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Line Voltage Landcape Lighting

Although less popular than other types of landscape lighting, line voltage landscape lighting is one option that residential homeowners may want to consider.  Line voltage landscape lighting is more often used by commercial properties, since line voltage landscape lights can be very bright, increasing the light’s impact and enhancing security.

What is line voltage landscape lighting?

Line voltage landscape lighting is landscape lighting that uses 120v lines.  This results in brighter and more powerful lighting than low voltage or solar landscape lighting, but it also requires quite a bit more effort and expense to install.

How is line voltage landscape lighting installed?

If you are interested in installing line voltage landscape lighting, the first thing you should do is hire a licensed electrician.  This is because the average do-it-yourselfer should not attempt to install 120v electrical lines on their own due to the inherent risk involved.  This risk can result in personal injury during the installation of line voltage landscape lights as well as subsequent fire risks if the electrical lines are not run properly.

When an electrician installs line voltage landscape lighting, the first thing that he must do is to place 120v outdoor lighting cable into a conduit for protection and then lay the conduit 18” below the surface.  The cables and conduit must be laid out in such a way that electricity will be delivered to all locations around the home that will require lighting.  In order to properly lay the conduit and cable properly, a deep trench must be dug.  Some professional electricians will own a trencher to do this job, making easier work of burying the cable.

At all connection points between line voltage landscape lights and connecting cables, there must be sealed junction boxes that are completely waterproof.  If water enters the area where connections are made, it can result in a serious shocking hazard.

Why choose line voltage landscape lighting?

solar power landscape lighting

The main reason that 120v line voltage landscape lighting is chosen over low voltage or solar landscape lighting is that a line voltage landscape light will be brighter and emit more directed light than other types of landscape lights. With increasingly developed technology, green energy is always preferred so choosing the best solar landscape lights is a good fit for all families. This benefit is important enough for some homeowners to go through the expense and effort of having line voltage landscape lighting professionally installed.  One place that the difference in landscape lighting brightness is noticeable is for up-lighting.  This is when landscape spot lights are situated strategically amongst the landscaping and are pointed up at trees, the side of the house or another interesting feature to create visual impact.  Low voltage and solar options don’t have the power or emit a bright enough light to make this type of lighting work effectively.

For those that need a good deal of bright light spread amongst the landscaping, whether on a residential or commercial property, line voltage landscape lighting is the option to choose.  There’s no comparison to the level of light emitted from these types of lights compared to other lighting types.

Why not choose line voltage landscape lighting?

The main reason not to go with this type of lighting is the expense.  Line voltage landscape lights cost much more to install than low voltage or solar lights.  The line voltage lights themselves are also more expensive to purchase.  And, line voltage lighting results in higher electricity bills and uses up more energy.  One other reason to think about another type of lighting is that line voltage landscape lights are not available in as many styles and finishes as other types of landscape lighting. Continue reading

Why Should I Install Solar Garden Lights?

At one time solar garden lights did not last very long or give very bright light, and along with that, they were quite expensive. Recently, however, the solar industry has made advancements to the point that solar lights are better able to gather the energy they need from the sun and use it more efficiently to last longer and shine brighter. This is a real advantage as more people all the time are looking for alternative sources of energy. Solar lights fit a good variety of landscaping needs because they now come in so many styles, designs and sizes, from solar powered spotlights to solar rock lights.

Outdoor lighting fills a variety of needs, such as making a garden or outdoor area more inviting at night, putting guests at ease, adding an extra layer of security, and making the home look better to potential buyers. Solar garden lights must be properly placed, however, or they will not have the desired effect. Having the colors wash out, or imposing shadows cast across the landscape, would not be good. Some people may think that outdoor lighting is expensive and hard to set up, but it really is not, if the right outdoor solar garden lights are used. Continue reading

Do You Make These Garden Lighting Mistakes?

Designing the exterior garden lighting style that you want in your yard can be incredibly exciting.  Your garden essentially becomes a blank canvas that you can put any and all of your ideas on and unleash all of your inner creativity to create any number of effects and moods.  However, despite being well-intentioned many people make some very common mistakes when trying to design the lights in the garden.  But with the right research and time spent designing your lighting scheme you can avoid being subject to this shame.  These are but a few of the all-too-common mistakes people make when designing their low voltage garden lighting and how to avoid them.

Design Mistake #1 – Using Too Much Light

Sadly, the most common mistake most people make when lighting their gardens is using too much light.  Gardeners will use very high wattage bulbs in many of their light fixtures, washing out the entire area in light.  You should not be lighting up your garden in the same way that you would light up your yard to play a game of catch at night.  Instead of turning night into day, use the night to create dramatic effects and shadows with your plants.

Avoiding this mistake is easy – just use fewer, lower wattage bulbs.  Subtle light is the key.  Enjoy the night and the different sides of your garden that it can bring out, don’t try to wash it away with a gigantic light that could double as a spotlight for the local car dealership.

Design Mistake #2 – Using More Than One Type of Material

With so many different outdoor garden lighting fixtures out on the market today, it can be tempting to want to use all of them in your garden – don’t.  All of the light fixtures in your garden should have the same general look and theme to create a sense of continuity.  All of your lights do not have to be in the exact same style, but the changes in them should not be too dramatic.  Don’t try to do too much at once.  Pick a style that you like and stick with it.  You can always change fixtures to something else later.

Mistake #3 – Trying to Create More Than One Theme or Mood

Along the same lines as the previous mistake, don’t try to create too many moods in your garden.  If you have a huge estate with large botanical gardens that would make Louis XVI of France jealous, then by all means feel free to create different sections of your garden with different moods.  However, most of us will be tightly constrained by the property area that we have available.  For this reason, creating more than one mood will cause your garden to lack continuity and instead of feeling the emotions that you’re trying to elicit from them, most visitors to your garden will just leave confused to as why you put island-inspired lights right next to an area lit like a Japanese rock garden.

Avoiding this mistake is simple as well.  Just pick one general theme and mood that you would like anyone visiting your garden to experience and draw all your lighting around trying to recreate this feeling.  If you go this route nine times out of ten you will succeed in setting up the type of mood you would like to establish. Continue reading

Garden Path Lights DIY

Depending on the type of lighting that you install, adding garden path lights to your property is quite possibly one of the easiest home improvement projects that you can undertake. They make your home safer, more attractive, and serve as a way to direct people to your front door or around your property at night when there’s no other light to guide them.  To get your project done, you first need to pick out where you want to install your lighting, what type of lights you will install, and finally install the lights.

The first step in installing garden path lighting is to pick out where you will actually install the lights.  No matter what size your property is, there are usually one or two paths that you can light.  You can light a driveway to help you pull in or back out at night, the path up to your front door or a pop up gazebo, or a trail around your garden if you have one.

Once you’ve decided what paths you want lit, you need to pick out where you want to install each light fixture.  Look for areas that have hazards, like tree roots or steps.  You will want to make sure that these areas are adequately lit.  Place lights here first and place the rest of the lights along the path as needed.  One tried and true method of installing outdoor path lighting is to alternate the lights on either side of the path you want lit, with enough space for the light from each fixture to just touch or slightly overlap.  Also try to place the lights in the path itself or in a flowerbed next to the path.  Doing so, and not placing them in your lawn, saves you the hassle of having to mow around the lights every time your grass needs cut.

Now that you’ve decided where you want your fixtures, you have to choose what type of fixtures you want.  For most people solar garden path lights are the best option because they are incredibly easy to install, are very low maintenance, and do a great job.  If you’re installing the lights yourself all that you have to do is stick the lights in the ground, and you’re done.  It’s the ultimate do it yourself project because the lights will turn themselves on and off and draw their own power from the sun.  Just make sure that you place them in a way that they get direct sunlight for most of the day. Continue reading

LIGHT UP YOUR NIGHT WITH PATIO UMBRELLA LIGHTS

When it comes to home decorating, outdoor spaces are increasingly becoming a priority.  Outdoor living, outdoor dining and outdoor entertaining are the norm for many homeowners.  And outdoor spaces are an extension of what is on the inside.  Patio furnishings and accessories have come a long, long way in recent times.  No longer is it enough to have a few plastic chairs and a matching plastic table sitting on your deck or patio.  These days, homeowners are looking for patio furnishings and accessories that both reflect their personalities and create a warm, welcoming environment for their guests.  And when it comes to lighting and patio accessories, patio umbrella lights are perhaps one of the most innovative accessories of the time.

Using environmentally friendly solar power or batteries, these lights give a soft glow to your patio while still allowing you to keep the patio umbrella in an up position, which adds interest and coziness to the space.  Patio umbrella lights are available in a few different styles that will both enhance and illuminate your outdoor living space, and they require no intricate installation like other patio lighting options need.

The patio umbrella light that is most popular is the pole mounting style in which the fixture fits around the pole and can be height adjusted.  These umbrella patio lights are disc shaped and open to fit around the pole.  They’re normally battery operated and many feature rechargeable batteries.  The lighting time for this type of patio light is about 35 to 40 hours before batteries need replacing.  While there are different types of pole mounting patio umbrella lights, most are created to fit a 1 to 3 inch pole however, so be sure to check measurements before purchasing. Continue reading

Use Solar Powered Landscape Lights to Save Money on Your landscaping

I’ve finally decided to do something with my landscaping.  I have a decent lawn, that’s green for about two months out of the year, but I wanted more.  You know those yards you see on home improvement shows with decks, gardens, super green lawns, and lights highlighting everything at night?… That’s what I wanted.

The only problem is that I can’t help but to think of the cost of maintaining everything.  I mean, think about the fertilizer, special seeds, and constant attention to make sure everything grows right.  Plus, the construction and maintenance costs for things like pools and decks can really add up quickly and the numbers can be staggering.  So, I started looking for different ways to save money on my dream landscape.

The first thing that came to mind was lighting.  Certainly with all the types of garden lighting and landscape lighting available, I was sure to find a way that I could get something I liked while still saving some money.  So, I decided that instead of tapping into my homes electricity and increasing my electric bill, I could go green and use solar powered garden lighting.  Supposedly, these lights are both stylish, efficient, and they get the job done.

Another great benefit is that they’re powered by the sun.  I mean, you can’t get more environmentally friendly than that!  Plus, it costs basically nothing for you to have to install them.  The solar powered unit is housed inside of the light so that you can place them anywhere.  You just have to stake them into the area you want to light at night, and you’re good to go – no need to hire an expensive electrician.  Oops, almost forgot, you just have to make sure the lighting unit is exposed to direct sunlight during the day so that the battery charges, but that’s about it. Continue reading

Selecting Solar Lighting For Your Garden

Solar lighting is an excellent way to save money and to create an attractive display of light for your outdoor areas.  Solar lights are ideal around gardens and covered patio spaces, as well as other exterior locations, coming in a wide variety of designs and sizes that are sure to find a use no matter what your outdoor and garden décor.

So how does solar lighting save you money?  Solar lighting works by storing the energy from sunlight during the day and releasing it all at night.  These lights require no wiring, no additional fees on your electrical bill, and only the small maintenance of replacing the solar batteries after an extended period of use.  They also do not require installation by a trained, and expensive, professional electrician.

Many types of solar lights are available for purchase, and your solar lighting plan can be customized depending on the decor you intend on having in your outdoor area and what types of lights you need to properly illuminate the space.  If you plan on keeping with a quaint design around your garden, there are numerous solar lights available for purchase that lend themselves to charming, old-world or classic design.  Solar-powered lights framed inside of a lantern are particularly attractive in traditional décors, as are solar lights with glass grafted to be shaped like flowers, blending into your greenery effortlessly and attractively.  For contemporary and more modern themes around your outdoors, there are numerous minimalistic and attractive solar lights that can be utilized. Continue reading

Illuminate Your Garden With Stylish Lighting

Garden lights are an elegant way to illuminate your garden and other outdoor areas.  Lights can serve many different purposes and are available in a variety of styles.  There are so many different types of lighting to choose from, so you should have no problem finding just the right combination of outside lights to get the look and feel that you want.

Use garden lighting to highlight a feature in your garden.  If you have a prized plant or beautiful bench that you want to showcase, use spotlights or uplights to place emphasis on the object.  Uplights are smaller recessed lights that cast their light straight up and can be positioned in various ways.  Ambient lighting can be used to set a mood.  Choose colored bulbs to change the tone of an area.  Also, consider tiki torches or lights in a tree or shrub to lend atmosphere to your outdoor area.

The key to setting the mood or establishing the right look in your garden is to use the proper amount of lighting.  Too much lighting will wash out the area.  Use the shadows and darkness to add depth to your garden area.  Try using a flashlight with an adjustable beam to test different areas and decide on the proper amount of lighting needed to illuminate your garden. Continue reading

Outdoor Garden Lighting At It’s Best

Outdoor garden lighting tends to be something that people often overlook when it comes to gardening and designing their garden decor, but without some well placed garden lighting, homeowners cannot thoroughly enjoy their garden the way it should be enjoyed.  Most people do not initially realize that lighting outdoors would make their garden better, or that it would help them to enjoy their backyard, or even their front yard, so much more.  Because they do not notice these things, they don’t get the full enjoyment of the outdoor living area or yard that they have.

You may be the best gardener in town, but will not completely benefit from the fruits of your labor without a well thought out garden lighting plan.  But with outdoor lighting in your garden, you can accent certain qualities that you might like over others, like the soothing waterfall you strategically placed in the corner of the garden and the little garden pond that goes with it, or the bed full of lush, colorful flowers that you have worked so hard to grow.  At night, you can’t see these things although you may be able to hear them (like the waterfall), but with the proper lighting, you can make that waterfall glow and be visible to you and others around, or highlight the beauty of the flowers, making it easy to enjoy the nighttime with your family and friends.

These types of garden lights, in combination with others such as solar patio lights, can make for a great experience while being outdoors and can greatly enhance the enjoyment of spending time outside while not being too far away from your own home.  Solar patio lights also can turn your patio into a great place for parties and entertaining, making it easier to see the space outdoors and also adding to the atmosphere of the area.  This makes for great parties and also excellent relaxation times for your family and friends to enjoy. Continue reading

2 Things To Consider When Lighting Your Garden

Solar garden lights can help you turn your ho-hum garden into the talk of the neighborhood.  If you are looking to build a great flower garden (or even a vegetable garden that has some aesthetic appeal), then you will probably want to build it yourself so you can get the feeling of satisfaction from a job well done.  If that’s the case, you’ll bring out the hoes and the shovels and dig up the packed ground so it turns into loose soil.  The beds will be created, the plants put into the ground and the mulch spread over the surface.  The result is a fantastic looking garden that has the neighbors envious and you smiling from ear to ear.

But what happens to your garden night?  With the sun going down, you will not be able to see your masterpiece.  So what should you do?  The answer is – buy solar garden lights and install them in your garden.  By doing so, you will keep the focus on your beautiful garden even after the sun goes down, and you won’t have to worry about hiring a professional electrician to get your lights installed or running up your electric bill.

Two Things To Consider Before Buying Solar Garden Lights

Solar garden lights are the most used type of solar lights on the market today.  Two of the things you will need to focus on are the ease of installation and the solar panels that come with the light.

The ease of installation is a no brainer.  Most solar garden lights are extremely easy to install.  The lights that are used for low lighting or for uplighting are typically staked into the ground.  Those lights that are used to shine down on an area are mounted (usually with just a screwdriver and a screw or two) to a vertical surface so they can be situated at any height you need.  There are no wires to run or trenches to dig, so all you need to do is situate them properly, secure them, and you’re done. Continue reading