All About Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Sep 28th

All About Low Voltage Landscape Lighting – Landscape lighting systems can be divided into two main categories, regular and low voltage. The regular voltage systems run on your homes 120v power and need to be hooked into your system like the other electrical fixtures. Low voltage landscape lighting systems run off of a transformer that can be plugged into a regular outdoor receptacle. The transformer lowers the electrical output and then feeds the correct voltage to the lights that are hooked to the system.

Top Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Top Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Installation low voltage landscape lighting. 12v transformers can be plugged into any of your existing outdoor receptacles; in most cases there is no need for an electrical contractor. 120v systems must be installed by a licensed electrical contractor and may require a permit. 12v systems are fairly easy to install (the cable only needs to be hidden and located out of harm’s way from digging, etc.) and give more flexibility for making changes later on. 120v systems normally require that the wiring be buried at least 18 inches deep and are placed in a protective conduit (or you could use the more expensive wiring that can be placed directly in the ground). This makes them difficult to install and even more difficult to move if you change you’re landscaping or have plants that grow too large.

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Aesthetics of low voltage landscape lighting. 12v lamps (bulbs) are small which means that the fixtures can be smaller and less obtrusive in your landscape. The lamps are also available in different low watt types and can be obtained in many beam spreads (the light comes out at wide angles or narrow angles and many angles in between depending on the lamp you choose). This allows for more precise and artistic lighting effects with lower energy costs. 120v lamps are much larger and therefore require larger fixtures to house them. The higher watt lamps only have one or two beam spread choices and produce inappropriately high light levels. This creates glare problems and reduces your ability to create subtle effects. They are also more expensive to operate.

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