When considering an outdoor lighting company for your home and/or property, it can be a daunting and confusing task when trying to compare multiple quotes and make a decision as to which is going to be best for you and your family. Outdoor lighting estimates can vary greatly—some showing nothing more than the price to some detailing the formal design fee as well as line items for each product. Some may have a detailed explanation regarding what the design will entail and how the system will operate. Other quotes may not explain anything other than the price and number of lights the system will have. In this post, we will go over how to best gather and compare quotes for landscape lighting in St. Augustine, Fl.
Homeowners typically contact between two to four outdoor lighting companies to get exterior lighting quotes. Three is generally a good number of quotes to get. When deciding which companies to call, the most important aspects of the decision should be credentials and reputation. There are dedicated private lighting companies, landscaping companies that also install lighting, and large companies that have franchises in different cities. All can create and install outdoor lighting, but there are a few important things to consider:
- Licensed and Insured: You certainly want to deal with an outdoor lighting company that is licensed to install outdoor lighting and has the competence to properly perform the job and not risk any danger to your family or your property. Fires and shock happen, so this is not something that you want to take a risk on. Hiring unlicensed companies to perform work can also void coverage from your insurance should something happen down the road.
- Reputation: You want to call a company with good reviews and a good portfolio on their website. Look through the company’s website gallery to get a sense of the design quality and variety of lighting they are experienced with. You want a company with creativity and ability, rather than a cookie-cutter product.
- Customer Experience: Once you make a choice to call one of the companies, make sure the process of getting a quote is a good experience. They should answer the phone or respond to your email within a timely manner. They should treat you well on the phone and be on time for their appointment with clear communication and expectations.
Once you have chosen a few companies to call, make your appointment for a consultation. The consultation should be free and it should be a positive introduction to outdoor lighting. During your consultation with the representative, it’s a good time to ask a lot of questions and get an idea of what you can expect. Ask about warranties, ask to look at the product ( hey should have a sample or two for you), ask for specific pictures, and make sure that the representative is listening to your needs and catering the quote to you, rather than trying to sell his/her design or product. A good outdoor lighting company will mold their designs around your vision. If there is any point where your questions are not answered in a satisfactory way, it may be time to reconsider.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask during your consultation with an outdoor lighting company:
- How will the lighting system operate?
- What happens if I am not completed satisfied after installation?
- What is the process for service requests if I have an issue in a week, year, or 5 years later?
- Are there any customers in my neighborhood or area of town that can give a customer reference?
Once you’ve settled on a few companies and gotten a few quotes, it’s time to compare the estimates. This is where trying to select the best company to install your backyard lighting, pool area lighting, security lights, or any outdoor lighting system can become confusing. You should have a written quote with line items so you can look over exactly what your lighting system will include.
As far as design comparison, you should have a good feel for which company has the best designs and creative possibilities based on their portfolio and consultation session. However, determining which company provides a good value can be a bit more challenging. We suggest first comparing how many fixtures the system will have. You may get 3 quotes for 3 different prices with different amounts of fixtures and even different materials. Add up the amount of fixtures that the system will have, including all spot fixtures, flood fixtures, path fixtures, etc. If a quote was $3,000, ask how many fixtures does their particular $3,000 system get you? If one company is slightly cheaper, is it because there are fewer fixtures in their design? Often, the cheapest price may not be the cheapest system. Outdoor lighting fixtures come in a range of materials and specifications for different applications. You want to choose the most competent outdoor lighting company and the most competent final product. Some companies, especially franchises, are contracted to use only a handful of fixtures on any and all applications. You want to go through the quotes and see what the price per fixture is for each quote. Once you have those numbers in front of you, it’s time to decide. You will want to go with a reasonable price per fixture and a system that will be tailored to your needs and your home and property. You will also want to go with a company that has experience with the design you need and the ability to answer all of your questions.
Lastly, it’s always important to be a valued customer. This means that you want the representative to be responsive to you and involved in the process, from start to finish. Often, you will meet a salesman at first and then never see that person again. Ask them who you would talk to if you have a problem. Will you be able to reach that salesperson in the future? Ask for references and see if the experiences of other customers have been positive and the company values those customers after the sale and installation is complete. If your lighting system stops working, will you get prompt service so your Christmas party goes off with no problems, for example?
In conclusion, look for a licensed and reputable outdoor lighting company to gather your quotes from. Compare their quotes based on price per fixture, warranty and reputation, and, perhaps most importantly, design and creativity. There can be a huge difference in two systems that cost the same but look vastly different. Once again, the website portfolios should help you decide which designs are best.
Call the Pros at Pro Lighting Outdoors, North Florida’s Premiere Outdoor Lighting Company
At Pro Lighting Outdoors, our goal is to create the absolute best landscape lighting system designs at the best value. Whether you are looking to illuminate your home, backyard, pool area, driveway, or dock, we can create the most unique designs in St. Augustine and Jacksonville, Florida. We stand behind our products and we value our customers. We do not take payment unless and until you are 100% satisfied. We also have a policy that we will beat any comparable quote from a licensed and insured company for comparable products. You will meet and deal with the owner of the company, Sebastian. His focus is to create the best systems for you and make sure you are happy. Contact Pro Lighting Outdoors today to schedule a free consultation and outdoor lighting quote!