- The pictures on your web site look great, but which of the jobs has Firefly actually designed and installed? Every one of them, unlike other landscape lighting companies, Firefly does not use stock photos of landscape lighting jobs designed and installed by other designers in our marketing material.
- When you design will you show me a catalog with different light fixture styles? No. Will bring the actual fixtures to your home and show you how they illuminate your home during a nighttime lighting demonstration. When we create a design the look of the fixture is low on our list of considerations. We want the fixture to be invisible. The fixture just holds the lighting element. It is the effect the lighting element gives that we consider when designing.
- How will I know I like the ‘effect’ of the lighting element that you propose? Every Firefly new design begins with a nighttime lighting demonstration where we first listen to your wants & needs. We then spend about an hour setting up a temporary lighting system so that you can see the exact design.
- What is the largest job Firefly has ever completed? 274 lights.
- What is the smallest job Firefly has ever completed? 6 lights, we pride ourselves on creating beautiful outdoor spaces as economically as possible.
- What is the size of a typical landscape lighting design? About 20 lights.
- What is the typical cost of a new landscape lighting system? About 75% of systems that we install cost between $3000 and $7000.
- Can Firefly service a landscape lighting system that was installed by someone else? Yes. There are many times that we service systems which were designed and installed by another company. We provide services ranging from a simply check-up to see that the system is operating properly at one end of the spectrum, to a complete redesign at the other.
- I have a lighting system but I am not happy with it. Can Firefly redesign my system and use the lights I already have? The short answer is yes. However, not all landscape light fixtures are created equal. Some fixtures which are purchased at home centers will only last a few seasons. Some professional grade fixtures will outlive you and me so, if your fixtures are good quality and in good shape we will reuse them. Another word of caution here, many people think that if the reuse their fixtures it will cut the cost of the job by half. While reusing fixtures will lower the cost of the job, the fixtures may need to be serviced, re-lamped, rewired or moved.
- What brand of fixtures do you use? Firefly is not a franchise so we can use whatever brand of fixtures we think are best for the design. Our main suppliers are top quality American manufactures.
- What is a low voltage lighting system A low voltage lighting system consists of: a controller, an electrical outlet, a transformer, wire, fixtures and bulbs
The controller turns the system on and off. The controller can be a switch in your house that controls the outlet that the transformer is plugged into. The controller can be a photo cell which will turn the transformer on and off according to the light level. Transformers can be controlled with a standard timer, where you set the time the system goes on and off. Finally the controller can be part of a home automation system which can be ‘set and forget’. The home automation system gives the user complete control of the system. This type of controller adds or subtracts a few minutes a day to ensure that the system turns on at a specific light level, then turns off at a specific time. Many home automation systems can now be controlled with a smart phone.
The electrical outlet is where the system gets the power to light the lights. The outlet is 120 volts or line voltage.
The transformer is a box typically the size of a mailbox which uses coils of wire to decrease the line voltage of 120 volts to 12 volts. Once the voltage of the electricity is reduced to 12 volts it safer to light with.
The wire runs from the transformer to the fixtures. The wire is buried six inches below the ground. Since the electricity passing through the wire is low voltage if it gets cut no one will be harmed. Only the lights on the cut part of the wire will not illuminate because they have no power and the wire can easily be repaired.
The fixtures determine the direction of the light. There are many types and styles of fixtures.
The bulbs are the light source. In a good lighting design the viewer will see the effect of the light. Not the light source.
In landscape lighting systems there are two standard types of bulbs, incandescent and LED. Incandescent light bulbs were the industry standard. LED light bulbs have gained in popularity because their light now looks just like incandescent light and uses a fraction of the power.
What is your work ethic? The foundation of all my work comes from the apprenticeship my brother’s I served under my dad -an old-school machinist. Where we learned ‘the right tool for the right job’, ‘don’t force anything’, ‘clean-up when you’re done’, oh, and, ‘Get down from there, you’re gonna fall and we’re gonna have to stop what we’re doing and take you to the hospital.’
Why should I choose Firefly? Firefly is owned by a designer. As a designer I enjoy meeting interesting people and lighting their homes. People take great pride in their homes. They want the front of their home to look unique and beautiful. They want to relax or entertain in their backyard spaces. I understand that. I remember that in every low voltage landscape lighting system I have designed, systems from 6 lights to 274 lights.
I enjoy the challenge of having my lighting design meet whatever constraints and requirements you may have. I enjoy researching the industry to bring the best quality and most effective and efficient lighting components I can find.
Firefly is a small company and we offer very personal service. Our design team will achieve the design you want by putting the correct light in the correct place. Our install team holds itself to the highest standard, and prides itself in immaculate, technically correct installations. At Firefly, landscape lighting is all we do.
What are your qualifications?
Practical Experience: Firefly’s designer has successfully completed several hundred landscape lighting designs on time and on budget.
Education: Firefly’s designer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from New Jersey City University, has studied design at Middlesex University in London, England and holds a Master’s of Design Management from Pratt Institute.
Firefly’s chief installer has installed and serviced several hundred low voltage landscape lighting systems.