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Landscape Lighting, a Worthwhile Investment

By Ryan Iversen on 03/13/2019

 

Landscape Lighting, a Worthwhile Investment


Our homes are a statement about who we are. We can spend thousands of dollars on making the interior of our living spaces eye-catching and beautiful. Not only does it make a comfortable place to live, but it also becomes a place to entertain guests as well. But what about our home’s exterior? Besides the upkeep needed to make it look presentable, what more can be done to improve our outdoor living space?


Before we answer that we must address an important fact. For a majority of us, we can only enjoy our home’s exterior during the day and return to the inside at night. Fortunately, there is a way to use our outdoor spaces even after the sun goes down. The simple solution, of course, is landscape lighting. Now, where do we start?



When it comes to landscape lighting, there are a few things to consider. The first is the different types of landscape lighting there are. Hardwire, solar and low voltage are types of landscape lightings are that very commonly used. Hardwiring landscape lighting is wiring light fixtures directly into your home’s electrical system but the high voltage used to power the lights makes it dangerous to even accidentally nick the power wire. Solar landscape lighting doesn’t require wiring as the fixtures are powered by sunlight but they are known to be not that bright and only useful in very sunny regions. Low voltage uses a transformer connected to your home by an outlet and power cord to convert high voltage AC current to low voltage DC and use that to safely power fixtures, but maintenance is still something to watch for. Another topic to discuss is halogen vs LED landscape lighting systems.


Up until a short while ago, highly energy consuming halogen fixtures were the only landscape lighting method that was widely used. These lights needed to be replaced almost once a year and it forced many owners to use high wattage transformers if they used low voltage landscape lighting. Now LEDs have all but replaced halogen for the go-to landscape lighting method. One reason for this is that LEDs use less power to do the same, if not a better job than halogen lights. Another is that LEDs use a lot less energy than halogens and are much easier to maintain. This combination led many owners to install low voltage landscape lighting as it was now more efficient to use. While the price of an LED fixture is higher than a halogen one, the costs that come after purchase make LEDs the more economic and just simply better option on the market.



Now, why should you invest the money and time if you are installing the fixtures yourself into landscape lighting? Besides making your outdoor space usable after dark, landscape lighting has another benefit. That is making your home a more secure place to be. A home with a well-lit exterior becomes less tempting of a target for robbers. Landscape Lighting also increases your home’s curve appeal as well, increasing your home’s worth when it comes time to sell. Not only can you light up your foliage at night, but your home’s shape and features as well. This dual effect of making your home more secure and increasing its worth has drawn many homeowners to make the investment.


Contrary to what most people think about it, landscape lighting isn’t just about lighting a few plants and being done. Your landscape includes more than just the plants on your property. The goal of any good landscape lighting installation is to highlight the outdoor space and the home. Not only will your trees and shrubs be illuminated, but also your hardscape and the architecture of your home as well. Highlighting a few key features of your home at night can make a huge difference in both looks and safety. The careful placement of landscape lighting fixtures can make or break your lighting project.



Now if you have looked at landscape lighting in the past, especially low voltage, then you know what was a huge concern, voltage drop. Voltage drop is the decrease of the voltage in the electrical current that runs through a length of wire used to connect fixtures. This was one of the biggest concerns and the Achilles heel for landscape lighting. Was being the keyword as this is no longer the case. Voltage drop was a big issue back then as the high energy consuming halogen lights were the main landscape lighting method. LEDs, because of the low power consumption and their highly efficient design, have almost done away with the issue. What one halogen installation would require a 10-gauge wire to help power all the fixtures can now be done with LEDs connected to a wire as small as 18-gauge to light.


In the end, landscape lighting is a great investment for homeowners that want to get the most out of their outdoor living space. LEDs have made this easier for both the professionals and the do it yourself enthusiast. Now we can light our homes even in the darkest night.



Product reference:


5W LED Landscape Light

 

3W LED Landscape Light - Grid Style

 

3W LED Landscape Light - Mushroom Shape