What exactly is low-voltage landscape lighting?
The landscape lighting offers your landscape a beautiful brightness and illuminates your home.
Landscape Lighting Using Low Voltage
The most popular outdoor lighting option for residential usage is low voltage landscape lighting. It enhances the appeal, security, and safety of any house while allowing you to use your outdoor living areas well into the evening. The introduction of 12v halogen bulbs, which produced the same levels of brightness and functioned identically to mains voltage halogen lamps, marked the beginning of low voltage illumination.
A phase-out of halogen lights is underway. However, the considerably more energy-efficient LED technology now dominates the low voltage lighting market.
Low voltage lighting and its advantages are attracting customers worldwide away from traditional 230v mains voltage lighting, a trend that is only getting more pronounced. The technology, which was initially created to allow for safe outside landscape lighting, is now also utilized indoors. It works by stepping the voltage down from 230v to 24v, 12v, or lower using an LED driver or transformer. The driver or transformer may be included into the light fixture or installed separately, but it is necessary for the light to function.
How do I Install Low-Voltage Outdoor Lighting?
Three steps make up the installation process.
1. Place the Landscape Wire
- The lighting fixture needs to be put at the locations where it will be installed.
- Lay the landscaping cable all the way to the location of the transformer.
- You can either slip the cable under or around an obstruction if you see one when you are laying it.
- A small trench should be dug with a shovel following the cable's set-out path once it has been laid. Dig a trench around any obstacles you encounter, just as you did with the cable.
- The cable should be inserted into the trench and then pressed firmly into the earth. If the cable is pressed with the shovel, it could become damaged.
- You must fill the trench completely with the earth you just dug up and pack it down firmly with your boot. However, you only do this when the transformer is set up and the lighting fixtures are attached. In the event that you need to make any last-minute alterations, this will help you save some time.
- Normally, low-voltage cables have 2 layers.
- The two threads need to be pulled apart by around 5 to 6 inches.
- The insulated cover must then be removed off the top of each strand by an inch using a wire cutter in order to reveal the copper wire beneath.
- Utilizing the slot on the back, insert both strands into the transformer.
- There are two screw terminals inside the transformer with the letters "A" and "B" on them. One exposed end of the copper wire must be put into each terminal before tightening the screw to hold it in place.
- The transformer can be mounted on a pressure-treated wooden stake (the ones usually used in fences). As an alternative, you might attach to an exterior wall that is ideally a little further from the main home.
- To avoid electrical shocks, however, make sure the electrical outlet you use to power the transformer is a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet.
- You must cover the transformer with a weatherproof cover after the light fixtures have been connected and tested (which is covered in more detail in the following section).
- Typically, snap-on connectors are included with lighting fixtures for landscaping.
- These connections allow you to quickly and easily attach the cable's prewired prongs. The prongs make contact with the copper wire below after biting into the cable.
- The connectors are quite useful, but they aren't the best solution. The wire is still partially exposed and could be impacted by water or other substances, thus the reason.
- Cut the connectors off, remove the insulation covering to reveal roughly half an inch of the wire, and then install weatherproof wire connectors that include a base shield and sealant.
- After completing this, turn the transformer on and inspect each and every light fixture.
- You must install the light fixtures as needed after ensuring that they are all functioning properly. So, if it's a well light, you must have a hole that is sufficiently deep for it to sit in. You must place path lights far enough in the earth to assure their stability.
- After that, you cover the cable as previously mentioned.
- The transformer timer must also be set, along with the lights' switch-on and switch-off times.
1. Long Longevity
Last but not least, low voltage lighting has a long lifespan. In comparison to outdated incandescent and halogen bulbs, the combination of the lower wattage and LED technology creates the ideal circumstances for long-lasting bulbs, particularly now that LED is becoming the most common type of low voltage illumination. With less energy needed to produce the same amount of light and less frequent replacement, LEDs are now more economical than ever.
Because bulbs can be smaller at a lower voltage, lighting designs can be more diversified and imaginative. These more compact fixtures make it possible to safely and effectively light locations that would otherwise be difficult to light.
3. Effective in terms of cost
In contrast to the line voltage system, a low-voltage arrangement necessitates the purchase of a transformer. In contrast to low-voltage lighting, line voltage lighting requires cables, which are more expensive. Additionally, LED lighting fixtures for the low voltage system should be used because they are more expensive than incandescent lighting but have a much longer lifespan. Your electricity cost will go down because LED lighting fixtures use significantly less energy.
In a line voltage system, you would need bulbs and fixtures that are at least 50 watts even if you don't use LED fixtures. In contrast, a low voltage system allows the use of fixtures and lights with wattages as low as 2 to 10.
Low voltage lighting is much, much safer to use because it has a lot lower voltage passing through the light fixtures itself. The lower voltage offers a safer option for outdoor lighting installations that won't present a hazard when exposed to rain and moisture while also lowering the chance of major electric shock.
Issues to consider FOR LOW-VOLTAGE LIGHTING
- Less brightness is possible.
- few alternatives for lighting.
- A transformer is required.
- It can be more difficult for commercial enterprises to pass inspection.
- Maintenance might be difficult.
Which wire gauge is ideal for low-voltage lighting?
You should travel with a 12- or 10-gauge wire for low voltage lighting in lengthy wire lines, such as outdoor landscape lighting, to prevent falling objects.
Low-voltage lighting is it worth it?
You will save a lot more money by utilizing low voltage lights because they use less energy, last longer, and give better outside illumination. This will help you save money on your electricity bills and ongoing operational costs for maintaining exterior lights.
How much electricity are low voltage lights using?
Low-voltage LED outdoor lighting uses 15–25% less energy than halogen or incandescent lighting. Lower energy costs are the result of this.
Why Do Landscape Lights Use Low Voltage?
With the help of landscape lighting, your landscape will be illuminated at night, making it simpler to see and appreciate. When your home is well-lit at night, it will appear more appealing.
You should think about the size of the area you want to light if you're considering employing a landscape lighting designer. Low-voltage lighting is the suggested choice for you if you decide to take the do-it-yourself route. Low-voltage lighting is inexpensive, safe, and comparatively simple to install.
Use high-voltage landscape lighting as necessary. Much more money will be spent than on low-voltage lighting. Additionally, you'll require a qualified electrician to install the lighting. There are now more uses for low-voltage lighting than just business and industrial ones.
What are the basic types of fixtures for outdoor lighting?
Low voltage bulbs are ideal for lighting up the outdoor area because they protect you and your pocketbook safe. Keep in mind that low voltage LEDs are excellent for illuminating those smaller locations and let your creative imagination to shine bright when working on your next lightning project.