Low Voltage

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Looking for a dramatic and elegant way to highlight your flower garden, light a drive or walk way and increase your home's security? Low voltage outdoor lighting is the perfect solution.

Increasingly popular, today's low voltage outdoor lighting casts a soft, non-glaring glow, beautifully highlighting outdoor focal points such as gardens and architectural features, while at the same time providing light for dark areas. Using strategically placed landscape lighting enables you to increase safety on stairs and sidewalks and add security by lighting hedge areas or other dark places that give intruders a place to hide.

In addition to beauty and security, recent advances in these types of outdoor lights make them economical and more energy-efficient than before. Modern low voltage outdoor lighting features automatic timers, brightness wattages from 4 to 50 watts, may include motion sensors and are available in a variety of designs. Whether you want your yard lighting to blend in or be an integral part of the decor, there is a style of low voltage outdoor lighting for your taste and budget.

Low voltage outdoor lighting kits contain everything you need to install your own outdoor lighting. An easy project for most homeowners, a kit includes the lamps, power pack (transformer) and cabling. The power pack is made to plug into a standard 110 volt outlet. The power pack, or transformer, reduces the the voltage to 12 volts, making it safe for the average homeowner to use without fear of electrical shock. Most kits allow for the option of adding to the lighting plan at a later time, so homeowners can start small and expand later if they wish.

There are several types of lamps available for use in low wattage outdoor lighting kits. LED, incandescent, low voltage fluorescent and halogen lamps all provide soft, non-glaring light. Halogen bulbs offer excellent color rendering, are highly efficient and typically last about 4000 hours. Low voltage fluorescent bulbs use little energy and are a good choice if the lights will be on for more than 4 hours at a time.

Below are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for and installing low voltage landscape lighting:

1. Plan ahead. With night-time lighting, less is more. The proper use of low wattage outdoor lighting allows for safety on walkways and security for darkened areas but does not impact the night time environment with light pollution.

2. Use deflectors and reflectors to get more out of your low wattage outdoor lighting plan without using additional lamps.

3. Save energy by using motion sensors and timers.

4. Be sure all components are weather-resistant and, if you live where weather extremes occur, are manufactured to work properly in your area.

5. Do not overload the transformer. For example: if the transformer is 100 watts, your total lamp wattage should not exceed 100 watts. Ten 10-watt lamps would equal 100 watts total.

Modern low voltage outdoor lighting kits offer a wide range of styles and options. And they make it easy for the do-it-yourselfer to install beautiful and economical outdoor lights to enhance the look and security of any home.

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