SOURCE: Janet Moyer Landscaping

Janet Moyer Landscaping

October 21, 2010 12:00 ET

Janet Moyer Landscaping Offers Tips for "Lighting Up" the Home Garden

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 21, 2010) -  Janet Moyer Landscaping (JML), a full service landscaping company in San Francisco devoted to addressing the unique challenges of urban garden constraints, offers the following tips to "light up" Bay Area residential landscapes:

1. Light stairs for safety. Make sure the top and bottom steps are well lit. Under tread lights are available but they work best when installed under every step.

2. Place fixtures so bulbs are not visible and slightly away from pathways and lawns to avoid damage. Path lights are often subject to damage from equipment and traffic, so placing them away from traffic and/or equipment areas will extend their life.

3. Place spot lights so they don't shine in windows or directly in people's eyes, as seeing the bulb takes eyes some time to readjust to the non-lit areas. Several manufacturers provide spot lights with longer shrouds and filters to shield and direct light. Spot lights also allow for different beam spreads to prevent "spillover" into areas not to be highlighted.

4. Dramatize a special feature or tree with light from two sides. It will look more balanced and add more depth and dimensionality to the feature.

5. Highlight white or light colored flowering plants or plants with variegated leaves as they glow at night. Colors like red and blue are harder to appreciate at night.

6. Size the lighting transformer with room for growth (i.e., additional light fixtures). Some areas may be overlooked or just need more "wow" over time. Also, as plants grow, their need for highlighting may change.

7. Attach lighting wire to fences or irrigation tubing to avoid damage or accidental cutting. With low voltage lighting systems, the lighting wire is low voltage (11-14 volts) so it does not need to be buried but is more accessible for additions or changes when it's placed on top of the soil but hidden under mulch.

8. Set the wire size and wire runs to allow for growth in the number of fixtures and/or the ability to change fixture locations. As plants grow and uses change another fixture may be desired.

9. Leave extra wire at each lighting connection so that the lights can be moved when the plants grow. Tape wire connectors together for extra security.

10. Use an anti-corrosive lubricant on light bulb metal to prevent corrosion of the bulb and the bulb socket. These fixtures tend to rust over time, even if there is no direct water contact.

11. Choose high quality light fixtures that allow bulbs to be replaced easily. Avoid fixtures with special screws or attachments that require special tools, as these tend to get lost in the process of changing bulbs.

12. LED lighting is becoming viable in the residential landscape. Use LED spots to add light to new areas, especially if there is a problem with capacity on existing transformers or wiring.

About Janet Moyer Landscaping
Founded in 1990, Janet Moyer Landscaping is a full service landscaping company based in San Francisco, CA. It has designed and installed more than 425 unique and customized gardens in San Francisco's varied terrain. Owned and managed by Janet Moyer and Michael Hofman, JML applies sustainable practices to its residential landscape design, installation and maintain services. The company has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times in 2008 and 2009 as one of the "Fastest Growing Private Companies" in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit or call 415-821-3760.

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