Hail Storm Costliest in Texas History

lightningSan Antonio was hit with several hail storms over the last few weeks and the damage is the costliest in Texas history at expected damages of $1.4 Billion.  The big ticket items are damages to cars and roofs but the lighting from those storms have wreaked havoc on some homeowners electrical systems.  Outdoor landscape lighting is vulnerable to lightning just like all other electric systems.

Lightning and quickly moving power surges can instantly bring down electronic systems.  Even the magnetic field that is part of a lightning strike can inflict damage on nearby computers and electronics.  So your home doesn’t have to have a direct strike to incur damage to your electric system.

Are you having lighting issues after the storms the last few weeks?  We can help – please give us a call today at 210-710-7737 and we can set up a service call.

Water Features and Fountains

Water Features and Fountains

Landscape Lighting Guru does so much more than just lighting indoors and out!  We also can help maintain your water features or fountains.  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.

The Guru has quite a few long time water feature clients and we were excited to receive the following testimonial from one of them just this week!

“I have been so pleased with your employees and company,  Augustine was here this last week twice!. . .fixing and making sure all work your company has done is perfect.  That means so much to me.

Water FeaturesYou and your men are always prompt, efficient, and courteous and helpful.  Thanks for always being there when we need you.  Love all you do.” ~Judy and Dave Groepler

The Lighting Revolution

Lighting Revolution LEDChicago is the most recent city to announce it will be changing almost all lighting in public spaces to LED.   Cities big and small are rolling out similar plans in an effort to save money and increase safety.  They also like the programming options that LED lights provide like the dim and brighten options.  LEDs have started a lighting revolution in the industry and offer more options that ever before.

The benefits of retrofitting current lighting systems to LED is not just for cities or commercial real estate.  As a homeowner,  converting 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.

For more information on the benefits of the LED lighting revolution:

 

LED Benefits

 

Looking for work? We are hiring!

HiringLandscape Lighting Guru is excited to announce we are hiring.  This is a position with a big opportunity to grow in the company.
We are looking for a future 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:
1. Excellent tree climbing skills
2. Above average intelligence
3. A competitive spirit
4. Ability to read and speak English
5. Clean Driving Record with driver’s license
6 Over the age of 18
7 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
8 Drug free work place
9 Working outside in all kinds of weather
10 Ability to safely lift over 50lbs
11 Ability to safely climb with over 15lbs

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. Spanish speaker
7. Computer experience
8. 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

Current position pays between $12-$17 per hour based upon experience and skill level with ability to increase with time and quantity of jobs and people managed.

If interested, please email your resume to info@landscapelightingguru.com and call at 210-710-7737.

Outdoor Lighting – DIY vs Professional?

After our past few posts about common DIY lighting mistakes; lighting overkill and lighting placement, the question becomes should you hire a professional to install your landscape lighting or should you do it yourself?

For some DIY homeowners, the potential cost savings of installing the lighting themselves is worth the challenge. Lighting installation requires technical skills that most people don’t have and there are also risks in working with electricity without training.  It is crucial that you have done your research and made a lighting design plan as well as consider all safety concerns prior to taking on the project.

You want to make sure that you have everything you need to install lighting correctly and safely. Using high-quality parts in the right way will enhance your results.  While the big box stores offer a wide selection of outdoor lighting fixtures, few of them are high quality products that come with long term warranties.  Often, homeowners overlook important considerations in lighting installation and as a result, they end up spending more money and time in order to get it done right.

Bottom Line?  Unless you have experience and training with electricity and have devoted a lot of research and planning to your lighting plan, it is best to leave outdoor lighting installation to the professional.  Otherwise, you could end up with lights you aren’t satisfied with and could end up spending more money to get it done right. The results you achieve with a professional installation will give you the best results, accentuate your home, and maximize the return on your investment.

Professional service technicians are able to maintain your lighting too. As your landscape grows and changes over time, so will your lighting needs. The light fixtures and bulbs will require maintenance and repair to ensure optimal function.

Outdoor Lighting is Hot for 2016

A recent study by Houzz reveals nearly two thirds of U.S. homeowners (57%) who are planning outdoor renovations in 2016 are looking to upgrade their exterior lighting.  More than half of those homeowners are planning on hiring a contractor to do the work.

With our recent post on the different types of lighting, we thought this breakout was interesting.  Among the outdoor features that homeowners plan to illuminate are:

  • Pathways —60%
  • Decks/Patios — 57%
  • Trees/Shrubs — 53%
  • Steps — 32%
  • Home Architecture — 28%
  • Driveway — 26%
  • Water Features — 24%
  • Outdoor Structures — 24%
  • Pots/Plants — 21%
  • Swimming Pool — 10%
  • Art/Sculpture — 9%

With outdoor lighting being hot for 2016, it may be time for you to consider upgrading your outdoor lighting system. If you are interested in a free consultation with a lighting designer to discuss a new lighting system or an upgrade to your current system, please give us a call 210-710-7737

For the full article, Houzz Study Article

Find us on Houzz!

 

In the News

Landscape Lighting Guru is in the news!  We are excited to share a recent article about Landscape Lighting Guru in Construction News.  The article “Seeing in a Whole New Light”, features information on the company and the benefits of converting to LED lighting, inside and out.  Check it out with the link below

In the News - Construction News Article

“Seeing in a Whole New Light” News Article Link

We do fan installation too!

fan installation In addition to interior lighting, Landscape Lighting Guru does fan installation indoors and out.  Fans are great to use all year round to keep the air circulating in your home and outside to cool you off in our hot summers.  We recently started a project installing a fan from a company we just love – Haiku Home. Their fans are not only one of the most energy efficient fan in the market but they are also stylish.  They offer an option to include an automated LED fixture to your fan as well. They are available in many different finishes that can work in both a traditional or modern home.

 

fan installationIf you are interested in adding fans to a room in your home or replacing a current fan, please give us a call 210-710-7737.  We install many different brands of fans and can help you choose the right product for you.  If you would like to see product information for the fans featured here, please visit their website at www.haikuhome.com.

Outdoor Lighting Placement – Is it all the same?

In our past post, we covered a common DIY  mistake when installing outdoor lighting – lighting overkill.  We will continue with that theme on this post as well with outdoor lighting placement.  Another common mistake we see in DIY installation is the placement of outdoor lighting.  It is important to consider what features of your property should be highlighted, visibility and safety issues as well as how the lights interact with the surrounding landscape when deciding how to direct your lighting fixtures. Placement is essential in any given lighting design and there are several different types.   To help understand the different types of directional lighting, we will go over the different types and where they are best used.

Up Lighting

Outdoor Lighting Placement

Warm LED up and down lighting

Directing light upward from ground level dramatically highlights key architectural and landscape features.  When up lighting your home, placement and beam width must be carefully addressed to prevent light spillage into bedroom windows.

Down Lighting
Illuminating an area or architectural element from above is often the best choice for safety, security or special effect. Lights shining down from above can illuminate a broad area, are difficult to tamper with, and are less likely to be hampered by landscape or weather concerns.  A lighting designer can also place lamps to create a moonlighting effect.

Feature Lighting

Outdoor Lighting Placement

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

A tree, a statue, a flag, a fountain or an architectural feature is best highlighted with fixtures that enhances the subject without creating undesirable shadows, glare or light spillage.

Security Lighting
Security lighting should be strategically placed so the entire perimeter and all access points are properly lit–but that doesn’t have to mean the ugly, high-voltage lights that might come to mind when you think about “security lights.”

Pathway and Step Lighting

Illuminating walking surfaces with light projected is a great enhancement to safety. Special attention should be paid to areas with uneven surfaces or steps.  Step lighting can include lights on the risers, along the edges or under the steps.

Outdoor Lighting Placement

Warm LED Path Light

These are the basic categories of outdoor lighting placement.  However, a professional lighting designer takes much more into consideration when designing a custom home design.  They can create dramatic effects like a down fixture creating a moonlight effect or creating dramatic shadows with some of the dark spaces.  If you would like a free consultation with a lighting designer, give us a call 210-710-7737 or click here Request a Free Estimate

Spring Forward – Time to check your outdoor timers!

spring-forwardWith the start of daylight savings time this past weekend, it is a good time to check your outdoor timers.  There are several different type of timers used for outdoor lighting and what needs to be updated depends on what type of timer you have.  If your lighting system has been installed in the last few years, you likely have an astronomical timer or a photocell.  Those types of timers should automatically adjust for daylight savings time and you shouldn’t need to do a thing!

If you have a manual timer, you will need to adjust for daylight savings time.  To adjust your timer, you first need to find your transformer which will be located outside (usually near your utilities) or inside your garage.  The transformer is a box and you will unlatch it to open it and find your timer.  To adjust the time, you rotate the dial clockwise until the correct time is shown in the window in the middle of the timer.  You can also adjust the start time and end times for your lights by moving the green and red pins.  The green is the start time and the red is the end time.   In San Antonio, our sunset is now occurring around 8:00pm and sunrise is around 8:00am.

If you need help adjusting your timer, please give us a call and we would be happy to walk you through the process – 210-710-7737.