Tuesday, May 27, 2014

6 Creative Outdoor Lighting Ideas

We’ve all seen standard outdoor lighting. Traditional designs provide a great starting point, but sometimes an outdoor space needs a little bit of extra creativity. In addition to their eye-catching appearance, some creative designs add functionality you wouldn’t usually have. Some fixtures are lightweight and portable while others can even float on water!

“We like to keep our customers informed about the latest trends in outdoor lighting. There are some light fixtures you just don’t see every day,” said John Minor, owner of Irrigation and Lighting Specialist. “Nothing can spark a conversation at get-togethers quite like a unique outdoor lighting piece.”

To give you some ideas for outdoor lighting, our experts have put together a list of some standout outdoor lighting fixtures.

Log Seat Campfire Lights

Photo From: DesignYouTrust.com
Place these tree stump seat lights around a fire pit and watch your guest's eyes light up. During the day when not lit, these seats look like perfectly cut trees. They give a nice wooded, campsite feel to your yard.

Arching Outdoor Lighting

Photo From: 2modern.com
Have you ever seen the St. Louis Arch? It looks majestic when lit up at night. Put a (much smaller) version in your outdoor space. When placed over a table, it provides functional light while you eat and entertain friends. 

Solar Powered Globe Lights

Photo From: Fancy.com
These solar powered globe lights can be placed anywhere outside. Since they are powered by the sun, a clear day should charge the battery enough to last around 12 hours.

The globe lights even float on water, adding an element of fun for kids. Simply ensure the bottom battery latch is secured tightly and you’re ready to swim! These lights are among the most unique outdoor lighting options we’ve seen!

Umbrella Light

Photo From: Interiordesignables.com
Put this umbrella on your outdoor table or bar to stay dry and well lit. The bulbs are attached to the umbrella supports and provide a small amount of overhead light. You can also keep it open during the day to provide shade!

Shadow Design Lights

Photo From: Houzz.com
During the day, the metal exterior provides a neat design. But, nighttime is when these lights really stand out. When lit, the shadows from the metal exterior create remarkable patterns on your walkway. 

Pac-Man Lighting

Photo From: Globalgeeknews.com
Pac-Man lights aren’t intended for everyday use, but are sure to be a hit at your next outdoor party or holiday celebration. The lights are traditional round bulb lights intended for overhead attachment. Simply attach or detach the ghost piece and Pac-Man piece as necessary.

“Of course, any of these pieces will look out of place if a traditional outdoor lighting system is not installed already. These unique fixtures are intended to be accent lights and conversation starters,” said Minor. “We would love to get you started with a professionally designed and installed outdoor lighting system, so you can begin having fun adding these unique accent lights.”

To learn more about how Irrigation and Lighting Specialist can get you started with your new outdoor lighting system, e-mail John or call 704-747-0235. We look forward to bringing light to your nights this summer.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Drip Irrigation System: [Part 2] What are the Benefits?

Drip irrigation systems offer benefits traditional irrigation systems do not. |- rrigation and Lighting Specialist
 A drip irrigation system is an underground arrangement of tubes that delivers water to the plant’s roots. In part one, we discussed how these systems work and the different features that are available. In part two, we will outline how a drip irrigation system offers homeowners different benefits than a traditional irrigation system.

“Think of drip irrigation like a dart board. Traditional irrigation may hit the mark several times, but there are still some darts that miss the bullseye. Drip irrigation hits the bullseye every single time,” said John Minor, owner of Irrigation and Lighting Specialist. “Water is fed directly to the roots continuously and evenly, ensuring your plants are always receiving the right amount of water.”

Our experts have outlined the main benefits a drip irrigation system provides:

  1. Accuracy – Drip irrigation systems are extremely accurate. The emitters and openings in the drip tubing can be customized to sit directly next to each plant’s roots. The water is distributed exactly where it is needed.
  2. Reduces Diseases – Stagnant, pooled water on the ground and on your plant’s leaves foster an environment for mold and disease. These unwanted growths can damage and even kill your plant. Drip irrigation systems distribute the water directly to the plant’s roots, eliminating stagnant surface water.
  3. Time Saver – Don’t spend time attempting to evenly water your plants. The system guarantees even watering every time.
  4. Efficiency – 30 to 50% of water can be saved by a drip irrigation system. Top-soil water evaporation is eliminated and over-watering is prevented.
  5. Versatility - Your drip irrigation system can be customized with safety valves, lateral tubes and emitters that can be tailored to fit your exact needs. Additionally, there is no need to level your terrain. These systems can be installed almost anywhere to water almost anything.
  6. Decreased Fertilizer Costs - Micro-doses of fertilizer can automatically be applied to your plants through the irrigation system. Small doses are applied at an almost constant rate to provide the plant with all of the nutrients it needs to be healthy.
  7. Improved Environmental Effects – Under-soil application of water and fertilizer reduces runoff as well as the amount of water needed, whereas traditional methods lose some water through evaporation.
  8. Discourages Weeds – Areas between plants are typical problem spots for weed growth. Weeds feed off of the nutrients that could be going to your plant. Since water goes directly to your plant’s roots and nowhere else, your drip irrigation system can help reduce the amount of weed growth.

“Our team will custom design and install a drip irrigation system to best suit your garden and landscape. With nearly 30 years of irrigation installation experience, we can fulfill any customer’s needs,” said Minor.

To take advantage of the benefits a
drip irrigation system provides, talk to the experts at Irrigation and Lighting Specialist. To contact us with any questions or to schedule a consultation, please e-mail John or call 704-747-0235.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Drip Irrigation System: [Part 1] How Does it Work?

Irrigation and Lighting Specialist has offered drip irrigation system design for nearly 30 years. A drip irrigation system is a series of underground tubes that supply slow, constant water to the roots of plants. Drip irrigation applies precise amounts of moisture exactly where it is needed.

“Drip irrigation systems are different from traditional irrigation methods,” said John Minor, owner of Irrigation and Lighting Specialist. “With drip irrigation, water is fed underground directly to the roots. With traditional irrigation, water is distributed above ground and soaks into the soil. Many of our customers aren’t aware of this other method and the advantages it can provide.”

Since drip irrigation systems are different than traditional irrigation and lawn sprinklers, we have put together an overview of its design to outline the distinctions.

Features of Drip Irrigation Systems
Valves – The valve is located at the top of the piping. This feature manually controls when water is flowing or turned off.

Backflow Preventer  A backflow preventer is critical in protecting your health and safety. This feature prevents dirt, salmonella or any other materials from getting sucked back up the tube and into your drinking water.

Pressure Reducing Valve – A pressure reducing valve does exactly what it says; it reduces the water pressure to keep it flowing at a constant level.

Water Filter – The water filter is a highly recommended feature in drip irrigation systems. It prevents large particles and any harmful substances from reaching your plant’s roots. Not only does it help plant health by providing clean water, it prevents build up and blockages in the tubing by filtering out large particulates.

Drip Tubing  The drip tubing carries your water to the desired watering area. There are openings in the tube to install drip emitters.

Drip emitters are a crucial feature in drip irrigation system design.
Drip Emitters – Drip emitters screw or snap into the drip tube and determine how quickly water is released from the tube. Different emitters can be installed based on your needs. The plant type, local rainfall amounts and many other factors determine which emitters are necessary.

End Cap – The end cap is placed at the end of the drip tube. This stops water from flowing out of the line. It can be removed to flush out any blockages or particulates built up within the tube.

“We have outlined the basics of drip irrigation system design, but each part offers different advantages and disadvantages. There are several types of valves, drip tubing and drip emitters,” said Minor. “We want to make sure our customers get exactly what they need out of their drip irrigation. We love to discuss the options these systems offer with our customers to best suit their needs.”

We have been installing irrigation systems for nearly 30 years and have served customers with a variety of needs. Our installation experts will custom design an irrigation system for each customer’s requirements.

Designing and installing a drip irrigation system can be complicated. Let the experts at Irrigation and Lighting Specialist handle it for you. To contact us with any questions or to schedule a consultation, please e-mail John or call 704-747-0235.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Charlotte Irrigation Companies - Connect With The Leader

Irrigation and Lighting Specialist is the leader among Charlotte irrigation companiesCharlotte irrigation companies are making an effort to utilize social media. Irrigation and
Lighting Specialist has been at the forefront of this movement. We are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality solutions for their irrigation and lighting needs, and social media is a significant part of that.

“We love hearing feedback from our customers. Whether it’s questions, comments or just thanks for a job well done, our customers' thoughts are extremely important to us,” said John Minor, owner of Irrigation and Lighting Specialist.

What can you expect when you follow us on our social media accounts? Listed below is our most recently created content:

How To Plant NewGrass Seed This Spring

If you water your grass too little, the seeds dry out. If you water your grass too much, the seeds rot. We offer several useful tips for when you plant your new grass seed this spring. We also tell you what type of grass grows best in Charlotte’s climate.

Eco-Friendly Lawn Irrigation and Outdoor Lighting Tips

Most customers are concerned with their impact on the environment. Even more customers are worried about additional water and energy costs. Our experts compiled a list of the best eco-friendly lawn irrigation practices to save the earth and to save money.

Repairs you Should Check for in the Spring

Unnoticed problems within your irrigation system can lead to ineffective watering sessions and wasted money. You may be unaware that you have blocked, tilted or sunken sprinkler heads. In addition, you might have clogged nozzles or leaking valves. We tell you what to look for and offer assistance in helping you resolve these issues.

Garden Watering Tips and Advice

It can be difficult to know how much water to apply to your garden when humidity and sunlight vary each day. What plant types need more water than others? We tell you what to look for and how to solve these problems.

Researching Charlotte Irrigation Companies? Find Us Online!

Google+ / Google Places – Google+/Places is the best place to let us know how we’re dong. Click the pencil icon under “Irrigation and Lighting Specialist” to leave a review. We love hearing what we’re doing right and what we can do to serve you better.

Irrigation and Lighting Specialist is one of the best Charlotte irrigation companies on Google+
Facebook – Visit our Facebook page to keep up with our latest blogs and advice. Write on our wall: ask questions, make comments or simply share an article you found interesting.
Irrigation and Lighting Specialist on Facebook - Charlotte irrigation companies
Twitter – Follow Irrigation and Lighting Specialist on Twitter. We share quick snippets and facts about lawn irrigation and outdoor lighting that you may find useful in 140 characters or less. We also retweet information from other reputable sources. 

Charlotte irrigation companies - Irrigation and Lighting Specialist is on Twitter

Follow the links above to keep up with us. No matter what time of year, we are always updating our profiles to guide you with the most up-to-date information. 

“Since different regions require different techniques, we customize a lot of our tips and content for the Charlotte area,” said Minor.

Although there are a few Charlotte irrigation companies out there, Irrigation and Lighting Specialist is the leader. We look forward to interacting with you and providing helpful advice. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please e-mail John or call 704-747-0235.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Outdoor Security Lighting: Why It Works & How to Use It

Outdoor security lighting: why it works and how to utilize itOutdoor security lighting can be the difference between a criminal targeting your property or passing it by. Intruders love to focus on properties with dark, low-lit areas where they can not be seen.

“There are an estimated 20,000 burglary crimes in the Charlotte area each year,” said John Minor, owner of Irrigation and Lighting Specialist. “Many of those crimes could have been prevented if outdoor security lighting was present.”

To help protect our community, our experts share how outdoor security lighting can improve your home's security and offer a few tips to ensure your property is safe from intruders.

Security for you – Insecurity for the Intruder

Criminals look to target areas with no lighting. They feel more safe knowing they can’t be seen. Illuminating a potential intruder can make them feel exposed and insecure.

If you are home, you will be able to see the criminal and alert the police. If you are not home, your neighbors or passersby will be more able to see and report suspicious activity. Outdoor security lighting doesn’t guarantee crime prevention, but it does act as a powerful crime deterrent.

Make Your Outdoor Security Lighting Tamper-Proof

A determined intruder may try to damage your light fixtures or bulbs in order to create a dark area to gain access to your property. There are two options for lighting damage prevention:

1. Install the fixture out of reach. 10 feet or over should be sufficient. Most burglars won’t carry ladders, and if they do, they will be spotted very quickly.

2. Buy tamper-proof lights or place mesh wiring over sensitive areas of the light.

Lower Brightness is More Effective

Many medium powered light fixtures are more effective than a few high powered ones. Several medium powered lights provide more even property coverage, which reduces the amount of dark areas. On top of being less aesthetically pleasing, high-powered lights can produce glare and make it difficult to see an intruder in detail.

Motion Detecting Lights
Why outdoor security lighting works and how to use it

Any outdoor security lighting system should have at least one motion detecting light. There may be nothing more alarming for a criminal than to be suddenly illuminated. It gives the illusion that someone is aware of their presence and has turned a light on to see them. It will most likely send them running away from your property.

Motion detecting lights should be placed near any doors, windows or other entryways around your home or business. Intruders may feel too exposed to pick a lock or climb through a window if they are under the light.

“We believe motion detecting lights are the backbone of any good outdoor security lighting system. That’s why we offer so many different options. On top of being a great tool for home security, they’re extremely energy efficient,” said Minor.

Install to Several Circuits – Not Just One

Install different lights to different circuits. If the entire lighting system is run through one circuit, a tripped circuit breaker shuts down every light. If sections of the system are assigned to different circuits, a tripped circuit will only affect one area.

“Sometimes customers envision outdoor security lighting looking bright and ugly. Our installation techniques and careful fixture placement ensure we add a pleasing aesthetic element to your home,” said Minor. “We offer plenty of fixtures that provide both security and style.”

Talk to our outdoor security lighting experts to learn more or to discuss your options. Irrigation and Lighting Specialist looks forward to helping you keep your property safe and secure. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please e-mail John or call 704-747-0235.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Irrigating New Grass Seed: Irrigation Expert Advice

Irrigation and Lighting Expert's advice on irrigating new grass seed.
Irrigating new grass seed can be difficult if you don't have the right knowledge. Many grass planting projects fail for various reasons, but most commonly because of under-watering.

“As irrigation experts, we've seen many homeowners try to grow grass and fail because their lawn wasn't receiving enough water,” said John Minor, owner of Irrigation and Lighting Specialist. "The most important step to establishing a healthy new lawn is practicing proper watering techniques." 

Mid to late spring is the ideal time to plant your warm weather grasses in Charlotte. During the month of April, sunshine and cool temperatures provide great growing conditions for your lawn. But, ensuring it recieves enough water is essential.

To help you grow new grass this spring, we've put together a few watering tips to ensure your lawn is green and full! 

Know Which Grasses Thrive in Charlotte’s Climate.

Most lawns in the area consist of Fescue grasses. Fescue is easy to maintain, but as a cool weather grass, it turns brown in the heat of summer. Bermuda grass can thrive in Charlotte, but requires proper watering. Instead of a dull brown, Bermuda grass turns an attractive shade of green during the hot summer months.

Establishing Bermuda grass can be more difficult, but the rewards are much higher than using Fescue. Since watering will need to be so closely monitored, we recommend using a quality irrigation system. An irrigation system ensures water is distributed evenly. 

Warm-season grasses thrive when planted in late spring. The weather is warm, but not so hot it damages the plant. When the heat of summer comes, your grass will already be established and healthy enough to feed off of the intense sunlight.

Use Fine Textured Organic Matter to Hold Moisture.

Ensure the ground and soil are as even as possible before spreading the seed. Once the seed is spread evenly, top-dress the seed. Top-dressing with textured organic matter like peat moss helps maintain a healthy layer of moisture above the seeds.

We recommend using a peat spreader or cage roller for this process. Apply a very thin layer of peat moss (1/8in. – 1/4in.) over the entire area. Be sure not to exceed this moss thickness as it will inhibit the grass’ growth. Try to complete this process on a calm-winded day. High wind speeds will blow the material out of place and create an uneven surface.

The Most Important Step for Irrigating New Grass Seed: Water Properly!

Irrigation across Charlotte can be tricky because of our area's uneven and sloping landscapes. This can lead to over-watering of some areas and under-watering of others. At Irrigation and Lighting Specialist, we know this. That is why we offer irrigation systems with smart controllers. For each watering zone, we factor in the soil type, amount of sun an area receives and the slope of your property. All of our irrigation systems come with a rain sensor to stop watering in the event of rain. This feature is extremely important in safeguarding against over-saturation.
Water the entire area evenly. The first watering will need to wet the soil down at least six to eight inches. Monitor the area closely. If the seed bed is only slightly moist, water again. You may have to water several times throughout the day so that the top inch of the seedbed is moist.

Less watering is required once the seed germinates. When the soil becomes lighter in color, that means it is time for another watering.
Expert advice on irrigating new grass seed from Irrigation and Lighting Specialist.

Fertilize After Germination

Fertilize the grass four to eight weeks after germination. The grass has germinated and is healthy, but it still has a robust appetite. Fertilizing after germination ensures all the hard work you have done has not gone to waste.

“Fertilizing can be a messy hassle. Once again an irrigation system comes in handy. Irrigation and Lighting Specialist offers irrigation systems that automatically apply organic fertilizer in micro-doses,” said Minor.

Charlotte provides us with some of the most beautiful weather in the country. Your lawn can capitalize on the plentiful sunshine and ideal temperatures if you know the proper way to water your new seeds. Talk to the irrigation experts at Irrigation and Lighting Specialist to see how they can assist you with irrigating new grass seed. We look forward to providing you with the service and tools to keep your lawn green all summer long! To learn more or schedule a consultation, email John or call 704-747-0235.

Monday, April 14, 2014

7 Eco-Friendly Lawn Irrigation and Outdoor Lighting Tips

7 tricks for eco-friendly lawn irrigation and outdoor lighting“Before grooming their lawn and installing outdoor lighting systems, our customers are often concerned with higher energy costs and creating a negative environmental impact,” said John Minor, owner of Irrigation and Lighting Specialist. “We wanted to pass along a few simple tricks to help these consumers create a more eco-friendly lawn irrigation and outdoor lighting system.”

Lawn Irrigation
Irrigation systems drastically improve the look and health of your lawn, but can be a waste of water if not performed correctly. The 3 tips below can help make your lawn irrigation system more efficient.

Tip # 1 Only Water Your Lawn & Plants Early In the Morning
It may sound simple, but this tip can go a long way. It allows time for the grass and plants to absorb as much water as they need. Any excess water evaporates throughout the day.

Watering at night can create mold. The excess water will sit overnight and won’t evaporate for another twelve to sixteen hours.

Warning: Do not water in the middle of the day. The heat will evaporate a large amount of the water before the plants have a chance to soak it in. In addition, water droplets act as a prism, magnifying sunlight and can scorch the plant.

Tip # 2 Use Mulch
Placing mulch around plants helps cool roots and retain moisture, making each watering from your lawn irrigation system more effective. The mulch will deter the growth of weeds, eliminating the need for harmful chemicals. As an added benefit, mulch made from natural materials will decompose and enrich the soil.

Tip # 3 Check for Leaks in Your Irrigation System or Sprinklers
Unnoticed leaks can waste several gallons of water, which often leads to harmful overwatering of the surrounding area. It is important to conduct irrigation system checks  and maintenance to ensure efficiency.

Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor Lighting can add beauty and security to your home. It can also be responsible for a large part of your energy use. Use the following tips to save money on your next electric bill.

Tip # 4 Switch to LED Bulbs
LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are much more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. “They cost a bit more, but last an estimated 25x longer while consuming significantly less energy,” says Minor.

Floodlights and porch lights are typically the main culprits for using excess energy in most outdoor lighting systems. Once you make the switch to LED bulbs, you should notice an immediate impact.

Tip # 5 Switch to Motion Detecting Lights & Remote Control Systems
Motion detecting lights help improve the security of your home. These security lights are great for saving energy because they usually remain dim or dormant until motion is detected.

Remote operated systems also offer great energy saving and security capabilities. With these systems, it is a good idea to keep the control by your bed. When you go to sleep, you can easily turn off your outdoor lighting. If you hear something in the middle of the night, the lights can be quickly and easily re-activated.

Tip # 6 Install Outdoor Lighting Timers
The functionality of using a timer is nearly the same as using a remote system. It has an added “set it and forget it” benefit, but cannot be turned on as quickly or as easily.

Tip # 7 Explore Solar Powered Lighting
Solar powered lighting uses the energy of the sun. Since sunshine is free, the operating cost is $0. If you have any outdoor buildings such as sheds, workshops or garages, chances are the roof receives quite a bit of sunlight each day. If so, solar lighting solutions are perfect for these areas.

“We know starting energy saving habits and choosing efficient options can often be overwhelming, but we would love to help guide you in the right direction,” said Minor.

Many of these outdoor lighting improvements can be installed on your own. Check out Irrigation and Lighting Specialist’s do it yourself lighting kits. We provide 30 minutes of initial instruction and are available at an hourly rate if additional assistance is needed.

To learn more about eco-friendly lawn irrigation and outdoor lighting options, don’t hesitate to contact Irrigation & Lighting Specialist by e-mailing John or calling 704-747-0235.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

5 Best Outdoor Lighting Fixtures for 2014

2014 is a light year. No, not a space light year, but an outdoor light year. "Across all categories, 98.3 percent of respondents rated lighting as somewhat or very in-demand for 2014,” said John Minor, owner of Irrigation & Lighting Specialist. Minor continues, “followed by seating/dining areas (97.7 percent), fire pits/fireplaces (95.4 percent), grills (94.3 percent) and installed seating (89.6 percent), which include benches, seatwalls, ledges, steps and boulders."

"There are so many outdoor light fixture options in the marketplace, it can be hard to know where to begin," said Minor. Let us help you get started with some ideas. We have identified 5 of our favorite fixtures for the upcoming year.

Neptune Wet Location Wall Light

Outdoor lighting concepts for 2014 from Irrigation and Lighting Specialist in Charlotte, NC.Achieve a more modern look this summer. This contemporary wall fixture will update any outdoor area for 2014 and beyond. Designed for wet environments, this wall mounted light is built to last against anything mother nature has in store. Its rugged durability and streamlined design are perfect for waterfront properties, in-ground swimming pool areas, and patios. [13" Height]

Manufactured By: 
Access Lighting 

Hinkley Lighting Casa Post Outdoor Lantern 

2014 best outdoor lighting fixtures from Irrigation & Lighting Specialist, Charlotte, NC

The curved accents crowning this piece add the right touch of understated elegance. The “olde black” finish in combination with the light amber etched glass are versatile enough to match any outdoor theme. Adding this Hinkley outdoor lantern will provide a perfect nighttime accent to any entrance, path, walkway or patio.

Manufactured By: 
Hinkley Lighting

Ball Rechargeable Light, Pearl with Remote 

Best outdoor light fixtures for 2014 from Irrigation & Leghting Specialist in Charlotte, NC

Give your patio or deck tabletop a memorable look. Enjoy your summer conversations with family and friends even more with this truly unique piece. [10" Diameter]

This waterproof, durable, LED powered light can illuminate your night with traditional white light or your choice of four different colors. 

Manufactured By: 
Smart & Green 

Wikoda Sunflower Helostat

Best landscape lighting of 2014 from Irrigation & Lighting Specialist in Charlotte, NC

Not all outdoor lighting has to be used at night. The Sunflower Helostat
actually tracks the sun throughout the day and redirects it to any area you wish. This is perfect for areas that do not receive much natural light. The sunlight refraction system will go a long way in improving your landscaping efforts in those tricky spots.

Manufactured By:
Wikoda Inc.

High Motion Sensor Outdoor Light

2014 best outdoor lighting trends from Irrigation & Lighting Specialist Charlotte, NC
Combine security with great looks. This outdoor fixture remains lit from dusk until dawn and automatically turns off during daylight hours. The attractive design makes for a great aesthetic addition to any garage or patio with the added security of a two level lighting feature that automatically brightens when motion is detected.

Manufactured By:
Point Grove 

"Any of these lighting fixtures can greatly improve the look and functionality of your outdoor space," Minor said. Let us take care of it for you. We professionally install and maintain these outdoor lighting systems. To learn more or schedule a consultation, please email John or call 704-747-0235.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Don't Be An April Fool: Time For Irrigation Repair

April officially kicks off the spring and summer seasons. With the cold weather behind us, we can finally welcome the sunshine and short sleeves. It also means it is time to get out the lawn mower and start your irrigation system for the first time this year. 

When you turn on your irrigation for the first time, you may discover the system was damaged or is performing improperly since the last time you ran it. These issues can occur from a variety of issues but are usually due to improper winter shut-downs. Regardless of the cause, now is the time to address these issues with an irrigation repair service. 

"Failing to address problems in your irrigation system will only harm you in the long-run," said John Minor, owner of Irrigation and Lighting Specialist. "Putting it off only causes issues when your irrigation system is working during the dog days of summer." 

Common April Adjustments and Irrigation Repairs  

Below are just a few of the irrigation repairs  and adjustments we perform during this time of the year:
  • Broken Equipment - Broken equipment is one of the leading causes of water leakage. If you've noticed leaking water, resulting in runoffs and puddles, you could have a broken sprinkler head, valve or lateral and main line. This type of damage is common after a freezing winter - like the one we just had. 
  • Sunken or Tilted Heads - Sprinkler heads tilt and settle over time due to natural compaction of soil, lawn maintenance and foot traffic. This causes uneven distribution of water resulting in brown spots, runoffs and misting. Attaching a swing joint to the sprinkler head is a great way to fix the issue and prevent it from reoccurring.  
  • Blocked Heads - Water is prevented from going where it needs to go when the spray pattern from a sprinkler head. Blockage is can occur from overgrowth, changes in the landscape or inappropriate placement of sprinkler heads. You may need to relocate your sprinkler head or trim back vegetation. 
  • Lack of Check Valves - If your system is not equipped with check valves, water may drain out of sprinkler heads that are located at lower elevations after they've been cut off. Check values lock water in the lateral line and reduce runoffs and result in quicker start-up times. 
  • Clogged Nozzles - Debris can stick in your nozzles and filters and can cause them to clog. Sand, dirt, roots and plastic are the most common causes of clogs and can create an uneven distribution of water. This creates brown spots. Cleaning or replacing filters can resolve the issue. 
"What seems like a small problem in April can quickly become a bigger problem in May and June. It is best to quickly address these issues with the assistance of a certified irrigation professional. This ensures the repairs are done correctly and your irrigation system is ready to go to work when the real heat moves in," said Minor.

To learn more about our irrigation repair service, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact John with Irrigation and Lighting Specialist at 704-747-0235 or email John. We look forward to helping you address your repairs now so you have enjoy a healthy and beautiful lawn all summer long!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Charlotte Irrigation: Watering Your Garden

Spring has sprung and it won't be long before everyone is outside trying to get their garden in shape. If you are like most homeowners, reviewing the best gardening practices can go along way, especially when it comes to watering. In this week's blog post, our Charlotte irrigation specialists share some basic tips on watering your garden. 

Charlotte Irrigation Watering Basics

How much is too much water, and how much is too little? While water is essential for any plant, having too much or too little water can be harmful. One of the biggest things to consider is soil type. For instance, clay soil holds water best but takes a longer time to absorb it. Sandy soils absorb water quickly, but don't do a good job storing the water. Your soil should contain enough organic material to retain moisture and still allow enough room for air to reach the roots of your plants.

Here are some other factors you should consider when determining the amount of water your plants need: 
  • Sunlight - Growing areas that are exposed to direct sunlight need more water because of evaporation, and growing areas in the shade tend to store more water throughout the day. 
  • Humidity - It gets humid in the south, and that means it is harder for our plants to hold moisture. Days with higher humidity require more watering. 
  • Plant Type - Different plants have different needs. Root depths vary greatly, so try to take note of how deep the roots are for your different plants. Group plants with deeper roots together. They need more water.

Watering Techniques: Hand-Watering vs Sprinklers 

Watering with a hose or watering can are simple techniques and are common when you have a small garden area to water. The biggest drawback, however, is that people get impatient and often water less than their plants need. They also tend to waste water. 

Sprinklers do the best watering job, especially if you have densely planted vegetables or a large gardening area. Perfect for lawns and home gardens, a sprinkler system is the easiest and most effective watering method. 

To learn more about Charlotte irrigation services or to schedule your spring startup service, contact John Minor with Irrigation and Lighting Specialist at 877-433-5833 or email John. We look forward to helping you produce a beautiful and healthy lawn and garden this year!