Expanding your home might not be an option but you can certainly expand your entertaining space by incorporating landscape lighting into your outdoor space. Landscape lighting is a very affordable way to optimize your yard for relaxing, entertaining and family activities.
Effective use of outdoor lights can transform your yard. You can create mood, designate pathways, illuminate cooking areas and accent plant life or architectural details.
Choosing the Best Lighting Products
Recently the lighting industry has moved towards using LED fixtures. This shift is understandable when you review all the benefits that come with choosing a LED light.
Advantages of LED Landscape Lighting
LED landscape lighting offer many sensible advantages, not the least of which is efficiency. Standard halogen based products will use between ten and fifty watts of power. A LED light will take approximately 80% less voltage which translates to lower costs, extended lamp life and reduction of carbon footprint.
Traditional lighting can be very hot because their watt usage is so much higher. While LEDs do emit heat it is remarkable cooler than halogen bulbs. For the homeowner, this translates to longer lamp light.
Steady Light Output
Standard lighting takes multiple wires for each set to safeguard that all bulbs are putting out the same amount of illumination. This can be an intricate and laborious process. Many LED products have a built in driver that delivers power equally to each bulbs to ensure the same level of light.
Life of the Product
Depending on the fixture, LEDs can function for 50,000 plus hours. As their end is near, they don’t just burn out but rather dim slowly which means in many situations they will continue to offer sufficient lighting past the 50,000 hours.
Landscape lighting is an art form. Like other major improvements to your yard your plan will benefit from consulting a professional to design and to provide installation plus on-going maintenance. Using a professional will help ensure that your plan meets your objectives, offers safe functioning and provides longevity.
Here are important points to think about as you and your chosen professional begin designing your landscape lighting.
1. Install a Voltmeter –
An effective installation requires the system to check the voltage drop for each fixture. When installed properly, the voltage will also be checked when leaving the transformer.
2. Think about flexibility –
An efficient layout should take into consideration all the functions of the landscape (i.e, relaxing, entertaining, cooking). Many of these areas should be lighted only when in use. Choose a system that will offer this flexibility.
3. Use only high quality wiring –
All of the fixtures will be connected to the main electrical line and each fixture will be vulnerable to failure if the proper quality is not present. You want a product that keeps out moisture and debris.
4. Determine the correct amount of light –
Each landscape space will have different needs – bright light for cooking, dim light for relaxing, etc. Choose a system that offers a feature to adjust light amount so you always have the perfect illumination.
5. Each landscape space will have different needs –
bright light for cooking, dim light for relaxing, etc. Choose a system that offers a feature to adjust light amount so you always have the perfect illumination.
6. Consider color –
LED offers the possibility to use color filters to accentuate areas like plant life or hardscapes. Maybe you’d like to emphasize seasonal shades. Use your imagination when creating your landscape lighting plan.
7. Be observant about voltage drops –
There is an optimum range for all lighting products. Know what yours is and keep an eye on it because if you are over/under in voltage it can diminish the life span of your fixtures.
8. Will there be future upgrades –
All landscapes change over time as plant life matures or accents are installed. You will want your landscape lighting to adjust to these changes. Make sure your plan allows for expansion in wiring and power capability.
9. Creative uses for lighting fixtures –
Lighting for pathways will ensure safety but those same fixtures can be used to shine light on pretty foliage or flower beds and this kind of design will add terrific dimension to your yard.
10. Thinking through placement –
For each area to be lighted, think through all actions that will take place there. If you mount lights high for an outdoor kitchen they may shine directly into the eyes of guests as they sit at a counter or table. This is a particularly important aspect where a professional’s experience will benefit your design.
Brands that we often recommend for landscape lighting include:
F/X Luminaire: Products include lamps and LED boards, upgradable sizing, color filter adjustments and replaceable parts. They have a strong commitment to quality.
Vista: They have developed a LED lamp concept that uses patent-pending features offering innovative advantages for outdoor environments.
Hadco: As part of the Phillips Lighting family, Hadco incorporates environmental considerations into their groundbreaking applications that reduce energy usage.
Whatever your landscape lighting needs, hopefully you will call on these suggestions to transform your yard and make your project successful while providing enjoyment for years to come.