Diamond Certified Company Report

The Lighting Geek

Diamond Certified Company Report

The Lighting Geek

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 100 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Erin K.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

1 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend their services.

I like the product and the overall professionalism that I received.

Lionel H.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

2 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say to use them.

I liked that they were professional, prompt, and honest.

Jocelyn M.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

3 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were reliable and very knowledgeable.

They were easy to work with.

Read All 100 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Tommy Herren, Owner

The Lighting Geek provides a wide range of outdoor lighting services for residential and commercial clients throughout Contra Costa County. The company primarily focuses on landscape and architectural illumination like pool, fountain, and water feature lighting, and its weather-resistant fixtures are manufactured to each customer’s exact specifications and often incorporate energy-efficient light sources like low-wattage LEDs.

Owner Tommy Herren is a veteran of the lighting industry who equates his profession to an art form. “I consider myself an artist first and a contractor second,” he explains. “Since I come at lighting work from an artist’s perspective, I’m able to bring unique characteristics to everything I design. In particular, I pride myself on creating lighting that’s subtle and organic-looking.”

The Lighting Geek provides lifetime warranties on most lighting system installations, and it promptly responds to clients whenever they have questions or problems. “If a customer has an issue with their lighting system, we’ll immediately return, find out what the issue is and correct it,” confirms Mr. Herren.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON The Lighting Geek

COMPANY CONTACT
Locations

Contra Costa County

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SERVICES PERFORMED

Landscape Lighting
Pool, Fountain & Water Feature Lighting
Outdoor Sound System
Outdoor Automation

BRANDS Supported
  • Kichler

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON The Lighting Geek

A recent outdoor lighting project by The Lighting Geek

Company Profile

The Lighting Geek provides a wide range of outdoor lighting services for residential and commercial clients throughout Contra Costa County. The company primarily focuses on landscape and architectural illumination like pool, fountain, and water feature lighting, and its weather-resistant fixtures are manufactured to each customer’s exact specifications and often incorporate energy-efficient light sources like low-wattage LEDs.

Owner Tommy Herren is a veteran of the lighting industry who equates his profession to an art form. “I consider myself an artist first and a contractor second,” he explains. “Since I come at lighting work from an artist’s perspective, I’m able to bring unique characteristics to everything I design. In particular, I pride myself on creating lighting that’s subtle and organic-looking.”

The Lighting Geek provides lifetime warranties on most lighting system installations, and it promptly responds to clients whenever they have questions or problems. “If a customer has an issue with their lighting system, we’ll immediately return, find out what the issue is and correct it,” confirms Mr. Herren.

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Company Philosophy

"We partner with our clients and guide them through every step of the lighting process, from the initial meeting to the final reveal. By taking the time to properly assess each customer's situation, we're able to come up with the best solution for their needs. We follow up our expert design and installation work with exceptional customer service."

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Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for landscape lighting contractors that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. The Lighting Geek believes the best way to achieve customer satisfaction is to offer superior value to every client, regardless of the extent of their project. “It starts by taking the time to learn what the client wants to accomplish,” says owner Thomas Herren. “Once we know that, we perform the installation using quality materials that exceed industry standards and back everything with a lifetime parts and labor warranty. This type of detailed approach allows us to come up with the best solutions for our clients’ needs, which they really appreciate.”

The Lighting Geek has been providing outdoor lighting services for residential and commercial clients throughout Contra Costa County since 1996. The company’s primary focus is designing and installing landscape and architectural lighting systems that meet each client’s exact specifications and often incorporate energy-efficient light sources like low-wattage LEDs.

Unlike less experienced landscape lighting contractors that use generic lights that aren’t made with long-lasting materials, Landscape Werks only installs high-quality lights that come with a 15-year manufacturer’s warranty. “The fixtures we use have better components and more consistent colors, which isn’t the case with cheaper fixtures that come from big box stores,” says Mr. Herren. “We also install lighting systems that come with remote controls and are compatible with Wi-Fi and Z-Wave, which give the users an even greater value.”

Another distinguishing attribute of The Lighting Geek is its highly experienced staff, all of whom apply their extensive knowledge of both landscaping and lighting to every project. “In order to do a good job with landscape lighting, you really have to know both sides of the business, and that’s where we excel,” says Mr. Herren. “We understand how different types of light affect different plants and trees, so we’re able to make our clients’ landscapes look great year-round. Our ultimate goal is to provide a positive long-term outcome for every customer.”

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Industry Info

If you’re thinking about installing landscape lighting, make sure you’re aware of industry advancements that increase efficiency and reduce upkeep. Modern landscape lighting means more than just a few solar lights jammed into the grass along your driveway or sidewalk. Today, landscape lighting contractors specialize in custom-designed lighting that highlights featured areas, creates different moods and increases the value of homes.

According to Thomas Herren, owner of Landscape Werks Inc in Gold River, homeowners who long for year-long curb appeal can expect to invest at least 1 percent of their homes’ value in outdoor lighting. “The cost should be relative to your home,” he affirms. “A good lighting system will enhance your yard and make it usable at night, which adds a lot of long-term value to your property.”

More lumens mean less consumption.
Bay Area homeowners like taking advantage of temperate climates by using their yards as centers of outdoor living. Good outdoor lighting makes this possible and enhances the beauty and usability of the space. And with the new technology available on the market, you can expect to get more and pay less than in years past.

“Light that comes out of fixtures is measured in lumens, and today’s products get more lumens per watt than ever before,” explains Mr. Herren. “Earlier fixtures weren’t nearly as bright or efficient as new ones. Now, we’re looking at fixtures that use half the watts to get the same amount of light. Output is up and consumption is down.”

Better systems equal less work.
Efficiency isn’t the only benefit that modern fixtures offer. Remote controls, Wi-Fi enabled systems, interactive and easy-to-set timers, and modern DC transformers that replace outdated AC transformers make these new systems practically foolproof and self-regulated. “The newest systems incorporate technology that makes sensors unnecessary,” says Mr. Herren. “They know exactly when the sun sets and when daylight savings time begins, so they adjust themselves to the current conditions.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much will it cost to complete my landscape lighting project?

A: It depends on the extent of the project, but a good way to start is to figure the base amount at 1 percent of the value of your home. Overall, landscaping usually amounts to 10 percent of a home’s value, so it’s important to have adequate lighting that shows it off. Before any work begins, we’ll give you a written estimate that includes all the lighting and installation costs.

Q: How do you provide your estimates?

A: We’ll give you three things: a handwritten design that covers what we’re going to do, a digital copy of our proposal, and copies of our insurance and license information.

Q: Who picks the light fixtures that will be used on my project?

A: That’s our job. Once we know how you’re going to use the space, we’ll pick the appropriate fixtures for each application and make sure they meet your aesthetic and functional needs.

Q: What makes your products a better value?

A: We install high-quality lighting systems that come with remote controls and are compatible with Wi-Fi and Z-Wave, so our clients have a lot of options when it comes to control. We also use the best connections on the market—they’re completely waterproof, so they work well in any situation. Our fixtures come with a 15-year manufacturer’s warranty, and we have enough confidence to back them with our own lifetime warranty.

Q: How does your experience as a landscape contractor make you better at landscape lighting?

A: You really have to understand both sides of the business to do a good job with landscape lighting. We can name the plants we’re lighting and we know what they look like during different seasons, so we’re able to make them look great year-round. Also, since we understand how certain plants grow, we can make adjustments during the growing season that pay off during the winter.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM The Lighting Geek

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Tommy Herren

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Tommy Herren is a landscape lighting specialist and owner of The Lighting Geek, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 350-6437 or by email.

Tommy Herren: A Lighting Artist

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

GOLD RIVER — Tommy Herren had been working in the landscaping industry for some time before the lights came on—both literally and figuratively. “I was working as a general superintendent for a landscaping company and my boss asked me to give a demo of some exterior lighting products,” he recounts. “Prior to that, I hadn’t done any landscape lighting, but when I saw the effect it could have, it opened my eyes to the artistic possibilities. I mean, you’re basically painting with light, with the night sky as your canvas.”

Today, as owner of The Lighting Geek, Tommy says he enjoys “enlightening” others about the art of his trade. “I like training my employees and getting them excited about what we do. The same goes for my clients—they see us working all day in their yards with no idea of what the final product is going to look like, so it’s fun to see their reactions when we turn on the switch. If we don’t get an, ‘Oh, my God!’ there’s something wrong.”

Outside of work, Tommy spends the bulk of his time engaged in artistic pursuits, usually alongside his wife, Coco. “My wife and I are both art enthusiasts, and we enjoy things like photography and glassblowing,” he affirms. “I also do sculpture work and am in the process of writing a book. When I tell people all the activities I’m involved in, they usually don’t believe me!” Tommy and Coco also like scuba diving, indulging in local food and wine, and keeping up with their children and grandchildren, who are spread out from Sacramento to the East Coast.

In regard to his professional career, Tommy says a landscape lighting professional should have not only an artistic eye, but knowledge of landscape design as well. “Frankly, if you can’t name the plants in a landscape, you probably shouldn’t be lighting it. Having a familiarity with plants and trees allows a lighting contractor to look at things from a distinct perspective, which can mean the difference between a mediocre job and a masterful one.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Tommy says he’d take his passion for art to a new level. “I’d definitely invest more energy into my artistic pursuits. Coco and I have a dream of opening an art studio big enough to share with other artists, particularly those who can’t afford spaces of their own. I think it would be very rewarding to help talented people who lack the monetary means to get their work out there.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Wine. I have about 500 bottles at the house!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Bridges Restaurant and Bar in Danville.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Read a book by the fire.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: France—not just because of the great wine and food, but the history and architecture as well.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Hummus and tortilla chips.

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Expert articles
  • How to Choose a Porch Light

    GOLD RIVER — When choosing a light fixture for your front porch, it’s easy to become preoccupied with its aesthetic design, but a more important consideration is how it functions. After all, a porch light may look nice in the daytime, but if it doesn’t emit light in a pleasing way, it won’t look nice at night, which more or less defeats the purpose of having one.

    Often, a light fixture’s aesthetic design directly corresponds to the way it emits light. For example, a common exterior lighting choice is the classic carriage light, a relic from the Victorian era that was originally designed to house gas-powered lamps. However, despite their 19th century charm, the problem with carriage lights is they don’t conceal their light source, which allows light from the bulb to hit you directly in the eyes. In a dark environment, this creates an intense glare that can inhibit visibility.

    To avoid this, choose an exterior light fixture that conceals its light source, such as a wall sconce that emits light out of the top and/or bottom. This will provide adequate illumination without the discomfort and visual impairment caused by glare.

    Read moreRead less
  • Two Criteria for Choosing a Lightbulb

    GOLD RIVER – There are several details to consider when choosing a lightbulb, including size, style and wattage. When it comes to aesthetics, however, two often-overlooked aspects are color and quality of light.

    Color
    Few people realize that even white lightbulbs can vary in color—or, more accurately, color temperature. A bulb’s color temperature is measured using the Kelvin scale and denoted by a number rating and the letter K. For example, an Edison bulb (the most common bulb sold in bulk at hardware stores) has a color temperature rating of 2700K, which provides a reasonably warm light. However, if you want a more pleasing effect, choose a Halogen bulb, which is rated at 3000K.

    Quality of light
    A bulb’s quality of light means its accuracy in rendering color. This is measured by the Color Rendering Index (CRI), a scale that runs from zero to 100, with 100 representing optimum quality. A bulb’s CRI rating can be found on the back of the box, right next to its Kelvin rating. Most high-quality light bulbs have a CRI rating of 85-95, whereas low-grade bulbs sold in bulk are typically rated at 70 CRI or lower.

    All in all, to get warm, high-quality light inside your home, your best bet is to purchase individually boxed Halogen 3000K/85-95 CRI bulbs.

    Read moreRead less
Expert video tip
  • Video: Selecting a Wall Sconce

    Complete Video Transcription:

    GOLD RIVER — Host, Sarah Rutan: When selecting a new wall sconce for your home exterior, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider. Today we’re in Gold River with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Tommy Herren of The Lighting Geek to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Tommy Herren: One of the most common questions I get is, “I want to buy a new wall sconce for outside my front door, and I’m not sure which one to get.” So, I’m going to give you a couple of hints.

    Number one, here is a typical carriage light that we all know about, and you can see the light-bulb. These fixtures were originally designed to have gas in them. And then Edison came about and came up with a light-bulb and we put a light-bulb in them. But the problem with that is, when you look at this in a dark environment, it makes your eyes get a daytime adjustment, and it’s really difficult to see with all the glare.

    So, the secret to a good fixture is to get something that doesn’t show you the source of the light. The light is coming out of the top and out of the bottom – that the source of the light is not hitting you in the face. So, try to find something that is pointing up and pointing down, and stay away from something that you can see the light-bulb for.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

    Read moreRead less
  • Video: Selecting a Wall Sconce

    Complete Video Transcription:

    GOLD RIVER — Host, Sarah Rutan: When selecting a new wall sconce for your home exterior, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider. Today we’re in Gold River with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Tommy Herren of The Lighting Geek to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Tommy Herren: One of the most common questions I get is, “I want to buy a new wall sconce for outside my front door, and I’m not sure which one to get.” So, I’m going to give you a couple of hints.

    Number one, here is a typical carriage light that we all know about, and you can see the light-bulb. These fixtures were originally designed to have gas in them. And then Edison came about and came up with a light-bulb and we put a light-bulb in them. But the problem with that is, when you look at this in a dark environment, it makes your eyes get a daytime adjustment, and it’s really difficult to see with all the glare.

    So, the secret to a good fixture is to get something that doesn’t show you the source of the light. The light is coming out of the top and out of the bottom – that the source of the light is not hitting you in the face. So, try to find something that is pointing up and pointing down, and stay away from something that you can see the light-bulb for.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

    Read moreRead less
The Lighting Geek WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
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Diamond Certified RATINGS ON The Lighting Geek
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 100 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
The Lighting Geek : Average 9.1 out of 10 based on 100 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Erin K.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

1 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend their services.

I like the product and the overall professionalism that I received.

Jocelyn M.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

2 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were reliable and very knowledgeable.

They were easy to work with.

Lionel H.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

3 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say to use them.

I liked that they were professional, prompt, and honest.

Bob A.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

4 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty No
CRITIQUE

I would tell a friend to go to Home Depot and get the same type of equipment for one tenth of the price.

I guess their knowledge was good.

Emily H.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

5 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have a good quality product, and we're happy.

Accommodating, friendly, and their follow-through was great.

Al H.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

6 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They made the lighting more appealing.

The owner was pretty straightforward about the quality they could offer compared to other places. He explained in detail what they would do, and they delivered.

Bridget G.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

7 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Top-notch design and really intelligent approach

I loved that they took the time to help us. They're very responsive. They looked at the yard, talked to us about it, and they explained everything to us. We ended up with a beautiful, artistic design.

Mr. A.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

8 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Good service and quality product

They were efficient, and it was well done.

Chuck W.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

9 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The quality is very good, and they would be happy.

His expertise. He really knows what he's doing.

Connie W.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

10 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were expensive, but they were worth it.

They got in, got the job done, and it was done right.

Jayden S.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

11 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend them.

They did the job right the first time.

Craig S.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

12 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're pricey but worth the price.

The end result

Craig T.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

13 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They get there on time, and they do everything they say they're going to do.

The quality of the work.

Cindy B.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

14 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I like that he works within your budget, and he helps you set goals for what your backyard will look like.

He has a very innovative approach to lighting and some very creative ideas.

Dave Z.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

15 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're great. I have told other people about them.

They're very professional. They do everything the way it should be done.

David R.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

16 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think they're the best. I would always use them.

Their customer service and the quality of materials and labor

Deena B.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

17 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I have actually told a lot of people about them. They do quality work, and the lighting design is like having an artist do it for you. I have a very long driveway, and I like the way they lit it up perfectly.

The thoughtfulness applied with the placement of the lights and the quality of the product, they did such a great job.

Dennis K.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

18 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very professional. They use high quality products. Great service, and the job itself is high quality.

Their vision

Ed C.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

19 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He was very professional and used quality products.

Professional and quality

Frances K.

VERIFIED The Lighting Geek CUSTOMER

20 of 100

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

You just can't imagine how great it would be. It's just amazing. They are so nice to work with. They climbed right into the huge oak trees I have and put the lights in.

The ambiance is amazing. When there's no lighting at night, you feel unsafe. The property looks much friendlier now.

Read All 100 Survey Responses at Ratings View