Landscape DIY Landscaping Ideas

Everything You Need to Know About Landscape Lighting

You’ve gone to great lengths to present your home and yard in the best possible light. How could you possibly let all of that hard work go to waste at the stroke of midnight?

All it takes is a switch and a few well-placed external landscape house lights to make it all visible۔ When done correctly, landscape lighting enhances the architectural features of your home & highlights cherished plantings and trees.

What Is the Best Lighting for Outdoor Spaces?

Low-voltage landscape lighting is becoming increasingly popular for good reason. In comparison to 120-volt systems, it is safer to work with low voltage 12 volts landscape lighting which is more cost-effective to install.

Using a step-down transformer, low-voltage lights get a tenth of the power of high-voltage lights. But the effects they may accomplish are endless, from soft moonlight filtered through a tree canopy to a soft glow washing over a low garden wall.

When it comes to creating a beautiful lighting design, more than simply the proper hardware is required.

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Low-Voltage Landscape Lighting System

In most cases, landscape lighting is powered by a stepped-down version of your home’s electrical system.

  • Transformer: Reduces 120 volt home current to 12 volts.
  • Bulb: Color, beam width, and brightness are all determined by the bulb.
  • Fixture Housing: Keeps the bulb safe from the weather while also aiding in the focusing of the light.
  • Stake: A stake is used to keep the fixture in place.
  • Cable: The lead wires of the light fixture carry the cable’s current to the light. Accent lights pointed at the home’s front create a welcoming post-sunset ambiance around this property’s landscape.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Do-It-Yourself or Hire a Professional?

A simple system can be installed on a weekend by a homeowner. It is best to work with a landscape lighting expert who is well-versed in all of the available fixtures and the best placement strategies.

Is it Expensive to Install Landscape Lighting?

Most light fixtures may be purchased for under twenty dollars. At 70 cents a foot, you may buy cable plus a transformer at a cost of roughly $200. The average cost of a professional 10-light installation is between $2,000 and $2,500.

Does it Require More Maintenance?

Prevent overheating of fixtures by keeping them clean of leaves and other debris. Replace any burned-out bulbs as soon as possible to prevent voltage overloads that could shorten the lives of other lights on the circuit.

What is the Lifespan of a Light Fixture?

Fixtures and transformers come with warranties ranging from one to ten years, although those made of brass, copper, or stainless steel should last for a very, very long time.

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Different Styles of Outdoor House Lights

Garden

In order to let light down into planting beds, canopies placed atop 18- to 24-inch posts are used. Pathway markers are also possible. Unlike other lights, the style and quality of these fixtures are clearly visible.

Wash

Flat facades, privacy fences, and garden walls can be brightened with this light.

Bullet

Miniature, versatile fixtures like these can be used to illuminate a wide range of areas, from the exterior of a home to the interior of a room.

Well

It’s possible to get light without ever seeing a light fixture thanks to a waterproof housing that is buried in the ground. Well lights can be used to illuminate the base of a facade or wall, as well as the underside of plant leaves. Available with either fixed or swivelling light bulbs.

Downlight

To create a moonlit image, these lights can be focused at lawns, roads, or even the tree’s own leaves. The bulb is shielded by a long, cowl-shaped shroud that prevents glare from the sides. You don’t want to have to climb a ladder to fix or replace your copper and brass LEDs.

Flood

At least 40 degrees in diameter, a wash light is brighter than a bullet, but it is not as wide. Side glare is reduced thanks to the collar. Use sparingly to illuminate tall trees or the exterior of large buildings.

Do LEDs Make Sense for Your Money?

A LED bulb can endure 40,000 hours, or around 20 years of regular usage, compared to just two years for a halogen bulb, which has a filament that breaks or burns out. To put it another way, LEDs use only 1 to 11 milliwatts of power, while halogens consume 20 to 60 milliwatts.

In addition, smaller transformers and cables minimize installation costs, operating costs, and maintenance, resulting in savings of up to 50% over halogen systems over the course of 15 years.

Landscape Lighting Ideas

A disadvantage of LED lights is their high initial cost of $40 per bulb, as opposed to $5 for a comparable halogen light. Additionally, many LEDs provide cool blue light with a color temperature of 6,000 K. (kelvins).

Instead, seek out a color temperature of 3,000 K or higher for a warm appearance. Check the lumens as well to make sure you’re receiving enough light output. LED performance is improving, although it is still lagging behind that of halogens.

Solar-powered fixtures, which all use LEDs, have the worst output. In terms of light output, these bulbs aren’t bright enough to illuminate your entire home.

5 Tips for DIY Landscape Lighting Installation

What stores do you recommend I visit to make a purchase? For example, VOLT and Landscape Lightwerks provide a wide range of components online.

What are the Required Skills? Simple tasks like digging trenches and attaching electrical wiring are all that is required. It’s fine if you don’t already have one, but if you don’t, you’ll need an electrician to install one.

What Kind of Transformer Do I Need? Add the total wattage of all the lights you intend to install and multiply by 1.25 to get the watt capacity of your transformer.

What is the Best Way to Control the Lights? The most reliable automated switches are timers, which can adapt to seasonal fluctuations in day length. In contrast to hardwired switches, wireless keypads and fobs make it easy to manually control your lights, and they don’t require an electrician to install them.

What is the Best Way to Achieve Uniform Brightness? A daisy chain of fixtures connected by a single cable might overload the transformer, leaving the lights farther away from it power-starved and dim.

Try this solution: Connect a hub—a watertight junction box—with a 10-gauge wire and then branch out with a 12-gauge cable of equal lengths. Keep the power runs under 50 feet, and halogen fixtures should be able to draw between 10.8 and 11.5 volts (for LEDs, 8 to 15 volts).

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