Posts tagged with "low voltage lighting"

Who to Choose for Outdoor Lighting?

 

When considering outdoor lighting for your home and/or property, it can be confusing deciding who to call, and when comparing quotes, who to choose. The pool company offered to add lighting to the backyard, then the pool enclosure company did the same, followed by the landscaping company, and even the paver company! So, who should you choose for your lighting? After all, those contractors did a good job with the pool, patio and backyard landscaping, and that should be expected because they’re experts. This same principle applies to outdoor lighting contractors – specialized experience and licensing are key.

A Bright Idea: Hire a Lighting Company to Install Outdoor Lighting

You would imagine that most people would probably not hire a lighting company to build their pool, install pavers, or do their gardening. Unfortunately, all too often, we get calls from people who have just spent thousands on a new landscape lighting system that has stopped working or is having other problems. They cannot get the company that installed the system –often a contractor serving a specialization other than lighting–  to return a call or follow-through with an appointment to rectify the situation.

Then, all too often, we have to deliver the bad news that costly repairs or even replacement will be necessary in order to get things working the way they should. Faced with no choice, the customers are forced to throw good money after bad. To follow are a few suggestions for how to avoid these headaches and get the best experience and results when it comes to installing outdoor lighting.

 

  • Driveway and walkway lighting

Don’t Be Upsold or Undersold: Only Use a Licensed Outdoor Lighting Contractor

First, let’s explain why seemingly everyone offers other services besides what they are specialized in and licensed for: the upsell. Landscape lighting is sold in big box stores and online, and there are plenty of youtube videos about it, so why not earn extra income selling it to customers?

Customers are not aware that a license is required in Florida to install outdoor lighting. The reason for this is because there are so many critical elements to consider when working with electrical components, wiring and transformers. When installed incorrectly, a system may not work, work only sporadically, and/or might even destroy itself in a very short period of time.

Worst of all, improperly installed lighting can even cause a fire where the faulty wiring, fixtures or transformers are located. We have seen this before and provided expert opinions for insurance companies, attesting to the unlicensed and improper installation of lighting. Not surprisingly, a primary reason why so many implicated contractors do not want to return when things go wrong is simply because they do not know what to do.

“Outdoor Lighting for Less” is Not Always More

Next, let’s talk about how some contractors can seemingly offer outdoor lighting for less than a licensed and highly-specialized outddor lighting company. The answer is simple: Generally, the lighting packages they offer are simply not high quality. While a dedicated lighting company specialist such as Pro Lighting Outdoors uses only quality engineered products, and tests all fixtures and lamps before putting them in use, other companies simply purchase the lowest priced fixtures and lamps they can find. They may work fine when brand new, but over a relative short period of time, they may go out, seals may fail allowing moisture inside, or the fixtures, not plugged from the bottom, enable vegetation or insects to get inside.

Better by Design: A Professional Outdoor Lighting Contractor is Always Your Best Choice

Finally, we come to lighting design. When we create an outdoor lighting design for a house or back yard, we are drawing from years of experience and knowledge and thousands of hours of training and dedication. This provides us with foreknowledge of exactly what the final outcome will be before we ever start installation. Ultimately, this is the difference between a house that reflects proper lighting techniques –shadowing, brightness, aversion of light into windows, proper illumination of key features of the house, yard, etc.– and one that doesn’t.

Think of it as the difference between getting a picture from someone who paints or draws in their free time, and someone who has dedicated their life to it. The person doing it on the side may paint a decent-looking portrait from time-to-time, but the professional artist will be able to take on the same task and create a result that is much sharper, more detailed, and ultimately much better-looking.


Call the Pros at Pro Lighting Outdoors

Avoid regrets and headaches. When considering installing outdoor lighting for your home or property, always call a licensed outdoor lighting professional who has dedicated their life to their trade. At Pro Lighting Outdoors, we work with our customers to tailor every lighting project to their individual needs and strive to make every single project turn out as close to perfect as possible. So for your next lighting project, contact a pro: Pro Lighting Outdoors. Call (904) 924-4496 or email us at prolightingoutdoors@gmail.com for a complimentary quote.

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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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