Landscape Lighting Tips

Your garden is your pride and joy. You work hard to make it look its best. So doesn’t it make sense to highlight your landscape at night, as well? Sure it does. Just because the sun goes down, you don’t have to stop being proud of your garden. The solution: lighting.

Landscape lighting can add an entirely new dimension to your garden. This article from outlines several lighting options – the most popular being low voltage and solar lighting – to keep your garden looking great well past sundown.

Low Voltage Lighting

Low voltage simply means that the line voltage normally delivered from a home power outlet is reduced by a transformer to 12 volts, making it safer. This also means that low voltage lighting can be installed without a permit (perfect for the do-it-yourselfer). However, if you need additional outdoor outlets, a qualified electrical contractor can install these for you.

The low voltage transformer plugs into a power source, usually a 110/120v outlet located outside. Inside outlets can work as well as long as the transformer is rated for indoor use and is installed with adequate space around it to dissipate heat. From the transformer, multiple cable runs connect clusters of 3 to 6 light fixtures.

Because each light fixture uses a portion of the same 12 volts, you should avoid having all your light fixtures connected to one cable run. If you have too many fixtures, you’ll notice the lights are noticeably dimmer than they should be, especially the last light in the line.

Solar Lighting

Solar lighting requires no wiring whatsoever, making it arguably easier to install than low voltage lighting. Simply place these lights in areas where they will receive direct or indirect sun light and then sit back and relax.

Solar lights consist of an LED bulb (most common), rechargeable battery, and solar panel. Energy from the sun is converted by the solar panel and stored as electrical energy in the battery. At dusk when the light level is low, a photocell timer turns the lights on. Solar landscape lights typically take about eight to ten hours to fully discharge.

Pay attention to the LEDs. One LED emits roughly the same brightness as a 2 Watt bulb. If you want lots of light, look for light fixtures with three or more LEDs.

Here are a few landscape lighting techniques, which can be applied with either low voltage or solar lights.

•     Uplighting: By positioning the light source below the object and pointing the beam upwards you can highlight walls, structures, and large plantings, which creates visual interest and dramatic focal points.

•     Downlighting: By positioning the light source high above the object and pointing the beam downwards, you can cast light over a wide area like a patio. By locating a downlight close to the ground, you can create softly spreading puddles of light ideal for walkways.

•     Grazing: By positioning the light close to an interesting surface, you can bring out its texture. Use grazing to highlight tree bark, stone walls, or an attractive door.

•      Silhouetting: By hiding lights behind and below a distinct landscape feature like a tree, you can create a silhouette that is visible against the sky at night.

Remember, simplicity is the key. You want to accent specific aspects of your garden, not turn your home into a light show.

Of course, if you have any questions, contact TLC Incorporated by calling 888-742-5852 or click here today!

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 15th, 2011 at 6:45 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.