Landscape lighting pricing

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Nitroman, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. Nitroman

    Nitroman LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 217

    I am mostly a lawncare guy but was first an electritian. I was wondering a few things.

    1. Do you charge time and material for low voltage landscape lighting, or do you have a bid formula?

    2. What is the best way to break it to a custumer that it will be time and material?

    3. What is the average labor rate? I know electrical companies average about 58$ per hr.

    Thanks for the info, love the site:D
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    On the two lighting jobs we have done in the last year (one completed, one still in process thanks to the snow), both have been "bid" jobs.

    Usually we take the "list" price (provided by the supplier) of the fixtures and transformer, then add our labor to that. The guy from Automatic Irrigation in Fishers (I see you are from IN too) told us that a good figure is 50 minutes per fixture for labor. This figure may be a little high, but when you figure in a trip after dark to adjust things as well as the time that it takes to hook up the wires in the transformer, mount the transformer, etc, etc, well, it can add up in a hurry. Especially if you need to go under a sidewalk with no existing conduit!

    If you want to do it T&M, tell them upfront. Experience is though that you will do better $-wise with a bid job, as long as it is stipulated that anything extra will cost extra.

    Labor rate is what we normally charge per hour. Electricians do something that not everyone can do, remember that.:) Plus, they don't have a lot of materials to mark up, whereas you do make a fair amount with the fixture mark up. And, no special license/prerequisites are needed to install low voltage like there are with regular electrical work.

    Where are you at in IN? I'm only about 25 minutes from the Chopper factory...

  3. Nitroman

    Nitroman LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 217

    south side of Inianapolis, I've never been to coatsville. I'm really not even sure how far it is. Do most homeowners care if the wire is barried? I guess it probly depends on the situation(under decks, over mulch).
    thanks for the help.
  4. Nitroman

    Nitroman LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 217

  5. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    The little lighting I have done ws with anohter company. I htink they priced at 1.5or2 times the retail$ of the materials. At least it's a starting point.
  6. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    The factory is actually closer to Fillmore than Coatsville.:D We've done some work for a couple of members of the family that started DC...

    As for burying the lines, obviously if its in/on turf, they need to be buried. Usually just run a spade vertically along the path and stick the wire in is sufficient. If it's through a bed, if you can time it to put in the system and then mulch, you can cover the wires with mulch and you will never know they are there. It's probably best to run them close to the house and not right through the middle of the bed though. If it's under a deck, I probably wouldn't worry about it, unless it is visible or they have a dog that likes to chew on things.;)

    Basically bury the lines whenever possible. Mainly because it looks better, but they can also be a tripping hazard. And they are a lot easier to damage if they aren't buried.
  7. trailboss

    trailboss LawnSite Member
    Posts: 204

    For standard path & well lights we charge about $150 per fixture installed. For moon lighting / tree lights we get about $200 per. These prices include labor and wire. Then we charge retail for the transformer.
    There are a few factors to consider that will make these prices change, but thats a pretty good rule to go by.
    Hope this helps.
  8. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    D Felix
    "Where are you at in IN? I'm only about 25 minutes from the Chopper factory..."
    Cool---I have a place on Racoon Lake. Do I drive by ya on the way there? I know it's off topic--Sorry
  9. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    No brainer. What will it cost YOU to do the job!

    What it costs anybody else is irrelevant.
  10. Danimal

    Danimal LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    I just went to a seminar with vista yesterday teir rep says usually 2-2.5x materials.

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