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Illuminate Your Yard with Landscape Lighting

Posted by SEPCO

5/7/13 9:30 AM

landscape lighting LEDDuring the day, your flower beds, blooming bushes, and bird baths, all gorgeous parts of your yard, are showcased by the sun. However, come evening, a little electrical assistance may be necessary to give your yard the attention it deserves. Enter landscape lighting.

Landscape lighting involves well-placed lighting fixtures that illuminate both key design elements in your yard and walkways that allow visitors to both make their way to and from your front door and enjoy the visual beauty of your green space.

When it comes to installing landscape lighting, what are your options?

The availability of LEDs, low-voltage lighting, and even solar-powered units has changed the outdoor lighting game tremendously over the past 15 years. When seeking out bulbs for your landscape design, your best bet is to look online and at specialist companies, rather than home improvement stores, which carry some but not all of your many options.

Most outdoor lighting requires a connection to an electricity supply to stay operational. Low-voltage transformers are the safest option for your garden, as mixing water and electrical currents by using a wall socket is highly dangerous.

Ready to choose your outdoor lighting? The following are the most common options for a spectacular visual experience right in your own backyard.

LEDs:

These energy efficient wonders work perfectly as pool lighting, twinkle lights, recessed lighting, or even spots. Their output is bright and can be softened using diffusers. While purchasing the lights initially will be more of an investment than buying traditional lighting, LEDs are a cost-effective option when energy efficiency and longevity are considered. Maintaining LEDs is simple, as the bulbs last longer than standard light bulbs or compact fluorescent bulbs.

Electric lighting:

Fluorescent bulbs provide excellent landscape lighting when used as lamps and post lights. Halogen flood lights offer spot-on lighting for security and colored effects. While the bulbs themselves are not expensive, running costs are, so opt for low-energy bulbs and fluorescent strips or halogen lights when possible. Replace bulbs as they burn out and be sure to maintain clean wall lamps and infrared sensors. Call your trusted electrician for the safest initial installation.

Fiber Optic Lighting:

Best used for a dreamy starlight effect in paving, decking, and water features, fiber optics may require installation assistance. Low maintenance, these gorgeous bulbs are emit low heat and UV output and can be washed with gentle cleansers.

Solar Lighting:

Solar-powered lighting suits any area on your property, but works particularly well at the edge of pathways and patios, in ponds as floating or rock lights, on walls, and near plants. It can also be used for spotlighting. While the downside of solar powered lighting is a low reach, it can provide gentle lighting for pathways that is preferable to brighter types. Initial cost is expensive but the convenience and non-existent running costs, coupled with its longevity, make this lighting type an excellent choice. With easy DIY installation, these lights need only a sunny place to operate. Solar lighting’s photovoltaic cells require regular cleaning, but batteries last years.

Lighting your yard should be an inspired activity that allows key features to shine, even after hours. Consider the above types and remember to consult your local electrician for installation advice or to troubleshoot issues.

Author: Chelsea Terris provides “illuminating” online content for Prairie Electric, an electrical contracting company based in Portland, OR.

Topics: Guest Post, Landscape Lighting

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