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View Full Version : Budgeting lighting as a percentage of landscaping


pete scalia
10-21-2007, 10:08 PM
When budgeting a design/build landscape project I like to budget from 10-20 percent (varies depending on client and site requirements)to landscape lighting.
What percentage of a design/build are you setting aside for lighting?

If you are lighting only what percentage of the overall budget does your lighting generally consume?

JoeyD
10-21-2007, 11:48 PM
10% should be the minimum in my opinion.

pete scalia
10-21-2007, 11:58 PM
10% should be the minimum in my opinion.

Yes agreed

Pro-Scapes
10-22-2007, 09:39 AM
I been thinking about this. You can't base it off a percentage unless your doing tract homes. 10% min but I find a lot of 50k landscapes round here need more like 20 to 30% in lighting on top of that 50k.

I don't think you can put a percentage on it. What if most of the yard is natural landscape with mature trees and just some small ornamental beds around the house they spent 5k to have tossed in?

We did one like this and our lighting came out to be 150% of the landscape install.

The job should be based on the unique (no pun intended) needs of the property and the desires of the owners with the designers input. Nothing else matters.

Chris J
10-22-2007, 02:55 PM
The other thing that matters is the perceived value and worth to the client. If it is something the client desires and wants, it really doesn't matter what they paid for their home. Consider the person who lives in a 200k home, yet drives a Mercedes Benz that costs roughly 50% of their home's value. If it is worth it to him or her, and they want it bad enough, they will own it.
The same applies to beautiful, functional lighting designs. If he/she wants that for their home, there is no reason why they can't find a way to have what the wealthy have. Granted, the finer things in life are typically enjoyed by the larger income earners, but where there is a will there is a way. As professional landscape lighting becomes more popular, you will see homeowners of every income level finding ways to own the same type of lighting designs that are normally found in the upscale communities. I believe the reason it is not as popular yet is because most lighting companies don't advertise to anyone except high income families. Somebody's got to break this cycle, and let the little guy in on the big secret.

pete scalia
10-22-2007, 09:03 PM
I been thinking about this. You can't base it off a percentage unless your doing tract homes. 10% min but I find a lot of 50k landscapes round here need more like 20 to 30% in lighting on top of that 50k.

I don't think you can put a percentage on it. What if most of the yard is natural landscape with mature trees and just some small ornamental beds around the house they spent 5k to have tossed in?

We did one like this and our lighting came out to be 150% of the landscape install.

The job should be based on the unique (no pun intended) needs of the property and the desires of the owners with the designers input. Nothing else matters.

I'm talking about a percentage of the budget of a total new landscape build out. Not just a few flowers or plants installed. Either new construction or a total remodel, removal of old and replacement with new.

Pro-Scapes
10-22-2007, 10:45 PM
im talking about that too... you cant set a percentage on it. We have done 20k landscape renovations where
I seriously doubt 2k in lighting will be suffeciant for a home that will need 20k in landscape installed.

I have yet to see a project where 10% would be close to suffecient for a quality lighting system unless your going for SERIOUSLY soft and understated.

maybe when you get up into the 100k and 200k landscapes its a bit different but not many people spend that kinda coin on landscapes here.

pete scalia
10-22-2007, 10:55 PM
im talking about that too... you cant set a percentage on it. We have done 20k landscape renovations where
I seriously doubt 2k in lighting will be suffeciant for a home that will need 20k in landscape installed.

I have yet to see a project where 10% would be close to suffecient for a quality lighting system unless your going for SERIOUSLY soft and understated.

maybe when you get up into the 100k and 200k landscapes its a bit different but not many people spend that kinda coin on landscapes here.

That's your opinion. But You have to start with a figure somewhere. Averages are calculating the total dollar sum and dividing it by the number of events. Let's say you've done 5 jobs costing out like this
total landscape/cost of lighting
20K/4K
120K/20K
30K/5K
55K/15K
40K/10K

Total amount of all projects- $265K
Total amount of landscape lighting- $54K
Divide the 54 by 265 and

In this case the average cost of landscape lighting is around 20% of the total cost of your projects. Does this make sense?

Pro-Scapes
10-22-2007, 11:03 PM
not really because I cannot base my projects on a percentage. Whats a percentage matter ? it should be based on the clients desires... good design and a quality job.

I am working on a project now where they got alot of landscape going in but its all rather inexpensive plant material... lots of jasmine... azaleas.... plenty of existing trees... landscape should run 20k installed (not by us) and lighting will run nearly 100% that cost due to long wire runs... the layout of the home being spread out... lot of tree lighting.

Now on the contrary we did a small 4k system on a home with 100k in retaining walls... 3 story deck built on terrace rows...

I think it needs to be based on a per project basis not a generic percentage. I dont see a problem with that.

pete scalia
10-22-2007, 11:05 PM
not really because I cannot base my projects on a percentage. Whats a percentage matter ? it should be based on the clients desires... good design and a quality job.

I am working on a project now where they got alot of landscape going in but its all rather inexpensive plant material... lots of jasmine... azaleas.... plenty of existing trees... landscape should run 20k installed (not by us) and lighting will run nearly 100% that cost due to long wire runs... the layout of the home being spread out... lot of tree lighting.

Now on the contrary we did a small 4k system on a home with 100k in retaining walls... 3 story deck built on terrace rows...

I think it needs to be based on a per project basis not a generic percentage. I dont see a problem with that.

Nevermind. I'm out of energy.

Greg_B
10-22-2007, 11:12 PM
I haven't added anything as a homeowner since I had problems with other aspects of the pool/landscaping, but I think that unless you are a comprehensive design-build contractor that does it all then lighting will get the short shaft. I was not educated as to lighting possibilities until after my landscaping was laid out.

I had a fixed budget which I did raise from $10,000 to $15,000 but that ignores the fact that my existing palm trees were worth about $10,000. Are you talking over all project? My pool was $55k, fence was $6k, gas $6k so all in, I'm probably at $80k to $90k but had no concept of lighting until I was shocked by the $5,200 quote for 13 lights that I questioned here a few months ago. That would be less than 10% of the total spent if you count the pool, but several also noted that I would probably need more than 13 lights so at $400 per piece I would probably be at over $8k.

I have not done anything yet, hence my not calling Chris J. I would like to do things the right way the first time. I have been lurking trying to educate myself and not asking questions while reading old threads. While doing this I am looking to see what I can afford for lighting with consideration given to the need to landscape and light the front yard still.

I see the biggest challenge for a professional lighting installer to educate me as a consumer what is involved in the process. If you work with a landscape installer, he will obviously try to maximize his percentage of the budget, leaving lighting with the remnants. I wish I knew more going into the process, maybe lighting guys could get with pool installers so that you are on board in the initial planning and on an equal footing with the landscaper rather than subbing from them; plus the pool trenches are open to run pipe to areas that will be inaccessible once the pool decking is down.

I wish I had a lighting guy rather than just an electrician running what I thought I needed. He pulled black landscape wire when I requested 14/4 direct burial stranded speaker wire. I had to buy the wire myself and he had to redo the pull.

Going back to lurking now.

Regards,
Greg

pete scalia
10-22-2007, 11:43 PM
I haven't added anything as a homeowner since I had problems with other aspects of the pool/landscaping, but I think that unless you are a comprehensive design-build contractor that does it all then lighting will get the short shaft. I was not educated as to lighting possibilities until after my landscaping was laid out.

I had a fixed budget which I did raise from $10,000 to $15,000 but that ignores the fact that my existing palm trees were worth about $10,000. Are you talking over all project? My pool was $55k, fence was $6k, gas $6k so all in, I'm probably at $80k to $90k but had no concept of lighting until I was shocked by the $5,200 quote for 13 lights that I questioned here a few months ago. That would be less than 10% of the total spent if you count the pool, but several also noted that I would probably need more than 13 lights so at $400 per piece I would probably be at over $8k.

I have not done anything yet, hence my not calling Chris J. I would like to do things the right way the first time. I have been lurking trying to educate myself and not asking questions while reading old threads. While doing this I am looking to see what I can afford for lighting with consideration given to the need to landscape and light the front yard still.

I see the biggest challenge for a professional lighting installer to educate me as a consumer what is involved in the process. If you work with a landscape installer, he will obviously try to maximize his percentage of the budget, leaving lighting with the remnants. I wish I knew more going into the process, maybe lighting guys could get with pool installers so that you are on board in the initial planning and on an equal footing with the landscaper rather than subbing from them; plus the pool trenches are open to run pipe to areas that will be inaccessible once the pool decking is down.

I wish I had a lighting guy rather than just an electrician running what I thought I needed. He pulled black landscape wire when I requested 14/4 direct burial stranded speaker wire. I had to buy the wire myself and he had to redo the pull.

Going back to lurking now.

Regards,
Greg

Yes, Total landscape amenity cost including hardscape and pool, outdoor kitchen, etc. Perhaps i wasn't clear by saying landscape only but I do mean everything. As for your situation, your response is typical in that even though you've invested a large amount in your yard you were planning on a very low cost for lighting. By your own estimation your into it for 90K. Where the lighting business is severely lacking is in educating the end consumer as to what to budget and plan for by way of a quality lighting set up. Respectfully My question is what is holding you back from spending 10K which is approximately 10% of you outdoor budget? is it because you don't see the value? It's not worth it to you? Do you think you can achieve the same results cheaper by doing it yourself? I appreciate your response because this may help us better understand our own and potential customers mindset.
P.S.- regarding you PM to me last night. The store in question was not manhasset it was further out on the island in suffolk county. I wasn't aware Levitt built homes in Coram. Levittown of course I know. Coram has changed alot since you moved . When you lived there the land was mostly farmland or pine barrens now there are homes where they once were. Some high end homes with large lots. Contemporaries and Colonials some split levels. I had a girlfriend at one time from farmingville so I spent some time in that neck of the woods.

YardPro
10-23-2007, 07:06 AM
pete.

this is one of the worst ideas i have heard in a long time...

this is worse than unit pricing. You are letting the price of the plants, mulch, sod, etc.. set the price for your lights.

each job should be looked at individually. As with pro scapes we do a lot of $25K installs, then install $7-10K worth of lights.

i can understand why you ran out of energy trying to save a sinking ship........

You will not find one single industry consultant that would recommend what you are proposing. your method is less precise than unit pricing, and they strongly recommend against that as well.

Greg_B
10-23-2007, 07:44 AM
Yes, Total landscape amenity cost including hardscape and pool, outdoor kitchen, etc. Perhaps i wasn't clear by saying landscape only but I do mean everything. As for your situation, your response is typical in that even though you've invested a large amount in your yard you were planning on a very low cost for lighting. By your own estimation your into it for 90K. Where the lighting business is severely lacking is in educating the end consumer as to what to budget and plan for by way of a quality lighting set up. Respectfully My question is what is holding you back from spending 10K which is approximately 10% of you outdoor budget? is it because you don't see the value? It's not worth it to you? Do you think you can achieve the same results cheaper by doing it yourself? I appreciate your response because this may help us better understand our own and potential customers mindset.

Actually I had no concept of cost and saw the most expensive HD/Lowes stuff at $50 a fixture. Between the $400 per fixture cost, for 13 fixtures, the fact that I was put off by the designer's demeanor - he was talking about how he invented the way low voltage lighting is currently installed, and after coming here and finding that I would probably need more than 13 lights, I have decided to hold off over the short term and evaluate my options.

If I had access to quality materials, I could probably do it myself since I have the basic skills - I've restored cars, renovated houses (including electrical, gas and plumbing) and have enough of a design aesthetic to create something I would be happy with. My limiting factor is time - I can work more and probably make more in the time it would take me to do it than it would to pay someone else to do it, plus it would probably come out better and I would benefit from a professional's experience.

I really didn't know enough about the cost going in and didn't budget for it. I will probably talk to Chris when I'm ready since he's relatively local and I was impressed by the gallery of work on his website.

pete scalia
10-23-2007, 08:16 AM
You are letting the price of the plants, mulch, sod, etc.. set the price for your lights.

Nevermind I figured you wouldn't understand. How difficult is it to determine what your average percentage per design/build job was in regards to lighting? Who said anything about determining the cost of the work based solely on a percentage. I said , if you had any reading comprehension, you use that number as a starting point.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-23-2007, 09:22 AM
To Greg B.

I understand your apprehension. I have often times encountered clients who are in the same situation as you are. My advice to them is to look beyond the per fixture cost breakdowns... For example:

I look at outdoor lighting (done properly) as a form of art.
As such, how do you evaluate the value (cost) of the system? Much as you would evaluate the cost of a piece of art. If you were to be commissioning a family portrait, lets say oil on canvas, and you went to one artist and asked how much, and he said $5000.00 and then you went to another artist and you asked how much, and she said $8000.00 how would you make your decision?

I would suspect that you would make your decision based on which art you liked the best. The price would become secondary. Now think of your outdoor living environment as a piece of commissioned art. Look to a variety of lighting designers in your market, ask to see their 'art', get quotes, and then pick the one you like and feel most confident with.

This technique makes a couple of assumptions.... the most important is that you are dealing with professional lighting contractors (artists). If you are, then you can probably dispense with any worries about fixture quality and installation integrity. Professional lighting contractors may not all use the same tools and equipment (paint and brushes) but for the most part, if they are pros, then the tools and equipment they use will be of excellent quality.

Pro-Scapes
10-23-2007, 09:32 AM
Thanks again for your homeowner insight Greg. Some of us really do appreciate it. You comfirmed my statement it is up to us to educate the client. Unfortunally some clients feel that education is a sales pitch.

The high performance proffesional grade lighting most of us use isnt avalible to homeowners for a few reasons. It protects contractors and designers business and it keeps homeowners who are not savy from burning down thier houses by improper installations.

Sometimes 400 is not out of line for an install depending on amount of wire and the difficulty. Perhaps thats the value of it in your area. If I do recall your pics you could definatly use more than 13 lights... I think I rememeber close to double that.

Greg_B
10-23-2007, 10:13 AM
James
Thanks for the response. Like I said my sole encounter with a lighting guy was not what I expected. I would have expected someone to at least lay something on paper, what I got was the guy and an assistant walking around with red John Deere Landscape flags in about 15 minutes. I have conduit run to all of the isolated plantings that are surrounded by decking and have 120 on the far side of the pool for a secondary transformer as well as wiring into my pool remote control box. The conduit is set up for probably two hubs based on the way I understand the lighting to be done.

I also have 6 gas tiki torches that put out a good amount of light and I'm not sure if I want a lot of low voltage competing with the torches since I would use both when entertaining. I want to accent the landscaping without overwhelming it. I guess I am looking for subtle emphasis of the palm trees and maybe three ot four path lights that would also help when lighting the tikis and moving around when not using them. The guy who quoted didn't think path lighting would be necessary as the bullets would reflect light back down off the palm fronds.

I also set up an outdoor theater so I wonder if zones of lighting are possible since certain lights would be good to have on all the time (path lights) but the two bullets on the palms near the screen would be better off.

I guess I am having a hard time weighing the cost-benefit and making sure I get what I want. I don't feel like I had someone explain to me what I would get and that I just had to trust him. He said he'd move stuff and the job wouldn't be done until I was satisfied but if that meant more lights then the meter is running. I would expect that I would have enough capacity to light the front yard as well and I haven't landscaped it yet as I am trying to decide what I can get away with HOA-wise.

Hopefully, I'm not stepping on Pete's thread too badly.

Pictures are linked below as to not take up too much of this thread.

http://www.aimooimage.com/Greg_B/img198.jpg

http://www.aimooimage.com/Greg_B/img199.jpg

http://www.aimooimage.com/Greg_B/img200.jpg

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-23-2007, 10:44 AM
Call around a bit Greg. Find the person who listens and is willing to work with you. It sounds as if you have a very good idea of what you want.

If all else fails... be patient. I will be in S/W Florida in February. Perhaps a nice side trip to Jupiter Fl. is in order.

:)

Have a great day.

irrig8r
10-23-2007, 12:43 PM
I haven't added anything as a homeowner since I had problems with other aspects of the pool/landscaping, but I think that unless you are a comprehensive design-build contractor that does it all then lighting will get the short shaft. I was not educated as to lighting possibilities until after my landscaping was laid out.

I had a fixed budget which I did raise from $10,000 to $15,000 but that ignores the fact that my existing palm trees were worth about $10,000. Are you talking over all project? My pool was $55k, fence was $6k, gas $6k so all in, I'm probably at $80k to $90k but had no concept of lighting until I was shocked by the $5,200 quote for 13 lights that I questioned here a few months ago. That would be less than 10% of the total spent if you count the pool, but several also noted that I would probably need more than 13 lights so at $400 per piece I would probably be at over $8k.

I have not done anything yet, hence my not calling Chris J. I would like to do things the right way the first time. I have been lurking trying to educate myself and not asking questions while reading old threads. While doing this I am looking to see what I can afford for lighting with consideration given to the need to landscape and light the front yard still.

I see the biggest challenge for a professional lighting installer to educate me as a consumer what is involved in the process. If you work with a landscape installer, he will obviously try to maximize his percentage of the budget, leaving lighting with the remnants. I wish I knew more going into the process, maybe lighting guys could get with pool installers so that you are on board in the initial planning and on an equal footing with the landscaper rather than subbing from them; plus the pool trenches are open to run pipe to areas that will be inaccessible once the pool decking is down.

I wish I had a lighting guy rather than just an electrician running what I thought I needed. He pulled black landscape wire when I requested 14/4 direct burial stranded speaker wire. I had to buy the wire myself and he had to redo the pull.

Going back to lurking now.

Regards,
Greg


Who let the homeowner in here??? :laugh:

Actually Greg, your post is informative.

1. $400.00 per fixture is a little more than I usually charge... but then I noticed that you said the electrician pulled the wires. Are you saying that an electrician is doing the whole lighting job?

2. What kind of fixture placement is involved? Downlights from trees or pathlights in a planter bed? Huge difference in labor involved.

3. And consider the materials: A brass in-ground uplight is going to be a lot more than an aluminum above ground uplight...

4. #14/4 speaker wire... for speakers, or for the lights? And by black landscape wire do you mean #12/2? #10/2? Or?

Greg_B
10-23-2007, 12:55 PM
Who let the homeowner in here??? :laugh:

Actually Greg, your post is informative.

1. $400.00 per fixture is a little more than I usually charge... but then I noticed that you said the electrician pulled the wires. Are you saying that an electrician is doing the whole lighting job?

2. What kind of fixture placement is involved? Downlights from trees or pathlights in a planter bed? Huge difference in labor involved.

3. And consider the materials: A brass in-ground uplight is going to be a lot more than an aluminum above ground uplight...

4. #14/4 speaker wire... for speakers, or for the lights? And by black landscape wire do you mean #12/2? #10/2? Or?

Nobody is doing the job yet. While the pool trenches were open, I had 3/4" conduit run all the way around the pool to the various trees I anticipated lighting and for speakers in three zones with volume controls at the bases of three of the tiki torches on the far side of the pool.

While the electrician was pulling speaker wire (14/4), I had landscape lighting wire pulled at the same time in dedicated conduit for low voltage lighting. I'll have to look at what they pulled (10/2 or 12/2) but the $400 per fixture was from a landscape lighting guy without any wiring in place but I don't think it took into account the fact that there was conduit laid.

There were 13 Aurora Bullet Lights in the quote and I don't know about specs on the transformer.

No lights in trees. The links in my post above show images of the backyard.

Thanks.
Greg

irrig8r
10-23-2007, 01:19 PM
Thanks.

Good photos that give a better idea. Well, I'm not that familiar with the Aurora line, but considering conduit and wire already in place, and assuming no other need to bore under walks, etc. then frankly, it's probably more than I would usually charge, using the brands of fixtures I typically use.

On the other hand, it may be close to the going rate in your community (and I may have to consider surveying my competition's current rates here.)

BTW, looking at the Aurora site, I see they offer a trident spike like the one that Janet Moyer recommended in a seminar I attended last year. It looks odd, but she said it's both the most stable and most easily moved as plants grow, etc.

Their fixtures look well designed to me.

NightScenes
10-23-2007, 01:20 PM
Greg, I'm sure that Chris Johnson will do a great job for you when the time comes.

NightLightingFX
10-23-2007, 03:10 PM
Greg,
I think everyone in this form agrees your price is a little steep. It also sounds like you weren't too impressed with your guy. You have got to go out and find another outdoor lighting professional and get a second oppinion. Or do it yourself.
~Ned

YardPro
10-23-2007, 05:54 PM
You are letting the price of the plants, mulch, sod, etc.. set the price for your lights.

Nevermind I figured you wouldn't understand. How difficult is it to determine what your average percentage per design/build job was in regards to lighting? Who said anything about determining the cost of the work based solely on a percentage. I said , if you had any reading comprehension, you use that number as a starting point.

LOL, i totally understand what you are talking about, but what YOU don't understand is there is no average percentage.
we go from lights being 2% of the job to 99% of the job cost. there is no realistic way to come up with an average. We have tried and tried to come up with budget averages for different components of the landscape installs to give homeowners guidelines as to what to expect, but since we do only custom work, and not cookie cutter installs, prices for the same size house range from $25K to $125K...but our our average light install is about $7k,

Pro-Scapes
10-23-2007, 05:57 PM
Nobody is doing the job yet. While the pool trenches were open, I had 3/4" conduit run all the way around the pool to the various trees I anticipated lighting and for speakers in three zones with volume controls at the bases of three of the tiki torches on the far side of the pool.

While the electrician was pulling speaker wire (14/4), I had landscape lighting wire pulled at the same time in dedicated conduit for low voltage lighting. I'll have to look at what they pulled (10/2 or 12/2) but the $400 per fixture was from a landscape lighting guy without any wiring in place but I don't think it took into account the fact that there was conduit laid.

There were 13 Aurora Bullet Lights in the quote and I don't know about specs on the transformer.

No lights in trees. The links in my post above show images of the backyard.

Thanks.
Greg

Greg... keep in mind Aurora is a high end fixture. I can assure you contractor cost on this fixture is pretty high. you may not want the ferrari he is selling. You may only want the BMW or the Acura of lighting. Still his quote seems high and as you stated your disapointed in his attitude and claims. I hope that prewire was sealed up well with a tube and some tape to prevent wicking. Strip back some of the insulation. If the wire is black and oxidized it may need replacing anyways.

pete scalia
10-23-2007, 08:35 PM
LOL, i totally understand what you are talking about, but what YOU don't understand is there is no average percentage.
we go from lights being 2% of the job to 99% of the job cost. there is no realistic way to come up with an average. We have tried and tried to come up with budget averages for different components of the landscape installs to give homeowners guidelines as to what to expect, but since we do only custom work, and not cookie cutter installs, prices for the same size house range from $25K to $125K...but our our average light install is about $7k,

I understand YardPro. I apologize for my harsh response but I've been taking it from all sides lately. I agree every project is different as every customers values and requirements are too. Perhaps I have expressed myself incorrectly although I thought I was clear by my example. There will be a clear average percentage if you follow the formula I posted. It doesn't mean that if your average per project is 20% for lighting that every job will be that way or that you must make it that way. All I was asking for was an average percentage. Numbers are crucial. Numbers don't lie. Numbers can and will make or break.
I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Greg_B
10-23-2007, 11:35 PM
Greg... keep in mind Aurora is a high end fixture. I can assure you contractor cost on this fixture is pretty high. you may not want the ferrari he is selling. You may only want the BMW or the Acura of lighting. Still his quote seems high and as you stated your disapointed in his attitude and claims. I hope that prewire was sealed up well with a tube and some tape to prevent wicking. Strip back some of the insulation. If the wire is black and oxidized it may need replacing anyways.

Thanks, I checked it and since its only in for about 2 weeks, I'll clip the last inch off and use liquid electrical tape to seal until I decide what to do. I think I'll buy a book. Some guy on Amazon really doesn't like Nate's book.

pete scalia
10-24-2007, 01:20 AM
Thanks again for your homeowner insight Greg. Some of us really do appreciate it. You comfirmed my statement it is up to us to educate the client. Unfortunally some clients feel that education is a sales pitch.

The high performance proffesional grade lighting most of us use isnt avalible to homeowners for a few reasons. These days most every product is readily available to anyone It protects contractors and designers business and it keeps homeowners who are not savy from burning down thier houses by improper installations. That's being a bit sensational I think

Sometimes 400 is not out of line for an install depending on amount of wire and the difficulty. Perhaps thats the value of it in your area. If I do recall your pics you could definatly use more than 13 lights... I think I rememeber close to double that.

see blue above

irrig8r
10-24-2007, 02:47 AM
see blue above

I don't understand your point with the blue font Pete.... what are you trying to say?

pete scalia
10-24-2007, 08:14 AM
I don't understand your point with the blue font Pete.... what are you trying to say?

I'm voicing my opinion to the statements in the body of the text. My responses are in blue.

irrig8r
10-24-2007, 10:05 AM
Sorry. I was up late and tired. My mistake.

Pro-Scapes
10-24-2007, 11:57 AM
I don't understand your point with the blue font Pete.... what are you trying to say?

hes feeling smurfy ??? I dont think its "sensational". We have all heard stories on here bout well lights covered in mulch and melting down and such. Dry leaves and pinestraw are highly combustible. That coupled with poor connections... imporoper lights for the application and an overloaded circuit could quickly become a hazzard.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-24-2007, 02:25 PM
hes feeling smurfy ??? I dont think its "sensational". We have all heard stories on here bout well lights covered in mulch and melting down and such. Dry leaves and pinestraw are highly combustible. That coupled with poor connections... imporoper lights for the application and an overloaded circuit could quickly become a hazzard.

There is a thermal safety switch available for inground well lights and any other lights you are worried about heat output from.

Nightscaping offers it as an accessory and it simply attaches inline at the fixture. Part Number 78-40. It is around two bucks each.

Be safe, sleep well!

irrig8r
10-24-2007, 02:52 PM
I've seen the remains of a small fire where a replacement plastic PAR 36 lens was installed by either the homeowner or the gardener next to a kids play area.

The kids must have had fun burying it with bark mulch. What was left was charred bark and melted plastic. Fortunately it was in the winter, so things were damp and cool, and it didn't get very far.

I always install the switch James mentions with well lights.

Pro-Scapes
10-24-2007, 03:03 PM
man we manage to get way off topic here sometimes. good info tho

pete scalia
10-24-2007, 08:19 PM
hes feeling smurfy ??? I dont think its "sensational". We have all heard stories on here bout well lights covered in mulch and melting down and such. Dry leaves and pinestraw are highly combustible. True but most of those jobs were installed by contractors, the dry combustible materials don't know if a contractor or homeowner installed the fixturessThat coupled with poor connections... imporoper lights for the application and an overloaded circuit could quickly become a hazzard. That's why there are breakers in the transformers, GFI outlets and breakers at the panell
I'm not encouraging DYI activity, I just think that homeowners recoil when they hear scare tactics and resent it

ccfree
10-29-2007, 09:20 PM
This is what I have always heard for budgeting purposes. (In a perfect world) Landscape should be 10% of the house and lighting should be 10% of the landscape. So in easy terms a 1 million dollar house would have a 100k landscape package and a 10k lighting package.

NightScenes
10-30-2007, 03:34 PM
This is what I have always heard for budgeting purposes. (In a perfect world) Landscape should be 10% of the house and lighting should be 10% of the landscape. So in easy terms a 1 million dollar house would have a 100k landscape package and a 10k lighting package.

I've heard about this formula before but I have yet to see a $mil home where 10k worth of lighting was sufficient. It's usually at least twice that much and usually 3 times. Maybe it's time to revamp the formula. I say that from now on, we make the landscape lighting around 3% of the total home value. That should do it. What do you think?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-30-2007, 03:50 PM
Sounds good to me Paul... I like it a lot. That would be $150K of lighting budgeted on a $5 Million property. Lets run with it.

Have a great day.

NightScenes
10-30-2007, 03:59 PM
I knew I would get some support for that idea!!

Chris J
10-30-2007, 04:33 PM
I've heard about this formula before but I have yet to see a $mil home where 10k worth of lighting was sufficient. It's usually at least twice that much and usually 3 times. Maybe it's time to revamp the formula. I say that from now on, we make the landscape lighting around 3% of the total home value. That should do it. What do you think?

You also have to consider what a $mil will buy you in various parts of the country. Around here, million dollar homes are a dime-a-dozen and you really don't get anything spectacular for that money. 10k would probably provide for a pretty nice lighting package for most of these homes. In California, I'm sure a mil would be just a step up from an outhouse. This is just something to consider when throwing around the idea of lighting as a percentage of home value.

klkanders
10-30-2007, 07:08 PM
Chris J. good point.
Take a look at some of those shows on cable. For example what 500k will buy you in different parts of the country. I was shocked at how much and how little a home you could get in different locations.

NightScenes
10-30-2007, 10:41 PM
Hey Chris, I see no reason why I can't install 20K worth of lighting around a $mil outhouse!!

extlights
10-30-2007, 10:44 PM
I can't see how it's even remotely possible to try and figure out a percentage base on landscape lighting. Around here there are 1-2 million dollar homes on a 1/4 acre lot. 10K in lighting?.....not a chance. There are way to many variables when designing a system. The value of a home and what they spent on landscaping could never be part of a semi-accurate estimate.

We've done $4K jobs on 2 million dollar homes, and we've done $10K jobs on $600K homes....each project is, and should be unique based on what fits the property and the homeowners "hot spots"....not on value of property and landscapes.

David Gretzmier
10-30-2007, 11:14 PM
I tend to agree with all above, each job is different. million dollar home #1 has existing trees galore that need uplighting, million dollar home #2 is a new lot with no trees. landscaping budget really has no correlation to landscape lighting budget, and there is maybe a small association in home value to proper lighting job, but only on a local basis. regionally or nationally, even internationally, that percentage will change.

I am all for voting on 3% of home value minimum though.