Archive for the ‘Outdoor Lighting’ Category

Spring is coming!

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

The time is now to start thinking about your spring landscape needs. Do you need a sprinkler system? We can help. Do you need to have a landscape plan done? We can help. Does your landscape need to be updated or installed? We can help. Do you need low-voltage outdoor lighting, a patio, a pergola, or a water feature designed and installed? We can help.

In short, Grooms Irrigation Company can design and install any of your outdoor landscape needs.

Winter is the best time for designing your landscape, as we are less busy, and therefore able to give you our maximum attention. Contact us today.

Going Green in the Landscape

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Landscaping is generally thought of as “green’, but it could be even MORE green through several other treatments. These include:

    • Rainwater harvesting and rain barrels
    • Rain gardens and bioswales (bioretention)
    • Permeable pavers
    • LED Lighting
    • Native plantings
    • Green roofs

The water harvesting, bioretention, and native plantings can all result in the use of less water than you’re currently using, plus there’s the added benefit of sending less water into the storm water system.  The rain water that is captured can then be used for watering plants in the garden.  Permeable pavers allow water to soak into the ground rather than running off into the storm water system.  Green roofs, which have been in use in Europe for decades, also reduce runoff and will help to reduce temperature fluctuations of the indoor areas.

Think about this: you pay for your water, then you pay for it to be taken away (in the form of taxes that are used to build ever-larger storm water systems).

LED lighting is a relatively new trend in outdoor lighting, and although there is a higher initial cost for the fixtures, the cost will be lower over the lifetime of the fixtures from lower energy usage.

An excellent website to visit that shows a demonstration project with many of these green items is: http://www.delafleur.com/168_Elm/index.htm

Getting started on your new landscape

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Do you want a new landscape, but don’t know how to begin?

Here are some tips to get you started:

Ask yourself how will you use your landscape. Will it be for formal entertaining, gardening, purely for looking at, a place for your children to play, or for your own enjoyment?  Most landscapes are a combination of several of these things, and often more.  And don’t forget other elements, such as a fence, a fountain or water feature, a deck, a patio, night lighting, or other outdoor item.

Before we meet, some things that you can do to make the design process go smoothly include:

•  Have a budget in mind. One rule of thumb is to invest 5 to 10 percent of your house’s value. Many landscape improvements are estimated to return 100 to 200 percent of their cost when a house is sold.

•  To help you communicate what you want to achieve (or avoid), look in books and magazines for ideas and start a file of landscape photographs that you like or dislike.  Also, take pictures of yards in your neighborhood or in your travels of places that you like.  Even if it seems like it would be too exotic for Oklahoma, there are often plants that have similar appearances, yet are hardy in our climate.

•  Think about maintenance. Do you enjoy working in your yards and gardens, or would you rather hire a service to do it? Be sure to let your us know how you feel about this very important facet of your investment.

Steven L. Ancik, ASLA who is employed by Grooms Irrigation Company is a licensed Landscape Architect in Oklahoma. Credentials are important. Landscape architects must pass a rigorous exam to be licensed. Members of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) have met their membership requirements and keep up with the latest technology and trends through continuing education programs and ASLA publications.

At our initial meeting, we will walk around the home and I’ll ask questions about your lifestyle, what you want to accomplish, and your budget. At this meeting, I can also provide references for you to call or answer questions you may have about our services and fees.

With a budget in mind, we’ll begin a preliminary design. The preliminary design includes the site layout, planting areas, surfaced areas, and a preliminary plant list appropriate for your site. Often we will have a second meeting to discuss the preliminary plan and to make changes to better meet the needs of the project.  A final design is then drawn, including pictures of the proposed plants, and we do a detailed cost estimate and bid, based on your budget.

Call Grooms Irrigation for a landscape consultation today. (405) 348-2557

Steve Ancik, Landscape Architect

Why install low-voltage landscape lighting?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Low-voltage landscape lighting provides important benefits.

ENERGY EFFICIENT:  Many homes with older outdoor lighting are powered by 120 volt current. Low-voltage lighting operates on a 12 volt current. This is similar to the amount of electricity used by a car battery. 12 volt is therefore much safer and more energy efficient.

BEAUTIFICATION: Focal points stand out and become more beautiful. Textures not seen in daylight become eye-catching detail.

USABILITY: Landscape lighting extends the time that can be spent outdoors.

SAFE PASSAGE: Hazards such as steps, low-hanging or thorny vegetation, abrupt changes in elevation, or other obstacles can all be avoided with properly placed landscape lighting.

SECURITY: It’s a proven fact that a well-lit landscape will deter potential intruders by eliminating dark areas and shadows that would conceal movement around the property.

VALUE: Landscape lighting not only brings a property to life, it also provides excellent return on investment by creating a stunning first impression when viewed by visitors.

Professional quality fixtures and equipment offer better construction, construction materials like copper and stainless steel, and are often accompanied by extensive manufacturers warranties. Also, there is a wider variety of professional quality equipment on the market. This allows a designer to choose specific fixtures with the specific functions that will best serve the particular landscape in question. There are a large variety of fixture colors and styles available.

The cost of a low-voltage system will depend on the number of fixtures specified, the size of the property in question, the purpose of the system and so on. You can be sure that the cost of a professional system will exceed the cost of a home store kit. However, this initial expense is offset by the extended life and added enjoyment available from a professional system that creates more appealing and diverse lighting effects. When compared to line voltage alternatives, low voltage is far more economical with regard to operating expense and per fixture costs.

Low voltage lighting requires a transformer to change the electrical voltage form 120 to 12 volts. This transformer is typically mounted on the exterior of the residence and can have a photocell or timer to turn the lights on and off.  The transformer is plugged into an existing outlet or one that is added specifically for the transformer.

Contact Grooms, Edmond, Oklahoma for more information (405) 348-2557