It’s Really Dark Outside

At AMJ Landscaping, Inc., we know that when the Holiday lights and decorations come down this weekend, you will be amazed at how dark the neighborhood gets.   AMJ Landscaping, Inc. has LED Lighting for your walkways, decks, patios.

One of our favorite effects is uplighting.  Shrubs and trees are lit from the base to provide texture and shape to an otherwise dark landscape.  Path Lighting is important because it puts light directly on the walkway, making it safer and more inviting.

Lighting for steps at night

Another benefit is that the life expectancy of LED bulbs is up to 50000 hours versus 2000 for traditional or halogen bulbs.  LEDs are also 90% less expensive to leave on compared to your porch lights and provide more safety and security around your home because you can afford to leave them on all the time.  Use your porch lights when you have to answer the door for added coverage.

Estimates are FREE.  Call 410-437-3027.

AMJ Landscaping, Inc., Pasadena, MD 21122

Landscape Lighting

It’s getting dark earlier, you’ve put away the patio furniture, the cool evening air we have been enjoying has turned down right crisp. Time to pack up the grill, put away the patio furniture and head indoors right? Wrong!!! modern-design-outdoor-patio-lighting

Pumpkin Lattes, Spiced drinks and Trick or Treating are right around the corner and we have a Treat for you! 
AMJ Landscaping is offering to extend the use of your Landscape Design through the winter. 

As AMJ Landscaping’s Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer, I can add low voltage LED path lights and a few strategically placed fixtures around your home, under trees or looking down from the roof corners to provide a more enjoyable atmosphere and allow you to stay outdoors a little longer. The fixtures mounted on your home are designed to spread light across an area and are usually very bright, almost blinding. Outdoor Landscape Lighting is designed to enhance the surroundings, put emphasis on the beauty you have created and highlight areas of safety without being noticed. Think about what your yard looks like when there is a full moon out. There is a big difference.

Want to see for your self? 
I can set up a demo kit at your home so you can see for yourself. Call the office to set an appointment with me 410.437.3027. Be warned though, I will take the demo lights away after a few days and you’ll wish they were still there.

Landscape designs are meant to be enjoyed from Indoors too.
Being able to see the same landscape in a different “light” brings a whole new value to the project we’ve already completed. Your landscape comes alive in very different way during the winter and we here at AMJ Landscaping would like to help you enjoy your investment all year round.

There is also a safety factor
Home Security is another reason to have outdoor lighting, law enforcement will tell you a lit home is less likely to be burglarized.
Or, say you have to let the dogs out…ever have trouble seeing see where they are in the yard? What about something as simple as family coming over for dinner? We don’t want anyone to fall and get hurt, that just puts a damper on the party. Outdoor lighting steps safer

Energy Savings with LEDs
The great thing about LED’s in Outdoor Landscape Lighting is they run on far less power than the bulbs in your house fixtures and LEDs last up to 5 times longer. Now you can have Outdoor Landscape Lighting and not pay through the nose for it.

It’s always good to come home. Outdoor Lighting for a long driveway
AMJ Landscaping’s Outdoor Lighting Team will set up your system on a digital timer that can run from say, 5 pm-Midnight and pop back on from 5:30am-7am so everyone can get out the door in the morning. If you work like I do, it’s dark when I leave and dark when I get home. After a long day at work I get to enjoy a peaceful moment when I drive up and see my landscapes, the stone work on the house and my walkways lit up when I get home. It’s always good to come home.

We spend a lot of time out on the back patio at my house in the fall too. Our steps are lit and the lights on the posts of the deck overhead cast a nice glow on the patio. We have up lit a few large trees on the perimeter so the yard doesn’t seem so small and scary. From indoors we have a perspective of the yard that didn’t exist before we added landscape lighting. This year we are adding a fire pit, so it’ll be warm out there…for sure to get a lot of use. Might be a better investment than a hot tub.techo pit close up

Call me Today, I’ll do a FREE consultation at your home. 410.437.3027
www.amjlandscaping.com

Regards,
John

I Will Miss Being Here Everyday

This Landscape Design Project is my favorite and I will miss coming to this house every day.  I am lucky enough to meet great people and help them find answers and solutions to issues in their yards.  It a great job.  Some times we meet about a drainage issue, an irrigation problem or they have finally made the decision to revise the landscape that has overgrown the front of the house.  Lately the calls have been to add some LED lighting around the back yard.  A handful of times a year it’s something that requires a fully designed landscape plan.  Really enjoy those, especially when it comes time to add color to the full scale landscape architect’s plan.  Takes me back to when I was a kid.

Little children at the library doing crafts

Last summer I had a request for a screen room.  Seems simple enough.  I always approach projects with the mindset of what I would like to see happen if it were my house, so off I went to the drawing board.

Before photo from back of house in pasadena, md

This would be a second floor level screen room on a deck.  It had to be a statement piece, and it had to connect to an existing roof line.  Customer said,  “let’s see what you can come with…and I think I want a fire pit somewhere too, and just in case, think about what if we want to add a pool – maybe”. And there should be some way to connect it to the back yard and the customer’s home office…   Actually, all the individual elements of even a project like this are things we do anyway.  Fantastic conversation.

My mind was whirring through the litany of questions to be answered.  Second floor kitchen also means a walk out basement and that indicates the need for a transitional space and how are we going to get there from the driveway? The grade already slopes away from the house at odd angles, so there will be some machine work and landscaping to do.  Also have to renovate the irrigation to fit the new arrangement and figure out how to use led lighting to extend the length of time they can enjoy these new spaces, plus add safety.  What about the trees that are in the way, will the County let us remove them?  This thing is getting huge.  Great, here come the permit issues.  Love this stuff.  Not the customer’s problem, they just wanted “a nice screen room off the back”.  “And maybe a place for some chairs and the grill”, she added.

Two weeks later we had a design concept (yes, colored in) and when I laid this out on their kitchen table…Design Rendering - Color - AMJ LandscapingDesign Concept Plan_20150224_0001

There was a moment of silence or two, possibly some cursing under his breath, and then My Customer only asked one question, “When can you start?” I asked for some details about their lifestyle and how they thought it would look at the end so we could spec the materials and wouldn’t you know…

Thank you Pinterest?

My Customers sent me 25 different boards of ideas!  Guess they had planned this for a while.  We sorted through the possibilities over the next two weeks while permits where being processed and narrowed it down to what both made sense and was a good value.

Our carpenters had already spec’d it out with me, we had provided all the design, elevation and deck engineering drawings so we got it approved by the County pretty quickly.  Standard stuff.

Our discussions led to other non-structural details like beams and exposed ceilings in the screen room, a new door out of the home office where there was now a bow-window and finally to material orders.  Should we change the outside fixtures and what about the color of the glass for the fire pit, what about electrical and gas supplies, drainage, landscaping and can we connect power to the shed while we are at it?   So many details to cover and coordinate but possibly the most fun I’ve had.

Then, we got hung up by the weather after an October start and couldn’t complete everything until this spring but what a transformation.Outdoor Living concept brought to life

Hurdles? There was the process of getting an upgraded meter for the gas service to supply the HPC 250,000 btu fire pit burner.  All I can say is start early on that one.  Its like getting an appointment with the doctor.  Weather was definitely the number one factor.  Delivery of materials and on the fly, modifications to the grading, drainage and irrigation systems, the additional requirement of a LDL beam to open up the patio space under the deck was a brilliant call by the carpenters. The changes for material unavailability such as the under deck ceiling that no one had in the amount of square footage we needed – these could keep you up at night.  But we had daily conversations and as the Customers saw it coming to life they wanted to have more input.  That’s why we discussed progress and options, daily.  Because as it goes from paper to being alive and 3D, that is to be expected.  Talking daily and walking the site in person plus having done so much research on the front end, the Customer’s goals were very clear in terms of functionality, style and appearance.  These folks had great ideas and were certain in what they expected and that conversation every day helped keep things on track.

Maybe I should just put up a hammock in the trees.  Do you think they’ll notice if I hang out a while longer?

Want to see more?  Visit our Houzz site below and “like” the project, but here are a few sneak peeks:

Screen Room Interior Outdoor Living and Landscape pasadena md Cedar woodworking and screen room after photo

http://www.houzz.com/projects/1494333 for the most accurate chronological grouping and we have a couple of videos out on the Facebook Page 🙁https://www.facebook.com/AMJLandscapingInc/ )

Most importantly, if you have an idea in your head and need help getting it moving toward reality, send me a message.  We’ll have fun with whatever it is and I’ll make sure it turns out just as nice.—John

John Gallagher, AMJ Landscaping

What happened to the Lights?

 

We are back to work busily preparing for the possibility of snow and designing the projects that will be done this coming season, but something is missing.  This time of year it is noticeably getting dark a lot earlier.  My body clock can’t get used to it. It seems like it is dark most of the time.  Winter days are often referred to as the grey days.  It’s like someone flipped a switch.

So what if we used Outdoor Lighting as a form of Winter Gardening?  During the summer it stays light until all hours and the sun is up way too early in the morning for most of us.  But what about bringing some life back to the winter grey?  There is still plenty going on in the gardens and the trees have a completely different appeal that you cannot see during the summer.  Maybe we could make your landscaping more warm and inviting; Alive.

Outdoor LED Lighting

I always say that if you are going to spend money on landscaping then you should be able to enjoy it all year long.  Personally, I leave before the sun comes up and get home well after it has set most days.  Except for a few Sundays when I do the maintenance on my own house, I hardly see the landscape.  But, there is something peaceful about turning up the driveway and seeing the architecture of your own home lit up, the beauty of the landscape you’ve invested in, and there is the safety factor of being able to see where you are going.  A sense of peace when you return home.  An invitation to forget all the days worries and prepare to greet your family.

Fire Pits

Fire pits and larger fireplaces offer an extra opportunity to be outdoors and skip out on some reality tv.  They can be wood burning or gas/propane.  Often they are the center of the family’s entertaining and AMJ has all the people to make it happen and extend your enjoyment of your Landscape.

With the advent of warm white lamps, LED Outdoor Lighting has moved from that blue haze to a truly beautiful light that uses only pennies worth of electricity compared to the standard Halogen lighting of just a few years ago.

Landscape Lighting - Walkway Steps

And there is nothing wrong with leaving some holiday style lights on the bushes through March.  They also don’t cost much to run if  you use LEDs and who cares if the neighbors think you are lazy.  They are inside hibernating anyway.   I’m not saying the snow globe penguins should still be out there but a little lighting on the roof line or in the shrubs is nice.

I know a garden center in Detroit and the owner goes all out making decorations with greens, so the outdoor pots have something in them for this time of year. She uses LED lighting in every display to keep the season going.  Deborah says, “My advice this January morning is to stay warm and plug something in.”  I agree!