LED Low Voltage Outdoor Landscape Lighting for 2022: Begin With the Basics

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta, GA, offers residential and commercial customers the opportunity to enjoy LED landscape lighting. The lighting experts utilize premium fixtures, the latest technology, and innovative lighting techniques to illuminate homes and landscapes. Without landscape lighting, a magnificent house and a well-manicured landscape fade into darkness with the setting of the sun. However, homeowners can keep the experience alive with landscape lighting.

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The Basics of Landscape Lighting

A basic understanding of the fundamentals of LED low-voltage landscape lighting highlights the multifaceted value of having a home or business that has been exquisitely illuminated. The design and installation professionals at Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta share tips on what goes into a landscape lighting plan and installation that casts the home or business in the best light.

LED: The Top Choice for Landscape Lighting

LED technology has been around for over 100 years, but innovations and mass production have only recently made LED landscape lighting accessible. Just Energy, a leading electricity company serving North America, explains that LED bulbs “first entered the market in 2008. By 2011, Philips Lighting North America perfected the design with a prize-winning 60-watt LED light bulb. At the time, the bulbs sold for $40 each and had a lifespan of over 27 years.”

Over the past decade, LED lighting has become very popular and is the industry standard for landscape lighting. Several factors contribute to its popularity.

  • Energy efficient

LED bulbs use 80% less energy than traditional halogen lighting systems.

  • Long-lasting

While traditional halogen bulbs only last between 2,000 and 5,000 hours, LED lights can last up to 40,000 hours or more, depending on the environment. In applications to light piers where the fixtures are submerged, the bulbs can last up to 70,000 or more hours.

  • Durable

Shock-resistant bulbs are housed in non-corrosive-resistant fixtures.

  • Low maintenance

An outdoor LED lighting system is less labor-intensive to maintain due to the longevity and durability of the bulbs.

  • Affordable

Efficiency, longevity, durability, and low maintenance make LED the affordable choice for homeowners and business owners.

  • Safe

Lower voltage requirements make LED the safer choice. The likelihood of electrocution or fire is significantly reduced. Halogen bulbs are very hot and can ignite leaves, mulch, or other flammable materials.

  • Versatile

Advances such as the step-down transformer enable lighting designers to achieve a wide array of lighting effects.

Low-Voltage Outdoor Lighting Components

A low-voltage lighting system breaks down into several basic components. The transformer reduces the household current from 120 volts to 12 volts. The bulb determines the color, beamwidth, brightness, and consumption of electricity. The fixture housing is where the bulb is located. The housing serves many functions, including protecting the bulb from the elements. Phalanges on the housing help dissipate heat which is the enemy of the LED bulb. The fixture also aids in shaping the light beam. The fixture is affixed to a stake that stabilizes the unit, and electrical cables conduct current to the fixture.

Types of Outdoor Landscape Lights

There are six general types or categories of outdoor landscape lights: garden, wash, bullet, well, downlight/uplight, and flood.

  • Garden lights

A garden light features canopies on top of a post that is 18 to 24 inches tall. These canopies reflect light down into a flower bed. Garden lights can also be used as a pathway marker. These highly visible fixtures come in a variety of styles and finishes that complement their surroundings.

  • Wash lights

This fixture casts a soft, diffuse light ideal for illuminating garden walls, privacy fences, and other flat facades such as a mural.

  • Bullet lights

Bullet lights, or spotlights, project a narrow beam and are ideal for precisely lighting architectural features of a home or business, garden structures such as a fountain, and tree trunks. Some styles of this fixture resemble a bullet, hence the name “bullet” light.

  • Well lights

This waterproof fixture is concealed in the ground. These covert lights are perfect for illuminating the underside of plant foliage. A lighting designer deploys the well light to graze the base of a fence or wall. Some bulbs may be fixed or able to swivel.

  • Downlights

A talented lighting designer can create a magical moonlight effect with these fixtures by installing them high on tree trunks and branches and aiming the beam at the tree’s foliage, lawn areas, or paths. Side glare is eliminated or reduced by a long, cowl-shaped shroud.  A reputable lighting design company will install premium quality stainless steel, brass, or copper housings with LEDs in this application which extends the life of the fixture and the bulb. The installation of downlighting may necessitate the services of a tree climber or a boom truck. Better quality fixtures and long-lasting LEDs make the best sense in this application.

  • Floodlights

The floodlight typically casts a wide beam (more than 40 degrees) with a brightness greater than a wash light. A collar minimizes annoying side glare. A floodlight is an excellent choice to illuminate tall trees or the wide façade of a home or business.

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The design and installation team at Southern Landscape Lighting Systems brings together the technology of LED low-voltage lighting, the many options afforded by a wide variety of fixtures, and the lighting artistry of designer and owner Lindsey Rodericks to showcase a home or business in its best light.

For more details about scheduling outdoor landscape lighting installation and service, contact the Alpharetta office by phone at (770) 691-1221 or email at [email protected].

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