Frequently asked questions about Landscape Lighting

Outdoor Lighting fixtures are decorative visual elements primarily used to provide illumination in key (high traffic) areas. They are also used to coordinate with and compliment the architectural appearance of a home. With this objective in mind, they are typically intended to be “seen and not hidden or obscured”. Outdoor Lighting fixtures are typically hung from porch ceilings and installed on posts, columns or walls.

Landscape Lighting is different. While it can be used to illuminate high traffic areas and further enhance architectural features of a home, Landscape Lighting is also used to bring key elements of your Outdoor Space to life after the sun goes down. In order to achieve this objective, The Edmonton Landscape Lighting Company strategically mount lighting fixtures on trees or structures such as gazebo’s and houses. Unlike Outdoor Lighting fixtures, we are more focused on hiding the fixture and eliminating any blinding effect the light may create. By utilizing the different types of Landscape Lights that are available, and coupled with unique and creative positioning techniques, we are able to create a variety of different lighting effects in order to showcase and further enhance a particular tree, shrub or landscape feature.

Most North American homes utilize 120 volts to operate many of the electrical components within the home such as lights, power outlets and small appliances. When you hear the term “Low Voltage Lighting” it is referring to Landscape Lighting that is powered by 12 volts instead of 120 volts. This is the same voltage that your car or truck utilizes in order to power its lights and accessories.

When installing a Low Voltage Landscape Lighting System, we install a transformer which reduces the house voltage from 120 volts to 12 volts. The landscape transformer plugs into an existing (GFI) outlet, in a similar fashion to an appliance. The landscape wire is then connected to the transformer which distributes 12 Volt power to the Landscape Lighting fixtures. Most Landscape Lighting fixtures are designed to operate in a range of 9–15 Volts. As a result of the lower voltage, far less energy is consumed to power the Landscape Lights. It is also much safer, and in most jurisdictions it does not require a “certified” electrician to install the system.

  • Transformer
  • Landscape (low voltage) wire
  • Light fixtures

Most of the transformers we install are of “stainless steel” construction and are typically mounted outside the home. We elect to use this type of transformer because it is resistant to inclement weather such as rain and snow and will last for many years, and in most cases decades to come. We install transformers close to an existing exterior (GFI) power outlet. If there are insufficient or poorly located power outlets we have certified electricians that will install additional outlets. When we design a Landscape Lighting System we carefully take into consideration a number of key factors;

  • Number and type of fixtures being installed
  • Electrical loading calculations
  • Distance (runs) from transformers to fixtures
  • Voltage drops across the circuits

As you can see, there are many factors that have to be taken into consideration when we design our Landscape Lighting Systems, so that’s why we always prepare a detailed Landscape Lighting Design Plan before we install any lights.

Yes and No. It will ultimately depend on the condition of your “Trunk Line” (main low voltage power line) wiring. Some light fixtures can also be converted from Incandescent or Halogen to LED, but you are likely to experience issues with moisture finding its way into the fixture, which result in the failure of the fixture altogether. With this in mind, we typically recommend replacing the fixtures altogether.

Yes. There is NO comparison and as the old saying goes… “you get what you pay for”. The Edmonton Landscape Lighting Company only purchase and install quality (Kichler) light fixtures, and ones that are not typically available at any of the Big Box stores. During the initial consultation we will show you the difference between an “off the shelf – Big Box store” light fixture and the ones we install. Like we said… there is NO comparison!

As a Professional Landscape Lighting Contractor we incorporate professional installation practices and techniques that will ensure your Landscape Lighting System will continue to operate, and will do so maintenance free for many years and even decades to come.

Yes, we do and unlike some companies we are NOT afraid to put the terms and limitation of our warranty in writing.

In most cases, Landscape Lighting Systems can be installed with minimal disruption to existing landscaping. By creating a detailed Landscape Lighting Design Plan before we start, and with the implementation of our “non-intrusive” installation techniques, typically the only sign that we were ever there is after the project has been completed and the lights are turned on.

No, LED landscape lighting is a LOT cheaper to operate than previous (Incandescent or Halogen) lighting systems, because LED lights use approximately 80% less electrical consumption than an Incandescent light bulb. For example, a “20 Watt Incandescent” light bulb can be replaced by a 4 to 5 watt LED bulb with a similar light output.

To put things into perspective for you… 10 LED landscape fixtures consume about the same electricity as 1 60-watt Incandescent light bulb!

Check out this cost comparison chart.

LED is short for “Light-Emitting Diode”. LEDs produce light, but unlike their counterparts they do not produce a lot of heat. They last much longer than “Incandescent” or “Compact Fluorescent” light bulbs. They also use approximately 80% less electrical consumption to produce the same amount of light output as an Incandescent bulb, making them far more efficient and cost effective. LEDs have also become the leading choice in the “Green Industry.” Learn more here.

Yes, Low Voltage lights are as bright as Incandescent lights. Fact is… it’s not the voltage that determines the brightness of the fixture, so you have to be careful when you compare LEDs to other types of bulbs. Watts (a unit measure of power) was the “old” way to refer to a bulbs lighting capabilities, but we now refer to “Lumens”. Fact is… an LED bulb consumes a fraction of the Watts to produce the same amount of light (lumens) compared to an Incandescent light bulb. As a result, it is far more energy efficient.

Learn more.

No. Solar Lights are not as bright as Low Voltage Landscaping Lights. Their brightness will also be reduced as the battery starts to draw down, which is an even bigger problem living in certain geographic regions (such as Edmonton) that experience 16 hours of darkness each day in the winter months. The other problem with Solar Lights is snow coverage. Because they generate very little in the way of heat, they tend to get buried in snow which renders them useless in the winter months.

When they were first introduced to the masses they did produce a “bluish” tint. As a result of advances with the technology this has all but been eliminated. But like most things that are produced, quality varies amongst the many different manufacturers. As a result, The Edmonton Landscape Lighting Company only supply and install quality (Kichler) fixtures. The fixtures we install offer a variety of effects ranging from light intensity (brightness) to beam spread and colour. They range in colour from “warm white” to “cool white”. The most popular and the preferred colour choice of The Edmonton Landscape Lighting Company is “warm white”.

Colour Temperature Chart - Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

At The Edmonton Landscape Lighting Company our Lighting Systems are fully automated and controllable from your Cell Phone, iPad or Tablet. The software operates on all operating platforms, so it doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or an Android. As long as you have a Wi-Fi signal at your house you will have full control of the system. You will be able to monitor the status of your system and make adjustments such as the time of day your lights turn on and off and the days of the week they come on, no matter where you are in the world. The software we utilize is “user friendly” and easy to use no matter if you are “tech-savvy” or not. For those that are still afraid of technology, that’s not a problem. We are happy to manage the system for you!

The Landscape Lighting System Software we utilize also has the capabilities to be integrated with interior (smart) switches that control your exterior lights such as pot lights. This provides you with the unique ability to program other lights in consort with your Landscape Lighting System. How cool is that!

We also have the capability to integrate some of your interior lights so they turn on and off at different times. This is a really nice feature and vitally important when you are away on vacation, as it provides the impression (to potential intruders) that “the lights are on, so someone must be home”.

Don’t have Wi-Fi? That’s not a problem either! We can set up the Landscape Lighting System to operate on a timer and or Photo Cell System. This system will also turn your lights on and off for you at pre-set times of the day and throughout the year. The only drawback, you will not have the capability to integrate the Landscape Lighting System with other (interior or exterior) lights in your home.

Absolutely! Well designed and installed Landscape Lighting will definitely add value to your property, and it will do so for a number of reasons. Some of which include the following;

  • Increased Security
  • Enhanced Safety
  • Boost the Perceived Value of Your Property

Given that we live in a geographic region that “thrusts us in to total darkness” for a big portion of the day, and especially during those long winter months! Lighting up your Outdoor Space will set your house apart from others (which are most properties on most streets). As a result, it will improve the curb appeal and overall appearance which will provide you with a competitive edge when you are ready to move on and sell the property.

One word of caution here: you will probably start a trend on your street when your neighbours see what a Professionally Designed and Installed Landscape Lighting System has done for your property!

Lastly, but most often overlooked: by turning your pitch black Outdoor Space into an Amazing Work of Art, Landscape Lighting can also be considered as “therapeutic”. Why, because it has a tendency to improve the overall state of mental health, and especially during those long, cold and dark (Canadian) winter months.

Like many things, with a little education you can definitely tackle this project yourself. But this is what Kichler (our landscape lighting manufacturer of choice) has to say about that…

“There are many elements to consider when purchasing a landscape lighting system. Design layout, voltage drop, safety, maintenance contracts – just to name a few. These are all important factors that can make a difference in your installation and the life of your system. Because of this, Kichler Landscape Lighting does recommend the use of a qualified contractor. Remember, this is an investment in your home, and you want it done in the best, most professional manner possible.”.

We will let you be the judge, but we think that statement speaks for itself?

That ultimately depends on how big your Outdoor Space is and the number of light fixtures we are installing. Some systems can be installed in as little as 1 or 2 days, while other more complex systems can take 1 or 2 weeks. The installation is performed during daylight hours, but we will need to come back after the sun goes down in order to tweak the system in order to produce the best possible results.

No. As long as the outside plugs have power to them you do not have to be home during the installation. Once the installation has been completed we will need to be provided with access to your Wi-Fi network in order to set up the software program and pair the system with your network.

Yes, we do. We provide a number of maintenance and repair options specifically tailored to our client’s individual needs.

Once we have come to terms regarding the scope of work and price, we require an initial deposit of 50% of the cost of the proposal. Once we receive the deposit we will lock your project into our installation schedule and purchase all materials and supplies necessary to complete the job. Final payment is due and payable after the system has been installed and commissioned and you sign off on the project.

YES, we LOVE and encourage our clients to provide us with (hopefully nice) google reviews after each project has been completed. Reviews are a great resource for anyone that is looking to hire the services of a reputable and trustworthy Edmonton Landscape Lighting Contractor, and one that consistently delivers on all the promises they make.

Get Your FREE Landscape Lighting Demonstration

We will set up temporary lighting to show you what your outdoor space can look like… after the sun goes down!

(Absolutely no cost, and no obligation!)