Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
A lot of people work late and can't enjoy their landscape when they come home at night. What good is landscaping if you can't see it?
Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
One solution to this predicament is a relatively new product known as low-voltage lighting. Low-voltage lighting systems use 12-volt current, similar to that used for most electric-train sets. Outdoor lighting is great for security, and it can add charm and magic to a walkway, patio or garden. The right lighting can bring your landscape to life at night as well as help your guests see where they're going.
These systems are safe
and easy to install. Most homeowners can set up a low-voltage lighting
system without help from an electrician. Another low-voltage advantage is
that new lights can be installed while the power is on. This is especially
helpful when you're positioning lights at night.
Most lights are easy to assemble. Simply insert the light bulb (figure A),
and attach the cover (figure B). Although some lights have separate wires
that clamp to the power cable, other lights are clamped directly to the
cable (figure C). Metal teeth in the clamp pierce the insulation on the
cable and tap into the wiring. After you've connected the light, attach the
stake (figure D), and route the power lines through channels inside the
stake (figure E).
Exterior light fixtures come in a wide range of designs to suit different areas and create different lighting effects. Most fixture types are available in either 12-volt or 120-volt versions. For the homeowner, 12-volt, or low-voltage landscape lighting (please click here to see our Low Voltage Lighting products for your landscape) systems have several advantages. Most important, low-voltage landscape lighting equipment is easier to install. Except for the transformer that's connected to a 120-volt circuit, the entire system runs on harmless 12-volt current. Low-voltage wiring is lightweight and can be laid on the ground or buried just below the surface. We even have lights that look like Rocks in your garden.
In contrast, a 120-volt system runs on the same power that supplies your home and requires the same precautions and expertise that normal house wiring does. Outdoor 120-volt lighting will need to be installed according to code and may require buried conduit. Once installed, 120-volt systems are relatively permanent, while outdoor landscape low-voltage lighting fixtures can easily be relocated if you wish to change your lighting scheme. One disadvantage with low voltage wiring is that that the wires are not buried deeply and are more prone to being damaged.
Another advantage of low-voltage lighting equipment is that it can be
relatively inexpensive. And, when you do the job yourself, the bottom line
for outdoor low-voltage lighting looks even better. Not only can the capital
outlay for a standard high-voltage system be greater, but you may need to
hire a professional for part or all of the installation.
In addition to 12 - and 120-volt systems, some light fixtures use the energy in sunlight to provide electric light in the evening. These solar lamps have a photoelectric panel that charges a battery while the sun shines. When the sun goes down, a light sensor activates the lamp.
Low Voltage Equipment Types:
For automatic control,
some low-voltage lighting transformers have a light-sensing mechanism that
turns the lights on at dusk and off at dawn, while others have a timer that
controls on and off cycles. You can also buy a motion sensor to switch on
the lights when a moving heat source is detected.
It Doesn’t Stop with Installation:
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