an orange color for Halloween and fall.

It is all set-up and controlled using your smartphone. Watch the video below to see how it easy it is to manage a very professional display. This is an easy way for a small business to get noticed. If you are interested in learning more, please give us a call to discuss.

For more information, check out FX’s website http://www.fxl.com/fx fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Colors of LED

LED lamps come in a rainbow of colors but most of our clients want a white light.  There are many different temperatures of white light with the most common being a warm white light vs a cool white light.  Both of these white lights play an important part of a lighting design.  Cool white light is a great when used as down lighting in a tree creating the illusion of moon light.  Warm white light is great for lights on the facade of them home.  In the following pictures you can see the difference between the two and how both temperatures play an important part in the lighting design.

Warm LED feature lighting in the foreground with cool LED down moonlighting in background

Warm LED feature lighting in the foreground with cool LED down moonlighting in background

Warm LED feature lighting in the foreground with cool lighting in the background

Warm LED feature lighting in the foreground with cool lighting in the background

Helping our Environment and Giving Back to the Community

green-recycling-iconHere at the Landscape Lighting Guru we see a lot of trash.  Most of it is in the form of cardboard that new fixtures and spools of wire come in.  But a lot of it is in the form of old fixtures and old wiring that has been removed to make room for new projects.  There is really no reason wiring should ever go bad, unless it was originally installed incorrectly.  But of course that’s the rub.  Most old systems that we remove are either very old Mercury Vapor or Incandescent systems, or they are lighting jobs that were done by home owners, or someone with just as little experience as home owners.  Most of the time when we find poorly installed connections this has allowed corrosion to inhibit the wire’s capabilities. It is less expensive for us to replace the wire than to try and fix every issue in old wire to make it work for new lighting.

Sorry for the digression.  You started reading this to understand how we try to be good stewards of our planet.  All of the people involved with the Guru have young children.  So without getting all hemp and Birkenstocks on you we would like to leave the planet as good as we can for the next generation.

We take all of our cardboard, plastic, and paper products to the local recycling center, and we turn in all of our removed fixtures, wire, and ballast boxes to a metal recycling center for pennies on the pound.  Well the pounds add up, so we decided to give 50% of that money back to our employees at the end of every year and give the other 50% to local charities.  Our 2015 charity is the Bulverde Food Pantry.  33145_bulverde-food-pantry_asq

So if you’re thinking about having us install new efficient LED lighting, just know that the old fixtures and wiring that don’t work anymore will not be headed to the landfill.  Even better they may help some less fortunate family eat a little better in the coming year.

For more information on the Bulverde Food Pantry, click here

http://bulverdefoodpantry.org/

 

How to Reset your GFCI Outlet

gfci reset buttonHave your exterior lights stopped working and you can’t figure out why?  As part of your troubleshooting, you should check your GFCI outlets.  A tripped outlet is often the cause of lighting issues and it is a simple fix.  To reset a GFCI outlet, you just press the red reset button on your outlet.

Here is the tricky part of the troubleshooting…you should check ALL of your GFCI outlets in your home.  Just because the outlet your transformer is plugged into isn’t a GFCI outlet, doesn’t mean it isn’t being protected by another outlet in the house.

One device will usually be protecting several normal-looking outlets downstream from it.  So if outlets have gone dead outdoors, there is a very good chance that a GFCI somewhere else has tripped off.  The search to find all possible GFCIs can be frustrating as the outlet may not be in a logical place or one you use often.  It maybe that the outdoor outlets are dead from the GCFI in your bathroom or an outlet never used behind a pile of boxes in the garage.

If you have checked all your outlets and/or you have found one but it won’t reset, it may be time to call in a professional to take a look. Landscape Lighting Guru does do service calls – just give us a call at 210-710-7737 to schedule an appointment.

 

Why is lighting maintenance important?

Well another poor tree that has grown over a ballast box due to lack of embeded ballast box 2 and 3maintenance.  If you have ballast boxes then please understand that they need attention at a minimum once a year.  They need to be backed off the trees to prevent a rot spot from growing on the tree.  Once rot happens this becomes a conduit for pest to get into the tree and eventually rot out the inside of the tree.  If you have ballast boxes, please contact the Landscape Lighting Guru for regular maintenance.  We will back your fixtures, wire, and ballast boxes off the trees, as well as insert 6 month fire ant pest shield to help prevent future damage to your system.

 

Its to late for this poor tree…we have to do a little tree surgery.  You may be able to greatly reduce the quantity of boxes if you are ready to convert to LED.  We have many different options available to you.  Please call the Guru at 210-710-7737 to find out which option is best for you.

Let custom light fixtures light up your world

LED fish baskets lighting We recently designed custom lanterns for a client using fish baskets.  The baskets were retrofitted to run 120 degree warm Low Voltage LED lamps for all weather safety.

The lanterns hang in this beautiful oak tree casting the most amazing shadow’s on the ground and on the tree as they sway in the breeze.

Do you have a custom lamp idea?  Get with the Landscape Lighting Guru to see if we can bring your dreams to reality with custom light fixtures.DSC_0192

Time is up – don’t use interior timer for outdoor systems!

This timer was found at a recent maintenance service call.  The reason it is all rurusted (indoor) timer boxsted and full of pests is because the previous lighting installation company used an interior timer (probably because they are less expensive).  Wet rated timers are a little more expensive, but its the only safe thing to do.

 

The Landscape Lighting Lighting Guru always uses wet rated electrical components when installing landscape lighting.  Seems like a no-brainer to us.

 

If your lighting components look anything like this, please give us a call.  We would love to prevent future damage to your system, or even worse a fire due to a short from corrosion.