Replace your own bulbs, or take the scheduled maintenance plan?

Whether it’s for automobiles, home heating and air conditioning systems or landscape lighting systems, ROUTINE SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE is the key to keeping things running in tip-top shape.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Antonio,  we recognize and applaud the do-it-yourself homeowner who wants to maintain their own OLP installed Landscape Lights.  That’s why we offer these tips and suggestions for replacing your bulbs:

Be sure to use quality lamps (bulbs) with the same wattage and flood angle as those that came with your original installation.

For the large PAR 36 (headlight style bulbs) in well/canister lights:

  • GE or Phillips Brand
  • 4000 hour rated life
  • PAR 36, 12-volt (low voltage bulbs)
  • Screw Terminals
  • 20 watt, 35 watt, or 50 watt, as was originally installed
  • Wide flood (30 degrees), Very Wide flood (55 degrees), or Narrow Spot (8 degrees) as was originally installed
  • Generally not available at Home Depot/Lowe’s.  Buy from a quality lighting store
  • Cost will run from $10-$15

For the small Bi-pin halogen bulbs in Path and sign fixtures:

  • Osram Sylvania Ministar S Halogen
  • 4000 hour rated life
  • 10 watt, 20 watt, or 35 watt as originally installed
  • G4 or G6 bi-pin base
  • NEVER EVER TOUCH THE GLASS WITH YOUR BARE FINGERS!!  (oils from your skin will dramatically shorten the life of the bulb)
  • cost will run $6-$12

For the MR-16 (projector style bulbs) in small spot light applications:

  • GE or Osram Sylvania
  • BAB (flood beam) or ESX (narrow beam) 20 watt, FMW (flood beam) 35 watt, or EXN (flood beam) 50 watt
  • GU5.3 Bi-pin base
  • 4000 hour rated life
  • CG (Cover Glass) preferred
  • Cost will run $5-$8

Of course, changing the bulb is only part of the periodic maintenance, and a complete inspection of the system should be accomplished at this time.

Many homeowners desire the complete servicing package that our Scheduled Maintenance Plan offers.  When we do a bulb replacement during scheduled maintenance, we take care of all the following items:

  • Bulb replacement with bulbs matching the original installation
  • Trim shrubs to ensure illumination is not shaded by plant growth
  • Treat fixtures with fire-ant retardent
  • Re-aim fixtures correctly for those that may have been bumped or moved
  • Re-bury exposed wire
  • Check Voltages
  • Check Transformer connections

Our service plan runs $19/fixture, and includes all the service mentioned above.  When a homeowner is on our maintenance plan they only pay for the scheduled maintenance, and any additional service calls for system repair are free for the length of the plan.  That means the $90 service call charge is waived!

The Length of the maintenance plan is dependent upon how late each homeowner runs their landscape lighting system each night.

  • Systems that run until around Midnight = Annual (1 year) Service Plan
  • Systems that run until 3 am = 9 month Service Plan
  • Systems that run all night = 6 month Service Plan

These lengths equal the average service life of a 4000 hour quartz halogen bulb.

When the typical service call costs $90, plus $19 per bulb replaced, you can see how quickly the costs can add up, which is why the Scheduled Maintenance Plan is easily the way to go!

If you haven’t taken advantage of our Scheduled Maintenance Plan, call us today at 210-971-8759 and have your system brought back up to the level of performance you had when it was originally installed!

Scott Bellamy, President

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Antonio

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