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3 Steps to Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor Lighting on a garden path

Photo by System Pavers

If you’re looking to add a touch of personality, luxury, and flare to your outdoor living space, you’re in luck! Follow these 3 simple steps to light up your life from the outside in.

1) Buy What You Need

To kick off your landscape lighting project, you’ll need to purchase: a voltage transformer, cables, a handful of gorgeous outdoor lighting fixtures, and a slew of new bulbs.

For those who are new to the world of outdoor lighting, a voltage transformer is the nifty little item that decreases the voltage of any given electricity source to a safe value which can be fed to low-voltage light fixtures. Commercially available voltage transformers are affordable, energy efficient, and very necessary for any DIY project. To determine what size you’ll need, just follow this simple formula:

Add together the wattage of your individual lights and then multiply that total by 1.5.
The new total is the transformer size, in watts, that you’ll require.
If you’re still feeling unsure, you can always bypass the guesswork by purchasing a complete landscape lighting kit.

When selecting the lights and lighting fixtures for your home, we suggest opting for LED lights. Outdoor LEDs offer an array of benefits including:

  1. LED light bulbs are more energy efficient
  2. LED light bulbs have a longer life span
  3. LED light bulbs helps you save money on your electricity bills
  4. LED lights are non-toxic and greener than other alternatives
  5. LED lighting is flexible in color and design

2) Find Your Power Source

Next, you’ll need to figure out where exactly your electricity will be coming from. For many new homeowners, it can be surprising to see that outdoor electricity sockets are identical to those in your home. So, as far as functionality goes, it’s pretty straight forward. However, keep in mind that even a properly installed and protected electrical system can fail due to unforeseen situations or component failure.

For those looking to decrease their chances of socket failure, we suggest covering your unused sockets with outdoor outlet covers. There are two types of covers available:

One is watertight only when not in use and closed. This type of outlet is only meant to be used temporarily when exposure to weather is not a problem. For example, plugging in a leaf blower. This type of outlet should not be used for holiday decorations as they are often exposed to harsh weather and are left unattended for long durations.

The other type is watertight even when you have something plugged into it, provided you close the cover. Fortunately, changing from one to the other is pretty easy: just take the cover off and put the other one on, making sure to follow the directions to maintain the seal.

3) Map Out Your Installation

Once you’ve decided where needs to be lit, and you’ve got all the supplies necessary to make it happen, you’ll need to find out how to do it! Say you need a fighting fixture in a remote area of your garden or, perhaps, you’re wanting illuminate a pond without having wires running to and fro. Well, you may need to run an underground “line” voltage (120-volt household current). All it takes is a little electrical know-how and a willingness to dig a shallow trench. However, if possible, we recommend simply running cables along the ground and strategically hiding them behind plants, pots, or covering them lightly with dirt or mulch.

For more tips and tricks to lighting your outdoor living spaces, contact a Best Pro Lighting representative today. We’re happy to help and can’t wait to hear from you.