Next to hiring a company that excells in landscape lighting design, you will want to be sure to hire a company that installs your new lighting system properly. Lighthouse of Indianapolis has a team of certified low voltage lighting technicians that install outdoor lighting sytems that exceed the national standards of the industry to ensure that the lifeblood of your lighting system that is buried below ground is constructed and assembled to last for many many years.
We won't ever cut corners to cut cost
In the area that we operate our business, we run into quite a lot of systems installed by other "Lighting professionals" that have literally failed in a matter of 3-4 seasons after being installed. This stems from a combination of poor installation practices and a lack of customer service to perform routine maintenance on their lighting systems. In Indianapolis and central Indiana, there are a great number of companies that tout that they are landscape lighting experts. To be realistic though, most of these companies are merely landscapers or handymen that "dabble" in low end, consumer grade products and don't have the experience or expertise to design and install a well conceived lighting design to begin with. They use lighting as merely an "add-on" service to simply add another line of profit to the wide list of do-it-all services they provide. The saying "Jack of all trades, master of none" is so true in this case and unfortunately unsuspecting consumers who don't do their research fall victim to them and invest money in products and installation that falls far short of expectations and fails soon after. We have so many of our clients that have told us "We wish we wouldn't have settled for the lowest price and just had it done right the first time". Sadly, they wind up spending more the second time around than they ever would have had we installed the system the right way in the beginning.
Why our lighting installations are the best
Not only do we want to design outdoor lighting projects that thrill our clients, but we also want those same systems to be hassle free for them also. In order to accomplish this, our certified technicians follow a very precise set of installation processes and procedures to ensure your lighting system is installed correctly the first time and so it will not exhibit problems in the future. Here are a few things that are critical to a successful low voltage lighting installation and which clearly seperate us from other companies who claim to be "lighting experts".
The first and most important part of ensuring a good installation, is training your team to do it right. Lighthouse of Indianapolis' installation technicians are certified installers, which means they have passed the extensive low voltage lighting technician courses set out for all of our Lighthouse personal nationwide. Our initial and on-going training courses prepare our crews for the unexpected and ensure you will be getting only the very best trained installers to install your system. You definitely don't want to hire a company that is using your property as a learning experience to help them "learn" how to install landscape lighting.
The underground cabling and connections are the veins and circulatory system for your new lighting. Protecting them and keeping them free of corrosion is key to the long term success of your investment. We are particularly careful about where we run our cabling and how deep to place it under ground so it will be out of the way of shovels and lawn edgers. In areas that are more prone to digging, such as the threshold between turf and mulch or through an active annual planting bed, we take special care to place our cable in heavy, schedule 80 electrical conduit to eliminate the chance of accidental damage. We also don't use regular wire nuts to connect the wiring in our systems either. We opt instead for solid, crimped connections that are placed in high temperature DBY splice kits and adhesive heat shrink tubing to keep all copper connection points and cabling completely isolated from moisture and ground minerals that will oxidize the cable over time and shut down voltage transmission in the power lines. It is fundamentally important to install the underground portion of your lighting right to avoid problems down the road. The vast majority of companies installing landscape lighting simply use wire nuts with little to no protection for the cabling underground.
If the cables and connectors are the circulatory system of your landscape lighting, then the low voltage transformer (power center) is definitely its heart. We prefer to use low voltage lighting systems simply because the equipment is more compact (easier to conceal), it has a much wider range of LED lamps to choose from (more artistic) and the installation is far less expensive and won't tear up your landscape like a line voltage system would. Today's low voltage LED lamps are available in lumen outputs that are every bit as bright as their line voltage counterparts if that degree of light is needed. The transformer performs the function of stepping down the power by a factor of 10, putting the operating range in the low voltage realm of 30 volts and under.
A professional power center is unlike the cheap, plastic transformer you will purchase from a big box store. A professional low voltage transformer has multiple voltage taps to counteract voltage drop and optimize the target input voltage at the lamps. Lighthouse also uses proprietary surge protection built into our transformer to help protect our LEDs from incoming voltage fluxuations in the mains. LEDs are much different than the old halogen bulbs of days gone by. They are electronic devices and are more like your flat screen televison than a traditional filament style light bulb.
Knowing how to load and balance your transformer is also important. A transformer is warrantied for life and you should rarely if ever have a failure. The primary cause of a transformer failure is usually the result of an unskilled and unknowledgable installers not calculating wattage loads properly and overloading the common circuits of the power centers. Another installation difference between Lighthouse and the "others" is the fact that in addittion to our surge protection we also add secondary fusing to our circuits to protect the system and structures from burning and damage. Your house and property are too valuable to risk a fire from a cable being compromised from a shovel or a critter chewing through the cable. We put your home and property first.
A Professional, Uniformed Crew
A Lighthouse installation team is the best trained and most knowledgeable crew you can hire. Our teams believe the way they look and conduct themselves on your property should reflect the professionalism and quality of the landscape lighting design and installation you will be receiveing when you hire us. Our crews are trained to respect your home and property by not smoking, not blasting loud music nor leaving garbage or dirt spread around your property. Our crew will also arrive at your home in a clean, professionally logoed van that is outfitted and well stocked wtih every part and item they need to get the job done right.
Our customers will often tell us that they can't even tell we disturbed their landscape one bit after we have completed the installation. That's because our "white glove" installation check list ensures that every little detail is attended to, so that our company is not a burden or a problem to you after we leave. The only evidence we want to leave behind is the beautiful lighting you will thoroughly enjoy every night.