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pogo
01-18-2000, 07:34 PM
My company is seriously thinking about adding landscape lighting to our services. Do many of you offer this service? Seems we have a fair number of customers ask us about it. How do you bid a light job? Do you bid it per light....etc???How profitable is it? How long does an ave. job take. Any advice would be extremely helpful.<br>Thanks<br>Rob

CGS
01-19-2000, 12:54 AM
Pogo,<p>If you get any info. please let me know. I don't know either how much is the going rate.<p>Thanks.

pogo
01-19-2000, 02:35 PM
I have been looking but have found very little.

Henry
01-19-2000, 06:40 PM
Ask a local retailer what others are charging. A guy in my area told me the going rate is $80-$150 per fixture, depending on cost and difficulty of the installation. I would also take some kind of class on design. You will learn a lot about using the different effects to use and what lights needed to create them.

pogo
01-20-2000, 12:22 PM
I've ordered a promo pack to set up in potential customers yards. I have been told between 100 and 150. One lady told me her estimate was 600 per light. That sounds kind of high.

CLM1
01-20-2000, 05:49 PM
I have done three lighting jobs this past year only after attending a two day class put on by a local supplier. It can be rather easy or it can be very difficult as no two jobs are the same. Just like landscaping, each site has its own set of problems/obstructions. I was able to get $200.00/fixture installed on my last one. The other two were $150.00/fixture. Remember these prices include EVERYTHING. ie under driveways & walks.

pogo
01-25-2000, 11:16 PM
Anyone with anymore info?????<br>Thanks

klite
01-25-2000, 11:37 PM
My Serria land design pro gives you what it will cost you I think it produces an estimit for you too based on the industries mark ups and installition charges I think it yses Toro lighting<p>----------<br>Ken...Lightcap's Landscape Service<p>

pogo
01-26-2000, 04:20 PM
is that a web site, computer program or book?

Eddie B
04-15-2005, 11:00 PM
Bumping this up...
A customer wants lighting installed. We're looking at 5 fixtures in a mulch bed along the sidewalk, as well as 2 flood light fixtures in the garden. Wiring will actually have to run under the sidewalk to the garage, and the "eye" will mount in the attic so that the lights come on at dark.

1. What installation rate per fixture would you charge? Each fixture will be 5 feet apart. I'd figure in the price by time, but I don't know how long these take to install and get up and running.

2. How do you go about running wire under the sidewalk? I was going to dig a hole at each end of the sidewalk, and use a drill and a 10 ft piece of flexible steel and drill it through the dirt. Then I'd tape the wire to the steel piece and pull it back under the sidewalk.

I want to take on the job, it'll give me a chance to be creative, but I don't want to rip myself off. New mulch will go in the beds after the lighting is complete. thanks

SamIV
04-16-2005, 12:28 AM
First off, get to a lighting seminar held by one of the many manufacturers out there. I recommend the Cast Lighting seminars highly. They start off with the basics of components in a system, how to wire a system and system design. Get heavy into marketing then you actually do an install at a customers house. Everyone gets involved. I just sponsored one on one of my clients properties here. The rep told me most are finished in one day. Mine took two days with 43 Cast lights installed, and two of another manufacturer. It was priced at $250.00 a fixture. Most of my installs go between $150.00 and $250.00 a fixture depending on the degree of difficulty and the type of fixtures used. Paths and Area Lights are usually more expensive. These fixtures were all bronze with a little brass and copper mixed in. Very rarely will I use aluminum.

You need to learn wiring methods - Hub method, T or series , and loop method. Ninety nine percent of the time I use the Hub method. You just can't find a more simple wiring method. Keep your fixtures to no more than 5 per zone or circuit. 10 gauge wire is so superior to 12 gauge, and 8 gauge is just too expensive plus you can't wire over 25 amps per common on a transformer and this is what 10 gauge is rated for. All of this is explained in the Cast Training Manual. You can download it off their website or get one from a Cast distributor. I have a great distributor who would be happy to help anyone here in the south. Just email or PM me and I'll get you his number

This is my first time using Cast products and the product is rock solid. When you pick up one of their bullets and compare it to most other aluminum fixtures, they make them look wimpy. They are all bronze as is all of their fixtures, even the stake is bronze and come with a 25 foot tin-coated lead. The tin coating means it will not corrode if subjected to moisture They use only toroidal core transformers in their transformers instead of the old EI type used by most others(MDL style). Their transformers can be fully loaded as the 900 watt and above have an extra ground so you can actually use all the power of the transformer. I am very pro Cast now but I still use other manufactures also.

Some other sites that offer education are Nightscaping, and FX Luminaire, but the king is lowvolt.org. I love low voltage outdoor lighting, don't know everything, but will be happy to try answer any of your lighting questions.

SamIV

SamIV
04-16-2005, 01:05 AM
Will do my best to answer your questions.

1. Fixture price varies per degree of difficulty. Most often I charge $200 - $250 per fixture. I have charged as little as $150 though. With the product I use this sounds like a $200.00 per fixture job if I can mount the transformer outdoors. There is no mention of the manufacturer of the fixtures and transformer you are installing. If your product come from Home Depot or Lowes then these prices are way off. Also if the transformer goes in the garage $250.00 per fixture.
I could probably install that system in little less than half a day. Give yourself a full day to a day and a half being this is your first. I generally mount my transformers outdoors as this helps for service calls. Everything is accessible.

2. My sidewalks are only 3 to 4 foot wide so I use a 4 foot long flexible 3/4" drill bit and use the extension if needed with a half in drill. Remember it has to be 6 inches below the sidewalk to meet NEC code. All direct burial low voltage wire for landscape lighting has to be 6 inches below grade to meet NEC code. If going under driveways or streets 18 inches.

SamIV

Eddie B
04-16-2005, 08:19 AM
Will do my best to answer your questions.

1. Fixture price varies per degree of difficulty. Most often I charge $200 - $250 per fixture. I have charged as little as $150 though. With the product I use this sounds like a $200.00 per fixture job if I can mount the transformer outdoors. There is no mention of the manufacturer of the fixtures and transformer you are installing. If your product come from Home Depot or Lowes then these prices are way off. Also if the transformer goes in the garage $250.00 per fixture.
I could probably install that system in little less than half a day. Give yourself a full day to a day and a half being this is your first. I generally mount my transformers outdoors as this helps for service calls. Everything is accessible.

2. My sidewalks are only 3 to 4 foot wide so I use a 4 foot long flexible 3/4" drill bit and use the extension if needed with a half in drill. Remember it has to be 6 inches below the sidewalk to meet NEC code. All direct burial low voltage wire for landscape lighting has to be 6 inches below grade to meet NEC code. If going under driveways or streets 18 inches.

SamIV


Thanks for the info. They would like the transformer mounted inside the garage. I haven't decided on which type we'll be purchasing here... I didn't plan on purchasing it from Home Depot or Lowes, however. I want to work with the real deal.

ZX12R
04-16-2005, 10:32 PM
Sam,I too took the Cast class last year and was told to get whatever you can,but,at least $200.00 per fixture. Heres a question for you.Lets say you are running wire from a bed, 50 feet out to a fixture across the lawn. How deep do you bury the wire? Just below the grass or 6 " deep? I havent run across this situation yet but I would be concerned about hitting the wire while aerating if put just below the sod line. Personally,I would go 6 " deep.but,I just want to see what other guys are doing.

Alos,when using a maufacturer other than cast,do you add to the pigtail to match the 25' length of the cast fixtures?

drsogr
04-17-2005, 12:42 AM
This may be a silly question...but whats wrong with the solar lights? If I was a customer looking for lighting I would buy some nice solar lights and stick them in the ground? $200 a light...that seems crazy to me!

SamIV
04-18-2005, 12:14 AM
Code is at least 6 inches below grade. I do add Cast's 16 gauge tin coated wire so I can utilize the Hub or Spider method as Cast calls it. I solder and heat shrink the connection. You can also buy crimp connectors that you can heat shrink also.

SamIV

SamIV
04-18-2005, 12:31 AM
Solar lights just glow, they don't provide any illumination whatsoever. Not trying to be rude and please don't construe it as being negative, but a true lighting contractor does not install solar lights or the runway Malibou lights.
The technology is just not there yet on solar lights. When designing a lighting project, you want a lighting effect, not just a fixture that lights up.
Solar lights can be used let's say to mark the end of a driveway so you don't drive into the ditch next to it. To me solar lights look like large stationary lightning bugs too late for buggy heaven.

SamIV

drsogr
04-18-2005, 06:19 PM
Solar lights just glow, they don't provide any illumination whatsoever. Not trying to be rude and please don't construe it as being negative, but a true lighting contractor does not install solar lights or the runway Malibou lights.
The technology is just not there yet on solar lights. When designing a lighting project, you want a lighting effect, not just a fixture that lights up.
Solar lights can be used let's say to mark the end of a driveway so you don't drive into the ditch next to it. To me solar lights look like large stationary lightning bugs too late for buggy heaven.

SamIV

Thanks for the insite. I guess I don't see many true lighting projects done around here. I have never installed lights in my life...I was just curious.

Thanks

Georgia Bull Dog
04-18-2005, 08:54 PM
I will be a new sponsor soon. I own Frog Lights, LLC. I will have a forum on this site and will be happy to help everyone. Noel
Frog Lights, LLC www.frog-lights.com

YardPro
04-18-2005, 10:17 PM
This may be a silly question...but whats wrong with the solar lights? If I was a customer looking for lighting I would buy some nice solar lights and stick them in the ground? $200 a light...that seems crazy to me!

i have yet to see "nice" solar lights.

they are all cheap junk

hickory
04-19-2005, 04:44 PM
Make sure the state you are in does not require an low voltage license. Most states require it. 1 Year apprenticeship and class room work. In Connecticut where we are based requires an L5 license.

precisioncut
04-22-2005, 01:13 AM
Only landscape lighting I have done is the Malibu Lights you buy anywhere(on my own home). They work just fine but not the highest quality like the commercial grade lights, boxes, etc. I am an electrician so wiring comes natural to me but I haven't looked much into landscape lighting but have thought about it.

scraper69
04-24-2005, 09:14 AM
I really havent seen the difference in light" quality on Malibu vs nightscape or any other commerc. grade lamp. Wattage is wattage? whats the diff>>

SamIV
04-24-2005, 10:32 PM
Yes you can duplicate some lighting effects with some of the Malibou lights, but the quality of the product is the difference. Most, not all are made of plastic. Most Malibou transformer cases are made of plastic not stainless steel. The pierce point connectors will not make a superior connection and this product will simply not last as long as the higher end products out there.
Malibou is intended as a do-it-yourselfer product not for a professional lighting installer. For the person who likes doing things themselves that's ok because they will also have the time for the upkeep on this product. I install products that will withstand years of use and Malibou simply can't compete on this level. I don't want to do repairs, just more installs.

SamIV

nlminc
05-02-2005, 09:39 PM
SamIV,

How do you get under walks and drives? I've just started with lighting and haven't had to deal with this situation yet. What kind of drill do you use and bit? I'm boring thru Georgia clay and have to find something to make life easier!
Thanks

SamIV
05-02-2005, 11:58 PM
nlminc

I use a 1/2 inch 18 volt cordless with a 4 foot 3/4 inch flexible bit for sidewalks. You can buy this bit in the electrical section at Lowes or Home depot in the 30 to 35 dollar range. Also used my 3/8" Craftsman electric dill and it works ok also. Once you dig your trench on both sides it only takes 5 to 10 seconds to drill through. Remember , code is 6 inches below the walk.
We also have heavy clay here.

For drive ways, I sub these out and build it into the price. My guy bores and pulls back conduit for me.

SamIV

nlminc
05-05-2005, 11:04 PM
SamIV,

Thanks for the info! Sounds pretty simple. I'm using FX products. Do you have any experience with them? There are 2 distributors in my town (JD and Ewing) They carry Hardco, FX and Vista. I like the FX products. Of course I've only installed one job so far.

Do you know where I can get some good images of landscape lighting that I can send of to a printer to make up 4"x6" post cards? I've found the printing co, just need some photos of nice homes lite up at night.


Thanks again,
Chris

SamIV
05-07-2005, 12:34 AM
Yes I have installed FX fixtures as well as their transformers. They make some nice copper fixtures. Switched to a different manufacturers transformer quite some time ago. Sounds like you are buying from Ewing. Just make sure they swap out defective product instead of shipping it off and having you wait for it. Had a problem on two occasions with their path lights. First was swapped out and the second time it was shipped for repair which took a month. This is now their policy so I no longer install FX. Not that they don't make a fine product, just can't have a reapair take that long. I use another which sells or sends me the parts so I can do the repair myself.

For images you can go to cast-lighting.com and view many in their photo gallery. Would think other manufacturers have galleries on their websites.
Postcards are a great idea, but be prepared to send a ton to get any response. The average is like 1/2 to 1 percent response rate. Some manufacturers sell postcards also. I know for sure Vista & Cast do.

SamIV