Outdoor Lighting - Getting Started

WHAT TO LIGHT UP?

POND

SITTING AREA

FOUNTAIN

STATUE

PLANTERS

TREES

DRIVEWAY

WALKWAY

FRONT ENTRANCE

BACKYARD

DECK

PATIO

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Consider your Outdoor Lighting Options:

  • What style of light(s) should get: path light, spotlight, flood light, flush mount, LED Trees
  • Layout: Where do you spend the most time, what areas need to be lit most at night
  • Lamp colour: Warm White, Cool White, Colour, Colour Changing
  • How much you want to spend: Keep in mind running costs – look for LED lighting
  • Suited to your lifestyle: Consider options like timers or photocells to have lighting work to your schedule

Key Outdoor Lighting Components

Most Landscape lighting is low voltage which utilizes a transformer to convert your home line voltage of 120v to a 12 volt output which is safe for homeowner use.

The following are the components of a low voltage lighting system. Some lighting systems are sold as kits while others are sold separately for a customized project.

Fixture(s): 

The light fixture can be any style, can come in single units or often sets of 2 or three fixtures. Most will come with a mounting device like a stake and/or stand. When comparing process of fixtures keep in mind: An LED light may cost more initially for the fixture, but will save you way more in the future for running costs and replacement bulb costs.

Outdoor Lighting

Light Fixtures

Transformer:

A transformer is what the lighting fixtures are connected to, transferring the house current of 120v to 12v. Transformers are rated according to their maximum wattage output. To assess what transformer size you are looking for, one must first calculate the total wattage of lights that they are planning on using for the particular transformer. Many transformers will come with timers or photocells. It is netter to get a transformer that has at least 10% more wattage than required for the lights you have.

 

Outdoor Lighting

Transformer

Wire/Cable:

Low voltage cable runs from the fixtures to the transformer. It is available in different gauges depending on capacity; however many kits will have quick-connect cable available. Low voltage cable can also safely be buried underground.


Outdoor Lighting

Low VoltageCable

Timer:

A timer can be added to any lighting system or can be integrated into a transformer. A timer allows the owner to adjust when the lights will turn on and off according to a set schedule.

Outdoor Lighting

Lighting Timer

Photocell:

A device that turns your lighting on at dusk and off again when light appears (daylight hours).

Outdoor Lighting

Photocell

Splitter: 

Splitters provide a quick connection of 3 or more lights to a single transformer using quick-connects – the lighting fixtures should also utilize quick connect.

Outdoor Lighting

Splitter

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