Tag Archives: landscape lighting

Advantages of Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Now that evenings are becoming gradually darker with each passing day, the need for landscape lighting increases.  If you don’t already have lighting installed on your property, consider low voltage landscape lighting as an option.  Low voltage lighting is often a more practical choice than high voltage lighting. Low voltage lights make use of a transformer which reduces the 120 volt house or business current to 12 volts.

Here are a few more of the many advantages low voltage lighting provides:

  • Security and Better Visibility: Low voltage lights that are strategically placed provide even illumination rather than dark shadows that are created by high voltage lights. Although light does not prevent crime, it can improve nighttime security for your home or business.
  • Safety: Residents and visitors can navigate around your property more safely when sidewalks and entrances are illuminated by landscape lights and drivers are not blinded by the glare of high voltage lighting.
  • Recreational Usage: You can enjoy your deck or other recreational area at night when you illuminate these private areas.
  • Property Value: Landscape lights help to improve the appearance of your property at night by accentuating shapes and textures of your landscape and structures. This serves to raise the property�s value and improve the community.
  • Economy: Low voltage lighting uses about a third of the power required for high voltage lighting, and when your property is properly lit, you achieve an energy efficient design. This in turn reduces your long-term operating costs.

Low voltage lights are usually installed along walkways, pathways, driveways, entrances, and steps. Low voltage lights can also be placed inside wells and ponds, and pointed up at trees, fences, and walls. The typical low voltage lighting system is composed of three items: a transformer, a low voltage electrical cable, and lighting fixtures. Each transformer should be plugged into a GFCI-protected outdoor outlet with a “while-in-use” cover that closes over and around the power cord.

Installing low voltage landscape lighting is an easy do-it-yourself project, and many home owners find that they can exercise their creativity when planning where to install the light fixtures. No matter where the lights are placed, though, you can feel confident that the choice of low voltage lighting offers the most advantages in landscape lighting options.

Create a Safely Lit Outdoor Area at Your Home

Do you ever arrive home after dusk, blinded by darkness outside your home? Not only does this leave your fumbling for keys to unlock the door and falling over obstructions that may lie in your path, it also creates a dangerous scenario that leaves you venerable to thieves, robbers, and other harmful hiders. Create a safe and illuminated environment with outdoor lights. There are many styles and options to choose from that add functionality AND beauty. Here are just a few of the many great lights available for the outside of your home.

  • Solar Step Light: Perfect for lawns, gardens, and pathways, these stepping stones create sure footing with glow of light. They easily support up to 350 lbs of weight and harness the sun’s energy to power their efficient LED lights. There is no wiring to install and no operating costs – just beautiful style and a secure path.

Solar Stepping Stone

  • Security Light: If you need a stronger, steady light, security lights are a great solution. They bathe the outside of your home in light and create a safe area. Solar security lights offer the added function of saving money and electricity. The security light below can be set to light up upon detection of motion or set on a timer to illuminate before you arrive home. Installation is simple so you can have it installed instantly upon receipt.

Solar Security Light

  • Outdoor Lanterns: If your goal is to add light in the most elegant way possible, outdoor lanterns are for you! You can choose from electric lanterns, which operate off of standard household bulbs, or flame lanterns, which burn fuel. Many lanterns also come with planter flower pots around the bottom to add a beautiful gardening opportunity. Citronella oil, long known to ward off insects, can be burned in flame lanterns. In addition to a new source of light, you will repel flying pest from your home.

Islander Park Flame Lantern with Planter

Path Lights Offer Safe Passage

Path Lighting

As the evenings grow darker earlier, it’s important to consider safety in and around your home.  When you come home from work or when guests arrive for dinner, be sure that the paths and walkways leading up to and around your home are properly and safely illuminated.  Path Lights help prevent tripping and falling accidents, especially when there are steps or uneven ground to negotiate.

Aside from providing safe passage, path lights add a warm and welcoming touch to your property.  They can also dramatically highlight your favorite outdoor living spaces, and protect your garden beds from being accidentally trampled by visitors who are unable to see clearly where they are walking.

Compare Landscape Lighting

Today’s landscape lighting comes in a wide array of shapes, colors and styles and you are sure to find one that fits into your budget.  Pathway or walk lights have been designed for lighting a designated area including the space directly underneath the light and within a few feet of the fixture.  Normally, these are spaced 6 to 10 feet apart for a soft natural look.  More dramatic effects are accomplished with area lights which can be called spot, flood or wash lights.  These lights are designed to illuminate a larger area like a wall, statue, tree, or shrub.

Some of the aspects that professionals use that you might want to keep in mind are:  depth, perspective, focal points, quality and direction, symmetry and balance and cohesion.  What do these aspects entail?

Depth is creating a scene with visual interest by directing the view’s gaze.  Starting with a focal point, you add lighting that guides the viewer’s gaze naturally along a pathway ending at the visual destination which is normally a home or building.

Perspective considers the many points-of-view that surround the property.  Each property should be thought of as a 3 dimensional canvas with many visual entrances.  You want to make the visual experience interesting from all of these points not just from the front.

Focal Points involve a design flowing from one focal point to the next with illumination in the spaces between them.  The viewer will gaze from one point to the next in a stop and go motion; this is how the human brain functions. Keep this in mind so your lighting design uses this in your overall layout.

Quality and Direction is like painting with light.  Use your lights to create the shape and size of the lighting.  Directing the light upward or downward or from one side or the other defines the emphasis of the lighting and overall design of your creation.

Symmetry and Balance is found throughout the natural world.  Animals and plants all have a balance on opposite sides of a dividing line between eyes and ears on an animal or between leaves and branches on a plant.  Symmetry is used to evoke a positive emotional response from the viewer.

Cohesion is the force that connects your focal points into a complete and coherent design.  Each individual yard or property should be looked upon as a stage wherein the life experiences that occur here are played out.  Therefore, the nighttime experience needs to express the whole aspect of the land and not just exhibit a collection of trees, bushes, and stone.  You need to flow from the focal points keeping in mind the security desires and tie these individual elements together using an approach like: moonlighting for wide expanses (or tree lights used 20-30 feet above the ground), lighting the periphery without distracting from the main focal points or using area, path or bullet lights to illuminate landscape features like garden beds.

Installing low voltage lighting is not difficult and many home owners use their own layouts when they install this lighting.  It can create a beautiful and warm environment at night.  Creative use of minimal lighting can give your landscape a dramatic effect that can serve to raise property values in your neighborhood and make you proud of your home or business.