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How Much Does Landscape Lighting Cost? Upfront and On-Going Costs for Your Lancaster, PA Home

Posted On: March 23,2017 By: Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

There is a great amount of value in adding landscape lighting to your Lancaster, PA home. Not only does it improve the aesthetic appeal but there are other key landscape lighting benefits to consider as well.

Whether you’re entertaining guests or you’re just enjoying time with your family, landscape lighting will enhance the experience. Whether you reside in Reading, York, Hershey, or in Lancaster, PA, there are so many great reasons to add lighting to your outdoor living area.

In terms of how much you wind up spending will vary depending upon whether you stick to the bare bones or you upgrade to some of the special features available today.

Though there are a lot of factors that can cause the cost to vary, if you’re looking for an idea of how much is landscape lighting going to cost you, we have some general cost breakdowns that can help. Starting from the basics and working upwards to some higher end systems, here we will explore LED landscape lighting costs.


Watch this Case Study Video About a Landscape Lighting Transformation!


How Much Does Landscape Lighting Cost?

Outdoor lighting has come incredibly far. As a result, it’s important to recognize that LED landscape lighting costs are a little more of an investment upfront than older technology once was. The newest technology, however, outperforms old landscape lighting so that in the long run, you’ll be saving money in electricity bills and maintenance expenses.

Bear in mind that while even the minimum investment might be a little bit more than you anticipated, in the grand scheme of a total outdoor living budget, landscape lighting is only a small percentage for how much value you receive in return.

When you are investing heavily on an outdoor living project, it makes sense to add a little bit more onto the project for what you receive in return. Lighting will allow you to utilize the space not only during the daytime, but in the evening hours as well.

In addition, even at the bare minimum investment, you’re still getting high-end fixtures and the latest technology. It’s worthwhile to pay for better fixtures that you can feel confident will last and perform as expected. Compared to constantly buying and replacing cheap fixtures, investing in something quality upfront is ultimately more cost effective.

It will also save you a lot of hassle. This is not landscape lighting that you can purchase from your local box store. These are professional level products being installed in a thoughtfully designed landscape vs. cheap product that is just slapped in the ground. Without an artistic approach, a row of pathlights can easily look like an airport runway. Your investment is not only for the high-quality material but for a high-quality design.


Basic Investment: $3,000 to $6,000

For the bare minimum investment of $3,000, you would be able to get the transformer and a few lights around your property. This cost also factors in an installation charge, which is important as lighting should be installed by a professional who puts safety as a top priority.

How much does landscape lighting cost for your Reading, York or Lancaster, PA property.

Double that investment to $6,000 and you could add some extra path lights, spotlights, and maybe an uplight or two on some plant material or interesting features of your home. The bulk of the bare minimum price is coming from the transformer itself. Once you invest in that, it makes sense to add more lights as you’ve already paid the largest cost.


Mid-Range Investment: $8,000 to $11,000

How much does landscape lighting cost for your Reading, York or Lancaster, PA property.This range is a bit more on par with an average investment for landscape lighting for your Lancaster, Reading, York, or Hershey, PA home. In this cost range, you’ll get much more of a complete package.

An example of what you could get within this cost range would be: 5 path lights, 2 spotlights highlighting a special feature like a statue or fountain, 6 uplights on your plant material, and 6 spotlights on your home highlighting an entrance or architectural features.

With a transformer that is zone-able, you’ll also be able to program special features such as having pathlights come on at a set time. And, you can always set yourself up to be able to add more lights later.


Upgrades Investment: $11,000+

In most cases, an investment over $11,000 can get you a variety of possible upgrades, depending on your property. That might mean more lights that really go above and beyond in highlighting special features around your home. It could be specialty lighting within your outdoor kitchen such as in-cabinet lights, lighting under a bar countertop, or built-in lighting in a retaining wall.

How much does landscape lighting cost for your Reading, York or Lancaster, PA property.Or maybe it’s going to be color-changing LED landscape lighting which can be programmed to change colors based on the season or for special events and celebrations. There are a lot of really exciting lighting features that can be added to your outdoor living project as you begin to invest more in your project.


(RELATED READING:  Unexpected Landscape Lighting Features That Will Blow Your Mind)


The Labor Variable

While these price ranges should give you a ballpark idea of how much landscape lighting costs, there are always variables as no two properties are alike. The labor is really the biggest variable in the LED landscape lighting cost.

If your property has a lot of obstacles to work around, installing lighting could be a bit more expensive. Or perhaps if someone else had done your outdoor living project and you’re adding lighting in at a later date, the labor can become costly as it will likely require some digging- not to mention the fact that we will be working blindly in terms of knowing where the conduit is located.

If you’re just starting an outdoor living project, now is the time to also install lighting, or at least prepare your property to add it on at a later date. By doing it all at once you will save on some of that installation labor expense.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re working with a professional Registered Landscape Architect- which for a large outdoor living project, we would hope you are- then there will also likely be a design charge associated with the overall cost. Landscape lighting design is included within that. However, in Earth, Turf, & Wood’s case, that design fee is credited back to the client once they follow through on the project with us.


Cost to Run Landscape Lighting at Your Home

How much does landscape lighting cost for your Reading, York or Lancaster, PA property.Of course there is also some cost associated with running your system, but with the latest technology, that cost is nominal. Whereas older landscape lighting systems required changing bulbs every couple of years and often generated high electricity bills, LED landscape lighting is a lot more cost effective.

In fact, when compared to old incandescent bulbs, LED lighting can decrease your lighting system’s energy consumption by 80 percent. Plus, an added benefit is that LED light bulbs aren’t hot to the touch like incandescent light bulbs.

You will also spend less on maintenance. While LED bulbs are about three times the cost of incandescent, they are advertised to last 10 to 15 times longer, which could equate to a decade without requiring changing. In the long run, this is an overall cost savings and also less of a hassle to forgo the ongoing maintenance.


Investing in Landscape Lighting for your Lancaster, PA home

While landscape lighting is certainly an investment, we believe it’s a wise one. It’s more than just the icing on the cake. Landscape lighting is a necessity if you truly want to get the most function and enjoyment out of your outdoor living space as possible. With landscape lighting, you’ll be able to use your outdoor space at any hour as opposed to just using it during the daylight hours.

You just designed and built a wonderful patio and pathway and a delightful entertainment area. If it’s truly an outdoor living area, why not be able to live in it at any hour?

Lighting is what makes it all useable and helps you to get the most out of the space. We believe it’s definitely not an area where you should skimp. Even if you opt for the bare minimum right now, you can set yourself to upgrade lighting features in the future by planning ahead. We’re ready to help you with those ideas and plans to get you on your way to a brighter and more beautiful space.

If you’re ready to start the conversation about landscape lighting, contact us for a free consultation or give us a call at (717) 276-9447. You can also check out our pictures of landscape lighting projects for more inspiration.

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Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Written by Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Mary Hatch Dresser is a Registered Landscape Architect with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design. Mary has designed landscapes for 32 years and joined ETW exclusively in 2009. Mary is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); and also serves on the Shade Tree Committee in Strasburg Borough where she resides. Mary prides herself in carefully listening to her clients to professionally meld their ideas and personal criteria with sound, experienced design practice.

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188 North Reamstown Road
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Serving Southeast Pennsylvania including: Lancaster, Reading, Lebanon, York, Hershey, Harrisburg and surrounding areas.