So you’re thinking about installing a landscape lighting system, great, but how do you do it? Of course you already know that you’ll need electricity to power it, and lights, a transformer, etc. But how do you design and install a system so that it looks professional? First, you need your system, which usually includes; fixtures, a transformer, wire and wire nuts, hub or junction boxes, a light sensor and timer. Next, you’ll need tools like wire cutters and strippers, pliers, a trenching shovel, a multimeter, a drill w/ concrete bits, and screws. Assuming you’ve already calculated the load of the system based on the length of wire and wattage draw of the fixtures you’ve planned, you’re ready to get started! Install the transformer in a location that’s inconspicuous while still allowing you to plug into a GFCI outlet, usually on your garage electrical circuit. If you don’t have a GFCI outlet available, you’ll need to install one or have an electrician install one for your transformer. Place the fixtures in the practical locations first, like path lights along a garden path, or step lights for your deck steps. Place up lights at the base of focal plantings or trees to make them stand out at night as features in the landscape. Last, place wash lights to create secondary or more subtle accents in the landscape. Run the wiring to each fixture from the transformer, taking care to record where the wires are buried on the plan. Lights should be connected in groups, never daisy chain or connect one light after the other. Daisy chains create groups of lights that all have differing brightness. Use junction boxes to connect a group of lights together at
does that make you a surgeon? I am amazed and embarrassed by certain companies that call themselves landscapers. It makes it difficult for consumers to understand what constitutes a reputable company vs some guy who bought a mower and says he is a landscaper. There are a few things that can help determine the value of the company that the consumer can hire such as the following: -Does the company have any certifications? -How long has the company been in business? -What are the employee's qualifications? -Is their website informative and does it give a good perspective of the company? -Are there online reviews that add insight to the companies professionalism? -Do they answer the phone and/or return calls in a timely manner? -Do they have the proper insurance, business licenses and credentials? While this may sound like a lot of information to consider I think it is crucial for protecting the biggest investment most of us have, our home. Landscaping done poorly, or wrong, can cost you a lot in the end. Poor plant choices can damage structures and create excessive maintenance costs along with actually bringing down your properties value. Conversely good quality craftsmanship and planning can actually greatly improve the value and desirability of your home when you go to sell. It can also add to years of enjoyment, family bonding and usefulness of your property. So, I repeat my question do you want a true surgeon to operate on you or just some guy with a knife? Call Sunrise 703-544-0028
With the days getting shorter and the temperatures dropping, you may be resigning yourself to hunkering down indoors until spring. That does not have to be the case; there are ways to spend time outdoors, or on your patio, even in colder weather. Have you ever considered a fireplace or fire pit? There are fabricated units such as the ‘Foyer’ fireplace from Techo-Bloc, or this fire pit kit from E.P. Henry. We can also build custom units such as the ones below that can be viewed on our website. A fireplace can not only provide warmth and atmosphere in chillier weather but everyone knows how much children love roasting marshmallows. The prolonged darkness can also be battled through the use of a low-voltage lighting system. Your residence and landscaping can be lit in ways to provide many dramatic effects. Lighting your walkways and patio can not only be useful but offer increased safety as well. The product that we use most often is Unique Lighting Systems, they have developed numerous innovations in the field and when you hold one of their fixtures in your hand you will understand the value and how they can have a lifetime guaranty. Sunrise Landscape + Design has experienced designers and installers that can make these projects into a reality for you so that you can ‘extend the outdoor season’. If you would like more information on how we can extend your outdoor season check out our website or give us a call at 703.544.0028.