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Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting is a rising trend for most home owners wanting to illuminate their homes at night time. Landscape lighting is better described as painting with light and is about beautifying all that is natural or man made in a landscaped setting around the home. It is no longer a luxury item for the average to up market neighborhood. Landscape lighting is most effective when used in limited, subtle ways. If designed correctly it can be an extension of your home decor and can extend the use of outdoor spaces to the home while providing safety, atmosphere and space definition. It can also be most effective is hiding unwanted features such as trash cans or compost bins. Lighting is used to bring trees and scrubs to life at night and extenuate features around your home that are not visible or obvious during the day time. If used correctly low level lighting can be used to illuminate pathways and stairs for safety and security. Lighting allows you to enjoy your garden and exterior amenities of your home even after the sun has set.

Security

Landscape lighting is one of the best security systems you can install. Lighting can be used as a deterrent to residential crime. Correct proportions of landscape lighting surrounding your home, has been shown to minimize crimes by as much as fifty percent. Lighting has two great uses to aid in the security of your home. The lighting can intimidate possible intruders to avoid trespassing on to your property. Should this fail, the illuminated areas will also make it possible for you or your neighbor’s to see any intruders as they trespass.

Safety

Typically low voltage lighting systems are used for landscape lighting around the home. The preferred light fittings used to create most lighting designs, are low voltage, weather resistant fixtures. The low voltage used reduces the risk of electrocution if live wiring or terminals are touched. Also if power supply transformers are used to reduce the voltage, then they also isolate the low voltage system from the mains voltage which increases safety.

Not just the Garden

Although lighting brings your garden and exterior amenities to life at night time, facade or feature lighting to the exterior of your home should also be considered. If the landscaping has been done correctly it should compliment the house properly during the day. Why not extend the landscape lighting to the exterior surfaces of the home as well.

Narrow beamed lighting that highlights sharp features and wide angled flood lighting to pick up flat surfaces are preferred. These two simple methods create pools of light and shadows that will transform a house that may be uninteresting during the day, and make it come to life at night.

Installation

Low voltage landscape lighting is easy to install even if you’ve never done any electrical installations before. The easiest are prewired lighting systems. These are low voltage light fittings that come completely prewired and ready to install, with weather proof transformers, sealed connectors and pre-installed lamps. All you need to do is place each light fitting that is connected to a string of wire, where you want it, connect the transformer to the mains voltage and turn it on. It’s that simple. Separately wired low voltage light fittings and transformers should only be installed by persons that have the experience to do so. It is recommended that these installations should be carried out by a qualified electrician. Remember that during the installation it is desirable to include a timer or a daylight sensor so that the lighting is automatically switched off during daylight hours. Normally landscape lighting is added after the landscaping has been completed. With this in mind it would be a good idea to lay conduits or ducts into your garden. This would minimize any trench digging when it came time to run your low voltage wiring. Map out where you think you will want your light fittings and lay conduits or ducts to suit.

Design

Once the layout of the landscape has been established, it is very important to plan the placement of your light fittings. Lighting can focus on aspects in your landscape which are special to you, such as garden art, a water feature, or an unusual planting. Create a point of interest by highlighting a particular tree, shrub, or architectural aspect of you landscape with a flood light placed at ground level and focused upward. Combinations of light and shadow can create dramatic effects in complete contrast to the daylight scene. Lighting around pools can create a nice mirroring effect off the water or create a tropical feel. Lighting can hide obvious landscape problems while accentuating positive features. Landscape lighting design is very similar to the design of the landscape itself. Most landscape architects will include a lighting scheme with their design.

Budget

Low voltage lighting is often a do-it-yourself project and there are many options to suit your budget. Landscape lighting is also more affordable than ever coming in dozens of styles at a wide range of prices. Although it is tempting to purchase the cheaper incandescent lighting systems, in the long run the compact fluorescent options are better. Incandescent lamps will last for between 750 to 1000 hours. Halogens will last for 3500 to 5000 hours. But fluorescent lamps will last for as much as 10,000 hours. Because low voltage fluorescent light fittings have a lower power consumption than incandescent or halogens this makes them more desirable. Fluorescent light fittings also last longer than any other light fitting because they do not get as hot.

Solar Lighting

An alternative to low voltage lighting are solar lights. Solar landscape lighting stores energy captured during the day and then when it becomes dark enough, the outside lighting switches on automatically and stay on all night until they run out of battery power. A very good point is that solar lighting dose not use any wiring or external power source Unfortunately the disadvantages of solar lighting is that they give out very low levels of lighting and this gets dimmer as the night goes on.

Swimming Pool Landscaping

Summer is a time for getting outside to enjoy the sun and recreational activities with friends and family. Where there is water there is a way of enjoying the sun and cooling off at the same time. There is nothing like having a pool at home on those hot days when swimming is the best way to cool off in the middle of a summer’s day. There are several ways to enhance the pool with swimming pool landscaping.

Landscaping Style Depends On Different Types of Swimming Pools

The landscaping should depend on the type of pool the owner has. Plants and stones work better with in-ground pools. That way they will be level with the ground, although above ground pools can be landscaped as well. A little innovation has to be exercised in this case however. Some above ground pools are surrounded by decks, where potted trees and flowers might be strategically placed. In-ground pools with decking around them would benefit from the same idea. Other types with cement and stones have the potential to be converted to an elaborate oasis.

Creating the In-Ground Pool Oasis

Flagstaff stones are good for landscaping. Mounted flat stones of this nature can hide seeds that will generate sprouts and eventually allow creeping plants to grow between them. Stacked boulders and big rocks can create the cascading water effect. If the stones are situated around the perimeter of the pool, it will look more like a natural water source. Potted plants and flowers may serve as fillers to decorate and give the area a fuller look. Lighting is another element that will generate the desired effect and ambiance, especially in the evening.

Furnishing Your Swimming Pool Landscape

Lounge chairs and potted trees will add the back yard touch. Decking could still be added in a different area or further away from the pool with stone borders. A larger yard may even be enhanced with a koi pond and patio. A garden would make it the epitome of an oasis. If vegetables are not feasible for growing, herbs may be. Most people have a section of the back yard for grilling, and maybe even a bar or gazebo. Eventually the owner could add statues and other embellishments.

Maintaining a swimming pool takes commitment, but technology is making swimming pool maintenance easier. People love to surround themselves with beauty without spending a lot of money. The friend or family member with an attractive yard with all the amenities is going to be busy entertaining over the whole summer.

LED Landscape Lighting to Show Off a Beautiful Yard Through the Night

A nice yard and home is a great visual sight during the day. The view can be seen in its entire splendor during the daylight hours. However, one the light fades and night sets in, the beauty becomes hard to see. Fortunately, there is a solution to those who would like to show off their yard through all hours of the day. This option would be landscape LED lighting. These lights give homeowners a bright way to highlight some of the best features of their house and yard without outrageous expenses.

LED lights have been around commercially for almost 50 years. Their development has come a long way since then and they are now being marketed for more and more domestic use. Some of the most important aspects of these lights are their cost efficiency, their safety, and their long lifetime. These three elements combined make landscape LED lights a smart choice for many people.

LED bulbs use very little power; therefore they can be turned on for long periods of time without the worry of a high electric bill. For as little power as they consume, they put out a surprisingly bright light. This is great for those who wish to illuminate features such as decorative shrubs and trees.

Not only can landscape LED lighting show off landscaping features, but these lights also put off very little heat. There is no need to worry about something overheating and accidentally starting a fire near a precious plant. An added feature to landscape LED lighting is that the bulbs are much more durable than other, more traditional types of bulbs. Since they will be placed in the yard, they may be more prone to taking damage by pets, children, and even lawn mowers.

Landscape LED lighting is a safe and effective way to light up yards. There are several varieties including lights that can be mounted to shine down from above or placed in the ground to illuminate from below. There are lights that can be placed around walkways as well as lights that can be placed in plant pots in order to illuminate them as well. Rope lights also offer homeowners a creative way to highlight some of their favorite plants and landscaping attributes. Landscape LED lighting is a safe and cost efficient way to highlight a yard even in the darkest of hours.