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Gemstone Lights vs DIYing Your Outdoor Lights

Have you ever watched a YouTube video and thought, “I could do that,” only to find yourself two days and a dozen missteps into a project with no end in sight? We’ve all been there, and while we love taking on a DIY project, we also know that sometimes it’s worth saving our sanity (and the structural integrity of our homes) and outsourcing to the professionals.

But how do you know when to go pro and when to DIY? We’ve put together this guide to Gemstone Lights vs DIYing your outdoor lights to help you decide.

Boise-Gemstone Lights Permanent Christmas Lights

Gemstone Lights vs DIY at a Glance

  • DIY lighting may require less of an upfront investment, whereas Gemstone Lights can save you money in the long run
  • DIY lighting will take time to install, whereas Gemstone Lights can be installed by professionals in as little as one day
  • Gemstone Lights are durable and made to withstand all weather for decades to come, whereas some DIY lighting might not be weatherproof
  • Gemstone Lights come with a five-year warranty, whereas DIY lighting does not
  • Gemstone Lights can be controlled using an app or integrated into your smart home system, whereas DIY lighting is only as simple or smart as your technical proficiency allows

Gemstone Lights

Gemstone Lights are professionally installed, premium-grade permanent outdoor lights. They’re specifically manufactured to last for decades, will seamlessly incorporate into your home’s design, and can be fully customized to suit your needs.

Gemstone Lights’ permanent commercial or residential track lights are installed in a durable, low-profile track along the soffit and fascia of your building.

The lights are perfectly spaced to mimic the look of traditional string lights, but they’re much more durable and can be controlled via our mobile HUB app, which allows you to select from millions of color options and countless patterns and motion animations.

Our smart LED flood lights can also be controlled via the app and provide washes of illumination to highlight your landscaping, architecture, and pathways. Meanwhile, our Opal Bulb is a smart light bulb that easily screws into any socket, allowing you to coordinate your porch light or interior lighting with your track and flood lights.

Why Choose Gemstone Lights?

If you’re in search of an outdoor lighting solution that’s high-quality, easy to use, and even easier to install, we think Gemstone Lights make sense over attempting to DIY something similar. Below are a few reasons why.

Gemstone Lights red, green and white lights pattern

  • Custom Design: Our authorized dealers will work with you to customize your lights to fit your home and your needs. We can custom fit the track for your track lighting and color match it to your home so that you’ll only notice your lights when you want to. Once your lights are installed, you can fully customize the way they look by changing their settings via the HUB app—no matter where you are in the world.
  • Durability: Our lights were developed in Calgary, which means they’re built to withstand even the harshest winter storm. They’re also UV-rated and can last for decades with regular use. In the rare event that you do encounter a problem, our five-year bumper-to-bumper warranty has got you covered.
  • Smart Technology: Not only will you be able to control your lights with the HUB app, but you’ll also be able to integrate them into your existing Google Home or Alexa smart home system. That means no more unplugging extension cords just to turn off your lights! All you have to do is tap a few buttons on your phone or speak a command to adjust the brightness of your lights, change their color, turn them on and off, set them in motion, and more.
  • Professional Installation: Gemstone Lights will be professionally installed by one of our authorized dealers. They’ll make sure that everything is safe, functions properly, and looks its best—and for most homes, they’ll do it all in just one day. That means that rather than teetering on a ladder, bundling cables, and trying to figure out where those leftover parts were supposed to go, you can spend your time doing more important things. Whether that’s spending time with family, binge-watching a new show, catching up on chores, or taking a much-needed nap is up to you!

Pros and Cons of Gemstone Lights

Pros

  • Gemstone Lights are weatherproof, durable, and will last for decades
  • They come with a five-year bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • You can control them from your phone or smart home device
  • You can customize them with millions of color options (including bright and warm white), motion animation, timers, and sunrise/sunset settings
  • They blend in seamlessly with your home—you won’t notice them unless you want to
  • One of our authorized dealers will install them for you

Cons

  • You can not install Gemstone Lights yourself (though we would argue that this isn’t really a bad thing, as our authorized dealers will take care of everything for you)
  • They require more of an upfront investment than some DIY solutions

DIY Lighting Solutions

If you want to DIY your outdoor lights, there are several options available to you. We recommend choosing the best one based on your needs and your skill level.

String Lights

multi colored string lights hung on a fence

String lights are an excellent way to create ambiance or decorate for holidays. To install them yourself, you’ll want to attach them to your home with hooks, nails, or zip ties. Make sure you leave enough length to plug the lights into an outlet.

They’re not the most durable in inclement weather and will have to be put up and taken down each year if you want to use them for holiday decorating, but they come in a wide variety of styles and are easy to source online or from big box stores.

If you’re looking for a more durable, permanent solution to string lights, check out our permanent LED track lights.

Path Lights

Path lights are exactly what they sound like: lights used to illuminate pathways around your property. You can hard-wire your path lights (we recommend digging trenches and burying your wires so that you don’t accidentally catch them while tending your lawn or garden), or you can use wireless solar lights.

Solar path lights are the easiest to install—many of them come on stakes that you simply drive into the ground alongside your path, but they don’t produce as much light as wired lights, and they tend to wear out quickly.

Spot and Flood Lights

Spot and flood lights are primarily used for security or to highlight landscape or architectural features. If you’re using them for security, you’re going to want them to be hard-wired into your electrical system. Wireless options either won’t be bright enough, or you’ll be changing out batteries or recharging them every week.

If you do choose to DIY your spot and flood lights, make sure that they’re aimed in the right direction and focused properly—you want to illuminate areas on your property without accidentally blinding your neighbors.

Wall-Mounted Lights

Wall-mounted lights, such as sconces and lanterns, can be hard-wired into your home’s electrical system to illuminate porches, patios, and doorways. If you want to install wall-mounted lights yourself, it’s helpful to have an understanding of basic electrical work.

Make sure you take all of the necessary safety precautions into consideration before attempting to DIY a project like this.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy DIY solution to wall-mounted lighting, you can simulate the look of hard-wired lights by mounting a battery or solar-powered light to your wall or hanging it on a hook.

Unfortunately, these aren’t particularly bright or durable, and you’ll have to switch out batteries frequently and, in some cases, have to take the light down every time you want to turn it on or off.

Landscape Lighting

Year round outdoor lights in Backyard of Dallas Home by Gemstone Lights

Landscape lighting can be used to highlight the landscaping around your property. Some of the most common types of landscape lighting include up lighting, down lighting, and accent lighting. If you plan to DIY your landscape lighting, we recommend ensuring that your lights are rated for outdoor use and are weather-resistant.

You’ll also want to bury any wires so that you don’t accidentally catch them while mowing your lawn or tending your garden. If you prefer not to DIY your landscape lighting, check out our smart LED flood lights, which can be integrated into your existing smart home system and controlled via our mobile HUB app.

Motion Sensor Lights

Motion sensor lights are often used to boost security around your property. They can be wall-mounted lights or stand-alone flood lights. If you want to DIY your motion sensor lights, you’ll either need to hard-wire them into your electrical system or keep them plugged into an outlet.

The biggest thing to keep in mind when DIYing motion sensor lights is that you’ll want to aim the sensor at any pathways or doorways that you want to cover, but you’ll also want to avoid areas where animals or passers-by might trigger false alarms. You may need to play with the sensitivity and duration of your lights a bit before you get it right.

Pros and Cons of DIYing Your Outdoor Lights

Pros

  • DIY solutions can be very affordable
  • If you enjoy DIY projects, you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you installed your lights yourself
  • You can experiment with your lights, undoing and redoing them as many times as you want
  • You might develop new skills while learning how to DIY your lights

Cons

  • DIY outdoor lights aren’t as durable as premium options like Gemstone Lights products
  • If you aren’t a licensed electrician, you run the risk of not installing DIY lights properly and, even worse, causing hazards or injury
  • Most DIY options are not as bright as Gemstone Lights and don’t offer the same dimmability and color options
  • DIYing your lights will most likely take significantly longer than outsourcing to a team of professionals
  • Unless you also happen to be a professional, there’s a greater chance you’ll make more mistakes than someone who professionally installs outdoor lights for a living
  • If you’re not a professional, you may have difficulty identifying and troubleshooting issues as they come up

Things to Consider When Choosing Between Gemstone Lights and DIY

When deciding between Gemstone Lights and DIYing your outdoor lights, we recommend you consider the following.

Features

Gemstone Lights LED Christmas Lights

What features are most important to you in your outdoor lights? If you love decorating for the holidays, Gemstone Lights’ smart features, app control, motion animation, and millions of customizable color options will make switching between seasons easy.

If you really just need a light to switch on when you take out the trash at night, you might not need outdoor lighting with a lot of bells and whistles.

Design Considerations

Think about what you want your lighting to look like—not just when it’s on, but when it’s off as well. Do you care if your string lights and their hooks are visible in the daytime, or would you prefer a product like Gemstone Lights’ permanent track lights, which are customized to blend in with your building’s architecture and exterior colors so that you won’t notice them when they’re not on?

Do you want your lighting to highlight certain landscape features, accent your architecture, or create fun and festive displays? Different design ideas will warrant different types of lighting, which may dictate whether you choose to DIY or go with Gemstone Lights.

Installation and Technical Proficiency

If you’re debating between DIYing your outdoor lights vs. having professional lights installed, a huge thing to take into consideration is your own skill set. If you’ve done some basic electrical work before and are comfortable with wiring, fixture mounting, weatherproofing, and basic design, you’ll probably be comfortable DIYing some basic outdoor lighting.

You’ll also need some technical proficiency if you want to integrate your lights with your smart home system. If you’re not comfortable with these things (or if you’re someone who struggles to set the clock on your microwave), you might want to save yourself the stress and leave your lighting installation up to the professionals.

Safety

If safety is your primary concern, you’re going to want lights that are bright enough to illuminate dark spaces and provide you with a sense of security.

Whether your focus is on deterring intruders or preventing people from stumbling in the dark, DIY incandescents, and especially solar lights, aren’t going to be bright enough for your needs.

Check out our guide to the best permanent lights for outdoor security to learn more.

Energy Efficiency

If energy efficiency is important to you, you’re going to want to go with LED lights, whether you choose Gemstone Lights or lights from a big box store. LED lights are much more energy-efficient than incandescent or halogen lights.

Not only are they more eco-friendly, but they can also save you money on your electricity bill. If you really want to go for the most eco-friendly option, Gemstone Lights is the way to go since our products are built to last, not end up in a landfill after only a few years.

Durability

How long do you want your outdoor lighting to last? Are you ok with something that will only last a season or two, or would you prefer to invest in permanent outdoor lighting that will last for decades? Also, take into consideration the weather and climate in your area.

If you live in a particularly windy coastal city or a town that experiences harsh winters or extremely hot and sunny summers, it may be worth it to invest in a more durable, premium product that is built to withstand those conditions.

Budget

For many people, budget will be one of the most important factors in determining whether they choose to try to DIY their lights or go with a professional, permanent solution like Gemstone Lights.

When determining your lighting budget, we recommend looking not just at the upfront cost of different options but the long-term cost of running, maintaining, and, in some cases, replacing your lights as well. While Gemstone Lights may require more of an initial investment than a strand of twinkle lights and a box of nails from a big box store, our permanent track lights can save you money on your energy bill in the long run.

You also won’t have to worry about replacing them every year or two (or after every strong storm).

Warranty

A huge thing to consider when choosing your outdoor lights is whether or not they come with a warranty. Most of the lights you’ll buy in big box stores won’t come with any sort of guarantee.

Some of the more specialized or premium lights might come with a product warranty, but you’ll have to be sure you won’t do anything to unintentionally void this when installing the lights yourself—we definitely recommend reading the fine print here.

All Gemstone Lights products come with a five-year bumper-to-bumper warranty on all parts and components. That means that even in the unlikely situation that you need a bulb replaced within the first five years, it will be covered. In addition, many of our authorized dealers offer comprehensive warranties on all of their labor.

FAQs

Question: Is there a DIY version of Gemstone Lights available?

Answer: No, we don’t offer DIY Gemstone Lights kits. We have a large network of authorized dealers throughout North America who would be happy to safely and professionally install your lights. You can find a list of your local Gemstone Lights dealers HERE.

Question: How long do Gemstone Lights last?

Answer: Gemstone Lights have a life expectancy of over 50,000 hours. With regular use, they will last for decades.

Question: How long does it take to install Gemstone Lights?

Answer: The length of time it takes to install your lights will depend on the size of your project, but on most homes, Gemstone Lights can be installed in just one day.

Making the Right Decision for Your Needs

Ultimately, the decision of whether to DIY your outdoor lights or have Gemstone Lights professionally installed will come down to your individual needs.

If you’re looking for a quick solution that doesn’t need to last, hanging some simple string lights or plunking some solar path lights into your garden is a low-risk option. We can’t, in good faith, recommend that you take on a larger DIY project unless you’re sure you can complete it safely.

And if you’re looking for an outdoor lighting solution that’s built to last and completely customizable, we’ve got to go with Gemstone Lights on this one. Contact your local authorized dealer to request a free quote today!

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