Lighting FAQs

EnLIGHTen yourself!

Landscapers and electricians deal with low voltage lighting systems only occasionally, and as an afterthought. They lack the expertise of a creative landscape lighting specialist like Mike’s Landscape Lighting.

We can’t even begin to describe all the poorly conceived systems we’ve seen from electricians and landscapers over our years of operation. Save yourself time, money, and stress by having the job done right the first time! Remember these…?!


No Thank You!

The answer is after. The placement of lighting fixtures and resulting effects depends upon landscape elements and plantings being in place. The only exception to this is for retaining walls and patio’s as some wiring will need to be done as the work is completed.

Systems are generally installed during the non-frost months – approximately April 1st to December 15th. This is also the only time that service or repair work can be done, so call early!

We typically install cable at a depth of 3″ to 6″, although this may vary based upon digging conditions. In very rocky ground, the cable will be installed closer to the surface in order to avoid turning up rocks everywhere – which can really create a mess! In mulched or rock covered plant beds the cable will be buried just under the mulch or rocks.

The advantages of low voltage are:

  1. Ease of installation: less disruptive to existing landscapes.
  2. Safety: you cannot get shocked by low voltage lighting, whereas line voltage can be dangerous if connections get old or frayed.
  3. Energy efficiency: low voltage lamps provide more lumens of light per watt used. We illuminate walkways with just a 10- or 20-watt lamp and large trees with 35, 50, or 75-watt lamps.
  4. Flexibility: low voltage systems can be moved or changed much more easily than line voltage systems.

Transformers can be hung onto any exterior wall. All that is needed is a standard (GFCI) outlet box.

The typical solution is to put an astronomical timer inside of the transformer box.   This timer knows the time for sunset and sunrise each day for your area.  The time to turn on and off will change a little each day to adjust automatically.  This timer will even have daylight savings time programmed and has a battery backup.  There are other options available, just ask your Mike’s Landscape Lighting specialist for details.

Systems and installation usually begin around $2,900, and vary based on the size and scope of the project. Many of our clients invest from $7,000 to $10,000. We have also completed larger, more complex lighting projects at several of southeast Wisconsin’s and northern Illinois’s most spectacular residences. Feel free to give us a budget that works for you, and we will design a solution that fits.

We have access to many lines of quality light fixtures!

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