Are you Taking Advantage of Low Voltage Landscape Lighting?

Every homeowner takes pride in their home and its appearance on the inside and out.  And curb appeal does not have to be limited to just the daytime hours. In fact, more and more people are becoming aware that as the sun sets, their home can actually radiate curb appeal and look even better than in the light.

As landscape and garden lighting is becoming very popular, homeowners realize that the trees that were purchased, the pond that was dug and even the walls and fence surrounding their home can be highlighted and emphasized to create many different effects. And even though this is a worthwhile investment that will increase the value and curb appeal of their home, all of that electricity can prove to be very hazardous.

Electricity which runs from the outside lighting into your home can hold 120 volts, an amount of electricity that can pose a rather grave risk to you, your family, your visitors and your pets. The various inclement weather conditions, regardless of where you live in the world, also greatly increases the danger your outside lighting poses. Although many don’t give it a second thought, if you are considering landscape or garden lighting, consider reducing the amount of voltage to a very safe 12 volts.

Low voltage landscape lighting offers more than just safety benefits. Lamps that are low voltage are more efficient, giving off more light per watt of electricity that is used. Also, the 12-volt lamp units last longer and there is less maintenance needed with this system. Lastly, installation is much easier because of the flexibility of wiring.

Some other benefits of low voltage lighting include:

  • Low cost operating expense compared to 120-volt lamps
  • Many more choices available
  • Safe and reliable
  • 12-volt lamps are more compact and keep the focus on what you are lighting rather than on the lighting fixture itself.
  • Better quality of light with natural effects
  • More options available in 12-volt lighting like quartz halogen
  • Capable of more specialized lighting effects with exact beam control

Low voltage lighting holds many benefits but with one small downside: The lighting fixtures are somewhat dimmer as you get further away from the transformer. But even with this problem there are easy solutions. Using a heavier-gauge cable as well as a higher-rated transformer can take care of the problem nicely and with minimal expense. And if there is a much larger area to consider, multiple transformers can be used or you can allow the dimming effect to be incorporated in your overall design.

Remember, it is also very important that you light essential areas for greater safety at night. Paths, gate areas, ponds, pools and statues should be lit in a way to avoid accidents for your visitors, small children and pets. Overall, landscape lighting can be fun and creative as well as safe and efficient.

If safety, less electricity usage and more lighting options sounds like good news to you, it may be time to consider low voltage landscape lighting. Incorporating low voltage within your design and budget will give you many years of safe enjoyment.

How to Choose a Landscape Design that Matches your Personal Style

Creating a landscape lighting design can become quite overwhelming with so many styles, sizes, categories and finishes of lights from which to choose. At the end of the day, your landscape design should not only provide important safety features, but also make you feel welcomed and proud.

When designing your landscape, consider your home style and the design elements within it. Are you drawn to modern, sleek finishes? Rustic, outdoor features? Traditional, elegant design? By assessing your preferred indoor style, you can easily translate that to your outdoor landscape and match your home’s inner beauty with your outer design.

Below are a few of the most popular design styles to help you make your choice:

Victorian / Old World – This style is characterized by detailed scrolling and fancy features. You will notice a Victorian home by its ornamental decorations and columns along with wide porches evident of a Civil War era.

Rustic Charm – Rustic lighting will be more textured and rough in appearance characterizing its natural, organic style. Rustic homes are reminiscent of the lodge style with a hand crafted look to them. If you enjoy nature and a more organic look to your garden as if it were an extension of an outdoor log cabin, rustic charm is the style for you.

Traditional – Traditional style lighting is similar to Victorian but not as decorative. This style is more elegant than ornate. A traditional landscape design will not overtly jump out at you, but it will feel calming and inviting much like a cold iced tea on a hot summer day.

Modern – Modern lighting is sleek, smooth and sophisticated. The modern style is a perfect choice for homeowners who love the industrial feel of polished silver and the harsh lines of square shapes and designs. Finishes similar to these smooth step deck lights will round out your modern landscape design while providing a safe entrance for visitors. Modern landscapes always appear uncluttered and clean in appearance as well.

Asian – Asian-inspired style is reminiscent of oriental and Japanese design. If you prefer a zen-like landscape fitted with bonsai trees and Asian architectural elements like a flat roof and rectangular windows, you may be interested in an Asian-inspired landscape design.

The Tropics – If you dream of whisking away to a desert island in the tropics on a daily basis, a tropical landscape design may be just what the doctor ordered. The tropical style is more synonymous with a climate rather than a design style. If you live in a warm climate, you can bring in the ambience of your environment by using your lighting to highlight the palm trees and foliage synonymous with your area. Consider more whimsical lighting design and on outdoor furniture, add accessories of fruit bowls with pineapples, guava and papaya to highlight the style even more.

Regardless of the style you choose, your landscape design should make you feel like you are at home. Bring your inside environment into your outdoor landscape and enjoy the seamless transition from the comforts of your home to the wonders of the outdoor world.

 

Outdoor Deck Lighting Tips for your Landscape Design

Whether for a late night party with friends and family or a relaxing summer evening with a hot cup of tea, the deck is long known as a place of entertainment and relaxation for all.

Summer bashes and cool fall nights provide the perfect ambience for a perfectly lit deck. Your lighting should be sufficient enough to set the mood without overpowering the glare of the beautiful star-lit night sky.

Your deck lighting is an important component of your outdoor space. Without lighting, the cloudy nights will make your deck off limits to visitors and invisible to all who want to see and experience its function and beauty. If your deck is one that should be showcased, learning how to light it properly will transform it into a treasured space.

Low Voltage Lighting

Low voltage lighting would be your best choice for deck lighting. Not only are these lights kind on your energy bill, but they also provide a safe way to illuminate key areas in your design landscape. Choices like the Tulip Light are perfect to illuminate a path leading up to the deck which is great for late night parties or lighting pathways in the dark. These lights are 9” – 12” in height and will help to guide people from the front of the house to the back deck area by lining all pathways with decorative yet functional lights. Highlight steps and entry areas around the deck as well to prevent safety issues.

Flood Lights

Flood lights are also a good choice for deck lighting. They provide more light than path lighting and can illuminate the high-trafficked areas. You can aim flood lights in any direction upward or downward depending on their purpose. If you are lighting the deck, be careful not to position them so that they shine in people’s faces. This not only is a safety hazard, but it also will annoy your guests and possibly your neighbors. You can also use flood lights to highlight railings if you have stairs connected to your deck.

Specialty Lighting

If you have one feature on your deck you want to highlight like a piece of artwork or an elegant statue, consider a specialty light that will focus brightness on a small area. Use small deck lights that can be attached to railings to enhance brightness without overpowering any other deck lighting.

The Overall Picture

Use your deck lighting as a “spill over” of light into the areas needing it rather than directly shining on the deck’s surface. Your deck lighting should provide safety in the dark while enhancing the features you have without overpowering them with brightness. In contrast, if your deck lacks the proper amount of lighting, you will experience safety hazards as well as uneven highlights and shadows. Experiment with the design and consult a professional if need be. Once you see the beauty of an outdoor deck in the moonlight, you will understand how important deck lighting is to your overall landscape design.