How Much Does a Landscape Lighting  System Cost?

Professional landscape lighting is a niche business.  There are plenty of people and companies that install landscape lighting systems from Home Depot or Lowes.  These systems are very different from the type of system that Twilight Designs specializes in.  That said, many people ask about the costs associated with installing a professional grade landscape lighting system which we’ll discuss here.  First let’s look at some of the differences between a Twilight Designs lighting system and a system installed by a landscape or DIY store bought landscape lighting system.

David Bilik working with landscaping

David Bilik – Owner at Twilight Designs

“Elements such as fixture quality, versatility, specialty fixtures and installation methods often contribute the the higher cost of a professional lighting system. Our lighting systems last much longer, are virtually maintenance free, and look much better with far fewer fixtures. This all helps to justify using better quality products that cost a little more.”David Bilik

Fixture Quality – Perhaps the most noticeable difference is the quality of a professional grade lighting fixture and your average “Malibu” style light fixture.  Store bought fixtures are all Chinese imports, and are either a low quality plastic or aluminum.  A professional grade fixture will be either cast brass, copper or high quality aluminum with a composite base.  The problem with lower cost aluminum fixtures, especially here in Las Vegas is that the soil is very acidic here and will react with the aluminum causing it to deteriorate much like a thin metal would rust.  For the plastic varieties, the UV rays of the sun quickly breaks down the plastic making it brittle.  A professional grade fixture simply doesn’t have these problems.  Furthermore, a higher quality fixture is sealed from moisture much better, this is important in ensuring the longevity of the LEDs inside todays fixtures.

Versatility – What we are illuminating will determine if you need a flood light, spot light, step light etc.  Having a variety of fixtures to choose from ensures that you can get the right effect regardless of what we are lighting up.  Spot lights for example will vary from a narrow 15 degree spread to a wide 60 or even 100 degree spread.  Also the lumen output (wattage) is very important in making sure that the fixture is bright enough.  Lower priced fixtures are often simply not bright enough to light a tall palm tree or have such a wide spread by default that the much needed light output is wasted.  Professional grade fixtures, although more expensive, are available with a wide range of powerful options.  In many cases, 10 good quality fixtures will offer a much greater output that 20 low cost fixtures.  This results in a better looking lighting system and helps to justify the cost of using better fixtures.

Installation – At Twilight Designs we trench all wiring, create permanent sealed connections, and use heavy duty stakes.  Trenching all the wires protects them from being damaged and also prevents them from becoming exposed over time.  Nothing looks worse than exposed wires running all over your property.  A lot of landscapers and do it yourselfers simply cover the wiring with the rocks or ground cover, this is not a permanent solution.  Creating permanent and sealed connections is far superior to the wire nuts and crimp on connectors used with most lighting systems.

Specialty Fixtures – Part of creating a dynamic and visually appealing outdoor lighting system is the ability to the best features of your home or landscaping.  From peak lighting to core drilled well lights we light all the right areas for the best look.  Most lighting systems consist of only path lights and spot lights.  It’s often hard to create the best look with such a limited assortment of fixtures.  Typically these fixtures cost a little more or are much more labor intensive to install which increases the overall price for each of these fixtures.

So How Much Should I Expect to Pay?

The answer to this question varies greatly of course with the size of your home and landscape design.

This project here consists of about 11 LED fixtures.  The second story down lights are what we would consider “specialty fixtures” as they are slightly more expensive and more labor intensive to install.  This project is just a few fixtures less than what we would consider an average sized project.  You can expect to pay about $2,900 for a system like this installed.

This is a larger lighting system installed in Anthem Country Club.  Not all fixtures are visible in the picture but the front yard show consists of about 21 fixtures.  This size project is a little larger than our average project which consists of about 15 fixtures.  All of these fixtures were considered “standard ” fixtures.  A couple of the fixtures at the foot of the driveway has extra long wire runs for a single fixture so there would be a slight added cost.  This project installed would cost about $5200.

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