Beautiful lighting can completely change your mood and experience of events around you. Have you ever been downtown at night and were impressed with the lighting along a park walkway or an office building? Most of us, at one time or another has experienced awe, comfort, serenity or relaxation at the sight of well-designed landscape lighting.
We tend to think about outdoor lighting at home in practical terms at home. We have a light outside at the front and back door, or a motion detector triggered light above the garage door. They are attached to the house or garage and are there so you can safely see where you are going when outdoors at night.
Properly done outdoor lighting can have a beauty and charm all its own and at the same time provide nightime safety for your walkways and garden.
For many years, homeowners have tried to create a beautiful and charming ambiance with landscape lighting in the yard around their homes and in their gardens. The outcome was often a lighting system that was too expensive or didn’t look right. In the past, the most dependable landscape lighting systems were powered by standard household electricity (120 volt). Because of strict electrical codes, an electrician would be required to do all the installation and hookup. The connectors, fittings and bulbs all had to be heavy duty, waterproof and weatherproof. These requirements made this an expensive project and outside the budget for the average homeowner. A common mistake with landscape lighting is to use too many lights or to misplace them. You don’t want your sidewalk or garden path to look like an airport runway. Many homeowners felt that to have this done properly, they would need to hire a landscape architect or a contractor who specialized in landscape lighting. Of course, this pushed the price up even further; usually outside the reach of all but the Electrical codes are much less striwealthy.
Electrical codes are must less strict today and comes with low voltage options. Low voltage landscape lighting (12 to 18 volt), has several advantages. You can buy an inexpensive and easy to instll kit and often install it over the weekend. Because it is easy to install, you can spend more time working on the light locations and design. If you don’t like the light locations, you can change it yourself without too much trouble. You don’t need an electrician or designer to move it. One common problem with low voltage systems 20 or 30 years ago was the durability of the components. Back then low voltage outdoor lighting systems were often little more than toys. But today, the do-it-yourself low voltage lighting system is not only affordable, but durable as well.