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Landscape lighting is a fabulous way to add drama, beauty, and a welcoming feel to your yard. Sure, your grounds are on display during the day, but why not show off a beautiful tree, fountain, or other feature at night, too? Installing pathway lights or a spotlight to your landscape can add a beautiful new dimension to your home. Illuminated pathways are also safer and more inviting for guests.
A great solution for these concepts is low-voltage landscape lighting. It's affordable, flexible, expandable, safe, and easy-to-install. Here are some ideas and information to help you plan and implement outdoor lighting at home.
Low-voltage lighting is an easy and safe way to add "wow" factor to your home. There are just a few things to keep in mind:
A detailed plan, complete with measurements, will help you purchase the right system and accessories. Once you have a rough idea of where you want your lights to go, take some measurements so you know how much wire you'll need.
Know where your power sources are. Most transformers will plug directly into a standard outlet, so determine which outlet, or outlets, you'll be using. If necessary, hire a licensed electrician to install new outdoor power sources.
Buy a landscape light transformer that has enough capacity for the system you want to install PLUS a couple of future additions (see the section below on determining your power needs).
Match the landscape lights to the look of your home for a cohesive style. There are lots of styles available, and you're sure to find landscape lights that fit the style of your home. Maintaining a consistent look between your home's exterior and your landscaping will ensure the greatest curb appeal.
You might also want to plan for more than just landscape lighting. Deck and step lighting, underwater lights for decorative ponds, garden fountains, and BBQ lights for outdoor cooking areas are also available.
And safety first! If you are a DIY'er, don't forget to read all instructions carefully and turn off power at the breaker before you start.
All transformers are designated with a maximum wattage capacity. For example, a 150 watt transformer can safely provide power to a circuit demanding up to 150 watts.
Making sure you have enough juice to go around is a simple matter of addition. Each of your landscape lights will have a maximum bulb wattage rating. Add up these figures for all of the lights you intend to use. That's how many watts you'll need from your transformer. Here's an example:
You purchase six pathway lights, each taking an 18 watt bulb: 6 x 18 = 108 total watts. A transformer with a capacity of 150 watts is a great choice. You've covered your current need AND left yourself room to safely add two more similar lights.
Speaking of more lights ... It's a good idea to leave yourself room for expansion. If you plant a new tree or add a garden feature, you'll be able to highlight it with an additional landscape light without having to alter your existing setup or purchase another transformer.
Visit one of our great LAMPS PLUS store locations or contact us for more information about landscape lighting. One of our trained American Lighting Association experts will be happy to help!