Outdoor lighting is nothing new, in some sense it’s been around since the late 19th century when people first used electric lights outdoors for Christmas. From the first generation of incandescent bulbs available to brighten yards and gardens, many improvements have been made. Today’s outdoor lighting systems have light sources that are far more efficient at using electricity to produce light, have much longer lifespans, and are much better at weathering rain and freezing temperatures.
Not only has the technology of light sources improved, but there are also many other improvements in outdoor lighting systems. Solar-powered lighting is now available, using small solar panels to recharge built-in batteries that power individual pathway lights or even floodlights. Motion-sensor light systems are available. Smart homes now exist, and outdoor lighting systems can be controlled by the home’s programming system.
Of course, the technological advances shouldn’t overshadow common sense. No matter how much you may want a new outdoor lighting system, try and get as much information about it first, before plunging in with a purchase. And contact the experts at Landscape Concepts Inc. to get expert opinions and a FREE quote on the best landscape lighting system for you.
Benefits to Outdoor Lighting
Aesthetics is part of any outdoor lighting system; it has to look good. And not just at night. A system with fixtures and components that look ugly or out of place in daylight is not the best choice. Our experts will help you to choose a system that fits with the décor of your home and property and enhances it. If the lighting system is going to be a major purchase, then it will add to the value of your home.
A good landscape lighting system does a lot to add a feeling of security to your home at night. You don’t have to come home to a dark yard, and visitors will see the walkways and pathways with ease. Potential trespassers tend to avoid well-lighted properties. And, yes, having an attractively lit back yard encourages you to spend more time outdoors, and perhaps even less time away from home at restaurants and theaters. Backyard barbecues, gatherings, and parties will become popular again. Consider how a lighting system will fit with your current activities in keeping up your home. Will they get in the way of mowing the lawn or using a weed whacker? Don’t overlook the obvious.
The right kind of outdoor lighting can do much to showcase your home at night. Outdoor lighting can include fixtures for illuminating shrubbery, trees, and certain parts of your house like columns and masonry, to make your property look interesting and beautiful. Your home can transform into a work of art with the right kind of lighting, and maybe even incite a little envy in your neighbors. Popular now are “bullet” lights, which take the place of floodlights and well lights used previously.>
Do you already have a landscape llighting system, but you’re looking to change it? That’s advisable, especially with a legacy system based on halogen lights. Halogen bulbs for systems can be difficult to find if the original manufacturer has discontinued production. Changing to an LED system can lead to reduced energy costs, and a longer lifespan for the light source.>
Landscape Lighting Products
There are many kinds of kits on the market for the do-it-yourselfer. However, these kits are often sold at big box stores, where price is the primary consideration. Those kits may not give you a system with a long lifespan. Low-priced components are especially temporary. Quality light fixtures will take extremes of weather well, and resist rust, corrosion and other deterioration.
To conduct electricity through your outdoor lighting system, you would use either line voltage (for residential supplies, often 120V) or low voltage (12V). To install a line voltage system, you will need a qualified electrician, but not for a low voltage system. And, if you use a low voltage system, then you will also need to install a transformer, to reduce the current supplied to your home from 120V alternating current to 12V direct current. But why do this yourself? Besides not needing an electrician, low voltage current makes it possible, in some cases, to bury electrical lines without conduits. It also makes it just about impossible to get a shock.
Energy use is still a consideration for lighting systems. There are many energy-efficient LED systems on the market, and they have improved energy efficiency and longevity over older halogen or incandescent lights. LED light sources are so efficient that they can be supplied with power by batteries, eliminating the need for wiring them to the home’s electrical system, and making them independent of a home’s electrical outage. But, battery power is not enough for a larger or elaborate system using very bright lights.
If you want an extensive lighting system with many bright lights, you’ll need professionals like Landscape Concepts Inc. who know how to plan the necessary wiring, including lengths and complexity. Related to that, will you need permits from the local municipal authorities to install the wiring? If so, those are added costs. Also, can the company that sells the lighting system to you install it, or do you have to hire a contractor, at extra cost?
You’ll also want lights that please you, with the color of the light they give. It may seem like a trivial detail, but it isn’t. Light “color” is rated in degrees Kelvin (K), and will usually be on the box or packaging of the light. For example, a fluorescent bulb may be rated at 3500 K. The Kelvin scale for lighting ranges from 1,000 to 10,000, with most residential lighting less than 6,500 K. Ratings from 2,000 K – 3,000 K is “warm white (orange to yellow-white; from 3,100 K – 4,500 K are “cool white” (neutral white to slight blue tint), and above 4,500 K is “daylight” (blue-white, imitates daylight). What color gives your home the desired look?
These are complex issues that you don’t want to decide yourself. You need an expert to help you make the best decision. Landscape Concepts Inc. gives FREE quotes for outdoor lighting packages. Contact us today!