Tuesday, July 7, 2009

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

By John Monsholi

Low voltage outdoor lighting represents a safe and cost-efficient lighting solution. It is quite easy to assemble and install your own low voltage outdoor lighting system, without having to use the services of a professional 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.

Low voltage outdoor lighting has several important advantages, the main ones being:

1. A homeowner can set up his/her own low voltage outdoor lighting system hassle free, with the use of a special kit. Such kit usually includes all of the needed components, such as the cable, a transformer and the fixtures. The only needed component that is not included in the kit is the bulbs. However, it would not be prudent to include the bulbs in the kits, since every bulb may have a different 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. Some kits also come with special timers, which allow the homeowner to set his/her low voltage outdoor lighting system to go on and off each 4, 6 or 8 hours.

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. It is extremely easy to relocate your low voltage outdoor lighting system since its wires have to be just slightly immersed under the ground, instead of being buried deeply and permanently.

6. A transformer for low voltage outdoor lighting can range anywhere from 150 W and up to 900 W. It would probably be a good idea to purchase a transformer with a little more muscle, so that you can expand your lighting system if you decide to start using the bulbs with more watts.

7. You can pick the low voltage cable depending on the amount of watts required to operate your low voltage outdoor lighting system. Popular sizes of the low voltage cables include 12 ga. (can carry 300 watts), 14 ga. (can carry 200 watts) and 16 ga. (can carry 150 watts). Standard wire size is 12 gauge.

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. Another advantage of the low voltage outdoor lighting systems is their low cost. Not only the systems may cost anywhere starting from $15, but they also help the homeowner save a lot on the energy costs. However, keep in mind that a sound quality system will usually cost anywhere around $300.

10. It is very easy to calculate how many lamps you can use with any given transformer. For example, if the transformer is 300-watt, then you can have up to 30 garden lights with 10-watt bulbs. Just multiply the number of bulbs in your system by the bulb wattage to find out how many lamps you can use with a given transformer.

Before starting to bring about your low voltage outdoor lighting set up, please consider the following:

1. Make sure not to use an extension cord for the transformer. Instead plug it directly in the outlet.

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

3. When choosing a transformer for your system, try to make sure that the wattage of your transformer is not over one third of your system's current wattage.

Low voltage outdoor lighting is among the most secure, affordable and easy to set up systems to light up your garden. Most homeowners get amazed with their gorgeous secure garden, after implementing a low voltage outdoor lighting system.

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