Before hiring a company to design and install your outdoor lighting, you should ensure they are a good fit for you and your lighting needs.
In your observation, you might have noticed how outdoor lighting beautifully enhances some homes better than others. The difference between an "okay" design and one that delivers the "wow" factor lies in the expertise of the designer, how the system is installed and maintained, the quality of fixtures, and more.
The following six questions will help you find the best outdoor lighting company for your home and property:
In this post, we share some questions that will help you find the best professional to create a design you love, provide quality installation, and offers maintenance services for years of enjoyment. When properly done, landscape lighting should enhance nighttime beauty and distinction, improve safety and security, and extend entertainment and enjoyment opportunities.
Question 1: How long has your company been in business, and do you specialize in landscape lighting?
While this is an obvious question, it is one people often overlook. A landscape lighting company with years of experience will better understand how to illuminate your space to create the desired effect. Especially, if outdoor lighting is what they do every day.
Knowing how and what to light outdoors, which fixtures and techniques to use, and how to light for beauty and security takes education, expertise, experience, and acumen. You want a skilled expert who specializes in landscape lighting. Having a professional work with you to plan your system will ensure the end product is one you will be sure to love.
Question 2: How long will the lighting design phase take, and then how long can we expect the installation to take?
As with anyone hired to work on your home, you will want to know the timeline for completion. Any experienced professional should have a good idea of how long each phase should take.
At McKay Lighting, we only provide lighting designs personalized to the needs and desires of the homeowner. Some places offer packaged deals with more of a cookie-cutter design approach which might reduce the turnaround time.
Regarding installation, it can be weather-dependent, so it is important to know any timeline given will be a rough estimate. The timeline for new construction homes could also look a little different. We often install certain parts of a system during different phases of the building or renovation process to allow for more design options and help avoid higher costs later. See more of our lighting tips for new construction or remodels»
Question 3: Will it be possible to add more fixtures to our system in the future?
You should bring up this topic if you want to add light to certain areas later, such as a patio, deck, water feature, or outdoor kitchen. Perhaps, you start in the front of the house and intend to light the back later, or vice versa. You can easily have your lighting installed in phases. Knowing your plans will help streamline the process for adding more fixtures in the future.
Question 4: What type of fixtures do you use?
Lighting fixtures must endure harsh weather conditions and outdoor elements (and sometimes even lawnmowers). High-quality fixtures made from brass and copper will last much longer than low-quality plastic, composite, or aluminum.
Most high-quality fixtures include a lifetime warranty. So, if the lawnmower damages one of your fixtures, you can rest assured knowing it's covered.
Ask the designer to bring a sample when you meet. You will notice the difference in quality. Cooper and brass fixtures are heavier and more durable than plastic or aluminum. Here you can learn more about fixture quality and the different types»
Question 5: Will you provide maintenance services after installation?
You will want to know your maintenance options after installation. Even the best outdoor lighting systems will require maintenance. Having it done regularly will help ensure its continued beauty, functionality, and reliability year after year.
Not all providers offer maintenance services. We recommend hiring a company with a dedicated service department or team for several reasons. Even better if they have maintenance programs, see what we include in ours as an example. Having a lighting system installed without service in mind can cause more headaches later.
Question 6: Do you have references and a list of addresses to drive by?
You want this answer to be “yes.” Be sure to check all references and drive by the properties after dark. Maybe, it will give you some ideas for how you want (or don't want) to illuminate your property.
Finding the best outdoor lighting company:
These six questions are a great starting point to finding the right company to design, install, and maintain your outdoor lighting. We have more questions along with other helpful tips in our The Essential Guide to Hiring a Landscape Lighting Professional.
Low-voltage landscape lighting is an investment that should enhance your home and property, extend your hours of enjoyment outdoors, and provide for the safety and convenience of your guests. It can also address security issues in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing and appropriate to the site. An experienced outdoor lighting professional provides benefits for projects big and small.
Looking to Enhance Your Property?
Our dedicated team at McKay Landscape Lighting works with you to create a custom landscape lighting design that's unique to your property. From design to installation to service, you can count on our team of experts to make sure you are happy with your lighting system for years to come.