Outdoor Lighting Articles

Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

 

Well-designed landscape lighting will highlight the beauty of your home no matter what time of day it is. There are multiple factors to consider when choosing landscape lighting for your home. Low voltage landscape lighting is one of the most popular options for residential outdoor lighting, offering an array of benefits including lower costs, better energy efficiency and enhanced safety. Read to learn more about low voltage landscape lighting and why it may be the right choice for your home’s outdoor lighting.

What is Low Voltage Lighting?

Unlike other lighting systems that use 120 volts for the same purpose, low-voltage lighting only uses 12 volts to power all light fixtures, eliminating the need for dangerous electrical wires that could potentially cause threat of shocks or injuries. There are a few significant benefits that make low-voltage landscape lighting a simple and safe option for homeowners:

  1. Energy efficiency – Low voltage lights are highly energy-efficient. They are able to give off a higher amount of light using only 20 percent of the energy used by traditional incandescent bulbs. 
  2. Life-span – Homeowners will notice extra savings with low voltage lighting because they often last much longer than older incandescent bulbs. This will allow you to enjoy your outdoor lighting system, reducing the burden and maintenance of having to regularly replace the bulbs.
  3. Easy installations – In contrast to low voltage landscape lighting, high voltage systems typically require a permit from local authorities to install, increasing the overall installation cost and time frame. Additionally, installing low voltage landscape lighting is a much easier process because all cables can be placed above or below the ground at any depth, whereas high voltage systems must be installed at least 18 inches below ground.
  4. Cost effective – When it comes to installation and maintenance, low-voltage landscape lighting requires much less effort. Homeowners who choose low-voltage lighting will need to buy a transformer, which is not required for line voltage lighting systems. However, the cables that are needed for line voltage lighting are much more expensive than those needed for low-voltage systems. Furthermore, for low voltage lighting, you may use bulbs and fixtures as low as 2-10 watts, whereas line voltage lighting requires bulbs that are 50 watts or more.
  5. Safety – For homeowners, this is perhaps the biggest selling point. Low voltage landscape lighting is much safer for residential properties. With a lighting system that only requires 12-volt power, you will never have to worry about shocks or injuries in the event that you, your children, or guests accidentally touch something.

What Makes Low Voltage Lighting Better Than Line-Voltage Lighting?

Customizable: There are no limits to what can be done with low voltage lighting. Rather than being constricted by electrical cords connecting to each light with traditional line-voltage lights, low voltage allows more flexibility to make your exterior lighting visions come to life. Low voltage lights can be installed on and around the house, as well as in the ground, pavers, and along driveway areas without the need to pre-plan and pre-wire. For those who wish to light up the trees in their yard, you can also place low voltage lights high-up in trees to shine down beautifully with no junction boxes needed.

Reliable: Low voltage lighting fixtures come in a variety of materials and styles for any application, whereas line-voltage lighting is much more limited as to what type of lights are available. For example, brass and copper are recognized as the best options for outdoor use because they are the only materials that do not corrode. However, finding brass and copper line-voltage fixtures is rare and often very expensive when available. Most are made of plastic or cheaper metals which will quickly corrode in an exterior environment, especially in Florida. Choosing low voltage lighting for your home will give a wider range of material options that will be beneficial for long-term use.

Ways To Use Low Voltage Lights to Illuminate Your Landscape

There are many ways to use low voltage lighting to enhance your home’s landscape:

  1. Pathway Lights – Low voltage pathway lights are a great way to highlight your outdoor walkways and enhance the safety of your landscape. These fixtures also work well to outline a garden or landscape bed so that the unique details of your yard are always visible.
  2. Patio Lights – You can use low voltage lighting to brighten up your patio or deck to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Patio lighting allows you to define your home’s architectural features and increase curb appeal.
  3. Step Lights – If you have steps leading up to your front or back door, low voltage step lights will provide safety for yourself and guests that are visiting your home at nighttime.
  4. Spotlights – Spotlights are a more versatile landscape lighting option used to illuminate specific features in your yard such as trees or certain areas that may not be as visible when the sun goes down. Spotlights are also able to support a wide variety of bulbs, making them a suitable option for low voltage lighting.

Jacksonville’s #1 Landscape Lighting Company

Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC is a premier outdoor and landscape lighting installation company, serving homeowners and businesses in the Jacksonville & St. Augustine, Florida areas. If you are considering exterior lighting for your home, contact Pro Lighting Outdoors today to schedule a consultation – (904) 924-4496.

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Maximize Curb Appeal with Outdoor Lighting

 

Homeowners are always looking for ways to add to the value of their home, and adding exterior lighting fixtures to your house and landscaping is a surefire way to do that. Not only does outdoor lighting provide extra safety and security, it will also create an inviting atmosphere and add value to your home. Whether you plan to put your house on the market, or are simply looking for ways to upgrade, this article should help you discover a few lighting tips for your outdoor spaces.

Lighting Tips to Help Your Home Sell

There are a variety of ways to get creative with exterior lighting that will not only establish a beautiful landscape, but help you sell your home now or in the future.

  1. Emphasize your home’s best features — There are certain architectural features of every home that make it unique from the rest. The type of exterior lighting will vary from home-to-home depending on characteristics and design. A few example areas that may benefit from exterior lighting include driveways and walkways, flower beds and landscape features, patios, and pool perimeters.
  2. LED Color-Changing Lights — A simple touch of color can do wonders when it comes to creating an eye-catching exterior. With the use of modern technology, you can now change the entire mood of your yard with a simple click of a button. Color-changing landscape lighting is a great way to create a dramatic atmosphere to complement the colors of your home’s exterior or add a splash of festive colors during the holidays.
  3. Tree Lighting — Trees offer a beautiful aesthetic to any property. Adding landscape lighting to your trees can illuminate large parts of your yard to offer security, while also creating a warm ambiance to your front or back yard. LED color-changing landscape lights pointed up towards the trees can also keep your outdoor space looking bright and colorful all year round.

Types of Outdoor Lighting

Pro Lighting Outdoors is here to help select exterior lighting for residential and commercial properties in Northeast Florida. There are a few factors to consider. For starters, the type of light bulbs have a major impact on energy efficiency and the amount of maintenance required to maintain the lighting system. Outdoor LED lights offer a variety of advantages over traditional bulb options. LED lights have a longer life-span, are more energy efficient, have variable brightness controls, and radiate less heat from the lights.

The light fixture material should also be considered when choosing landscape lighting in Jacksonville or St. Augustine, FL. Weather conditions, sunlight, and temperature all have an effect on anything placed outside, including exterior lights. Remember to choose materials that are weather-resistant, rust-resistant and are sturdy and well-manufactured. There are many brands of DIY landscape lights that are poorly designed and manufactured with cheap materials – ultimately causing those customers to need repairs or replacement in just a short amount of time. Make sure to consult with a professional exterior lighting company to be sure the lighting system is hooked up correctly and building codes are followed properly.

Major Benefits of Outdoor Lighting

All in all, well-planned exterior lighting is essential to creating a charming curb appeal. If you are planning to sell your home in the near future, these simple additions will make your home stand out from the rest and help you get the best return on your investment. Combining the right lighting fixtures for your home, with proper placement to highlight unique features. will result in a beautiful property with noticeable value that grabs the attention of guests and anyone that may be passing by.


Jacksonville’s #1 Landscape Lighting Company

Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC is a premier outdoor and landscape lighting installation company, serving homeowners and businesses in the Jacksonville & St. Augustine, Florida areas. If you are considering exterior lighting for your home, contact Pro Lighting Outdoors today to schedule a consultation – (904) 924-4496.

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Outdoor LED Lighting Fixtures

 

LED lights have become the future of the lighting industry. Along with being aesthetically pleasing, LED lights are low cost, low maintenance and consume significantly less energy than other lighting options. Not only are LED lights a popular choice for interior design, they have also become one of the top choices for landscape lighting. Browse some of the frequently asked questions when it comes to outdoor LED lighting, and learn why they should be at the top of your list. Contact Pro Lighting Outdoors for a free consultation and estimate for all your outdoor building and landscape lighting needs!

led lights on yard

LED technology is available in many traditional light bulb configurations, as well as lighting strips.

Are LED Lights Good for Outdoor Use?

In a simple answer, yes! LED lights are great for all residential and commercial outdoor lighting needs. Outdoor LED lights share the same benefits of those indoors, and are much more low maintenance than traditional lighting. In contrast to many other lighting options, LED lights are made with durable materials (no glass) that are much more capable of withstanding any severe weather conditions. They are also versatile when it comes to style, and can serve as both decorative and practical lights.

 Why Do People Prefer LED Lights Over Other Types?

There are a few advantages that LED lights have over other options that make them a top choice for outdoor lighting:

  • Brighter Lighting – LED lights are much brighter than traditional lighting and will help to better highlight your property features.
  • Energy Efficiency – LED technology turns electricity directly into light using a semiconductor without wasting the heat and energy that traditional lights do. This will help decrease your monthly energy costs. Learn more about the energy-efficiency of LED lights by clicking here.
  • Longer Lifespan – LED lights are known to have a longer life. The less burnouts, the less maintenance.
  • Color-Changing Technology – LED lights allows you to get creative with your space by altering the lighting color. You can conveniently change the color of your LED lights just by a simple click of a button, creating different moods for different settings.

Are LED Lights Bright Enough for a Flood Light?

Yes. LED lights are a great option for flood lights because they emit a higher number of lumens than traditional lights. Flood lights are typically installed for security purposes and require brighter light. On average, flood lights require a higher number of lumens in order to work efficiently (the brighter the light is, the more lumens will be emitted).

Can LED Light Strips Be Used Outdoors?

Choosing the correct LED light strips is the key. Weatherproof/waterproof LED light strips are great for highlighting features of your property while also providing additional outdoor security.

Here are a few examples of how you can showcase LED strips in your outdoor living space:

  • Highlight Your Stairs – Outdoor stairs that lead to your doorways or patio spaces can be tricky to see when it’s dark. LED strips can be positioned under the stair treads to highlight the steps in a subtle, but effective, way.
  • Outline a Flower Bed – When the sun goes down, LED strips that outline your flower beds will allow you to continue to enjoy the beauty of your backyard at all times of the night.
  • Illuminate Your Pathways – LED strips are the perfect way to outline pathways in your yard at nighttime to avoid any trips or accidents.

Can I Leave My LED Lights on All Night Long?

Absolutely. LED lights are actually an excellent choice if you are wanting to leave your lights on for long periods of time. This is because all LED lights have a very low power usage and do not produce as much heat as traditional lights do when left on for long amounts of time. If you are looking for lights that you do not have to worry about, LED is the choice for you.

What Is the Lifespan of LED Lights?

One of the best perks of LED lighting is how long they can last. The average lifespan of LED lights is 20,000 to 50,000 hours. For a better picture, if you are using your lights for 8 hours a day, this would equal out to 17 years, which would be 30 times longer than traditional light bulbs.

 


Jacksonville’s #1 Landscape Lighting Company

Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC is a premier outdoor and landscape lighting installation company, serving homeowners and businesses in the Jacksonville & St. Augustine, Florida areas. If you are considering landscape lighting for your home, contact Pro Lighting Outdoors today to schedule a consultation – (904) 924-4496.

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4 Benefits of Having Outdoor Lighting in the Winter

North Florida is known for beautiful weather, sunshine and warmth, but the winter months can still get cold, rainy. Plus it’s dark by 6:00 PM. While many homeowners may associate landscape lighting with the summer time and spending evenings outside, there are also many reasons why outdoor lighting can be beneficial in the winter months. Read on to discover 4 key benefits of having landscape lighting in the winter.

1.) It Gets Darker Soon

During the height of the winter months, the sun will set around the same time people are returning home from work or daily errands – approximately 5:30 to 6:30pm. Landscape lighting will provide the comfort and security of returning home to an illuminated environment rather than pulling into a dark driveway at the end of the day.

Additionally, Florida residents have the luxury of enjoying their outdoor living spaces practically year-round—even when the temperature gets a little chilly. Winter nights are perfect for relaxing by the firepit or outdoor fireplace, enjoying a hot cup of cocoa. Professionally installed outdoor lighting such as LED patio lights, driveway and walkway lights, and low-voltage landscape lights will make it easier for you to still take advantage of your yard and outdoor living spaces even when it’s dark outside.


 2.) Avoid accidents with clearly lit walkways and patios

When your steps, pathways and driveways have accent lighting, not only does it create a welcoming and warm environment, but it will help protect you and others from any unexpected mishaps. The best way to prevent trips or falls at nighttime is to add lighting along walkways and patio spaces surrounding your home. The winter season can often be rainy and windy, causing outdoor surfaces to get wet and slippery. This increased risk can be avoided with lights that brighten up stairs, stone pathways or even around your pool. If you are having guests over, or maybe you need to check the mail or take the trash out, landscape lighting will create a clear path to follow during the evenings.

3.) More visibility of exterior space from inside the home

Landscape lighting is just as enjoyable for your interior as it is your outdoor living. Some winter nights can be too chilly to sit outside, but that does not mean you can’t still enjoy the beautiful scenery of your backyard. Without landscape lighting, the view from your window at night time will appear dark and flat. When landscapes are lit up properly, you will get to appreciate your property’s greatest features not only from the outside, but from inside your home as well.



Jacksonville’s #1 Landscape Lighting Company

Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC is a premier outdoor and landscape lighting installation company serving homeowners and businesses in the First Coast and northeast Florida region. If you are considering landscape lighting for your home, contact Pro Lighting Outdoors today to schedule a consultation – (904) 924-4496.

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Outdoor Lighting: Hire a Pro vs DIY

Planning and Installing Outdoor Lighting: Your Best Options   

When considering planning and installing outdoor lighting for your home and/or property, there are 3 choices: Hire a professionally licensed and insured outdoor lighting contractor, hire an unlicensed person or company, or do it yourself. The only wrong answer is hiring an unlicensed individual or company because you have no idea what you’ll be getting, are taking a big risk with your money and, more importantly, your family’s safety. Electrical fires are dangerous and can change lives. It’s always best to hire a licensed, insured outdoor lighting professional vs. an unlicensed one. That leaves us with doing-it-yourself or hiring a pro. Let’s start with DIY.

 DIY Outdoor Lighting Tips

There are many landscape lighting products on the market today for do-it-yourselfers. If someone is diligent and has the time to do the research to learn how to install a landscape lighting system, it can be a worthwhile and rewarding project. In order to complete this from start-to-finish safely and properly, one will need a few specialty tools, some specialty materials such as the proper gauge wire, outdoor-rated wire connectors, fixture stems, and of course, the lighting components, themselves. This is where things can get confusing.

 Choosing the Right Outdoor Lighting Products

With so many different products available to consumers online, it can be near impossible to determine what is worth your money, and what isn’t. Things to consider, include:

  • Materials
  • Warranty
  • Brand / Company Reputation

You’ll want to know the answers to questions, like:

  • What happens when something fails? Will it be easy to rectify? Will the company stand behind the product or leave you having to replace it at your cost and time?
  • How about the fixtures? Are drop-in fixtures and lamps better than integrated fixtures or vice-versa?
  • Which color temperatures are best for the elements you will be illuminating? How bright should you go? How many watts can a circuit handle and how long can that circuit be?

The DIY Tradeoff: Price vs. Time, Quality & Service

These are all factors to consider. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the time to dedicate to these kinds of projects and don’t want to have to worry about warranties, repairs and diagnostics when something comes up. However, the plus side is you can save between 20% and 70% on the project by doing it yourself. There are kits at the big box stores that sell LED landscape lighting. But  keep in mind, especially if you live within a few miles of the coast or in a state with inclement weather like Florida, that these kits are temporary and will not hold up for very long.

Using a Licensed & Insured Outdoor Lighting Professional

Most people turn to a licensed, insured outdoor lighting professional when they are ready to illuminate their home, pool or property or once they have tried installing a kit from a big box store and are now ready to do it right, and have it warrantied for life. Just like when you have any electrical project at your home it is always best to at least consult with a professional, first. The reasons are many.

The Art of Outdoor Lighting Design

One of the most import reasons for using an outdoor lighting professional is the artistic eye of an experienced lighting specialist. This can be the difference between some scattered, uncoordinated lights and a beautifully illuminated home and property. It’s akin to hiring an interior designer for your home. They do it every day and have years of experience understanding what looks good for what type of environments, and what elements are a waste of money.

 Getting the Biggest Bang for the Buck With Your Outdoor Lighting Company

A good lighting professional will make sure you are getting the maximum value for your money. There are all kinds of lighting companies including franchises, single-owner businesses, and companies that provide landscaping services, but hold a low-voltage lighting license, as well. For the best value for your money, you should consider the small business (not a franchise) that only designs and installs outdoor lighting.

Franchises may occasionally offer a slightly more competitive prices (often, not even that) but the products are not from a lighting manufacturer, but rather are made exclusively for that franchise and are not the same quality that you would get from a national or international brand. Franchises are often fraught with employee turnover, as well, which is  not a good recipe for quality and attention to detail.

With a local small business that uses leading products from top manufacturers, the number one factor working for you is that the reputation of that business is on the line. Often, you will deal with the actual owner, rather than a sales person. You can imagine that the owner of any small business worth their salt will do what it takes to get a smiling customer at the end of a transaction. You will also often have the owner involved throughout the entire process.

When searching for a good, local outdoor lighting company, be sure to look at their portfolio. Is it varied? Are there a variety of custom jobs that demonstrate their ability to be creative and make a home or property unique? What is their work process like and how are payments made? Does the company answer the phone and return messages promptly?

Getting Your Outdoor Lighting Contractor and Getting Started

In summary, whether deciding to design and install your own landscape lighting or vetting a few professionally licensed companies, the most important factor is to take some time and research your options. Look at reviews, call and eliminate those that you don’t get a good, fuzzy feeling about. Professional outdoor lighting consultation should be free and, at minimum, give you a good idea about what you can expect moving forward.

There are sleezy salespeople and there are great-looking DIY kits that may try to sway you. However, do your due diligence and you will see through the window dressing. If you decide to consider hiring an outdoor lighting professional in Jacksonville or Northeast Florida, please consider Pro Lighting Outdoors. We focus on our customers and are driven by strong word-of-mouth. There are no bait-and-switches, no crews of people who may or may not understand what they are doing and when you deal with the owner, you are also almost always dealing with your designer.

Finally, we do not take payment unless and until you are 100% satisfied. If you are unhappy with the final product or the experience for any reason, we will remove it and you will not be charged a penny. This has never happened, yet and we hope it never does, but we can promise you that we will always be here for our customers and want them to be happy with their investments. Call us today for a free outdoor lighting consultation: (904) 924-4496

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How to Protect Your Home with Security Lights

A contemporary home at duskInstalling security lighting for your home’s exterior is a great way to have added peace of mind while you are out for the night. Though high-powered floodlights are useful for commercial areas, they may not be suitable for your home. For starters, the neighbors will not like these blinding lights shining into their own home. Floodlights also do not add to the overall aesthetic of your property.

How to Properly Utilize Security Lights for Your Home

Though motion sensors are a decent option, they are only effective when trespassers have already decided to target your property. Effective security lights in Jacksonville, FL, will ward off trespassers before they even think to step foot on your doorstep.

Low-voltage lighting accents around your property will help feature your home’s beauty while protecting you and your family. By illuminating the perimeter of your home, it provides more visual control to what is happening around you. Trespassers do not want to be seen, so it is essential to eliminate as many hiding spots as you can around your home.

If you are interested in installing security lights in Jacksonville, FL, look to the experts at Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC. Our experienced team will help you create the perfect system to enhance your home’s beauty and ensure its safety.

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Balancing Your Landscape Lighting

Well-lit home with a swimming pool in the backyardWhen you are looking to install an outdoor lighting system, you want to ensure it offers the function you need without hindering the ambiance of the setup. Though you may want everything illuminated for security purposes, too much light in the design can be counterproductive. Figuring out the right balance for your landscape lighting plan is essential.

Consider the Atmosphere You Want

Certain lighting will give off a certain vibe. When lighting your property, think about the various ways lighting layers are used to set the mood. If you are looking to create a more relaxed atmosphere, incorporating low lights is necessary. Alternatively, a faster-paced environment will be lit much brighter.

Lighting has many layers and working with experienced lighting contractors in Jacksonville, FL, will help you obtain the visuals you want for your home’s exterior. Creating contrast, depths, and balance in your lighting display will help create a visually pleasant property that is both illuminated and protected.

Think about the experience that you want your guests to have while visiting for evening dinner parties or for a night of catching up on the patio. By utilizing the right lighting layers, you can ensure your outdoor space is relaxed and inviting for your guests and family.

If you are interested in installing professional landscape lighting on your property, contact the experts at Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC today. You can reach our team by calling (904) 924-4496.

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The 3 Ways to Improve Safety with Exterior Lighting

A well-lit garden with a patio at nightMany people consider outdoor security lighting as harsh spotlights and unnecessarily bright motion detectors. At Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC, we provide exterior lighting in St. Augustine, FL, that highlights a home’s beauty while providing safety to those who live in it. Below are the three ways we improve security with our exterior lighting services.

  1. Lighting the House

By placing lights at the entry points, such as your front entrance, side doors, windows, and garage, you will easily see who is entering and exiting the property. Directly lighting the house also makes it challenging for intruders to enter.

  1. Lighting the Yard

We will also work to incorporate lights into your landscape design to light the yard, dark walkways, living areas, and your pool. Not only does this allow you extended use of your outdoor space, but it offers additional protection and highlights the beauty of your home’s exterior.

  1. Lighting the Perimeter

If you live in an area with many potential hiding spots in trees or other wooded areas, illuminating the perimeter can help protect those areas from potential intruders. This will provide you with peace of mind knowing that your entire property is well-lit and guarded. A house with excellent exterior lighting is not an easy target for thieves and vandals.

If you are interested in exterior lighting in St. Augustine, FL, contact Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC today to schedule a consultation. You can reach us by calling (904) 924-4496.

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Why You Need a Professional Lighting Company

Façade and entryway to a contemporary white homeHigh-quality and beautiful exterior lighting in Jacksonville, FL, has become increasingly more popular. Many home improvement and landscaping companies are beginning to offer it as part of their services. However, choosing these companies over experienced lighting professionals is not always the best idea. Instead, below are three reasons why you should call Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC for all of your outdoor lighting needs.

Exceptionally Beautiful Design

Your exterior lighting system is not only meant to be functional but to enhance the overall appearance of your property. The design should ensure everything is appropriately illuminated and that there are no dark spots on the landscape. A professional lighting contractor will know exactly how to design the lighting system to suit all of the architectural nuances of your home or business.

Functional and Durable Fixtures

Not all lighting fixtures are the same, and inexperienced companies may not have the knowledge necessary to install the best for your property. Some may be too harsh for your needs; others may not be made to last for years in the harsh Florida climate. Our company is very educated on the various fixtures necessary for a successful lighting system in our service area.

Efficient Maintenance Services

Other companies may be able to install the fixtures but are not educated in the proper maintenance. At Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC, we will ensure your exterior lighting system is installed correctly and maintained. We take pride in the work that we do and will ensure that it holds up to your standards for years to come.

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The Difference between Halogen and LED Landscape Lights

Illuminated garden at nightWhen looking to install landscape lighting in St. Augustine, FL, you may be wondering about energy-efficient options. LED lighting is an excellent choice for the outdoors, but what exactly is the difference between LED and the standard halogen lights? Our experts at Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC have the answer!

For energy-efficiency, LED lighting is a clear choice. LED lights use only around 20% of the energy put off by halogen lights. This considerable reduction in energy usage can drastically lower your utility bills, allowing you to light your landscape for longer and cheaper. We can also convert many existing systems to LED, saving you even more in the long run.

Though the initial investment is much more expensive than a halogen system, the long-term savings are much more impressive. LED systems will last longer, whereas halogen bulbs tend to burn out after a year or so. You will never have to worry about replacing bulbs year after year when you utilize an LED system.

At Pro Lighting Outdoors, LLC, we provide exceptional landscape lighting designs to increase the curb appeal and value of your home. If you are interested in installing lights across your home’s exterior, contact our experts today at (904) 924-4496.

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