March 18, 2013

Landscape lighting nightmare!

I have spent the last week working on my bobbin lace and calming down. After cleaning the yard like a madwoman, while the weather was warm, getting ready for the inviting glow of landscape lighting I hit a wall.  I was ready for a Monday install, the yard was ready, I had installed the lighting in my mind down to the last bit of mulch covering the wires, even had all my tools laid out to start. UPS tracking said the light package had been in the UPS place for two days and on Monday morning the warm and fuzzy words, "Out for delivery" glowed from my computer screen. Alas, my lights must have been the last item on the route because they did not arrive until 6:30 p.m. I did get a lot of puttering done that day, even folded all my laundry and put it away, all while listening for the rumble of the beloved UPS truck and the chime of my iPhone because I have now discovered UPS text alerts. I even had all my dinner cut up and ready to fly into the pan at 5:00 when I began to lose hope. So at 6:30 I was undeterred! I gulped down some dinner, gave my husband a small apology and added a flashlight to my tools. The lighting installation began! I read the directions through while gulping down food and put the lamps together on my screened porch where there is an overhead light on the ceiling fan. I ran an extension cord out the back door since I had to plug and unplug the thing after checking each light and didn't want to keep interrupting my husband's band practice.
Soon I had the first of two sets installed. The fixtures were bigger than I expected, but nothing was growing in the garden except the tiny tips of emerging tulips so I figured when the perennials all came in most of the lights would be partially covered so I was good. I started on the second set, all black from mulch and layering on another hoodie since the temperature had dropped. One light in, second light in and buzzzzzt! Power pack blew and the second string of lights went out. Argh! I knew they were calling for pouring rain all day on Tuesday so this was full standstill. Full standstill and OCD, well it's bad. Okay, sigh. I pack up my tools into the light box to wait until Tuesday and go in to warm up with a hot cup of tea. I'm looking out my high kitchen window admiring the first string of lights I have in and buzzzztttt! The lights go out. Hummm? I go back out and lo and behold the other power pack has fried. Nice. I refrain from the primal scream, I didn't want to terrify the band playing lovely music in my basement. I will refrain from the lengthy and horrid describing of all the electric testing involved.

So it is a week later and I have calmed down, removed all the lights and cleaned them up and shipped them back to the wonderful Amazon who refunds my money cheerfully. My yard is pitch dark again, my husband can't say anything except, "sorry" whenever I mention landscape lighting and I am recovering. If you were waiting for lovely pictures of glowing landscapes put your big girl panties on with me and let's move on.


  1. Panties on. Tea brewing. Waiting.....

    1. I broke down and put in some new solar lights... but what to do where the sun don't shine?