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What's that thing you do?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by jnewton, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. jnewton

    jnewton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Over the years I've noticed that people who are really good at their jobs seem to know a few little tricks that they've figured out to make their work go better or faster. I'm not talking about big flashy stuff; just little day-to-day things that you've discovered on your own through experience or trial and error. It's the kind of stuff you feel good about teaching a helper because you figured it out on your own and it really makes sense.

    Mike's epic "splice thread" was full of practical stuff like that. As a rookie with no real mentor, I learned more reading that thread several times than I learned in several days of manufacturer-sponsored training. It was great.

    So, what's that thing that you figured out how to do? The little trick-of-the-trade that nobody taught you but that saves you time or makes you better? Sorry if this is too general a question, but I just love learning this kind of stuff.
  2. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,173

    Ancient Chinese Secret :nono:

    :laugh: Just kidding. Wow that is a tough question. There is so much info passed around it is hard to remember what you learned from others and what you figuired out on your own.
    Couple things for me- In marketing with my demos, I have found that leaving them up for 3-4 nights and doorhanging the neighborhood with an invitation to come and look at it has paid off pretty well with additional sales.
    I learned about fuse blocks from Joey, 'Thanks again for that Joey', I used to try to screw them into the backs of the 8 x 8 enclosures mounted under my transformer, but have found that it is much easier to assemble and wire them while hanging outside of the enclosures and then to just secure them with a large strip of velcro on the back of the fuse block. Much easier to pull of and on when I need to access the fuses. I am sure there are more things I will come up with as I think about it more. This should be a fun thread to read.
  4. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    I look really hard at what I'm about to light and then look really hard when I focus. I like to wave my arms around too.

    That's the best advice I can offer...

  5. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    Here's one: When you find yourself having to run wire down gutter downspouts, or through screen enclosure beams, tape a long piece of lamp chain to the end of the wire and pull it along with a magnet. (lamp chain = the little balls linked together to create pull cords). I do a lot of screen enclosures, and the magnet really helps to get the wire to the exit hole and out of it.
  6. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    Here's another: Build all your fixtures in your shop and lamp them before you get to the job. You can use a Sharpie to write the wattage or beam spread in a non-conspicuous place for sorting out on the job. This will save you a ton of time and trash on site.
  7. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    :clapping::clapping::clapping: This has been a great one for us!
  8. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    This one is probably obvious... color coded tape at the TF and at each fixture and splice to identify which run it's on. Helps out when you have multiple runs sharing a trench, or when you go back later to add fixtures, or when the gardener has dug through a cable...
  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    Chris's suggestion lead me to a tip we give out in training...Date your lamps and enitial them. This allows you to monitor lamp life as well as know how old a working lamp still is...if I am out re lamping a job and I come across some lamps that are 3 years old btu are still working, it is worht it to change them out then.murphys law if you dont you will leave and the homeowner will call you next week to tell you more lamps are out.....the reason for the enitials is to know who installed that fixture.....Now if the fuses are popped and the homeowner swears he never touched the system (because they never touch them right? LOL) you can go around and see that they have replaced lamps with what used to be 35w but are now 50w...so it helps you keep track of your system and how long lamps are lasting!

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