1How long does it take to install garden lighting?
The simple answer to this is: if done well longer than you assume as it is very labour intensive. With obviously each job being subject to the variables you would assume of size of property and number of lights/equipment required that directly impacts on the time.
2Should the cables be buried in your garden?
Where on display yes the cables should be buried and down to an 18 inch depth with caution tape half way up the trench as a warning to would be diggers. However cables can be on the surface and where they cannot be seen and depth maybe impeded by continuous route systems such as hedge lines they can be strategically threaded down them on the surface. Shallow burying should not occur on 230v armour cable at all and although you can on 12v cable it will only just lead to excessive damage to cable runs over time.
We also offer a laminated wiring diagram to clients highlighting where all cables 230v and 12v are either buried or run, as well as locations of transformers and drivers for future ease of maintenance.
3Will your installation come with an electrical certification?
Yes all our installations are Part P certified and tested and our installed in line with the current regulations.
4Can we install it ourselves?
You can and some people do, but we would always recommend that you do it in line with a certified/qualified electrician. However that may not be enough as many electricians don't have enough experience with the outdoors, highlighted by the number of poorest installed systems we have now had to go out and replace. Here more often than not they have chosen poor quality cheap equipment, not located things in the best positions and not respected water in their overall design of the system.
5How do we get the electrical supply and cable to a certain area?
The two things we hope are that the main fuse board is on an outside wall or their is a sufficiently powered sub board in the garage with easy access to the garden. Jobs where this hasn't been the case has seen us crawling under floorboards to get the cable out from the board in an attempt to give it it's own circuit. If there is no other options you can tap into existing circuits and spur off with the correct fusing, but we always keep this as the last resort. With the move to LED and lower wattage systems making this last option a little easier.
6How can the lights best be switched?
Simple answer is however you want! With the traditional approach of chiselling out for switches in the house virtually a thing of the past, in preference of the developments in technology of radio frequency remotes, timers, lighting control systems etc.
7Do you offer any after sales support?
Yes we do as Garden Lighting is not something installed into a vacuum it has to sit in Mother Nature and all it has to offer day in day out and turn on day in day out, no matter what a gardener, a squirrel, a storm, a flood has to say about it. We do this through a standard 2 hour call out at £160 + vat, with every extra hour at £40 + vat.
8If we want you to come out to the house before the design is done and not remotely what is the charge?
This is still an option to you, but one in the majority of cases we don't think is required with the video technology at your disposal, the nature of the job in hand and our experience. If you do want it however it would see the design fee rise from £400 + vat to £600 + vat.
9Do you do the installation as well as the design?
We will consider the installation as well as the design but this will be dependent upon the location and our work schedule at the time. We do however have some other very successful support strategies for distance that can be individually tailored to suit you.
10If you only do the design but don't install could you come to advise?
This is one of our most successful strategies allowing you to pay for some focused knowledge and experience which will only add to the ultimate success of your project in an industry littered with so many pitfalls.
11Is there a cheaper option than the design package?
For smaller urban gardens we do offer a comprehensive email package that in text still highlights where every light will go and employs our design knowledge and experience and hence we charge for this at the reduced rate of £250 + vat and nearly always do it remotely. However you will not receive a plan of your garden or the text relating to your photos.
12Do you install other people's lights?
No we never install other people's lights, as we have to vouch for the full integrity of the system and put our name to it delivering night in night out with one simple line of responsibility.
13Do you recommend LED and if so in which form?
Yes LED over the past couple of years has really started to deliver what we always wanted from it, which is a powerful punch and long term reliability in a more affordable installation manner to go with it's obvious lower running costs. There are however key subtleties as to how best achieve your outdoor LED system, for as we keep stating the outdoors plays by different rules!
14What types of lighting effects should I avoid?
Avoid lights where you can easily see the source of them, but they are seemingly lighting thin air! Examples being what we call inset runway lighting down driveways that simply points up with glare and us prone to damage, especially from water. Brick lights for the same lighting design reasons, with both costing more to install for a much lesser effect, making absolutely no sense!
Other things to be avoided being uncontrollable big flood lights that create heavy glare, cheap low power out put DIY lights, and most lights that involve colour!
15Can security sit comfortably with decorative lighting?
Of course if it is switched separately, with security set to come on once you go to bed so it doesn't blast light into the designed decorative lighting. With more elaborate lighting control systems achieving this in even greater depth, switching your lights whilst you are away as you would if you were there etc.
16Can I link the garden lighting to my existing lighting control system?
With the right cabling, the ability to programme and maybe some additional modules this will not be a problem as all, allowing for even greater integration.
17Is there any point to dimming garden lighting?
Only if you are connecting it to a lighting control system that already offers it. Otherwise on and off is more than sufficient and any money you would end up spending on dimming would 99 times out of 100 be better spent on another layer of intricate lighting design that added to your overall effect.
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