Outdoor landscape lighting is an affordable way to beautify your home and create additional living space without costly renovations. Add a low-voltage lighting system to enhance outdoor gatherings, make your home safer by illuminating walkways, highlight architectural details, or create curb appeal.
EXPANDING NIGHTTIME LIVING SPACE
When it comes to lighting outdoor spaces, most tend to think of simply illuminating the exterior of a structure or property. One of the most underestimated aspects of landscape lighting is that it can actually extend living space physically as well as visually.
When light is brought to a dark back or front yard, it visually pushes the boundaries of a house. The more elements that are lit, the more people will push the edges of where a person will tend to gravitate to beyond the interior of a house. Pushing this boundary creates a visually striking look for the outside of the house, especially when the interior lights are turned off.
Another practice for expanding nighttime living space is boundary lighting. Many people have a fence or shrub line that represents the end of their property line. This section can be illuminated with a small output wall wash fixture. When done properly using photometric, more than one light can be overlapped to create a continuous wall of light that will subtly show the edges of a yard.
PLAN FOR THE OUTSIDE AS WELL AS THE INSIDE
In the process of designing a new lighting plan, remember to include what will happen on the inside of the house, especially in the main areas that look outward. If the living or dining room is in the back of the house, shifting the balance of the entire lighting plan to better represent the most trafficked area may be the desire of the homeowner. Opposite to this, if the bedroom is in a particular area that has a lot of windows, the design may require extra care not to put too much light into that area. Discussing the specific needs and desires during the planning phase with the client will give great direction to the specific topic of indoor viewing. Ask about safety, utility and what areas, plants or even stones are the favorite of the client.
Halogen based lights can take anywhere between 10 and 50 watts of power each, and sometimes more. LED fixtures require roughly 80% less voltage, which means lower energy costs, longer lamp life, and better environmental citizenship for the end user.
As their watt consumption is significantly higher, traditional fixtures become very hot, so much so they cannot be touched after running for only a few minutes. LEDs create heat as well, but far less than traditional lighting. This results in a longer lamp and fixture life. To ensure our products live as long as possible, LED feature heat sinks, as well as temperature sensors. If a fixture is getting too hot, the board will automatically pull back current which will actively cool the fixture down.
CONSISTENT LIGHT OUTPUT
Traditional lighting required multiple wires to each set of lights to ensure all lights are outputting the same level of illumination. It is a complex and time-consuming process. With LED fixtures, a built-in device called a driver takes all the power it is receiving and delivers it to each LED within a fixture so they are always at the same light level, regardless of the voltage supplied.
FIXTURE LIFE LENGTH
Depending on the application LEDs can last 50,000 hours or more. At the end of their life they don't just burn out like traditional lights. LEDs slowly dim over time and at very low levels, so even after 50,000 hours of use in most situations LEDs will continue to illuminate sufficiently.
A PROFESSIONAL'S GAME
Always remember that Landscape Lighting is an art, and just like an irrigation system, it requires a professional to plan, install, and maintain. In order to achieve safe, optimal, and long life from a lighting plan, a qualified installer should always be consulted to create the functions that an end user is looking to get from a lighting plan.
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