The addition of low voltage lighting fixtures is a fairly simple and cost effective way to enhance the appearance and value of your home’s outdoor living space. Whether you are using them to illuminate a walkway or to highlight a landscaping feature, these light fixtures will transform your yard into a twilight wonderland. You can wire them directly into a light switch that you control from inside your home or you can set them with a sensor so that they come on automatically at dusk.
The biggest challenge that most homeowners face is determining how many low voltage lighting fixtures they should buy; and then where to place them. There is no set rule as to how many or exactly where, but there are a few practical guidelines that you can follow in order to maximize the appearance of your landscaping.
First, don’t focus all of your lights in one spot. Low voltage lighting is not meant to be used as a spotlight. It is intended to function as a creator of ambiance and of feeling. Though it can be useful to outline the shadowed edges of a walkway, it is primarily decorative.
Another thing that may help you determine the placement of your new low voltage lighting fixtures is the location and accessibility of a power source. If you don’t have any electrical outlets run into your garden, then you need to begin the grouping of lights somewhere near the house. The power pack for the low voltage lights has to be directly connected to a full powered connection.
There are several different styles of low voltage lighting fixtures. Some are manufactured to sit low to the ground and illuminate only the ground directly below them. Others sit up higher and function as lantern style lights. These offer light to the area by allowing it to radiate softly out of the fixture. Remember, these are low voltage lights, so if you are seeking a really bright light, or a security light, then these are not what you want.
Take care when purchasing your low voltage lighting fixtures to make sure that you get the appropriate power pack to run them. Different power packs will operate different numbers of lights. The distance between the lights can also play a role in which pack you choose.
One final detail to consider when shopping for low voltage lighting fixtures is the wattage of the bulb. Bulbs are available from 4 watts up to 18. Be sure to read the specific instructions to determine if you can put a bulb as big as 18 watts into your low voltage fixture. Sometimes this is not possible or the fixture isn’t designed to handle it.