Using Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Once you have your landscaping done, you feel such pride at how beautiful your home and yard looks that you want to shine a spotlight on it and let everyone see, day or night, how gorgeous it looks. Easily done during the day but at night, you need to generate some light.

Now unless you need to significantly light up an area, say if you are having a party, low voltage landscape lighting will be sufficient. Otherwise you'd install floodlights and stronger sources to shine on specific areas like the garage, the driveway or the barbecue area. Low voltage landscape lighting is cheap to run and there are so many options that you may find it harder to decide on the lighting than you found designing the yard in the first place.

Plan ahead

In general, low voltage landscape lighting is used to aesthetic effect, and it's a good idea to incorporate the lighting plan into your landscape design while the digging, planting and building are in process. But you can buy items such as solar energy lights that simply stand up in garden beds or along paths and require no wiring, no cable and no switch. The solar energy is absorbed during the day, it in turn is stored in the onboard battery and used to emit light at night.

There are certain points in modern gardens that are commonly lit with low voltage landscape lighting. For a contemporary look, you can use different colors, position the lights so that they highlight your favorite garden elements, highlight a water feature, send a color wash up a beautiful tree, enhance the appearance of your driveway or anything else that fires your imagination.

Here are some brilliant ideas for using low voltage landscape lighting:

    Use blue lights near a swimming pool or water feature to really bring out the effect of the water.
    Install step lights on stairways, patio areas and paths for added security and safety.
    Accent lights create interest at night and are perfect for drawing the eye to sculptures, statues or special trees. They are mounted on a hinge system so that the lighting direction can be altered as required.
    Create your own Spielberg-like special effects with low voltage landscape lighting underwater. An ordinary fishpond presents a safety hazard in a dark yard, but it comes to life when beautifully lit from beneath the surface.
    Use floating pond lights for a novel and pretty effect.
    Low voltage landscape lighting can be used dramatically on decks and patios. There are endless designs and shapes from ultra-modern metals to natural woods. Install on poles and in the floor and roof.

Safety First

While aesthetics play an important part in your selection of low voltage landscape lighting, you also need to consider the safety aspects. The use of low voltage is recommended for outdoors to avoid electrocution hazards from accidents with garden tools and exposure to water.

Fortunately, the very low running costs make it a dream addition to your garden and you can be tempted to go overboard and light up your yard like something out of a Chevy Chase Christmas movie! Avoid the urge and keep it simple, effective and easy to maintain.

Sometimes less truly is more and if you create a star attraction in the yard, make a focal point of it with lighting and then add lesser lighting elsewhere, you will show off the most important visual aspects, and still enjoy the overall picture.

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