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April 2021 Contractor of the Month is: MJ Weremay Design, LLC

MJ Weremay Design, LLC has proudly been serving clients from New England to the Bahamas for over 25 years. Spend 15 minutes with Michael Weremay and it is hard to miss his passion for landscape lighting, an integral component of nearly every landscape design/build project he completes. Michael’s clientele are mostly in affluent neighborhoods around Ormond Beach, FL. Whether showcasing key architectural features of a structure or enhancing the natural beauty of landscapes, his goal is for his customers to have an emotional connection with their lighting results. He started his career as a landscape architect in the 1980s in New England, where he focused primarily on landscape design. When he moved to Florida, he expanded his business into a complete design/build firm that has grown to 10 employees and a dedicated design team. Michael attributes his success to taking exceptional care of both his customers and his employees. His business has grown in part to return customers that have purchased a new home, that want to buy a system for a family member and through referrals.

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Tell Us About Yourself & Your Company

I am a landscape architect and run a design/build landscape construction company, primarily for high end residential clients. During the mid-1980's, I was often asked to design and install low voltage landscape lighting. At that time, the landscape lighting industry was really just beginning, especially for low voltage systems. For years, I searched for a better product (more durable, weather resistant, easier to install, economical, etc.) and eventually found AMP Lighting. While I did learn lots on cumbersome, expensive incandescent LV systems, your product proved to be far more effective, less costly, easier to install and more. I was off the races and have excelled in the design and installation of lighting in my area, now the east coast of Central Florida.

The Interview

  • What percentage of your business is landscape lighting/what other services do you provide (ie: landscaping...)?

    Landscape lighting is a component of most of our projects and comprises about 20 % of our total business revenue. A typical project for us, and designed by me, includes all aspects of the constructed landscape. Typical projects are almost entirely renovation projects and include demolition, earthwork, irrigation, paver work, planting, carpentry, and especially lighting. I have managed to include lighting on nearly every project we do. In fact, finished lighting projects often is mentioned as the inspiration for a new client contacting me. Oftentimes, a client's desire for lighting leads to a need to upgrade and add to an existing landscape.

  • How long have you been installing landscape lighting?

    37 years, since 1984.

  • What type of lighting fixtures do you prefer to use? Which fixtures are your favorite?

    Generally, any of the AMP MR16 and PAR 36 fixtures are my favorites, and almost always at 2700 degrees Kelvin. Available lamp choices are very adequate to accomplish our intended effect. While we do use integrated fixtures, we have challenges here where we work that cause us to lean towards the lamped fixtures. Frequent lighting, power surges, herds of deer running through yards and careless lawn service people often damage fixtures. With lamped fixtures, we can easily and efficiently swap out lamps. Integrated fixtures require complete replacement, resulting in higher labor cost. We warrant everything we install from AMP and perform warranty work at no charge to the customer.

  • Why do you prefer AMP Lighting over other brands/companies?

    The fixtures are durable, weatherproof, adaptable to many situations, easy to install, and very cost effective. The fixtures are attractive, as well as the wide variety of choices accommodate every one of our needs. Ordering is easy, shipping is fast and free. The Quick Connect transformers are preferred by my employees for ease of installation, and our customers find that the system is intuitive and easy to operate. Competitor systems can be overly complex with no added value. Equally important is the "no questions asked" warranty policy. We provide the same "no questions asked" policy to all our clients. Our clients are amazed when we perform warranty work for free, and often cite it when recommending us to friends.

  • What tips or tricks have you learned that have benefited your work from a design/installation perspective?

    I tell my clients the front yard lighting is all about the home, highlighting the beautiful architecture of the home, and somewhat less about the landscape. The backyard lighting is all about the landscape, as viewed from inside the home or backyard patio. Clients often never consider the backyard. I advise them that when they are home, they usually only see the backyard. I nearly double the value of my lighting projects when I convince them of the value of backyard lighting. I demonstrate the low cost of operation, often suggesting that overnight lighting is very inexpensive security, especially when away for extended periods of time.

  • Where do you find inspiration for your lighting designs?

    Observing light in nature (effect of sunlight and moonlight), architecture, magazines, and revisiting my older projects.

  • What do you feel is the most personally rewarding part of installing a lighting system for a client?

    I am so pleased when a client calls us and tells us how lighting has dramatically changed their overall enjoyment of their home and property. Clients will often call me to say how excited they are, how proud they are, and how amazed they are, especially about backyard lighting, an element they often never considered.

  • Tell us a little bit about you personally: What do you like to do outside of work? What are your hobbies?

    I am a cellist. I enjoy playing Celtic Music with my violin and cellist friends. The cello offers me respite from the very hectic, fast paced business we are in.

AMP® Lighting appreciates the Professionals that make us who we are and why we strive, daily, to fulfill our vision statement. Our outstanding AMP® Pros deserve to be recognized for their exceptional landscape lighting work and to highlight some of our AMP® MVPs (most valuable professionals)!

Interested in being featured as an AMP® Contractor of the Month?

Contact Zach Evensen at: zache@amplighting.com

Become An AMP® Pro Today

AMP® Pros – a group of landscape lighting professionals authorized to purchase and install the industry’s best products.

AMP® Pros have the skills and experience to design and install professional landscape lighting. They are also committed to the use of high quality products and best practices in the design, installation, and maintenance of their work. These distinctions qualify them to become AMP® Pros.

The goal of AMP® Lighting is to elevate the profession of landscape lighting by providing AMP® Pros with the high-performance products and the professional support they need to succeed.

There is no cost to become an authorized AMP® Pro.

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