All posts by Abulous

Christmas Lighting and Decoration Installation Service FAQ

We get lots of questions this time of year so we decided to create a Christmas Lighting and Decoration Installation Service FAQ to help you be more informed.

How does the pricing work?

The lights are priced by the bulb. Bulbs are spaced 12” apart so we estimate by the foot. When the actual installation is complete we count the number of bulbs and that tells us what your actual cost is.

Equipment (bulbs, stringers, connectors, timers, clips etc.) are one-time purchases. You pay for equipment the first year and it becomes your property. Then we charge for install and take-down.

The first year cost is $6 per bulb/foot. $3 of this is for the equipment purchase (one-time charge). Install/take-down is $3 per bulb ($2 is for install, $1 for take-down). So from the second year onward, you pay $3 per bulb/foot.

I need about 125′ of lights. What would my cost be?

Your first year you will pay $750 (125′ x $6). Starting year two your annual cost will be $375 (125′ x $3).

Do you light only houses or do you decorate other types of properties?
Cinco Restaurant with C-9 Christmas Holiday Lights in Suwanee, GA, Click to enlarge.

We do it all from residential homes to subdivision entrances to stores, restaurants and businesses.

In fact, some of our holiday lighting is up year-round and you can see them at Bambinelli’s in Roswell. Buca di Beppo in Alpharetta or Cinco restaurant in Suwanee.

Is there a deposit? How do you bill us?
No deposits necessary. When we put them up we charge you $5 per bulb ($3 for the equipment and $2) for install. Then when we take them down we charge $1 per bulb. Next year will be $2 when they go up and $1 when they come down.
When do you put them up and take them down?

We set an install date and a takedown date. We should put them up some time in November. Then when you want them to go on (typically after Thanksgiving dinner) you just plug them in.

We come to take them down in January (we schedule that day/time). You just unplug them when you don’t want them to come on anymore.

Who stores the lights?
After we take them down we leave them for you in a tote and you store them. Next November you leave the tote out for us and we do it again.
How are the lights controlled?

We install a timer with a photocell. When it gets dark the lights come on. If you want them to stay on until daylight set them to Auto. You can also set the timer to have the lights stay on for 4, 6 or 8 hours.

Are the lights the blue LED lights?

No not typically. Most of our customer prefer the look of warm white so our bulbs are 2700 kelvin warm white.

What do the light bulbs and decorations look like?
All of our equipment is pro-grade. Bulbs are faceted and wreaths and garland are full and thick. You can visit our Christmas Light page for more information on lights, wreaths, garland and bows.
How long do the bulbs last?
The bulbs are rated for 60,000 hours and typically last for many years.
How much power do the bulbs use?
Our LED bulbs consume less than one watt of power. In fact we can safely install over 400 of our LED bulbs on a single outlet with no blown circuits or tripped breakers.

 

A typical installation will use less than 50kWh which will cost about $6 for the season.
Do the bulbs ever break?
Since the bulbs are LED they don’t get hot which allows the manufacturer to make them out of plastic instead of glass so breakage is a rarity.
How do you attach the lights?
 Typically the horizontal parts of the house have gutters so we use gutter clips to attach the lights to the gutters. Gables don’t have gutters so we use shingle tabs to attach the lights to these areas without gutters.
Each light will have either a shingle tab or gutter clip so they are uniform and stay evenly spaced.
Where do the lights typically go on a house?
Subdivision entrance guardhouse with C-9 lights on gutters, gables and peaks.

Normally we put lights on the front of the house. Mostly on the horizontal parts, peaks and gables. Occasionally we will install scattered or wrapped mini lights on trees.

Some customers like the sides of their house lit and sometimes we light the roof peaks like the guardhouse in the photo to the right.

It looks like you do lots of climbing. You’re insured, right?
Absolutely, we carry Business Liability, Vehicle and Worker’s Comp insurance policies. In fact, we offer 50% paid medical insurance to all of our employees!

Need more information?

Phone: 770-521-2805
Email: info@abulouslighting.com

Christmas Lighting and Decoration Installation Service FAQ

Christmas Lighting and Decoration Installation Service FAQ

Outdoor landscape light troubleshooting – All Lights All Out

Most homeowners are not skilled at outdoor landscape light troubleshooting but this article can help with the basics.

The question we get every day is, “My landscape lights are all out. What do I do?”  While this article will not present every option, it will help you with the most likely reasons your system is not working.

Every system is different but these instructions are designed for one of the most popular setups. Follow the steps below and you may get your system back in just a few minutes.

Make Sure Your System Has Power

The most likely reason all of your lights are out is there is no power coming from the transformer to the lights. The first thing to check is whether you actually have power coming into your transformer.

Check the receptacle that your transformer is plugged in to. If you don’t have a voltmeter use a hairdryer or portable fan or something similar. Does it have power? If so skip down to the transformer tripped circuit section. If not proceed to the next step.

Circuit Breaker in your Electrical Panel

Go to the electrical panel box for your home and make sure you do not have a tripped circuit. If you do reset it and check your lights.

Need help resetting your breaker – look here.

GFCI Receptacle Tripped

Is the GFCI receptacle tripped where your transformer is plugged in? If so reset it and check your lights. Does that help? If not check every other GFCI receptacle inside and out of the house. Frequently if one GFCI is tripped none of them will have power.

Don’t know how to reset a GFCI? – check this video

Transformer Circuit Breaker Tripped
Clean transformers are safe and last longer
Clean transformers are safe and last longer

Most transformers have a built-in circuit breaker. If the built-in breaker is tripped your lights will not come on.

Look for a little white toggle switch (see photo). If the switch is in the down or middle position it is likely tripped and not allowing power to flow.

Flip the switch down (off) and back up to reset it.

Timer Problem
Astronomical Landscape Lighting Transformer
Astronomical Landscape Lighting Transformer

If your lights still don’t come on your timer could be mis-programmed or not functioning correctly.

To check your timer open your transformer door and you should see a timer that looks something like the one in the photo.

Grab the timer and pull it straight out. Then take the plug that is plugged into the timer, remove it and plug it into the socket that the timer came out of.  If your lights come on then you’ve found an issue.

If the timer is the issue most likely your timer programing is not correct. To re-program your  timer take it inside the house and watch this video. Once you have it programmed correctly put it back in the transformer the way it was and your system.

Still in the dark?

While the above steps will fix a large percentage of the issues we see it won’t fix them all.  If your system still doesn’t work we can help.

Phone: 770-521-2805
Email: service@abulouslighting.com

Landscape Lights All Out – What Do I Do?

Landscape Lights All Out – What Do I Do?

Atlanta, Milton, Cumming, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Roswell, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Duluth, Buckhead.

Outdoor LED Landscape Light Color Explained

When we inform customers that we exclusively use LED bulbs in our fixtures one of the first questions we are asked is, ” What color are these lights?”

What color are our LED lights

outdoor landscape lighting Color-Temperature-Chart in kelvin
Click to enlarge.

The vast majority of our clients want warm white light. Not the stark, blue, cool light that many associate with LED bulbs. Fortunately, the LED light industry has made advances to the point where bulbs (diodes) can be manufactured to emit a broad spectrum.  So meeting the request for warm white lights is a daily activity for us.

Color Spectrum – Kelvin

The halogen lights that have been traditionally used in outdoor landscape lighting are roughly 3,000 kelvin. The LED bulbs we use range between 2,700 kelvin and 3,000 kelvin. To the naked eye there is no essentially no difference between the traditional halogen and our LED lights.

Custom Color Lights

On occasion, we’ll receive a request for a special light color. For example, we have bi-pe bulbs that are 2200 kelvin that actually match the color of a candle flame! They are popular in our deck/post fixtures where clients may have candles on nearby tables.

Also, some clients like to install red and green bulbs at Christmas; orange bulbs at Halloween; and red and blue bulbs for Independence Day.

If you would like custom color LED lights let us know and we’ll take care of it for you or point you to a source for them.

Need more information?

Phone: 770-653-6425
Email: floods@abulouslighting.com

Outdoor LED Landscape Light Color Explained

Outdoor LED Landscape Light Color Explained

Installing Pole Lights

We recently reconditioned some old pole lights and installed them at a nearby church. In the process we converted them to LED and connected them to a new outdoor landscape light system we installed.

(click on any of the images to see a larger version).

Recondition the fixtures

Reconditioned-Fixture-Parts
Reconditioned Fixture Parts

We started by completely disassembling the fixtures, sanding and cleaning them and repainting them.

We also sourced new screws etc. as necessary.

Begin Reassembly – Re-wire

Reconditioned-Heads
Reconditioned Heads

Then we assembled most of the parts in preparation for installation.

We also ran new low voltage wiring and replaced sockets and replaced the white plastic candle covers.

Measure, Locate and Mark Fixture Locations

Identify and mark locations of fixtures.

Taking care not to disturb any existing buried  infrastructure we marked the exact location of each fixture in preparation for digging holes for the concrete foundations.

Pour Concrete and Set Forms

Level concrete form.

We filled the bottom of the holes with concrete to create a good base.

Once we had a good amount of concrete poured we set 90-degree sweeps , ran 12-gauge landscape wire.

Then we placed and leveled the forms.

Set and Level the Anchor Bolt/Template Assembly

Set-and-level-anchor-bolts
Set and level-anchor-bolts

Before the concrete hardened we set the anchor bolts and leveled the templates.

The templates were made to match the bolt pattern of the fixtures bases.

Install Lights and Connect to Power

We waited two days for the concrete to set, knocked the forms off and installed the poles.

Later that day we connected them to the 12-volt outdoor lighting system and the job was complete.

Need more information?

Call, email or fill out the contact form below.

Phone: 770-653-6425
Email: fixtures@abulouslighting.com

Homeowner’s Guide to Professional Landscape Light Maintenance

Homeowner’s Guide to Professional Landscape Light Maintenance

If you want to maintain your system like a pro here is your homeowner’s guide to professional landscape light maintenance. These steps are copied almost verbatim from our technician-training manual.

Tools and equipment needed

  • Screwdriver (Philips and standard).
  • Diagonal plyers (wire cutters).
  • Wire strippers.
  • Wire nuts (see image below).
  • Buriable stranded wire (make sure you have appropriate gauge wire).
  • Glass cleaner (such as Windex).
  • Non-abrasive power cleaner (such as Bartender’s Friend).
  • A bucket of lukewarm water with a mild household soap solution.
  • Another bucket with water only.
  • A towel.
  • A soft cloth.
  • Heavy-duty paper towels.
  • Electric silicone grease or spray.
  • Electrician’s grease.
  • Toothpicks.
  • An old toothbrush.
  • Cotton swabs.
  • WD-40 or similar.
  • Voltmeter (must be able to measure AC).
  • Replacement stakes.

Survey the system

Landscape light systems run on 12 volt AC power. Make sure you have purchased bulbs that are rated for AC (not DC).

Continue reading Homeowner’s Guide to Professional Landscape Light Maintenance

Abulous Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor Landscape Lighting in North Atlanta.

If you are looking for landscape lighting we are your number one choice. Please give us a call or write and we’ll schedule a visit at a time that fits your schedule.

If you want to learn more about our company read on. We also have loads of resource pages on this site for those who want to learn more about the latest in outdoor lighting.

Continue reading Abulous Outdoor Lighting

How to calculate the cost of landscape lighting

Our customers frequently ask us how much their power bill will increase after their new system is installed. Nowadays we’re only installing LED systems so our response is, “You will not even notice it.”

However, back when we installed incandescent systems the power requirements were much greater. While the number was relatively low compared to air conditioning units and the like, we would always provide cost estimates.

This article will show you how to calculate the cost of power for landscape lighting. If you don’t want to do the math we’ve included a handy calculator so you can quickly determine the cost for your system (or any other electrical component for that matter).

Continue reading How to calculate the cost of landscape lighting

Choosing beam angle

When you set out to purchase fixtures you may be presented with options for bulbs or fixtures with various beam angles. To  choose the correct beam angle you must consider the distance between your fixture and your subject. You must also consider the size of your subject area.

Professionals also consider the power of the lamp (lumens) as well as foot-candle. We will not go into professional level detail here, but we will give you the information to make an informed buying decision. We will also provide handy calculators to help you determine the optimum bulb for your specific environment.

Continue reading Choosing beam angle