Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting - Affordable and Secure Lighting Option

By John Monsholi

Low voltage outdoor lighting represents a safe and cost-efficient lighting solution. It is quite easy to assemble and install your own low voltage outdoor lighting system, without having to use the services of a professional electrician.

Low voltage outdoor lighting runs on a 12-volt current, which is achieved with the aid of a transformer, rendering the dangerous 110/120-volt current to a relatively safe 12-volt current. The electricity is transmitted through a special weather-resistant low voltage cable, which begins and ends at the transformer (creating a looped run).

Low voltage outdoor lighting benefits include:

1. It is very easy to set up your own low voltage outdoor lighting. The system usually comes in kits, which include everything needed to assemble the lighting (the transformer, cables and fixtures). You would just have to buy the bulbs with a preferred wattage.

2. Low voltage outdoor lighting is a very low cost solution, since it can use light bulbs, starting at nearly 4 W. In addition to regular lamps, home owners may choose to use halogen or fluorescent lamps.

3. Some kits also come with special timers, which allow the homeowner to set his/her low voltage outdoor lighting system to go on and off each 4, 6 or 8 hours.

4. Low voltage outdoor lighting is very important for security. Many systems come with heat motion sensors, which would notify you about any intruders after dark.

5. It is extremely easy to relocate your low voltage outdoor lighting system since its wires have to be just slightly immersed under the ground, instead of being buried deeply and permanently.

6. There are different transformers available for the low voltage outdoor lighting systems. Transformers can range anywhere between 150-900 W. Specialists usually advise to purchase a more powerful transformer than what you currently need, in order to provide you with the possibility to expand your outdoor lighting system in the future.

7. In order to pick the correct cable for your low voltage outdoor lighting system, you would need to know the amount of watts that your system will require. The most common size wire is 12ga, which is capable of carrying 300 W. There also are 14 ga. and 16 ga. cables, which respectively can carry 200 W and 150 W.

8. There is a wide variety of schemes based on which you can build your low voltage outdoor lighting system, including in-ground fixtures, spotlights and deck lights for an ultimate convenience while walking in your garden at night.

9. Another advantage of the low voltage outdoor lighting systems is their low cost. Not only the systems may cost anywhere starting from $15, but they also help the homeowner save a lot on the energy costs. However, keep in mind that a sound quality system will usually cost anywhere around $300.

10. In order to find out how many lamps can be used with any given transformer, you would simply have to multiply the total number of light bulbs in your low voltage outdoor lighting system by the total wattage. For instance, if your transformer is 150 W, you can use 30 lights by 5 W each in your setup.

Several things to consider when implementing a low voltage outdoor lighting system:

1. Always remember to plug the transformer directly into the outlet, and not through an extension cord.

2. The wires of the low voltage outdoor lighting system are more prone to damages if they're not buried deeply in the ground.

3. The extra wattage of the transformer should not exceed one-third of the total needs of the system.

Low voltage outdoor lighting is a very cost-efficient and easy to assemble lighting system. A low voltage outdoor lighting system will make your landscape come to life also after dark, letting you enjoy your gorgeous landscaping even twice more. - 29857

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