Saturday, June 20, 2009

Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting - One of the Most Safeguard Low Cost Landscape Lighting Options

By John Monsholi

Low voltage outdoor lighting is a secure, affordable and easy way to implement an outdoor lighting option. Most homeowners can light up their yard with a low voltage outdoor lighting doing it themselves, without even having to pay for an electrician.

Dangerous regular 120 watt electric current is stepped down to merely 12 V in the low voltage outdoor lighting systems, making it so much safer. Electric in such systems runs through a loop from one end of the transformer to another.

There are several important advantages of the low voltage outdoor lighting setups, when compared to regular lighting:

1. It is very easy to set up your own low voltage outdoor lighting. The system usually comes in kits, which include everything needed to assemble the lighting (the transformer, cables and fixtures). You would just have to buy the bulbs with a preferred wattage.

2. Low voltage outdoor lighting helps you to save money on the electric. The bulbs used for the lighting may be 4 W light bulbs. There are also available fluorescent lamps and fluorescent lamps, the latter being currently the most cost-efficient.

3. Timers are another very useful feature, allowing you to set the time for the lighting to go on/off for 4, 6, or 8-hours. Some low voltage outdoor lighting systems also include a photocell, which can turn the lights on at night and turn it off in the daytime.

4. Low voltage outdoor lighting systems provide homeowners with the ultimate security due to specially built-in heat motion sensors, capable of identifying any intruders.

5. Low voltage outdoor lighting setups are generally very easy to move around the garden, given that the wires of such setups do not have to be buried permanently into the ground.

6. It is usually recommended to purchase a transformer for your low voltage outdoor lighting setup, which somewhat exceeds the current needs of your lighting system. This will allow you to expand your system in the future as well as to start using lamps with more wattage.

7. When picking the low voltage outdoor lighting cable, keep in mind the wattage required for the system to operate. Most popular sizes of the cables for the low voltage outdoor lighting include 12, 14 and 16 ga. cables. These cables, respectively, carry 300 W, 200 W and 150 W. The most common size of the cable is 12 ga.

8. Another benefit of the low voltage outdoor lighting system is that it can be built to fit any required lighting design. The lights for the system may include a tree hung moonlighting fixtures, in-ground fixtures, spotlights, and deck lighting in order to easily find your way around your garden after the sun goes down.

9. The most affordable low voltage outdoor lighting systems may cost as little as $15. However, better quality systems may cost up to $300.

10. Simple mathematical calculations will help you estimate how many light bulbs you can use in your system, as well as what will be the average wattage of each bulb. Simply multiply the number of the bulbs in your system by their wattage, and you will find out what the wattage of the transformer is that you need for your lighting system.

It is important to consider several things before starting to set up your low voltage outdoor lighting:

1. Always remember to plug the transformer directly into the outlet, and not through an extension cord.

2. If the wires of your low voltage outdoor lighting system are not buried deeply, they will be more prone to getting damaged.

3. Even though your transformer is better to have some extra wattage, it should not exceed one third of the total wattage of your system.

Low voltage outdoor lighting is a very cost-efficient and easy to assemble lighting system. A low voltage outdoor lighting system will make your landscape come to life also after dark, letting you enjoy your gorgeous landscaping even twice more.

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