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The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Landscape Lighting: Why Wait to Install Your Low Voltage Lighting?

It's usually best to do your landscape lighting last. I know it sounds backwards, but it's true. With situations involving new landscape projects, we always recommend that you wait until the rest of the project has been completed before before you have your low voltage outdoor lightingadded. In this blog, we go over some of the reasons why it makes sense to have your lighting done after, rather than during, your new landscape installation. 

Reasons why it makes sense to wait on your lighting: 

1. You can always add lights later. Don't Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Don't feel pressured to do your lighting in the midst of the project. This will make more sense as we explain. It's almost always best to wait until the project is completed before adding lights. However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't get your lighting designer involved with the project early on. Depending on the gravity of the design and how much technical work could be involved, it is possible that certain preliminary steps will need to be taken before the project gets too far along. But this is rarely the case. 


2. Over the years, we have learned that the initial landscape design has a way of morphing as the project moves forward. After a landscape design is complete, and the project starts moving along, it will go through many changes. Sometimes clients will change their mind about something. Sometimes things may be added or completely changed around for other reasons. The finished project will often look drastically different from the original design

Why / How does this effect the lighting? Let me explain with an example. A client of ours, who was understandably excited about the progress of his landscape, asked if we could run our wire and put the first fixtures in place for where his trees were going to be planted in a couple weeks. While we could appreciate his enthusiasm, there were two problems with his request. 

  • First, we can't know what the scope or scale of the trees being planted are until they are panted. While there are plans in place for the size and species of the trees being planted, this doesn't help us with figuring out appropriate fixture placement in relation to the tree. Even with a design and blue prints in place, we still need to actually see the tree. 
  • Second, even though the plans say this is where the tree is going to be planted, it's amazing how often the tree or other vegetation will be placed somewhere different from where we were told. 

We've just found that it's best if we adjust for the changes that are going to happen in the landscape, because the landscape isn't going to adjust and change for the lighting

3. If you have a professional lighting designer install company doing your lights, there is no need to feel pressure that the wire needs to be put in during your landscape installation process. Your landscape should should be left with you the way it was fond by your lighting installation company. Our own process is very quick, effective, and can be put in without digging trenches or having to disrupt the landscape. People are always amazed that we were able to put their entire lighting system in so smoothly. 


Think of your outdoor lighting as the sprinkles on top. They should go on the Sunday dessert last, not before the hot fudge. If you have an upcoming project and are thinking of having landscape lighting done, give us a call. We'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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