Viewpoint Lighting is a full service landscape lighting company, with the expertise and capability to handle every aspect of your landscape lighting needs, including pre-planning, design, consultation, installation, troubleshooting, repair, and routine maintenance. We work alone or with your landscaper and/or designer/architect to get the lighting right from the start, saving you the added costs and hassle of disturbing your new landscape to redo your lighting. In existing landscapes and established yards, we can remove existing lighting systems and/or add new lighting while minimizing impact on the plantings and hardscape.
We install only top-quality fixtures, most with at least a 10 year manufacturer's warranty. We stand behind the fixtures as well as the installation, so if you EVER have any problems, we are a phone call away, and will remedy the problem quickly. We will guaranty the installation for at least 10 years as well, so if there is any problem that arises during that time that is the result of improper installation, we will fix it at no charge.
Because we get most of our work from referrals, we establish and maintain a relationship with all customers to make sure they are 100% satisfied. I have been in the industry long enough to know that contractors are impossible to get a hold of... especially if you are calling about something that they screwed up. That's simply impolite, not to mention unprofessional. I will make every effort to return calls and perform needed repairs within 24-48 hours.
About the owner, Andy Thomas
I have been involved in various aspects of landscaping and landscape lighting ever since I started helping my dad fix sprinklers during the summers as a boy. I learned a great deal about customer service and the green industry from my dad. A Sacramento native, I graduated from El Camino High School and attended American River College before transferring to San Jose State University. During my time at SJSU, and after graduating in 2001, I worked for two landscape materials suppliers in the Bay Area, which is where I was first introduced to landscape lighting. After leaving the distribution side after many years, I started as a sales rep for a landscape lighting manufacturer (FX Luminaire), where my primary responsibilities included setting up on-site evening lighting demonstrations and troubleshooting lighting issues. After almost a year with FX, I decided that I enjoyed working with my hands in the field more than in the office on the phone, so I decided to venture out on my own, designing, installing, and maintaining landscape lighting systems. I learned from my distribution and sales experience that while many landscapers and electricians are willing to install landscape lighting, few actually know what they are doing. When driving around Sacramento, it is easy to notice examples of ineffective or just plain bad lighting. Real hands-on experience in the landscape lighting industry, from the distribution, manufacture, and installation viewpoints has given me the unique perspective needed to be able to create beautifully lighted scenes using top quality fixtures, as well as be able to troubleshoot and maintain installed systems.
About the Process
Here's an example of the typical process of a lighting project, from start to finish, for an established landscape: (Your experience may vary).
· You're tired of fixing your existing lights, or your lack of good lighting altogether, and contact us.
THE MEETING - I come to your house and listen to your story. This conversation is usually to figure out your wants and needs, problems in the past, trouble areas, favorite spots, viewpoints, traffic patterns, etc. All the info I need to design a lighting system for YOU.
THE ROUGH ESTIMATE - From this conversation, I can usually give a rough idea of how many light fixtures to expect, what I'd accomplish with those lights and what sort of cost is involved. If you don't fall down from sticker shock, we move on to the next phase. If it sounds outrageous, we discuss some alternative solutions, but not everyone can afford a great lighting system, and that's OK.
THE DESIGN - After we establish some basic parameters, I explain that in order to come up with a detailed estimate, I have to design the lighting system, and I charge for my design time. (Most designs run in the $200-$500 range). I am a certified lighting designer after all. You wouldn't expect an architect to design a house for free right? I'll walk the yard, sketch a rough layout, make notes, and take pictures. I then take that back to my office and clean it up into a lighting concept master plan that I can then show you. This is often on a standard architectural 24"x36" sheet of paper, but for smaller projects may be a 8.5"x11" or 17" plan. I charge for the design, so you get to keep it. If you hire us, great! If you want to shop it around, that's up to you. It's yours.
THE PITCH - When the design is done, we meet again so that I can take you on a virtual tour of your new lighting design. I'll walk through the design process, fixtures used, and techniques employed to create the perfect night scene for your lifestyle. I will walk you through the estimate line by line, explaining what is involved. The estimate is based on the master plan, so is often more expensive than many homeowners are comfortable spending. I'm not a high-pressure salesman, and I want you to get the most for your money. Therefore, we discuss options based on your own budget, and look at how we can scale back and break the plan into phases, without compromising the quality or integrity of the lighting design. At this point, I'd collect the design fee.
THE CONTRACT - The estimate, once we have agreed on the changes, becomes our working contract. Often times I throw in extra (wire, labor, fixtures, etc.) to make sure that I don't have to ask for more money later in a change-order. See the "Invoice" section below. At this point, I ask for a 10% deposit to lock in your place in my calendar, and order materials. Some times on larger projects or longer timelines, I'll require a payment for the materials cost when the materials are all in-hand, but usually we collect the balance on completion.
THE INSTALL: Part 1 - The first part of installation is to prep all the fixtures, position them where they should go and rough-wire them into the transformer. This usually takes 1-2 days. At the end of this phase 95%-100% of the lights are operational.
THE REVEAL - This is when I come back at night to turn them on, and dial in the fixture locations, aiming angles, lamp spread and intensity, address glare issues, check light balance and overall composition. I then walk through it all WITH YOU, to make sure it meets all the criteria set forth in our initial meetings. If not, I tinker with it until it does. This often includes adding, re-purposing or removing fixtures. This can go quite late, especially in the Summer months, so be prepared. Once you love the lighting, we can lock it in, and this is what your new lighting system will look like for years to come!
THE INSTALL: Part 2 - This is the dirty part, when we go back into the yard over the next 2-5 days (typically) to finalize the installation: waterproof all the wire splices, bury the wire, clean up and label the wires at the transformer, update the concept plan into a wiring diagram/as-built, and clean up the yard to make it look better than when we arrived.
THE INVOICE - After the project is complete, I submit the invoice for payment. The invoice will have an accurate account of how many fixtures and of what type, how many wire splices, feet of wire, etc. used on the project. On at least 75% of the projects we install, the total cost on the invoice is LOWER than the estimate. This is because I may not have needed those extra materials or labor I put in the estimate as a cushion. I feel better doing the right thing, and you feel better paying less. If you feel I'm selling myself short, you're always welcome to pay more!
THE CLUB - No, there isn't a cool lighting club. But, once we've finished the installation, you are in my client list, and you will get priority. I always do what I can to take care of existing clients before chasing new ones, with warranty repairs the absolute highest priority. Chances are, that's how I got you as a client in the first place, because you heard about how good we are at what we do. I want clients for life, and I consider many my friends. I still have my first customer as an active client. I love working with my existing customer base because they already know the value of great lighting and they continue to challenge me with changing needs and wants, as they and their yards continue to evolve.
CSLB C-27# 870896 (CA State Landscape Contractor's License)
AOLP Vice President
Certified Low Voltage Technician (CLVLT)#1058
Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer (COLD #1321)
National COLD Committee Chair
Member, International Dark-Sky Association
Training certificate holder: VistaPro, FX Luminaire, Unique Lighting, Village Lighting Co.
2012 Honorable Mention (AOLP Lighting awards, Residential Category)
2014 Award of Merit* (AOLP Lighting awards, Commercial Project)
2014 Best of Show* (AOLP Lighting awards, Lighting Project)
* This award was for lighting the CA Governor's mansion,a joint project, shared with Michael Sestak (Sestak Lighting Design) and Scott Sissom (Elegant Outdoor Lighting)...both amazing lighting designers!