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The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

What Factors Should You Look for in a Landscape Lighting Design Proposal?

landscape lighting design contractA lot of clients assume the language in a landscape lighting design proposal is to protect us, the designers and contractors.

But it’s also there to protect you, the customer.

I’ve seen flimsy proposals scrawled on small pieces of paper, listing the number of lights, the cost for each, and a scribbled note, “We’ll put them wherever you want them.”

Whoa. That’s a red flag if I ever saw one.

A landscape lighting proposal should be clear and understandable and contain everything you need to feel comfortable and confident about the work you’re paying to have done.

Let’s take a look at the elements you should look for — and why they’re important.

List Of Materials

You should know exactly what fixtures and lamps will be installed.

A proposal from Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah specifies that your fixtures will be crafted from copper or brass.

If your proposal doesn’t specify this, you may end up with poorly-made aluminum or plastic fixtures that won’t stand the test of time.

Remember, your landscape lighting system is only as good as the quality of its parts.

The day your lighting system is installed, Mother Nature starts attacking it. Water seeps into low quality fixtures, rots the sockets and causes wire corrosion. Insects can wriggle into fixtures and nest there if they’re not properly sealed.

Your proposal should list how many of each item you’ll get: 10 directional uplights of antiqued copper; 2 mini wash lights of antiqued brass; 1 transformer with photo cell/ clock controller.

Are the lamps LED? It should say so.

Modification Of Specifications

This is a fancy way to say that any changes along the way in your landscape lighting plan that involve extra cost should involve a written “change order” that includes the new work, materials and cost. No surprises.

Customer Purchase Agreement

This is where you agree to pay the fee and where the terms of payment are explained. It might say half of the cost of the project is due up front as a deposit and the remaining half upon completion.

It might explain that your deposit is not refundable. Read everything closely — this is your financial obligation. You want every detail to be clear. If it isn’t, ask for more details, in writing.

The Warranty

landscape lighting design warrantyYour lighting system should be guaranteed for more than a few years. Look for a lifetime warranty that covers fixtures.

At Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah, it’s spelled out for you in your proposal:

If a fixture fails to work for any reason other than lamp burn-out, we’ll repair or replace it — for as long as you own it. After the first year, you’ll only pay for the on-site labor cost, but not the fixture.


Are the workers installing your lighting covered by insurance if something goes wrong?

Be sure they are. This will likely fall under the “liability” section of your proposal.

At Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah, we carry liability insurance to cover our risks. Workman’s compensation covers our employees in the event of an injury or accident while they’re on the homeowner’s property.

The homeowner is responsible to have home owners insurance to cover their property liability after installation is complete.

Beyond The Proposal

At Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah, you’ve received a lot of information before you ever see the written proposal.

I walk your property with you, explaining every aspect of the plan and describing what effect each element of lighting will have in your outdoor space.

I tell you how this tree will be illuminated with a narrow beam spread to focus on the texture of the trunk, how I’ll put soft, romantic lighting on your Japanese maple to highlight its delicate leaves.

I’ll explain how a wash of moonlighting will cover your patio, creating the perfect ambiance for evening relaxing or entertaining.

You’ll be informed, excited and understand everything we plan to do. Only then do you get the written proposal, that lists each piece required to bring that plan to life,  how much the project will cost and payment details.

Costs You Don’t See

landscape lighting design proposal expensesRemember, there are costs your landscape lighting designer or contractor incurs that you don’t see — gas, tools and equipment, vehicles, insurance.

At Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah, you also get our years of experience, our time and talent and our unique artistry that makes every job we do unlike any other.

We encourage you to ask for references, talk to our clients and linger over the photos of our quality work.

Give Us A Call

If you decide your landscape needs professional lighting, we’d love to hear from you. When we hand you that written proposal, we guarantee you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.

Give us a call at (801) 440-7647 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out our simple contact form.

Located in Midvale, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah serves customers throughout Utah’s residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper and Holladay. Our outdoor lighting portfolio includes projects from Salt Lake County and Utah County, to Davis County and Summit County — and beyond.

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