Whether you’re a homeowner looking to enhance your landscape, or the contractor that will design and add the new plantings and hardscapes, solar lighting and solar water features are smart ideas to incorporate into any landscape project.
Maybe a property owner wants lighting, but their budget and/or schedule can’t accommodate the expense to trench and lay power lines to remote areas of the property. Adding remote power lines costs money, and often a lot of it.
Perhaps it’s only well into the construction phase, patios, stone walls or a custom driveway or walkway is installed that the property owner realizes that adding accent lights, lamp posts, or water features will add extra appeal to the new landscape.
Regardless of when lighting spring enters into design or construction process, the latest solar lights and water features offer many benefits to both the property owner and the contractor, including:
No extra permitting or inspections
No costly trenching to power remote features
Minimal, if any, disruptions to the property to trench for pipes and power lines
We don’t want to knock plumbers and electricians, but the fact is plumbers and electricians aren’t just costly: they often are difficult to incorporate them into a project schedule. Most plumbers and electricians make most of their income off of large projects and emergency fixes.
How often has a general contractor (for interior or exterior work) had to wait on one project element until the plumbing and electrical work is done? How often is work delayed because electricians or plumbers are no-shows when you not only expect them, but when their work is critical to meeting your deadlines?
Bottom line: the more trades involved in any project, the more chances for work delays. For small contractors in particular, this isn’t just bad news for one project and customers.
Delays on one backyard, for example, will likely one or more other projects. This means that the landscape/hardscape contractor may well have to deal with more than one customer that is less than happy.
For the indecisive property owner, solar lighting and other solar-powered home and garden products are especially useful.
Let’s say that a homeowner is adding a patio area in a remote area of their back yard that was previously largely unused. Maybe they also have added a stone retaining wall to house a garden near the patio.
Once these items are built, the customer has second thoughts and rethinks the situation. Along with adding aesthetic appeal, lights allow an outdoor are to be used safely at night. This is a bonus to the property owner not only while they own the property, but it helps the resale value of the property if and when they choose to sell the home.
Once any landscape or hardscape is project is at any advanced state of construction, traditional electrical lights means there’s a high chance that at least some of the work will have to be redone to accommodate trenching for electricity or gas to power the lights or water features.
This can mean any or all of the following, none of which a customer or a contract enjoys:
Expensive change orders that can increase the project cost significantly;
Redoing work, which drains manpower (holding up work on other income making projects) and additional costs to replace materials damaged during removal; and
Depending on municipal regulations, new rounds of permits and inspections that often mean project delays and additional costs.
That’s why solar products are a great idea for contractors to discuss with their customer when the property owner realizes that some lights or even water fountains would be the finishing touch to a great patio or other area.
Let’s say, for example, that a property owner wanted a patio and a curved stone retaining wall to hold a garden. Once the plants start going in, the owner decides that the patio would be more functional with some solar lamps, and that some accent lights and a water feature would look great.
With solar, there’s no need to put a stop on work. Instead, the property owner and contractor can look at the wide variety of modern solar lighting and order exactly what they want.
With a broad range of styles, odds are there is a quality fixture that is great for their particular style and the type of illumination they want. Better yet, quality e-stores are more than willing to work with homeowners and contractors to provide discounts when many lights are purchased, which is usually the case during major landscape improvements.
Unlike low-voltage electrical accent lighting or lamp posts, there’s no need to get electrical estimates and permits and reconfigure write the schedule.
Most quality fixtures can be selected and purchased one week and installed within a week. Accent lights and solar fountains usually just mean finding the right location and placing them. And if the first choice doesn’t suit the property owner’s fancy, most solar lights can be relocated in minutes.
A solar lamp can be mounted on stone, brick or concrete walls or horizontal surfaces easily with the right drill bit. Solar lamps are a bit, but not much, more work: adding a sonic tube with some concrete for the base (a couple of days to cure), and then securing the light to the concrete footing.
That’s it: no disruptions to existing construction already completed, no difficulties getting a qualified electrician to do the work within the existing schedule, and no need to pull permits and wait for inspections.
For most landscape and hardscape projects, solar lighting is just a smart choice.